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IEM Katowice — Everything You Need to Know About the CS2 Tournament

IEM Katowice — Everything You Need to Know About the CS2 Tournament
Written by: GreenMcqueen

On February 11, one of the best LAN tournaments in CS2 IEM Katowice ended. The venue for the matches was the Spodek Arena in Katowice (Poland), and many were waiting for it since this is the first tournament of this scale in 2024.


The teams' journey began on January 31, and from that moment on, the race began not only for players but also for bookmakers and fans. From the first minutes of the qualifications, GG BET was already accepting bets on the winner of the grand final. Among the most promising teams were FaZe Clan, Team Spirit and G2 Esports, but even among the underdogs, there were interesting and “tough” derbies.



Teams and Winners


Twenty-four teams took part in the tournament, which is pretty standard for CS2. Some CS2 teams received a direct invite, for example, G2 Esports, Monte, Natus Vincere, Team Falcons, etc. The other part fell into the Play-In Teams section. Despite this, Team Spirit became the winner of Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2024.


It was a surprise to many that Team Spirit had a CS2 roster. Previously, this organization was known only thanks to the Dota 2 team that won the main tournaments (e.g., The International). Moreover, Team Spirit lost only 1 map to Natus Vincere during the entire tournament. In the finals, the team met with formidable opponents in the person of the most experienced captain, Finn “karrigan” Andersen and the Faze Clan team.


The matches were held in the BO5 format, but only 3 maps were played, the winners of which were Team Spirit. FaZe Clan had chances on the first two maps, and everyone expected a comeback, starting from the third. 


Unfortunately, the miracle did not happen, and the team most likely no longer hoped to take even 1 card. As a result, the last derby ended with a score of 13:3. Even the most reliable bookmakers did not expect such an outcome - 3:0, especially the defeat in the last map. As a result, Team Spirit took away not only money but also direct invites.



Prize Fund


Extreme Masters Katowice 2024 welcomed the teams with a prize fund of $1,000,000. Team Spirit received $400,000+3000 BLAST Premier points, and FaZe Clan $180,000+2000 points. For Team Spirit, winning the tournament gave not only money but also a direct invite to three tournaments that will be held in 2024:

  1. IEM Cologne 2024
  2. BLAST Premier World Final BLAST Premier World Final
  3. Esports World Cup 2024


The most anticipated, of course, is the Esports World Cup 2024. Despite this, now every performance of Team Spirit will be watched very closely. Primarily because a lot is expected from them based on the result of IEM Katowice. Whether this victory was luck or the result of hard training, time will tell.



New CS2 Star — donk




The main discovery of the tournament was the player donk, who is currently one of the best IEM Katowice MVPs in the history of the tournament. His rating was 1.7, which is an absolute record for competitions of this level. For example, s1mple previously had a rating of 1.33.


Despite this, donk was criticized by spectators and other teams. The reason for this is very aggressive and toxic behavior during matches. It's normal for CS2 to "provoke" opponents and play with their emotions. But donk exceeded all norms so much that the tournament organizers had to talk to the team manager about the player’s behavior. As a result, despite the excellent play throughout the tournament, when the team entered the stage, the audience in the hall booed the players.



Final Thoughts


IEM Katowice, as always, was held at a high level. This is not the first tournament for the organizers, so there were almost no problems with computers, broadcasting, etc., throughout. In addition to the bright finale, the tournament revealed the strengths and weaknesses of many teams. For example, G2 Esports (one of the favorites of the event) played rather poorly and were depressed by the results of their games. In any case, the CS2 community expects many more tournaments that we will also be watching.

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