On February 27 2018, IEM Katowice will kick off. It is regarded as one of the most prestigious events on the CS:GO calendar and there’s plenty of value on offer for bettors. Read on to find out more about the format and teams to help you with your Intel Extreme Masters Katowice betting.
The sixteen teams heading to Katowice, Poland for the $500,000 event reached it in one of two different ways. Eight teams were invited directly and eight teams progressed through their regional qualifiers. From the qualifiers, four slots were given to Europe, two slots for North America and one slot each for Asia and Oceania.
Teams who received direct invites:
- FaZe Clan
- SK Gaming
- AVANGAR (Invited after winning Farmskins Championship)
Teams who qualified through their regional qualifiers:
- Heroic (EU Qualifier)
- Fnatic (EU Qualifier)
- North (EU Qualifier)
- Gambit Esports (EU Qualifier)
- Team Liquid (NA Qualifier)
- Renegades (NA Qualifier)
- TyLoo (Asian Qualifier)
- ORDER (Oceania Qualifier)
IEM Katowice betting: Tournament structure
The sixteen teams will be divided into two groups of eight, with six teams progressing to the playoff stage. From these six teams, the top two teams from each group will progress directly to the semi-finals with the remaining four playing in the quarter-finals. The group stage comprises initially of best of one (BO1) matches, with each elimination match being a BO3.
This is good news for both the teams and bettors, as teams will get the chance to prove themselves the worthy victor over three maps and we should witness more consistent results.
On March 2, the playoff stage begins with all single-elimination BO3 matches. This does mean for all teams one loss and you are out and therefore picking the right map and preparing for your opponent is essential.
The final will be a BO5, meaning a team will need to win at least three maps to be victorious. Best of five finals are preferred as they usually mean the team who deserves to win is the one who comes out the victor. IEM Katowice has historically been one of the events to continue the use of a BO5 Grand Final, and this is great to see as it really tests a team’s map diversity and stamina.
IEM Katowice odds: The favourites
The favourite for the event is FaZe (3.510*), who are still hurting from their Major Final loss to Cloud9. The European roster were one round away from winning and ended up throwing away the title. Since that event, the team have performed consistently during their online and offline matches and seem well prepared. Having already gotten their revenge over C9 at StarSeries, they now need to conquer their ultimate nemesis, SK.
It would be one of the biggest upsets in the history of CS:GO if ORDER were to make their mark at this event.
SK (4.510*) are now playing with boltz and should be operating to their full potential. The Brazilian squad possess the ridiculous fragging potential of coldzera, fer and FalleN and are certainly capable of lifting the trophy. The form of fer especially and to a lesser extent the rest of the team has been shaky in recent weeks and they will be looking to amend that. Fer has individually had a really poor start to 2018 but seemed to find his groove at StarSeries.
G2 (6.010*) are beginning to find their stride. When the French ‘superteam’ was formed, it was done so with high expectations. Unfortunately, the team haven’t lived up to the hype so far, but that may be about to change. They have been gelling as a unit after changing their roles slightly and the team had a good run at the Boston Major, only to be shut down by Cloud9. This could be their time to prove themselves.
Cloud9 (8.270* to win the tournament outright), the North American roster showed what they’re capable of by defeating G2, SK, and FaZe on their path to winning the Major. However, in the weeks since that result they have struggled to replicate that form. They have struggled at StarSeries i-League, losing 2-0 to both SK and FaZe without even getting above 10 rounds. Tarik and RUSH will need to find some form if they are to take down the top sides once more.
Do the outsiders have a chance?
It would be one of the biggest upsets in the history of CS:GO if ORDER (151.280*) were to make their mark at this event. They do have some talented players and liazz for example has been touted as a potential Renegades player for a long time. Changing their roster recently, they will need to show a level they have never reached before. There are a few things that are going in their favour, other teams will not know what to expect from them and a BO1 format always gives an underdog a chance.
IEM Katowice has historically been one of the events to continue the use of a BO5 Grand Final, and this is great to see as it really tests a team’s map diversity and stamina.
TyLoo (101.190*) did okay in some of their games at StarSeries and should have won a map against Heroic. When you are 14-11 up, a decent side will more often than not close the game out and this is one thing they need to learn. One sight of encouragement was the form of xccurate, who impressed greatly on the AWP and in-game leader at his first international event. Their biggest issue is communication, with some of the players not speaking Chinese and the majority barely speaking English.
The hometown Polish squad of Virtus.Pro (51.100*) are usually one of the favourites coming into Katowice and generally put on memorable performances with the home advantage. However, with their current form, it will be a miracle if they can reach the playoff stage of this event. Despite making the bold move to remove TaZ after many years of playing together, their overall play at StarSeries was incredibly poor and they look a shadow of their former selves.
*Odds subject to change