G2 win maiden IEM Katowice trophy

G2 win maiden IEM Katowice trophy

February 13, 2023

G2 won their first-ever IEM Katowice trophy after taking down Heroic in the Grand Finals of IEM Katowice 2023.

G2 beat Heroic 3-1 in the final, and it was Nemanja ‘huNter-‘ Kova? who was awarded HLTV’s MVP award for making sure the international superteam did not stumble once again on the biggest stage.

For G2’s NiKo, this was finally a monkey off his back, as he won his first IEM Katowice after making it to the finals three times before facing Heroic. On the other side, for G2’s latest recruit jks, who joined the team last year, it was his second IEM Katowice trophy in as many years, having won it with FaZe Clan in 2022.

The 2023 IEM Katowice got underway on February 1, 2023, with the Play-In event, where a host of big names, such as FaZe Clan, Cloud9 and FURIA among others, were looking to make it to the main event. 


Day 1 kicked off with the best-of-ones, and Cloud9 took down Mongolian team IHC 16-5 on Mirage. ENCE got the better of paiN 16-7 on Vertigo, Team Spirit brushed aside Australian team Grayhound 16-6 on Nuke, Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP) beat MIBR 16-13 on Nuke, and fnatic beat Evil Geniuses 16-8 on Inferno. OG managed to pip Sprout 19-16 in overtime on Inferno, and FURIA made light work of Permitta on Mirage, taking them down 16-4, while BIG beat Complexity 16-12 on Anubis to close out the best-of-ones. 

The best-of-threes kicked off with NiP facing Team Spirit. The former Swedish side took down Spirit 2-0 after beating them 16-7 on Nuke and 16-8 on Mirage. Cloud9 got the best of ENCE in their first bO3 with a 16-10 win on Anubis. ENCE did fight back to take Inferno 16-8, but Cloud9 took the series following a 16-13 win on Vertigo, with Cloud9’s younger AWPer sh1ro stepping up on all three maps.

BIG, meanwhile, surprised everyone when they came back after losing the opening map on Anubis 11-16 to beat FURIA after taking Mirage 16-9 and Ancient 16-9. OG beat fnatic 2-1 after going down 11-16 on Overpass; they bounced back to take Mirage 16-6 and Inferno 16-8.

IHC clean swept paiN 2-0 following a 16-12 win on Inferno and a 16-11 win on Nuke, while MIBR survived a scare from Grayhound to win 2-1, taking Grayhound’s map pick of Inferno 16-13. They did lose their own pick of Anubis 14-16 but eventually managed to close the series 2-1 following a demolition of the Australian squad on Vertigo, where the Brazilian team won 16-2. 

Complexity didn’t face too much trouble as they brushed aside Permitta 2-0, taking Nuke 16-8 and Overpass 16-7 to knock Permitta out from the IEM Katowice. Sprout knocked Evil Geniuses out following a 2-0 win over the American team, which saw Sprout take Ancient 16-14 and Mirage 16-13. fnatic kept their hopes alive when they knocked out MIBR 2-0 with relative ease, beating the Brazilians 16-11 on Vertigo and 16-9 on Overpass.

Mongolian team IHC provided the first shock of the tournament as they knocked FURIA out, beating them 2-1; they took Nuke 16-10, but FURIA won Mirage 19-16, though IHC took down the Brazilians 16-10 on Anubis in the decider to book a spot in the Group Stages of IEM Katowice, becoming the first-ever Asian team to make the IEM Katowice Group Stage.

Complexity booked their spot in the Group Stages by beating ENCE 2-1; they took Anubis 16-13 and went down on ENCE’s map pick of Vertigo 11-16, but they managed to close out the series on Inferno 16-8.

Spirit were the final team to book a spot in the Group Stages as they took down Sprout 2-1, winning on the opening map on Overpass 16-4. Sprout did fight back on Vertigo to win 16-6, but Spirit cleaned up the series on Anubis 16-10.

Group Stages

The Group Stages got underway with G2 facing off against BIG. G2 made short work of BIG, taking down the German team 2-0, beating them 16-12 on Anubis and 16-8 on Inferno. Natus Vincere (Navi) took down Cloud9 2-0, taking Ancient 16-13 and Inferno 16-6. FaZe Clan brushed aside the Spirit challenge as they won 2-0, going 16-5 on Ancient and 16-12 Nuke. Team Vitality eased past NiP, cleaning them 2-0 after a 16-10 win on Mirage and 16-9 win on Inferno. Team Liquid made sure IHC didn’t cause any more upsets as they beat the Mongolians 2-0, taking Inferno 16-13 and Overpass 16-6.

OG surprised everyone as they pipped MOUZ 2-1. After losing the opening map on Inferno 9-16, OG took Overpass 16-13 and then won Mirage in second overtime taking the map 22-19. Danish team Heroic beat Complexity 2-1; they took the opening map 16-11 on Inferno, and although Complexity bounced back on Vertigo, taking it 16-13, Heroic sealed the series on Overpass, taking the map 16-8. 

Recent Major champions Outsiders got their Katowice campaign off against fnatic, but fnatic managed to pip the Outsiders 2-1, beating them on Vertigo 16-12. Outsiders did take Mirage 16-8, but fnatic took Overpass 19-16 in first overtime. G2 remained unbeaten as they shocked FaZe 2-0, taking Nuke 16-14 and Ancient 16-7, with jks and huNter- stepping up. BIG were knocked out following their loss to Spirit, with Spirit taking the series 2-1 after losing the opening map 10-16 on Nuke but winning 16-11 on Mirage and 16-10 on Anubis in the decider.

Navi beat Liquid 2-0, demolishing them 16-5 on Inferno and winning 19-17 in first overtime on Anubis, with their in-game leader (IGL) electroNic and star AWPer s1mple stepping up. Cloud9 were knocked out of the tournament following a shock loss to IHC, which saw the Asian team win 2-0, taking Inferno 16-14 and Mirage 16-14 as well. Heroic sealed their spot in the Playoffs by taking down OG 2-0; they won Inferno 16-10 and Mirage 16-12. 

The Outsiders managed to keep their dreams for the Playoffs alive as they knocked out NiP, beating them 2-1. NiP had won the opening map 16-5 on Vertigo, but Outsiders bounced back to take Overpass 16-12 and Inferno 16-9 to knock NiP out. Vitality booked their spot in the Spodek Arena for the Playoffs by taking down fnatic 2-1, with ZywOo carrying his team, making sure Vitality made it to the Katowice Playoffs for the first time ever in their history.

Complexity knocked MOUZ out from the tournament, beating them 2-1. They took Inferno 16-9 and MOUZ won Nuke 16-12, but Complexity’s AWPer hallzerk stepped up and beyond for the North American team to win Ancient 16-12 and keep their hopes for the Playoffs alive. FaZe knocked IHC out from the tournament following a 2-0 win, which saw them secure Inferno 16-11 and demolish IHC on Ancient 16-3. Team Spirit beat Liquid in a match that saw Spirit lose the opening map 12-16 to Liquid, but they bounced back to win 16-13 on Overpass and 16-11 on Anubis to secure the series.

Outsiders played OG in the lower-bracket semi-final, which saw the action kick-off on OG’s pick of Inferno, which the Outsiders took 16-7, with fame, Jame and FL1T stepping up. Outsiders wrapped up the series 2-0 following their 16-12 win on Overpass, which saw their IGL Jame and new signing KaiR0N- step up.

The other lower-bracket semi-final saw fnatic take on Complexity. The North American side got off to a strong start, taking the opening map on Inferno 16-8. fnatic bounced back with a 16-9 win on their pick of Vertigo, but Complexity swept fnatic aside on the decider on Overpass, with hallzerk, floppy and FaNg making sure Complexity kept their Playoffs hopes alive with a 16-3 win.

The Group B upper-bracket final, the winner of which would see a direct qualification to the semi-finals, saw Heroic take on Vitality, who proved to be no match for the Danish squad as Heroic served up a beating to Vitality. Heroic took the opening map on Inferno 16-7 and then secured their own map pick of Overpass 16-4 to qualify for the semi-finals.

The Group A lower bracket final saw FaZe Clan and Liquid fight for a place in the Spodek. FaZe pipped Liquid on Inferno 16-14 in the opening map, but Liquid bounced back on Overpass to take the map 16-11, and on the decider on Mirage it was YEKINDAR, nitr0 and oSee who made sure the North American team kept their Spodek hopes alive.

For FaZe Clan, their loss to Liquid not only ended their Katowice campaign, but it also means that they now have only three more events to secure the Intel Grand Slam.

The Group A upper-bracket final saw a red-hot G2 face Navi, who were no match for G2, who took the series in two maps, taking Inferno 16-8 and Nuke 16-7, with their young AWPer m0NESY and star rifler NiKo putting in strong performances. 

The final match of the Group Stages saw Outsiders go up against Complexity in the Group B lower-bracket final, with a spot in the quarter-finals up for the winner. Outsiders pushed Complexity to overtime on the opening map of Anubis. The Rio Major champions took the opening map 19-15, but Complexity kept the series alive through some strong performances from hallzerk and floppy to take Overpass 16-13. Outsiders, though, knocked Complexity out after securing the decider on Inferno 16-13, with their IGL Jame and KaiR0N- making sure there were no more upsets. 


The Playoffs got underway with Navi taking on Outsiders. The action kicked off on Outsiders’ pick of Overpass, and it was a back-and-forth affair, with both teams taking one round after the other, but the gruelling action eventually saw Navi pip Outsiders for the map, with s1mple, b1t and electroNic making sure the Ukrainian team took the opening map 16-13. On Navi’s pick of Inferno, it was b1t and electroNic who stepped up for Navi, helping them secure the series 2-0 following a comfortable 16-12 win.

The second and final quarter-final kicked off between Team Liquid and Vitality on Liquid’s pick of Overpass. The first map seemed all but over after the first half for Liquid, as Vitality went 13-2 up, but Liquid fought back through EliGE and oSee to mount a tremendous comeback to tie the score in regular time and pull off an impossible win in overtime, taking the opening map 19-17. Vitality shook off the horrors from the opening map and closed the second map on Nuke 16-7, with ZywOo making sure Vitality stayed alive in the series. The series decider was on Mirage, and it was Liquid old guns NAF and nitr0 who stepped up for the North American team to secure the map 16-12 and knock Vitality out. 

The first semi-final had Heroic taking on the one team they always faltered to in the last two years, Navi. The semi-final’s first map was Navi’s pick of Inferno, but it was Heroic who seemed more comfortable than Navi on the map. With jabbi and TeSeS leading from the front with strong showings, Heroic were dominating and out-skilled the Ukrainian side on their map pick as they wrapped up Inferno 16-8. On their own pick of Mirage, the story wasn’t too different as the Danish team continued their dominance, with TeSeS, cadiaN and jabbi putting in strong performances to seal out the series 2-0 after taking a 16-8 win to secure as place in the Grand Final.

The second semi-final saw the red-hot G2 take on Team Liquid. It was Liquid’s pick of Anubis that got things underway. It was a close first-half on the newest map addition in the competitive pool, with Liquid taking a 8-7 lead on their CT half, but G2’s CT side was unbreakable as NiKo, huNter- and jks helped G2 secure the opening map 16-10. The action then shifted to G2’s pick of Inferno, and it was huNter- leading from the front once again as he made sure G2 increased their map win streak to 19 maps in a row and  secured the second map 16-11 to book a place in the Grand Finals against Heroic.

By keeping the series clean, G2 had increased their maps win streak to 19, which was the second-longest LAN win streak, only behind Ninjas in Pyjamas’ unbelievable 87-maps-in-a-row record. 

The best-of-five Grand Final kicked off on G2’s pick of Nuke, and it was Heroic who looked as they would take the opening map after taking a 10-5 lead on the CT half. G2, though, bounced back on their own CT side as huNter- and jks stepped up to give G2 the early advantage as they secured the map 16-12.

Next up was Heroic’s pick of Mirage. Heroic took a 9-6 lead in the first half, but once again G2 fought back, and this time it was m0NESY, huNter- and NiKo stepping up to help G2 take the second map 16-13.

It seemed like G2 would wrap up the series 3-0 as the final headed to G2’s second pick of Inferno. G2 managed a solid eight rounds on their T side to start with. Heroic, though, made sure G2’s 20-map winning streak came to an end as the Danes fought back. With their IGL cadiaN outcalling G2 and TeSeS stepping up, Heroic managed to secure Inferno 16-11 and take the series to a fourth map.

Heroic started strongly on Ancient, on their T side, taking home six T rounds, but G2 bounced back on their own T-side in a more CT-dominated map, with huNter- stepping up once again for the team. G2’s T side was absolutely dominating as they gave Heroic only a single CT round to secure the map 16-7 and take home the series 3-1. 

Aditya Chaudhuri

Hailing from the City of Joy, the things that bring me joy are cricket, a good non-tilt CS:GO session, F1 and movies.

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