With IEM Katowice 2023 around the corner, we look back at this legendary Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament and the many illustrious winners throughout the years. The event started back in 2014 and has been back every single year since then.
2014 – Vitrus.Pro
In 2014, the Virtus.Pro team, consisting of players Jarosław “pashaBiceps“, Jarząbkowski, Filip “Neo” Kubski, Wiktor “TaZ” Wojtas, Paweł “byali” Bieliński, and Janusz “Snax“ Pogorzelski, won the EMS One Katowice tournament in 2014, the second CS:GO Major ever to take place. They won the event without losing a single match, with the exception of one map loss to LGB, a team led by Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer.
The final match of the tournament was against Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP), a team considered to be one of the best in the world at the time, with legendary players Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund and Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg. Virtus.Pro were able to defeat them and claim the championship.
This win was significant for Virtus.Pro as it was their first Major win in CS:GO and they won the title in their home country of Poland.
2015 - Fnatic
In 2015, Fnatic won IEM Katowice. The team, consisting of players Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer, Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson, Jesper "JW" Wecksell, Markus "pronax" Wallsten, and Robin "flusha" Rönnquist, dominated the tournament, going through the group stage, quarter-finals, and semi-finals without losing a single map.
In the final, they faced the NiP, who again finished second, this year having added Aleksi “allu” Jalli to their roster. Fnatic defeated them 2-1, winning the tournament and taking home the top prize of $100,000.
This win was significant for Fnatic as it was their first big tournament win of that year. 2015 would become a dominant year for them, with the team winning a total of three major tournaments in 2015.
2016 - Fnatic
Fnatic defended their title in 2016 by defeating the legendary Brazilian team Luminosity (which at the time featured stars Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo and Marcelo “coldzera” David) in the grand final with a score of 3-0. The Fnatic team consisted mostly of their 2015-winning line-up, only they had replaced Markus "pronax" Wallsten with Dennis "dennis" Edman.
The team gave strong performances throughout the tournament, only losing one match against future final opponents Luminosity in the group stage before defeating teams such as Astralis and Vitrus.Pro on their way to the grand final.
The team's victory at IEM Katowice 2016 solidified their position as one of the top teams in the world and marked a successful start to the year for them.
2017 - Astralis
Astralis were one of the top teams in the world in 2017 and they had a strong performance at the IEM Katowice tournament. The team was composed of Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz, Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen, Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye, Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander, and Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth.
Astralis finished second in their group, only losing one match, and then defeated some top teams like Heroic and NAVI in the playoffs to reach the grand final. In the final, they defeated FaZe Clan (a team that featured players Håvard “rain” Nygaard and Nikola “NiKo” Kovač), with a score of 3-1 in a best-of-five match.
Astralis' win at IEM Katowice 2017 was a significant achievement for the team, as it marked their first big tournament victory and helped establish them as one of the top teams in the world of CS:GO.
2018 - Fnatic
Fnatic put in a strong performance throughout the tournament, finishing first in their group and then defeating Team Liquid in the semi-finals to reach the grand final. In the final, they defeated FaZe Clan 3-2 in a best-of-five match.
The team were made up of their 2016-winning core of Jesper "JW" Wecksell, Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson, and Robin "flusha" Rönnquist, to which they had added Maikil “Golden” Selim and Jonas “Lekr0” Olofsson to complete the legendary line-up.
Fnatic's victory at IEM Katowice 2018 solidified their position as one of the top teams in the world and marked a successful start to the year for them. The win was also a significant achievement for the organisation as it was their first major tournament win since 2016.
2019 - Astralis
Astralis's win at IEM Katowice 2019 was a significant achievement for the team, as it marked their second major tournament victory and solidified their position as one of the top teams in the world. For the tournament, they fielded one of the best CS:GO rosters of all time: Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander, Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz, Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen, Emil “Magisk” Reif, and Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth.
Astralis performed incredibly well throughout the tournament; they finished first in their group and then sailed through the playoffs, defeating NiP and MIBR on their way to the grand final. In the final, they defeated ENCE with a score of 2-0 in a best-of-three match, losing only one map throughout the event.
This victory was a sign of Astralis' continued dominance in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive scene, as they had already won several other tournaments in the preceding months and would go on to win several more big tournaments in the following months. The win also helped them to establish a record for most consecutive map wins in best-of-three and best-of-five series in professional CS:GO history.
2020 - NAVI
Natus Vincere, also known as NAVI, won the 2020 edition of IEM Katowice, solidifying their position as one of the top teams in the world. The tournament took place in February 2020 and featured a prize pool of $500,000.
NAVI finished first in their group, only losing one match, and then defeated top teams Team Liquid and Astralis in the playoffs to reach the grand final. In the final, they defeated G2 Esports with a score of 3-0 in a best-of-five match.
The team consisted of Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev, Denis "electroNic" Sharipov, Kirill ”Boombl4” Mikhailov, Ilya “Perfecto” Zalutskiy, and Egor “flamie” Vasilyev. NAVI's victory at IEM Katowice 2020 marked a significant achievement for the team as it helped to re-establish them as one of the top teams in the world of CS:GO.
2021 - Gambit
The 2021 edition of IEM Katowice was during the online era and also the first time there was a play-in event to fill the last spots. The winners, Gambit, came through these play-ins and it marked a significant win for the team. The roster consisted of the experienced Abay “HObbit” Khasenov, who was complemented by the academy team which had been recently promoted. This included up-and-coming IGL Vladislav “nafany” Gorshkov, rising AWP star Dmitry “sh1ro” Sokolov, Sergey “Ax1le” Rykhtorov, and Timofey “interz” Yakushin.
During their run to the final, they defeated CIS rivals NAVI in the quarter-finals, and then went on to defeat Team Spirit in the semi-finals and Virtus.Pro in the final.
2021 proved to be a very successful year for the team, as they also won the first Pinnacle Cup, IEM Summer 2021, and BLAST Premier Spring Final 2021.
2022 – FaZe Clan
In 2022, the event went back offline and back into the legendary Spodek Arena. FaZe Clan started their successful first part of the year with their IEM Katowice win. Interestingly, just like Gambit in the previous year, FaZe qualified through the play-in event.
On their way to the grand final they defeated defending champions Gambit and the Danes of Heroic. To secure their win, they took down G2 with a 3-0 score, but it took a long overtime on Mirage, with the map ending 31-27.
Led by IGL Finn “karrigan” Andersen, the roster included Robin “ropz” Kool, Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken, Håvard “rain” Nygaard, and Helvijs “broky” Saukants, with Justin “jks” Savage as a reliable substitute.
The team took home the $400,000 main prize, while “broky” secured the MVP title. After the event, FaZe went on to win ESL Pro League Season 15, the PGL Major Antwerp 2022, and IEM Cologne 2022.