The culmination of the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice Minors and 3rd place play-in marked the completion of the 24 teams to compete this February 13 for the Major proper in Poland.
The 3rd place play-in featured four teams who finished third place in their respective regional Minors namely North from Europe, Team Envy from the Americas, Winstrike from CIS and Vici Gaming from Asia.
They were pitched in a double elimination bracket where all winners bracket games were played in a BO1 while the lower bracket was played BO3.
The upsets were quick
Vici Gaming immediately sent North down to the lower bracket in their semifinal opener through a 16-8 win in Inferno. Vici imposed a tremendous 11-4 run in the first half, much to the shock of the Danish club. Winstrike meanwhile began strong with a 16-4 beating against Team Envy who were sent down to the lower bracket despite being reinforced by Finn "karrigan" Andersen as a loaned player.
The addition of the former Flipside Tactics veterans Georgi "WorldEdit" Yaskin and Jan "wayLander" Rahkonen proved to be worth it for the young Winstrike group as they went on to take a 16-14 thriller to take the winner’s bracket finals against Vici.
On the lower bracket, North ultimately spoils Team Envy’s return to the CS:GO foray with a 2-0 win to advance at the loser’s finals where they have to fight for the final ticket to the Majors.
North and Vici met again at the lower brackets where Vici won a 2-0 nail-biter that saw them winning in a 22-20 double overtime. This marks Vici Gaming’s first ever Major appearance since establishing a CS:GO division in 2017. This on the contrary will also be the first time for North to miss the Majors since their founding in January 2017.
With the completion of the IEM Katowice Major lineups, expect updates to drop for CS:GO with the addition of the Pick’em Challenge and the release of the team stickers and sprays. The IEM Katowice Major begins in Poland February 13.