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IEM Katowice 2019 is the first Major of 2019 and it promises to be one of the best Majors in Counter-Strike till date. The IEM Katowice 2019 will start in February, but the Minors are all set to start on the 16th of January. The Europe and CIS Minors start on the 16th, while the NA and Asian Minors will start on the 22nd of January 2019.
The Americas Minor will see several well-known players in contention. As we head into the Minors, every match assumes significance. Each minor has only eight teams in attendance. The top two teams from the Minor will advance to the Katowice Major. One team from each minor [ the third-place team] will move to the 3rd Place Play-in stage.
The 3rd Place Play-in Stage will feature four teams in participation. Only two teams will move forth to the Major. This will take place on the 27th of January at the ESL Arena in Katowice. It is an opportunity for the teams who just missed out in the Minor to find themselves in the major.
The event is already underway and is down to its last four teams. They are NRG Esports, Team Envy, Furia and INTZ esports. Two out of these teams will get a spot at the upcoming Major. This match is critically important for either team. While it is not an elimination match, it will decide the course of future for many of these teams.
- Two double-elimination formats (GSL) Groups
- Each group has four teams
- Opening matches are Bo1
- All following matches are Bo3
- Top two teams from each group advance to the Playoffs
- Double-Elimination bracket
- All matches are Bo3
- No Grand Final is played
- 1st Place: $30,000 [IEM Katowice Major 2019 New Challenger Status]
- 2nd Place: $15,000 [IEM Katowice Major 2019 New Challenger Status]
- 3rd Place: $5,000 [IEM Katowice Major 2019 New Challenger Status]
- Jacob “FugLy” Medina
- Damian “daps” Steele
- Vincent “Brehze” Cayonte
- Vetelin “CeRq” Dimitrov
- Ethan “nahtE” Arnold
The NRG roster made waves during IEM Sydney 2018. They looked extremely strong and did actually make a big impact during that tournament. However, NRG has since fallen off their peak and they do not look anywhere close to their former selves. The team can potentially become a contender in the North American region. However, the NA scene is filled with irregular teams. These teams do not have the consistency required of a top tier roster.
NRG’s roster, despite having a superstar player like Cerq actually sees Fugle and Brehze put up most of the work. Vincent and Ethan have been able to bring about tremendous changes to their gameplay and are taking the assertive role quite well on the roster. However, there are times when Cerq performs exceptionally well and these are instances when NRG looks like a top-tier team. However, the young player is not used to the LAN environment on a regular basis.
Daps is yet another player who has proven himself capable of standing up to the very best in the North American region. The player has been able to lead the team to success in the past. As we see NRG putting up a defence against NRG, there will be a battle between NRG and Envy in this match. Both the In-Game Leaders are veterans and have a lot of experience behind them.
However, despite their best efforts, NRG does seem to be the slightly better team in this match. They have the synergy and have been together for a long time.
- Tayler “Drone” Johnson
- Stephen “reltuC” Cutler
- Noah “Nifty” Francis
- Josh “jdm64” Marzano
- Finn “karrigan” Andersen [ Loan ].
Team Envy’s roster has made a recent change when they brought in Karrigan from Faze Clan [ technically he was already on the bench]. The organisation has a rich history in CS: GO and was even the winner of the Dreamhack Winter 2014 Major. However, their current roster wears a very different look and will see the North American players attempting to secure a place at the upcoming Major.
The Envy roster has several talented players from the North American scene. Players like reltuC and JDM have proven track records of being in the best teams in North America. Cutler has been in CLG for a long time and together with his teammates, he was one of the most influential players in the North American region. The player has great synergy with the rest of the teammates and works towards ensuring that the team puts forth the best results. However, it does mean that his individual performance at times, suffers from this attitude. But he is a great influence on the overall team chemistry and coordination.
They also have JDM on the roster, who was known as the best AWP player in North America for a long time. JDM has the ability to constantly hold down certain areas of the map. However, we have also seen him take an aggressive course of action when required by the rest of the team. JDM has since lost his peak performance and is not as impactful as he was before. However, he remains a very skilled player and his experience will come in handy for the team going forward in the tournament.
Team Envy has a mixture of talent as well as firepower. With Drone, Nifty they have the necessary firepower. They are counting on JDM to show up in a big way. The team’s fortunes are directly related to the AWPers capability to get some frags done. The team has an overall good vibe around it, and they need to bring up their individual performances to match their potential.
With Karrigan’s addition to the team, we have a great in-game leader. There is little to no doubt that the Envy organisation will be working with karrigan in order to help develop the current roster. If that is not possible, then we might see changes for the team in the time post the major [ or minor itself]. If Karrigan can outmanoeuvre his opponents, then we will see Envy come out on top of the entire concept with a very strong performance overall.
The team has a good mixture of young North American talent and several other players. The team definitely can prove to be a contender in the the North American scene. However, we will have to wait and see their impact on the scene with this match. After all the North American minors are usually a good representation of their performance and the team rankings in the scene.
Team Envy does have the advantage of having big names on the team. However, Karrigan’s recent addition to the team suggests that the team might not be as well coordinated as many believe. His style of leadership is much different from that of others. He can herd his team and enable them to perform to the best of their abilities. The team has potential, but they have also lost to their opponents multiple times in the past.
The skill ceiling of the NRG team is much higher than that of Team Envy. Even when they are not at their peak, NRG is a much better roster than that of Envy. They should be able to defeat Team Envy and proceed to the semifinals of the Minor. We recommend a bet on Team NRG for this match.