With the group stage behind us, there are only six teams left at IEM Katowice.
G2 clinched a spot Sunday in a great best-of-three with Astralis, with NiKo once again proving he’s one of the best player’s in the world. A nice 1.69 rating with a positive record on all three maps secured G2’s spot in their first LAN playoffs with their new and improved roster.
Meanwhile, NaVi proved that FaZe really might be cursed. They had at one point a 15-11 lead on map three and yet, as has historically been true for the FaZe organization, they were unable to close out the game and now they’ll have to play in the quarterfinals next week against Gambit.
Looking forward towards that game, Gambit will be looking to continue their 2-0 streak after being both Vitality and NIP in that fashion this week. The CIS lineup, still ranked second in the world, looks strong and sh1ro is still scary good.
G2, meanwhile, will be heading to a showdown with the third CIS representatives, Virtus.pro. If NiKo keeps dropping 1.50+ series, a potential semifinal bout between him and NaVi could be the series of the tournament.
On the other hand, Virtus.pro is nothing if not good at upsets and weird victories, and Jame has been excellent so far this tournament. Not NiKo excellent, but good enough that VP shouldn’t be counted out yet.
The second team with a secured semifinal spot, Heroic, certainly will be looking to punch above their class against either FaZe or Gambit. Heroic had perhaps the easier path, beating a cursed Vitality and a struggling OG, but they did have to claim a 2-1 over G2 in order to actually make it through groups without a loss.
All in all, it’s a field of the top teams in the world. Besides Vitality’s curse rearing its head once more, it would be difficult to think of another team who would be expected to make this stage.
But how cursed is FaZe? Will Navi continue their LAN streak? Will NiKo finally have a bad series? For answers to those questions, we’re gonna all have to wait till next week.