On the second day of IEM Katowice, we had to say goodbye to the first teams. We also learned the first teams who are guaranteed a playoff spot. We summarize all the matches in the article below.


Liquid has no problem dealing with Virtus.pro

EliGE was the highest-rated Liquid player ©ESL

Virtus.pro wasn’t able to end their streak of disappointing results against the Nort-American powerhouse that is Liquid. They surprised analysts and fans alike with their map pick of Vertigo, where they managed to push Liquid to overtime. But in the end, the CIS based squad wasn’t able to overcome the skill gap between the two teams. The map ended with a 19-16 victory for Liquid, who carried over their form into the second map, Mirage. Jonathan ‘EliGE’ Jablonowski was outstanding on the T-side, securing his team a 9-6 lead going into the second half. They were able to stay calm and close out the second map 16-10.


Evil Geniuses managed to hold off Mad Lions

acoR had a breakout performance ©Dreamhack

It has to be said: Mad Lions is an entertaining team. Their aggressive, at times delusional style of moving through a map is as fun to watch as it is annoying to play against. The way they play is personalized in their AWP’er, Frederik ‘acoR’ Gyldstrand. His rushes made Evil Geniuses sweat, and perhaps even a little bit scared. But when push came to shove, EG showed why they are considered a league or two above their Danish foes. Vincent ‘Brehze’ Cayonte led the way to a 16-7 victory on Vertigo, but when he slowed down (a bit) on Dust II, Mad Lions managed to claw their way to a 16-14 equalizing victory. On the third, deciding map, EG was back in control, cruising to a relatively easy 16-5 victory on Nuke.


Astralis send Vitality down to the lower bracket

Magisk played a vital role int Astralis’ victory ©ESL

In the most hyped up matchup of the day, Astralis managed to beat Vitality in 2-0 fashion, sending the Frenchman to the lower bracket. The match kicked off on Overpass, but Vitality never seemed to warm up into the game. This was most notable with Mathieu ‘ZywOo’ Heirbaut’s performance. The Vitality star player only managed 9 kills over the entire first map. in the end, Astralis won with a 16-9 scoreline. The second map saw Vitality step up their game, making Astralis work for their victory. On yet another Vertigo game, the score went back and forth, resulting in two overtimes. Eventually, Astralis locked down the map and series win with 22-19.


NIP end Cloud9’s tournament run

REZ had a better day than yesterday ©ESL

Cloud9’s tournament run is over. The expectations around the debutant lineup were not set high for their first big tournament. The squad has shown glimpses of future potential in the four maps they played in Katowice. But those glimpses were not enough to upset NIP. The Swedes reigned supreme on Overpass, winning the map with decisive 16-2 figures. The second map was more competitive, but NIP never wavered, closing the match with another clear 16-9.


Fnatic secure playoff spot over Na’Vi

KRIMZ played an incredible map on Dust II ©ESL

Fnatic has secured a spot in at least the quarter-final of IEM Katowice. To get there, they had to depend heavily on a stellar performance by Freddy ‘KRIMZ’ Johansson. On the first map, in particular, the Swedish star player showed that he had one of those special days. After 24 rounds of Dust II, he had a K/D ratio of 31/10, almost single-handedly giving Fnatic the 16-7 victory. The second map, which took us to Inferno, was a closer affair, with Na’Vi clutching out the victory in 16-14. The third and final map, Mirage, saw an entertaining back and forth between the teams, but Fnatic’s solid defense proved to be the deciding factor, ending the series with 16-12. In the upper-bracket final, Fnatic will face Astralis, while Na’Vi will meet the other Swedish team in NIP.


Faze send Renegades packing

Niko and the boys showed us a solid team performance ©ESL

Faze has bounced back from their disappointing loss to Na’Vi by beating Renegades in an elimination match. The international squad showed up as an entire unit, with all of the players ending with a positive K/D. Renegades, on the other hand, have seen that their recent rosters changes won’t be enough to really become worldbeaters. Faze had no problem dealing with everything the Aussies threw at them. They won 16-12 on Inferno and 16-10 on Mirage. In the next round, Faze will faceoff against Vitality.


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