The Spodek Arena stood as the colosseum for 16 teams battling for the title of IEM Katowice 2018 and a cosmic prize pool of $500,000. In the home of esports, Fnatic redeemed themselves in the most competitive Grand Final an IEM Katowice event has ever seen.
Bearing a roster that consisted of KRIMZ, JW, Lekr0, flusha & Golden, the Swedes negated naysayers winning 10 of 13 total maps in both the group stage and finals of IEM Katowice 2018. The tournament marked Fnatic’s second tournament victory at the Spodek, this time with a slightly altered roster. Employing the services of Golden, who has recently returned to the Fnatic roster in 2019 on loan alongside flusha [permanent member], the Swedes earned their second and last IEM Katowice title to date.
The Royal Flush
The 2018 season started off stingingly slow for the Swedes as they placed 5th-8th at the Boston Major, their first tournament of the year. Thereafter finishing in last place [15-16th] at their next competition, pressure was beginning to surface in the lead up to IEM Katowice 2018. Locking in their playoffs appearance with three consecutive victories over Heroic, G2 Esports & FaZe Clan, the ferocity of Fnatic continued to stem their energy leading into the playoffs.
NiP were given the chance to stop Fnatic in their tracks in the quarter-finals, but failed to do so losing 1:2. Tantalizing Team Liquid next in a 2:0 victory, Fnatic were set to meet FaZe Clan in the Grand Finals. The Spodek Arena wasn’t ready for what was to come as the battle raged over five total maps, two of which went to overtime. In the end, Fnatic snapped up the victory in 3:2 style [5:16, 22:20, 16:7, 11:16 & 19:17].
Wins at both IEM Katowice 2017 and the Atlanta Major 2017 meant that the tight ship of Astralis sailed with ambition to IEM Katowice 2018. Placing 9-10th at the ESL Pro League S6 and a very uncharacteristic showing of 12-14th at the 2018 Boston Major, the Danes were starving for glimpses of greatness. Similar to Fnatic, Astralis secured their playoffs appearance in domineering fashion.
In the semi-finals, they crossed paths with FaZe Clan, who had lost to Astralis 1:3 the year before at IEM Katowice. This time around, the outcome was a successful revenge against the to-be greatest team of all time in back to back 16:10 maps for FaZe.
IEM Katowice 2020 has been announced coinciding with the ESL Pro Tour and we can’t wait to host thousands of esports fanatics & pilgrims as 16 teams will once more enter the fray for the world class title and lionshore of $500,000. IEM Katowice 2020 will stand as a Masters Championship and a tick towards the Intel Grand Slam. Be sure to check out the event information here i keep an eye out for tickets!