FaZe Clan vs. Astralis CS:GO Esports Betting Analysis @ IEM Katowice XII

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The final tournament of ESL’s XII Season and part of the Intel Series Grand Slam, IEM Katowice returns during a time where CS:GO is at its most competitive era. With no “true” top team to hold the throne, Katowice will only strengthen each team’s standing within the world’s best. In an era filled of uncertainty, the only winners could be the spectators that witness some of the best matches that esports and Counter Strike has to offer as a whole.

IEM Katowice will feature ESL’s new Group Stage format, where the Group Stage Ladder will feature most of its matches in a bo3 setting; the only matches that will be best of 1s will be the group stages’ opening matches. 3 teams will make it out of each group, with both the upper bracket finalists making it out—the winner of the upper bracket securing a quarterfinal bye—and the winner of the loser bracket finals securing a spot of the quarterfinals.

SK, FaZe, and C9 are in a period of confusion, as they attempt to cement themselves as the consistent best, whereas new rosters (Ninjas in Pyjamas, Astralis) will be looking to test the waters with their new lineups. Anything can happen in one of the most iconic tournaments of Counter Strike 1.6 & GO’s history: IEM Katowice.


  • Group Stage: February 27th – March 1st, 2018
    • Two double-elimination format (GSL) Groups
    • The initial matches are Bo1
    • All following matches are Bo3
    • The top three teams from each group advance to the playoffs:
      • Group stage winners advance to the Semifinals
      • Group stage runners-up advance to the Quarterfinals as the High Seeds
      • Group stage 3rd place teams advance to the Quarterfinals as the Low Seeds
  • Playoffs: March 2nd – 4th, 2018
    • Single-elimination bracket
    • The Quarterfinals and Semifinals are Bo3
    • The Grand Final is Bo5

Credit to Liquipedia



Europe FaZe Clan  (powered by EsportsBet)

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina NiKo
  • Slovakia GuardiaN
  •  karrigan
  • Sweden olofmeister
  • Norway rain
  • Sweden RobbaN (coach)

FaZe Clan have been looking a bit up-and-down in recent times, faltering to teams they wouldn’t fall to on usual occasions. That doesn’t take away FaZe’s prestige as the “European international all-stars,” as they pack some of the deadliest firepower in the current CS:GO scene.

Ever since the major, their play-style and usual roles have shifted. While karrigan remains to be the support and IGL, GuardiaN has taken a shift into having a lot more impact with the AWP; it’s almost as if the Slovakian is slowly returning to his Na`Vi days. olofmeister has defined himself as a lurker and clutch-time player, whereas NiKo and rain continue to represent their usual anchor and fragging roles.

The team has become well-rounded, but many holes still fill the FaZe team. While they are, unarguably, a top 3 team, some of their star players seem to falter against the pressure. The most prominent name would be NiKo, who has shown time and time again to disappear in high pressure matches. While same can be said for many, NiKo’s potential is on a whole new level to that of his team’s. He disappointed many with subpar performances at StarLadder, ESL Pro League, and the ELEAGUE Major more importantly.

GuardiaN has performed when FaZe needed it most (StarLadder)

FaZe’s roles are set in stone and work as a well-oiled machine. To counter that, a team must remove FaZe’s “OPness,” which equates to a stable economy and also nullify FaZe’s ability to win force-buys or cause important economical damage. That is when FaZe start to “tilt,” and karrigan finds himself at a loss for words on how to lead his men.

Denmark Astralis (powered by EsportsBet)

  • Denmark gla1ve
  • Denmark device
  • Denmark dupreeh
  • Denmark Xyp9x
  • Denmark Magisk
  • Denmark zonic (coach)

Astralis have been deadly since the addition of Magisk, who promptly meshed well with gla1ve’s system. The more surprising part is dupreeh reprising his role from the device-less Astralis, performing up to par with his counterpart in the fragging and rating department. dupreeh and device have been headlining Astralis’ Katowice and StarLadder runs as the two clear stars, with the other half playing a support and stability role in tow.

Astralis has always been the mix of a well-rounded team. The star players, gla1ve’s intuitive in-game leading style, and Xyp9x’s clutching. Add in a star like Magisk who can anchor and has the experience to mesh in with gla1ve’s play-style, and you have a set team. In fact, gla1ve’s leading is renowned for his ability to call mid round and read the enemy team like a book. With a style like glaive’s, Astralis surely should be a championship contending team, right?

zonic & co. need to find a way to not fall under the pressure (StarLadder)

Not necessarily. Even with the support of zonic’s coaching, Astralis find a way to fall under the pressure of high level games. While they do have the experience, they can find themselves stumped easily when a part of their system isn’t working, and it all leads from there. A relatable moment of this was their inability to close out de_inferno vs. Na`Vi in a pivotal round, where the round ended due to a lack of defuse kits from Astralis. As long as they’re able to continue to mesh together and overcome the psychological hurdle of closing out games, Astralis should be a team to fear.


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