IEM Katowice Legends Stage
The major kicked off on February 13 with the Challenger Stage. Eight teams would advance from this stage to become the New Legends. The teams that advanced to the New Legends stage are NRG, Renegades, ENCE, Team Vitality, Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP), Cloud9, G2 and AVANGAR.
Team Voted Seeding
Before the start of this event, it was announced that the format would be changed for this Major. A team-voted seeding system was put in place to help make match ups more balanced. The teams would be asked to rank their opponents from one to 16. The rankings would be decided by the average ranking given to each team.
The full seedings are below. These seedings will change based on teams results during the Legends stage.
Ninjas in Pyjamas
With seedings all set, the first-round match ups are also set.
The number one team in the world and defending Major champions Astralis were voted as the number one seed. Followed by Team Liquid in second and FACEIT London Major 2018 runner-up Natus Vincere (NaVi) as the third seed. The new look MIBR team would be awarded the fourth seed.
Astralis vs. compLexity
Astralis will face 16th-seed compLexity who earned their Legends spot at the FACEIT London Major. However, after a series of roster changes compLexity has been struggling to get back to their old form. Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen of Astralis lost his father to cancer yesterday. We will see if Astralis and dupreeh use this as even more motivation to win a consecutive Major and dedicate it to his father.
Team Liquid vs. AVANGAR
Team Liquid, the second seed, will face 15th-seed AVANGAR. Team Liquid should be able to bully AVANGAR. Not saying that AVANGAR is not a good team because they truly are. However, Team Liquid has more experience. Team Liquid is favored to make it out of the Legends stage, and they are a potential favorite to win it all.
Natus Vincere vs. G2
Natus Vincere are the third seed. Apparently, according to Twitter and people close to NaVi, there are internal problems with the team. NaVi did not boot camp before this major and there may be a rift between s1mple and one of his teammates. They will face off against 14th-seed G2. G2 struggled in the Challenger stage but managed to advance. G2 has the talent to upset NaVi and ruin a lot of people’s Pick’ems. If Richard “shox” Papillon is playing at his best as well as his teammate Kenny “kennyS” Schrub, G2 can pull off this upset.
MIBR vs. Cloud9
The new look MIBR sit at the fourth seed. MIBR will face 13th-seed Cloud9. Cloud9 looked dreadful during the Challenger stage of the Major and I do not think they have a chance to beat MIBR. With the struggles this Cloud9 team has shown in recent days there is no reason to think that they will beat MIBR.
FaZe Clan vs. HellRaisers
FaZe Clan will play 12th-seed HellRaisers. FaZe Clan is a fan favorite. However, HellRaisers has some serious firepower on their roster. HellRaisers can surprise any team and upset anyone. FaZe Clan needs to watch out and not get caught sleeping when they play HellRaisers.
NRG vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas
NRG who went 3-0 during the Challenger stage are the sixth seed. They will play 11th-seed Ninjas in Pyjamas. NiP is another team that struggled in the Challenger stage and managed to get through by the skin of their teeth. I see NRG taking this match and running away with it. NRG just has to much firepower and raw talent on their roster. I look forward to watching this match up.
BIG vs. Team Vitality
The seventh seed BIG will face off against 10th-seed Team Vitality. This is BIG’s first match since Owen “smooya” Butterfield stepped down from the team. BIG is a solid team, but with the recent roster shuffle that has occurred there is potential for an upset. Team Vitality looked really good during the Challenger stage. With world class talent in Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut on their team, they should win if they play to their potential.
ENCE vs. Renegades
Finally, the eighth seed ENCE will play ninth seed Renegades. This is a rematch of the Challenger stage. Renegades swiftly ended ENCE’s chance of finishing 3-0 by beating ENCE 2-0 with wins on both Nuke and Mirage. This match up can go either way, but I will lean in favor of ENCE. Renegades looked good and finished 3-0 in the Challenger stage, but they did not play the hardest of competition. It will be close but ENCE should pull through.
In conclusion, the IEM Katowice Major 2019 Legends stage will be filled with excitement and upsets. We look forward to watching all the matches and following them closely. This is just the first big step for the teams to reach their goal. Good luck to all the teams and may the best team win!
“From Our Haus to Yours”
Featured photo from IEM