IEM Katowice 2020 Preview Guide: The Favorite Four

February 18, 2020 | 0 | 669| |

IEM Katowice returns with a $500,000 prize pool and sixteen teams competing to become the world’s best team. The winner of this tournament will also get one step closer to winning the Intel Grand Slam and securing the million-dollar prize pool. 

Which Teams Are Taking Part in IEM Katowice?

The sixteen teams taking part in IEM Katowice 2020 are as follows:


  • Fnatic

  • Astralis

  • Mousesports

  • 100Thieves

  • Evil Geniuses

  • Team Liquid

  • Natus Vincere

  • Ninjas in Pyjamas

  • Virtus Pro

  • Team Vitality

  • FaZe Clan

  • G2 Esports

  • MAD Lions

  • Cloud9

  • Renegades

  • Tyloo


This list includes the best CS:GO teams such as Astralis, Team Liquid, Evil Geniuses and Vitality. CS:GO fans can expect some quality Counter-Strike action at IEM Katowice. 


The Contenders


While IEM Katowice 2020 can throw up a few surprises, there are a few favorites to win the tournament. Astralis, Team Liquid, Natus Vincere and Mousesports have the best chance to win the tournament. 


Astralis 2019 was marked by their impressive return

The Danish team’s dominance continues through 2020, but they will be hard-pressed to prove their worth at IEM Katowice 2020. The team did not have a great start to 2020 as they lost 0-2 to Complexity in the BLAST Premier Spring 2020 Group Stage. Device and co. will compete in the BLAST Premier Spring Showdown. 


Astralis’ dominance comes from their excellent synergy and their team-coordination. Device, Dupree and Xyp9x have been together since 2013 and the trio defines the Astralis playstyle. Astralis has a deep map pool and is comfortable playing on all maps. The players decide their map-veto strategy based on their opposition and this provides them with a significant advantage in the game. 


The Danish team is the favorite to win IEM Katowice, but if their BLAST Premier Spring 2020 performance is any benchmark, they will face fierce competition at Katowice. 

Team Liquid

North America’s hope, Team Liquid, will hope to start their ESL One Rio campaign from Katowice. Team Liquid was the best team before the Berlin Major, but the player break put a stop to their momentum. Liquid could not recover from their loss in form since. 


Team Liquid has individually talented players to overcome any obstacle. However, the lack of form on individual players has been a big problem for the North American team. They could not hit important shots, shots that they would not miss when they were the best team in the world. 

Team Liquid’s playstyle involves heavy dependence on their first shot accuracy. Elige and Twistzz form the crux of the Team Liquid firepower and they can provide the advantage for the North American team in individual battles. However, the team faces a mental block in crucial matches and can often be seen failing to live up to expectations in important situations. 


If Team Liquid were to make a run for the CS:GO Major in Brazil, IEM Katowice 2020 would be their best bet to exert their dominance in the International scene. 

Natus Vincere

Natus Vincere made some roster changes earlier in the year when they parted ways with their veteran AWPer GuardiaN. They signed young Perfecto in his place and hoping to allow their roster to live up to its full potential. 

Despite having two of the best CS:GO players on their roster, Natus Vincere could not reach the great heights that analysts and casters expected off the CIS team. 


S1mple mentioned GuardiaN facing a mental block, and his inability to hit crucial shots cost Na’Vi significant time and firepower. Perfecto is a young player from the region, eager to learn and will flourish under the guidance of B1ade and S1mple. It is now up to the coach to help develop the player to reach his full potential.


Na’Vi has already shown signs of promise in their 2020 matches. However, they are still not a threat to the likes of Astralis and Team Liquid. With S1mple moving back to the familiar AWP role, Na’Vi has the freedom to use Perfecto to his main role as a rifler.


Despite Na’Vi not being the favorites to win the championship, the star potential on this roster and their proximity to the higher-ranked teams’ skill and firepower could see them surprise analysts and fans with their performance. The team has a well-balanced roster, with each player contributing significantly to the team’s performance. 


The Mousesports roster has been silently creeping up the rankings after a series of victorious events in the recent past. The international mix of players has repeatedly proven naysayers wrong with some excellent individual and team performance. Karrigan has made a name for himself by enabling young CS:GO players and helping them achieve new heights int heir careers. The player has helped teams like FaZe Clan and Astralis in their journey to become powerhouses in CS:GO. 


Mousesports has been on a winning spree of late, having won multiple tournaments towards the end of 2019. Mousesports has won CS:GO Asia Championships 2019, ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals, CS_Summit 5, and more recently ICE Challenge 2020. The international mix also placed second at EPICENTER 2019, losing to Team Vitality in the Grand Finals. 


Their results are more impressive than several other teams, including Astralis and Team Liquid. Mousesports is one of the contenders at IEM Katowice and despite facing tough opposition from the likes of Team Liquid and Astralis, Mousesports has the potential to win the $500,000 tournament. 


IEM Katowice 2020 will kick off on February 24 with the Grand Finals on March 1. CS:GO viewers can watch IEM Katowice on Twitch here

The author

Esports journalist. An esports fan, former wannabe pro and occasional angry young man. You can find him trying to climb the Dota 2 MMR or just chilling in Rocket League. Or maybe building an entire city in Cities: Skylines. The current mood is always a surprise.

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