The top 8 teams for the IEM Katowice Major have finally been confirmed. After a gruesome grind to make it to the Champions Stage, it’s time to see who will take the crown at the first Major of 2019.
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The favourite to win the event is Astralis and rightly so. They’re the only team that advanced through Legends Stage with a 3-0 record. They picked up their three wins against Complexity, Cloud9, and Renegades. It should be noted that they dismantled Cloud9 in a 16-0 win.
Team Liquid is the team many expect to face them in the final. However, this event has been full of upsets already and shows no signs of slowing down. Teams like MiBR and Faze will always be put in contention of potentially going the whole way due to their experience and legacies. It may be time for some new legacies to take place though.
Is there an underdog?
An underdog is this stage is without a doubt Renegades. They defeated both ENCE and FaZe in Legends stage and lost against Astralis in a 2-1 series. They have confirmed they do have the talent to push these top teams all the way. Now it’s just a waiting game to see who they can topple.
Below you can find the odds for each team to win the event courtesy of Betway:
- Astralis with 1.50 odds
- Liquid with 4.00 odds
- Natus Vincere with 11.00 odds
- FaZe with 17.00 odds
- MiBR with 17.00 odds
- NiP with 26.00 odds
- ENCE with 41.00 odds
- Renegades with 41.00 odds
Champions Stage Format
The Champions stage consists of a much easier to understand bracket. It’s a single elimination bracket starting with the Quarter Finals. Each match is a Best of 3 series where the teams will go through a veto process to select the maps that get played.
Thursday, February 28
Quarter Final #1 – Natus Vincere vs. Faze | 3PM GMT +1
Quarter Final #2 – Liquid vs ENCE | 6.50PM GMT +1
Friday, March 1
Quarter Final #3 – MiBR vs. Renegades | 3PM GMT +1
Quarter Final #4 – Astralis vs. NiP | 6.50PM GMT +1
Saturday, March 2
Semi-Final #1 | 3PM GMT +1
Semi-Final #2 | 6.50PM GMT +1
Sunday, March 3
Grand Final | 6PM GMT +1
If you’re looking for something more unique than just the outright winner of the match. You can find plenty of alternative options through specials. Some of these include:
- Maps Handicap
- Maps Total
- The Correct Score
- Total rounds per map
- Whether the total rounds will be odd or even
These betting options are ideal for those that regularly monitor and study the intricacies of each team’s performance. For example, you can bet on teams to win pistol rounds. This is something that you shouldn’t blindly bet on. If you research recent performance and retrieve each teams’ statistics, it will help you gather a better knowledge on these types of bets.
This is going to be one of the most exciting Majors we have seen in recent times. With such a wide spread of talent across these teams, every game has the potential to go down to the wire. I think it’s tough to write off Astralis as favourites; realistically they should make the Grand Final with ease.
Many fans and analysts’ predictions have been absolutely ruined the past couple of weeks due to the inconsistency of some teams. I think we can expect the same, despite it being at this vital stage of the tournament. This week I’d recommend you place your bets, sit back and enjoy watching the action unfold.