Gambit and G2 heavy favorites in IEM Katowice Playoffs openers

The Spodek Arena hosts the six best teams for the IEM Katowice Playoffs. The opening matches are set for today, and both favorites are already known. Gambit faces FaZe, and VP faces G2 Esports. Each mach has it’s own features, yet ultimately in each case one team stands head and shoulders over their opponents.

IEM Katowice Playoffs Schedule

IEM Katowice Playoffs Schedule

Gambit vs FaZe

In the first quarterfinals match, two teams in great form are going to clash in order to determine who is going to play against Heroic. After suffering a defeat to NIP, the CIS-based roster stringed together three straight victories including revenge against their Swedish rivals, NIP.

FaZe, however, almost qualified for the semifinals, but they fell short against Natus Vincere. The fact that FaZe had a couple of match points against s1mple and his squad says a lot, but in the end, they choked and got beaten in the overtime. Prior to this, FaZe snatched victories against fnatic, Liquid, and MOUZ.

Let’s talk about map pool regarding this match. In our opinion, this is where Gambit will have the biggest advantage. Firstly, Nuke is getting permabanned by Gambit while Vertigo is a no-go for karrigan and his squad.

We favor Gambit on three maps, Dust 2, Mirage, and Ancient. They will for sure opt-in for one of these maps and they will have an enormous advantage. FaZe, however, can only be favored on Inferno, and we believe that this is going to be their pick. In the next wave of bans, Gambit will leave themselves in a prime spot as they will get another comfortable pick as a decider if they simply remove Overpass from the pool.

All in all, we are clearly siding with Gambit in this one. They are a much better team on Dust 2, Mirage, and Ancient. There is strong reasoning that we are going to see two of these maps in the map pool hence why betting on Gambit is the only logical thing in this match.

Prediction: Gambit to win
Odds: 1.60

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Virtus.pro vs G2

Whoever wins this match will not have an easy task in the semifinals, where Natus Vincere awaits. Prior to losing their last bout against Heroic, Virtus.pro got lucky as they were matched against teams that are not on their level. They defeated the likes of Copenhagen Flames, NIP, and FURIA.

G2, on the other hand, also did not have the top teams stacked against them. Defeat to fnatic woke them up and they secured three straight victories against Astralis, FURIA, and Liquid.

We should not see a lot of surprises, at least when it comes to map veto. Virtus.pro is going to remove Nuke, while we all know that G2 does not play Overpass hence why this is going to be their permaban.

When it comes to map picks, we are not expecting a lot of surprises. In their last three games, Virtus.pro played Vertigo three times. They only came out on top once. This is why we think they will avoid this map and go for Inferno instead.

NiKo and his peers will want to contest things on Mirage and they pick this map first in almost 60% of their matches. As for the deciding map, Dust 2 seems like an obvious choice for both teams.

Let’s sum this up. Instead of waiting for their opponents in the semifinals, Virtus.pro are facing elimination. On the other hand, G2 won three straight and their hopes to stay in the event are better than ever. Overall, we think that G2 is a much better roster once compared to the CIS squad. We also believe that G2 can make things competitive on Inferno, Ancient, and Vertigo while Mirage has been one of the best maps for them. All in all, everything is pointing out towards G2 in this one and the odds are more than rewarding.

Prediction: G2 to win
Odds: 1.60