IEM Katowice - Group B Predictions
Group B will start the day after Group A and will also be played out in a setting that will be closed to the public. The first matches will be on March 3rd at 12:20 when Team EnVyUs takes on Astralis while the last match of the group will also be March 3rd at 20:20 when Team EnVyUs takes on E-Frag.net Esports Club.
1st place. Virtus.pro
I expect most people to stop reading now and to be honest, I get it. But I have faith! Everyone knows that IEM Katowice has some of the best fans in eSports every year, and don't count out the power of that. VP always does well at the event (2 years ago they won it, last year 3rd/4th). They're obviously comfortable here and the fans end up helping them being their 6th man. Sure, they're in abysmal form at the moment, I'm aware of that. This could end up helping them as some teams might underestimate a team that should never be underestimated.
2nd place. Astralis
For most people this should be the first place team of the group. The Danes are an amazing team, and now that they're financially invested into the team, they should only be getting better. You can tell that this team treats the game very professionally and let's take a look at their recent results. Podium finishes in their last 5 offline events, a great 6-2 (second place) in the ESL Pro League so far. For many, this is the second best team in the world. I just think VP will be the shocker of the event... but if not Astralis is definitely going to be on top.
3rd place. Team EnVyUs
It's very hard to bet against these guys. They have sublime star power and fragging ability and in addition to this can be considered an experienced team. I'm actually very excited to see them play in IEM Katowice, and personally I'm hoping they can put up a solid result. They have also been one of the more active teams this year when it comes to attending offline events. Their recent placings at the LANs they've attended have been promising, such as their first place finish at the $200,000 Global eSports Cup.
4th place. MORTAL KOMBAT
If you didn't stop reading at Virtus.pro you might stop now! E-Frag.net will place higher than FaZe and Tempo Storm. The reason behind this is mental. These guys are a top 20 team, no pushover. In addition to this they aren't attending the Major next month and don't have any other bigger tournament planned. This is the most important event for them and they will come out strong and motivated. In fact, I was going to place them at third place but I'm scared of being called names.
5th place. FaZe Clan
With a star-studded roster this team has a ton of fans. However, I don't see this team as a star team. Star-studded? Yes. The team itself has its issues and they need to learn to be a better "unit". When they're all in good form they can beat any team in the world (except Fnatic maybe), however, take that away and they're in trouble. Playing 5 matches in a row with perfect form will be difficult and I just don't see it happening.
6th place. Tempo Storm
A small dream of mine would be for Tempo Storm to play Luminosity Gaming in the playoffs and win. Unfortunately that's not going to happen. They're a great team and I do strongly believe that their time will come, but that's a little down the road. I am excited to see them at this event though and I can't wait to see them garner experience and grow as a team.
Let me know what you think of my predictions either in the comments below or on Twitter.