Team Liquid vs. fnatic 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



North America Team Liquid  (powered by EsportsBet)

  • USA nitr0
  • Brazil steel
  • USA EliGE
  • Canada Twistzz
  • Canada NAF
  • Brazil zews (coach)

Team Liquid have rebranded themselves completely since the addition of Renegades star NAF. Unarguably, one could say that this is probably the best Liquid lineup since the one that took the world by storm at ESL Cologne 2016.

NAF himself has taken Liquid under the reigns of his firepower. He’s boasted the highest rating in Team Liquid in the 3 LAN events he’s participated, boasting an average rating equating to ~1.24 at cs_summit 2, StarLadder, and IEM Katowice. In that run, he secured Team Liquid their first international championship at cs_summit 2, and also made a running for one of the top 5 players of the year in CS:GO.

Also, I dare say this day may have come already – NAF is[, in my opinion,] currently a top 5 player in the world. Based on how he’s playing and how much impact he’s having in these big events, against the very top teams, I can’t argue myself out of it.

– Peter “Twgri1s” Milovanovic, Twitter

Liquid have turned solid under the flagship of NAF (StarLadder)

With that, EliGE and Twistzz prove to be one of the best fragging duos for Liquid, as they have proven to be stable riflers and masters of their own trades. Twistzz has been renowned for his eco play with the desert eagle, whereas EliGE continues to impress with his improbable rifle play when it’s needed most. Count in the supporting brains of nitr0, steel, and zews, and you have a world-class team. While nitr0 has the potential as seen at ELEAGUE, he and steel have been working well in providing opportunities both on the CT and T side. steel is a great lurker and support who is willing to throw himself for the team, and a brain like zews’ instills discipline and teamwork altogether.

If Liquid keep this up, they are sure to overtake Cloud9 as North America’s best.

Sweden fnatic (powered by EsportsBet)

  • Sweden JW
  • Sweden Golden
  • Sweden flusha
  • Sweden KRiMZ
  • Sweden Lekr0
  • Sweden Jumpy (coach)

fnatic completely resurged from a poor showing at StarLadder, which saw them go out without a single best of 3 win while losing to the likes of TyLoo and Renegades. The Swedes, who were fishing for a solution, have reeled in a great one as they displayed themselves at Katowice with utter superiority, destroying FaZe Clan and G2 Esports along the way.

fnatic completely reverted from the well-known aim-style fnatic that was seen during the “fnatic era” of CS:GO, picking up Golden to bring in a more in-depth tactical style to the squad. It has worked very well so far, but the true star over the last few stints is comes with huge surprise: KRiMZ. KRiMZ has absolutely been phenomenal in fnatic’s LAN runs, performing well above anyone else in crucial matches and moments. The man, who has been revered as one of the best anchors and all-around players in CS:GO, has come back to form.

KRiMZ and flusha have renowned themselves as fnatic’s frontrunners (StarLadder)

Of course, the roles have been structured to fit fnatic’s individual play-styles. flusha has been lurking and playing anchor like KRiMZ, with Golden and Lekr0 playing clean-up and support roles, and JW has been playing a hybrid entry-AWPer role to suit the aggressiveness of his play-style. fnatic look completely revitalized with this lineup, and we’re starting to see the prime of these players come out in a time where fnatic need to resurge as one of the best.



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