It has been a week since IEM Katowice concluded, but its memories will be recalled at least till the next major tournament. In the past few years, the Major Championship under Valve’s banner has given us some greatest Counter Strike:GO stories and jiffies. From the narrative, the drama, and the real time action we have compiled some of our favorite moments of the tournament.
Blicharz’s Opening Speech
Vice President of the Pro Gaming in ESL, Michael Blicharz (CARMAC) took the stage a few moments before the start of the Championship and lit the Spodek Arena with his emotional opening speech. Michael had been associated with ESL for not more than seven years altogether but he is a witness of some greatest moments of the IEM, and had an important message to share.
As he started off he was questioned by an interviewer probing about the an unforgettable moment of his in the history of IEM, he responded that a Semifinal Match in 2011 was his memorable moment as he dropped to his knees crying after losing. He emphasized on emotions and explained how, sometimes, crossing personal limits can help you achieving moments of greatness.
ENCE On The Rise
How can we forget the Finnish side, ENCE, who came all the way from a European Minor to the Grand Finals of a Major Championship? Any such story would be incomplete without it.
In October 2018, upsetting some of the famous names of Europe ENCE showed the world what they’ve got to offer. They won at the StarSeries and the i-League’s 6thedition. The major difference between ENCE and their opponents was their performance, their interconnection and their discipline. Looking at the team, there was a feeling that it was not just a flash in the success story but more than that.
Then in January this year, ENCE produced some exceptional performance to stand at the top of Minors Pool, hence, confirming their spot in the IEM Katowice for Challengers Stage. With some dominating performances they reached the Legends Stage where they almost got eliminated after falling into the 0-2 bracket, but their bounciness came in at the right time helping them to beat some big names like BIG, G2 and AVANGAR to qualify for the Top 8 Stages.
While everyone predicted a Liquid vs Astralis Grand Final in the first place, it was the Finns who undone the Team Liquid with an exceptional performance. Irresistible amount of pressure, changing strategies, and their ability to bounce back made them sideline Liquid with a score of 2-0. After spoiling the most awaited final they brushed off NAVI in the semis, making everyone think that they deserve the title now.
Astralis came a bit heavy onto them in the Final winning the Championship but ENCE proved capable and clever too. IEM Katowice has certainly unlocked their abilities that were much needed for a European Minor to compete at such a stage. Now we’ll have another wonderful team to look at in the seasons to come.
Astralis A Legendary Team Already
How do you even describe Astralis? A very talented Counter Strike team which were flawless throughout IEM Katowice, and that performance has brought them on level terms with FNATIC in terms of Major Titles in CS:GO. They have not just won a piece of silverware but that has brought them to a completely new level. Astralis, without any doubt, has now surpassed the FNATIC’s era.
To sum things up, IEM Katowice 2019 is considered to be one of the Major Competitions that Counter Strike needed. It was smooth, it was exciting and it was loaded with some revitalizing tales to discuss till the next season. The new legends of the game, Astralis on the brink of breaking FNATIC’s record of Major Titles and teams like ENCE< MIBR, Liquid and Renegades showing huge potential, the next major at StarLadder Berlin later in 2019 would be a treat to w