One of the biggest esports tournaments returns; mark the dates – January 31 to February 12 – and prepare for the legendary event in Poland. The tournament will take place at the Spodek Arena as the world’s best CS:GO teams fight for the outstanding $1M prize pool and a point in the Intel Grand Slam. In this blog, we will run you through some of the elements of this tournament and give you betting tips on who might take home the title.
There will be three different stages in this tournament, called the Play-in, Group Stage and Playoffs.
During the Play-in stage, 16 teams will play against another team, with the opening match being a best-out-of-one format and the other matches will be best-out-of-three games. Out of these 16 teams, only half of them will make it to the main event. Now, it’s time for the group stage; two groups of eight teams play each other in the group in a match (best out of three) and whoever finishes in the top three in each group progress to the playoffs. Two teams will be sent to the semi-finals, whilst the other four teams are directed to the quarter-finals. All the matches are best out of three, with the Grand Final being the exception as it’s a best out of five games. The winner will take home $400,000, and prizes will be awarded down to 24th place.
As we have mentioned in the format section, there are 16 teams competing in the Play-In phase and another eight who are already in the Group Stage due to their previous triumphs and their ESL World Ranking which gives them a pass from the initial Play-In stage.
Currently the favourites to win the tournament for a host of reasons, these are the defending champions from the IEM Katowice 2022 and are on a run of wins, winning the ESL Pro League Season 15 and the PGL Antwerp Major. It has been a very successful year for FaZe Clan and they are looking to continue on to become the best in Poland once again. FaZe are priced at 4/1 (5.00) to once again win the IEM Katowice title and are at 3/2 (2.50) to reach the Grand Final. The members of the team are as follows: Broky, Rain, Karrigan, Twistzz and Ropz. One great advantage that this team has is that all of the members have been with the team for at least a year, which means that they have enough chemistry to give them the edge in certain situations during the games.
Following closely behind are Heroic who recently beat FaZe Clan 2-1 in the Royal Arena and won their first big event after finishing second in CS:GO major in Brazil. The Danish team are priced at 5/1 (6.00) to be victorious of anther major event whilst valued at 2/1 (3.00) to reach the Final. They have showed that they are a team capable of keeping their cool under pressure and are currently ranked in sixth as the best professional CS:GO team in the world. The Danish lineup consists of CadiaN, stavn, Jabbi, Teses, sjuush. The team has recently been acquired by Heroic Group AS and since the takeover, the team has been performing at the very best and it is looking forward to a great showing in Poland in the coming month.
The year 2022 was a very inconsistent one for Natus Vincere—who are also known as NAVI—and, thus, at the end of the year some changes were made. Sdy has left the team and will be replaced by npl who is going to be promoted from the NAVI Junior roster. The team is comprised mostly of Ukranian players and the morale of the team has been affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The roster for the IEM Katowice 2023 will consist of: s1mple, b1t, electroNic, Perfecto and npl. LV BET is pricing the chances of this newly revamped team at 6/1 (7.00) to win and at 9/4 (3.25) to reach the Final.
A very competitive team who in recent tournaments managed to get themselves to the final but were overpowered by the occasion. G2 Esports ranked second in the PGL Major in Stockholm and again at the IEM Cologne. In 2020, the team made a significant signing which at the time was the biggest CS:GO signing in history as NiKo joined the roster. NiKo is a very versatile player and is one of the most sought after stars in the CS:GO genre. The roster for the IEM Katowice consists of the: JKS, HooXi, m0NESY, NiKo, huNter and Swani. We are pricing the chances of G2 Esports of winning the title in Poland at 7/1 (8.00) and at 9/4 (3.25) to reach the Grand Final.
The only team that we have handpicked as having a great chance of winning the tournament who is not in the Group Stage already – Cloud9. This team has the added obstacle of going through the Play-In stage but we are seeing potential in this team and pricing them at 7/1 (8.00) to win the tournament and 3/1 (4.00) to be in the final. The players who are looking to spearhead their team to glory are as follows: hObbit, sh1ro, Ax1Le, nafany and interns. This team has the potential to have a great underdog story in this years IEM Katowice.
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*Odds subject to change. Odds correct at time of publishing