IEM Katowice 2021 Play-Ins Overview and Expectations

IEM Katowice 2021 Play-Ins are just around the corner. We are going to see a brawl between a couple of strong teams as they search for their spot in the IEM Katowice 2021. Below, you can find out what are we expecting from this event and who do we favor so do not miss out.

This article also marks the beginning of our IEM Katowice coverage, so keep track of our esports daily news for more updates and predictions as IEM Katowice evolves.

iem katowice csgo playins

© Intel Extreme Masters

IEM Katowice 2021 Play-Ins Format & Teams

The PlayIns event itself is played in the double-elimination format. This means that teams have a chance to lose a match and still have a second chance to qualify for the main event. Keep in mind that this CSGO tournament will last two days. Matches will commence on February 16th while the final matches are going to be played on February 17th.

The first round of bouts will be played in the best of 1 format which will make things harder for the favorites. Out of 16 teams, a total of 8 will qualify for the main event, so the competition is going to be fierce.

This is just the initial step on a long journey in one of the biggest esports events of the season. Additionally, Katowice is usually setting the stage for the entire competitive season, so what happens here really does matter.

The full list of participants is as follows: Team Liquid, BIG, Movistar Riders, Spirit, Cloud9, Team One, Gambit Esports, Renegades, Mousesports, Virtus.Pro, Wisla Kraków, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Complexity, OG, Fnatic and mibr. Three teams from the original invitees were replaced.

  • Ninjas in Pyjamas replaced Tyloo due to current travel issues. Interestingly, NiP was the 3rd choice after both ViCi Gaming and TIGER faced similar travel issues.
  • Team One replaced Chaos EC after the former declined their invite. This come soon after the organization released their entire roster on January 1st 2021.
  • Wisła Kraków replaced Illuminar Gaming who were unable to field a full lineup for the event.  Wisła Kraków was the next team in line from the ESL Polish Championships Autumn 2020 qualifier.

IEM Katowice 2021 Play-Ins – Who to Bet on?

When it comes to placing smart money on someone in this event, we can only mention a couple of teams. Bear in mind that underdog hunting could put you in profit, especially regarding the opening matches that are played in the best of 1 format. Here are our favorites to qualify into the main stage.

  1. Team Liquid – Ever since Fallen joined Liquid, this team looked alright. Even though they struggled against top competition such as Astralis and Vitality, we have seen Liquid dispatch of weaker teams with ease. To make things even better, MiBR is nowhere to be found right now and this should make Liquid’s job even easier.
  2. Virtus.pro – We have been impressed with what Virtus.Pro brought to the table in their last couple of outings. Not only did they win cs_summit 7, but they looked good doing so. In their opener, Virtus.Pro is going to face off against a veteran squad that is Wisla Krakow. This team is nowhere near Virtus.Pro in terms of tactic and individual skill. All in all, this should be a warmup qualifier for Jame and co.
  3. BIG – Right now, BIG is the highest-rated team at IEM Katowice 2021 Play-Ins and for the right reason. Individually, this team is insane. XANTARES and SyrsoN are their star players followed by tabseN. This trio proved that they can beat anyone and we believe that Movistar Riders do not stand a chance in this match. It is also important to mention that GG.bet is offering impressive odds on BIG winning this match, so bear that in mind while placing your bets.
  4. Complexity – Ever since acquiring blameF, the team improved exponentially both in-game and as a unit. They even reached the top 5 status not so long ago but they were unable to keep the momentum going. On the other hand, this is not the old NiP they are facing. A lot of youngsters from NiP will battle it out against a well-established team that is Complexity. Not only will Complexity qualify for the main event, but they will also beat NiP easily.

In the end, there are a total of 20 matches to potentially bet on in the next two days. Coefficients vary from low 1.2x return to a solid 4x+ return in some scenarios. Upsets are to be expected, so choose your favorite esports betting site and get cracking.

Read next: GG.BET Chinese New Year Bonus to pair with your betslips