Day One of the IEM Katowice Legends stage kicked off yesterday. This day included some surprising upsets. The new Legends stage follows the Swiss format just like the Challenger stage. Let’s get into it!
NRG Fails to Meet Expectations
The day started off with NRG losing to Ninjas in Pyjamas on Nuke 16-14. Many expected to see NRG advancing through this stage of the tournament with ease. However, those expectations did not become reality. After this loss, NRG was set to play AVANGER who just barely lost to Team Liquid.
The map was Overpass and AVANGAR started hot on the Counter-Terrorist side. NRG would be down 11-4 entering the half. After winning the second pistol round NRG started to mount a comeback. However, the comeback fell short. NRG would end up losing 16-13 on Overpass and finishing with a 0-2 record on the day. NRG is now just one loss away from elimination.
Throughout Wednesday, we saw a few more surprises. The new look MIBR was supposed to run through Cloud9 in the team’s first official match of 2019. In fact, the complete opposite of this happened. Cloud9 ran through MIBR on Inferno winning 16-3. MIBR looked completely unprepared to play. However, they would make up for it and finish the day 1-1 with a 16-9 win on Mirage versus compLexity.
Natus Vincere had a great showing on Day One of the Legends stage. I expected them to struggle considering they did not hold a boot camp for this event. I also was concerned for NaVi because there was word of s1mple having issues with one of his teammates. However, NaVi would finish the day 2-0 with a win over G2 on Mirage and an overtime thriller versus Team Vitality on the same map.
Is Liquid Ready?
Team Liquid went 2-0 on the first day. However, it was not an easy task for them. Team Liquid would manage to win two close games. First, they played AVANGAR on Overpass. They went on to win 16-12. This was shocking because as the number two team in the world I expected them to run away against AVANGAR and swiftly swipe them to the side. But AVANGAR came prepared and managed to make the game close.
The second team Liquid had to face was Ninjas in Pyjamas. They ended up playing NiP on Overpass and the game was close the entire way through. With both teams trading rounds time and time again it look like we were going to see the game head into overtime. Behind the performance of Nick “nitr0” Cannella, Liquid would manage to squeeze out the win 16-13.
Overall, the first day was filled with upsets and some teams many thought would lose ended up winning. Day one left some question: Is Team Liquid ready to win a Major after a day of close matches against teams they should’ve dominated? And will NRG really get knocked out by losing their third match and ruin most people’s pick’ems? It can be expected that Day Two will be even more exciting than day one.