Photos: By Radoslaw “MAKKU” Makuch and Josip “brcho” Brtan for HLTV
The New Legends Stage for IEM Katowice 2019 has come to an end, and 8 teams have been sent home, whilst 8 teams have each booked their spot for the playoffs at the Spodek. This last stage on Day 5 saw 6 teams fight with tooth and nail to grab one of the last spots for the Top 8, and before the last New Champions Stage begins, let’s look over what happened last Sunday.
To kick off the final stage, ENCE were looking to complete their reverse sweep from being down 0-2 against AVANGAR, also looking to grab one of the top 8 spots. ENCE started off strong on Mirage, getting a lead of 3 rounds before AVANGAR strung multiple rounds together to even the score 5-5. ENCE would seize momentum, finishing the first half 9-6. Although Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen had 1v2 clutch and touched map point, AVANGAR refused to back down, seizing a couple more rounds before ENCE broke the ct defense, closing Mirage 16-12.
ENCE once more took the lead on Train, quickly running away with the first half 10-5 after a 1v2 clutch by Sami “xseveN” Laasanen. AVANGAR were able to steal away the pistol round of the second half, but as soon as ENCE got to the gun round, the Finns were unstoppable and ENCE booked their spot to the playoffs after a clean 2-0 win, also completing an incredible 0-2 reverse sweep.
A legendary name finally return to top 8 at IEM Katowice
NiP and Vitality would begin their series on Cache, where Cédric “RpK” Guipouy would counter a pistol round win with a 1v3 clutch. The Ninjas were unfazed as they went on to dominate the first half 11-4, but the Frenchmen still had something to say after a pistol round quad from Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut. Vitality would not have many other tricks in the bag, as NiP would go ahead and close Cache 16-7.
The second map of Overpass would see the tables turned, as the Frenchmen would demolish NiP in the first half, ending it in the same fashion as Cache, 11-4. Overpass would act as ZywOo’s playground, showcasing his skills as he styled on the Swedes, finishing map 2 16-8, forcing the series into the decider on Mirage.
NiP would completely run away with Mirage, to everyone’s surprise, quickly going from 3-0 to 5-0 but would finally meet resilience after their 9-0 lead, where the Swedes would lose a 5v2 situation to finally concede a round to Vitality. A last-second defuse from Dennis “dennis” Edman would reset Vitality who would go on to lose the half 1-14. Vitality would see a short resurgence of energy on the second half, taking 6 rounds in a row before the Swedes stepped back up, closing the map 16-7, sending Vitality back to France.
FaZe get their revenge at IEM Katowice
The last decider series would see a rematch from the Boston Major, albeit with different rosters. Starting off on Cache, FaZe quickly got to a 4-0 lead before Cloud9 would answer back. The North Americans only managed a couple of rounds, as FaZe would go on to demolish Cloud9 finishing the half 12-3. FaZe would hit match point quickly, but that would see a monumental comeback initiated from the NA team. Cloud9 would fall short just at the finish line, as FaZe would finally close the map 16-14.
Dust2 was a map that Cloud9 had not played in 3 months, which was abundantly clear as FaZe quickly rode the momentum, reaching an 11-2 lead, until Cloud9 answered back ending the first half down 4-11. Cloud9 would start the second half strong picking up 3 rounds, which was topped off with a breathtaking 1v4 clutch from Timothy “autimatic” Ta. FaZe would not be fazed, as they would seal the deal 16-9, securing the final spot for the playoffs at Spodek Arena.