Five CSGO teams to watch at the IEM Katowice 2022 Play-In Stage

The play-in of IEM Katowice begins today with a packed schedule of games. Paired with our IEM Katowice Play-In Predictions, we break down the bracket and the teams that will fancy their chances of making progress into the upper bracket quarters and potentially even into the final tournament.

There are several high-profile teams that will participate in this play-in phase, including NiP, Fnatic, BIG, Astralis and FaZe Clan. All of those teams have either been at No. 1 or close to that position in the world rankings.

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Teams & Players to watch at IEM Katowice 2022 Play-In

NiP will be one of the highest profile of these teams playing on Tuesday. They are currently No. 6 in the CS:GO world rankings. They will, however, still not have the services of Dev1ce yet. Rez, Plopski and Hampus will lead the charge for NiP, starting with a best of one against Wisla Krakow on Tuesday.

Former world No. 1 Fnatic will face a tricky opener against world No. 17 Copenhagen Flames on Tuesday. Brollan and Krimz, two of Fnatic’s core that led the team to No. 1 in the world, will be tasked with leading the charge in this tournament as well. Fnatic have now had plenty of time to settle with their new core after a transition. That should mean that Fnatic’s performances start to improve. It will be needed desperately too after losing their last four matches.

BIG have now moved out of the top 10. They are presently No. 11 in the world but have a fantastic opportunity to improve on their current rankings if they can make a deep run into this tournament. They will be up against Movistar Riders in their opener, and should consider this an ideal opportunity to move on quickly to the upper bracket quarters. Syrson and Tabsen are both averaging 0.72 kills per round in the last three months of CS:GO action. They were influential reasons for BIG’s rise to No. 1 in the rankings in 2020. Along with Faven, who has been in strong offensive form, BIG will need to improve their consistency quickly. No better way than a high-profile tournament like this one.

Moving on to world #7 Astralis who face MIBR in a bit of a mismatch. While Astralis are not even close to the heights that they have achieved recently, they will still be eager to move on in this bracket against world No. 35 MIBR. BlameF has found some offensive form for Astralis, with 0.75 kills and 0.63 deaths per round in the last three months of CS:GO action. He should be a key figure if Astralis make further progress into the play-in.

Another top 10 unit in FaZe will have to fight for their spot in the main tournament by qualifying via the play in. Faze are currently world No. 9 and start as massive favorites against world No. 20 Sprout. Faze are presently on a three-match winning streak, which includes wins against some of the best in the world, including Vitality, BIG and Liquid. Keep in mind, Robin “ropz” Kool will not be playing for the team in the early stages of the event.

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With plenty of top-10 teams battling it out in the play-in, it could be interesting to see how these teams progress further into the tournament, and aid their hopes of making it to one of the biggest CS:GO tournaments in the world. In a best of one format, you could even expect a few upsets.