The dust has initially settled in Poland as the New Challengers Stage of the Intel Extreme Masters Season XIII - Katowice Major 2019 comes to an end.
Pick’Ems have been saved
Ninjas in Pyjamas, Cloud9 and G2 Esports whom all used to be Major mainstays finally overcame their woes as they clutched the last three spots for the Major’s next stage. Just a couple of days ago, fans of the big teams began worrying after all three of them stumbled with 1-2 records each – just one loss away from elimination.
The knockout wins weren’t easy for the three. G2 had to go extra miles with a grudge match against Fnatic before advancing through a 2-1 win against Tyloo. C9 meanwhile had to knockout young squads Furia Esports and the revamped Winstrike while NIP went 2-1 against Vega Squadron and Vici Gaming.
Almost but not quite for China
Chinese teams Tyloo and Vici Gaming meanwhile suffered a heartbreaking end to their respective Major runs. After promising starts where Tyloo quickly nabbed their first two rounds with victories, the Chinese squads found themselves winless in rounds 4 and 5. Tyloo fell apart against AVANGAR before suffering a 2-1 defeat from G2 that include a 16-2 beatdown in Dust II – a rarely picked map so far in the Challengers Stage. Vici meanwhile lost to European squads Team Vitality and NIP respectively.
Despite the loss, it was still a decent run for Vici Gaming in their first ever Major appearance.
The top 8 of the New Challengers stage will join the current Legends led by tournament favorites Team Liquid, reigning Major champions Astralis and FACEIT Major grand finalists Natus Vincere. The slate is completed by MIBR, Complexity Gaming, BIG Clan, HellRaisers and Faze Clan.
The IEM Katowice Major is now on a short break with the end of the Challengers. Action will resume on February 20 with another Swiss group stage this time at the New Legends Stage.