IEM Katowice 2019 Closed Qualifiers Preview And Predictions

After finishing all the regional qualifiers from around the world, we already know the 24 teams that will compete in the IEM Katowice 2019 . The first major of this 2019 will have the not insignificant figure of one million dollars in cash prizes.

In the past weeks, several teams around the world in different regions competed in the minor qualifiers of  IEM Katowice 2019, with the intention of participating in the great major of Counter Strike: Global Offensive, which will begin in February, and in which a million dollars will be distributed from the prize pool.

In the IEM Katowice 2019 only 24 teams will participate, and at the start there were already 10 classified teams while the rest made their way from the qualifiers.

Will 2019 still be the year of Astralis?

As mentioned, there are already several teams that have secured their participation in the February Major, and these are Natus Vincere, MiBR, Team Liquid, CompLexity Gaming, BIG, HellRaisers, FaZe Clan, NiP, FNATIC, G2 Esports, Vega Squadron, Cloud9 , TyLoo , and of course the great favorite and unanimously proclaimed as the best team of 2018, Astralis , which will be feared by everyone.

The team that managed to secure qualification a few days ago are: ENCE eSports, Team Vitality, NRG Esports, Team Spirit, AVANGAR, Grayhound Gaming, Renegades, FURIA Esports and Winstrike Team.

The Chinese ViCi team was the last team to get the pass to the Intel Extreme Masters after defeating North 2-0 in the final qualifier.

We will see some of the best team in the  competitive world of CS: GO at the IEM Katowice 2019, since the grand final will be held on March 3. This championship counts for the Intel Grand Slam, the prize won by Astralis in 2018.

IEM Katowice 2019 will adopt a renewed format

The ten teams classified through the Minors plus the teams that were between the ninth and fourteenth place in the FACEIT Major will compete in a phase called Challengers Stage. This stage will be played in Swiss, the best of three (BO3) form  and the top eight will qualify for the next phase, where teams wait for the Legends Stage.

In this second phase, formed by 16 teams, eight of them will be classified for the final phase called Championship Stage. The objective of this renewed format is to make the competition fairer, where teams must never base their success on matches in the best of one format.

The days in which the different phases of the Major will be played are the following:

⇒ Challengers Stage: will be held at the ESL studios and will take place in Poland between February 13 and 17.

⇒ Legends Stage: will be held between February 20 and 24 at the ICC Katowice.

⇒ Champions Stage: will be played between February 28 and March 3 at the Spodek Arena.

So will Astralis continue its dominance at the Grand Slam events, or will they slip up? Like they did a couple of weeks ago at the IBUYPOWER Masters. One time will tell.

iBUYPOWER Masters 2019 Preview And Predictions

The iBUYPOWER Masters 2019 will be the first major Counter-Strike tournament of 2019 and will feature a some of the best teams in the competitive world of CS:GO. The competition takes place in Los Angeles, United States, on January 19 and 20. The prize fund of the competition will be $ 200 thousand where the lion’s share of the prize pool $ 100,000 will be awarded to the winner of the competition. Of the top 10 ranked teams Astralis, FaZe Clan, Team Liquid and Fnatic will be competing in LA.

Two Titles In December For Astralis

2018 has been an unstoppable for Astralis. In the month of December, they continued to assert their dominance where they managed to lift a couple of titles. In the mid week of December, they achieved an incredible feat in the Danish town of Odense, in the finals of the eighth season of the ESL Pro League, a triumph against Team Liquid that also made them the first winners of the Intel Grand Slam.

For the second time in the history of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, a team has managed to win the two seasons of the ESL Pro League. Fnatic did it in 2015 and in 2018 the feat was achieved by Astralis after beating Team Liquid in the final by 3 to 1 , with a lineup that worked like a Swiss clock and didn’t give options to its rivals. Again,  Nicolai ‘ dev1ce ‘ Reedtz was the MVP of the competition, an achievement he is used to as the player with the most awards of this category in the history of the Valve shooter.

Then a week later, Astralis beat Natus Vincere in the final tournament of the BLAST Pro Series: Lisbon 2018. The meeting ended with a score of 2: 1.  This was the 10th title for Astralis in 2018. In addition, the team became the first winner of the Intel Grand Slam and received $ 1 million. So, with such formidable stats we bid Astralis to be the favourites of the competition.

Look into Brazil

Brazil will be represented by Luminosity Gaming, which recently replaced yeL by boltz . The competition marks the debut of Jacky “Stewie2K” Yip for Liquid. The former MIBR player was involved in an exchange deal where the North American team gave zews and TACO to the Brazilian team.

AdreN is 5th?

After much anticipation, a few hours ago FaZe has confirmed the announcement of the 5th man. As AdreN, ex-Gambit player, has joined one of the most successful teams in the competitive landscape. The new coach of the team is Yanko YNk Paunovich.

Rumors about signing AdreN appeared in late December. Many fans in the community took the news of the transfer as a joke. However, now the player himself has confirmed his transition. They will be aiming for a strong finish at iBUYPOWER Masters 2019.

Odds on bet365

  • Astralis – 1.66
  • Team Liquid – 6.00
  • FaZe Clan – 7.50
  • Fnatic – 15.00
  • CompLexity Gaming – 17.00
  • Cloud9 – 17.00
  • Luminosity Gaming – 21.00
  • Ghost Gaming – 34.00