IEM Katowice - Group A preview
Group A will be played entirely on March 2nd starting off with Fnatic taking on Natus Vincere at 12:20 CET and ending on Fnatic vs. mousesports at 20:20 CET. During this time we will see 15 matches take place between the top teams in the world. Without further ado, here are your predictions.
1st place: Fnatic
Writing anything explaining this decision might be unnecessary, but we'll give it a shot anyway. Fnatic is undoubtedly the best team in the world. In addition to this they have won their past five offline events (not podium finishes, they WON every single one). They are the defending champions of the Katowice event. All signs point at them winning the entire event and surely the group. Any other result would be an absolute shocker. However, they do kick off their Katowice against Natus Vincere, a repeat of the StarLadder StarSeries XIV grand final and if anyone has a chance to defeat Fnatic, it's Na'Vi. If Fnatic have an off day, come into the event unfocused - Natus Vincere could take their chance and defeat Fnatic in the opener. This would cause Fnatic to shockingly not win their group. I'm merely mentioning that it's possible, not that it will happen. My prediction is Fnatic in first place.
2nd place: Luminosity Gaming
I am on the Brazilian hype train. I belong to the crowd that believes Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo is the best in-game leader in the world, supported by some solid firepower. In fact, even though their group is stacked I do think they will win all their matches except for the one against Fnatic. In the StarLadder StarSeries XIV event they narrowly lost to Fnatic in the semi-final 2-1. In the group stage they defeated Natus Vincere 2-0 and I think history will repeat itself.
3rd place: Natus Vincere
This tournament has some awesome teams and I know that I'll catch a lot of flac for not putting Ninjas in Pyjamas higher, but sorry. I don't think Na'Vi likes the tournament in Katowice very much, they seem to under-perform every time. 2 years ago they failed to advance from the group stage, last year 5th-8th place. Their form, however, is amazing. They won the most recent DreamHack Leipzig event, and placed second at the StarLadder event. They're on a solid streak and betting against them wouldn't be wise.
4th place: Ninjas in Pyjamas
I wanted to put mousesports here, but more about why I didn't will be below. I think Ninjas in Pyjamas will come out heavily focused for this event, however, unfortunately for them... this group is stacked. I honestly don't think they're good enough at this point to defeat the three teams above them.
5th place. mousesports
So I think mousesports are a great upcoming team, however, I don't think this event will be high on their "focus" list. They just made the trip from Europe to Columbus where they were able to qualify for the fast approaching Major and I think they will be a little tired from all the travelling. I also think they will be saving their energy and "strats" or whatever you want to call it for the Major itself now that they are qualified. For these reasons I think they will only win against MongolZ while losing to NiP who will treat this event more seriously.
6th place. The Mongolz
Sorry :( I'm glad that finally Asian teams are attending events and the teams attending these events will grow better as time goes on. However, we're not at the moment yet where MongolZ will make a difference at the event.
Do you agree with my predictions? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter.