IEM Katowice 2020 heads into the Playoffs and while the Spodek Arena might have to be empty due to a late government decree, the Quarter-Finals are set to take place at Spodek on Friday. G2 and Astralis have already booked their place in the semi-finals and two from fnatic vs 100 Thieves and Natus Vincere vs Liquid will join them.
Fnatic vs 100 Thieves
100 Thieves shocked a lot of onlookers yesterday, ousting one of the favourites, mousesports en route to the Playoffs. Fnatic on the other hand, had a much easier route, beating Natus Vincere earlier to book their place but losing in straight maps to Astralis, which relegated them to the Quarter-Finals.
100 Thieves will be out for revenge for the 2-0 defeat at the hands of fnatic at ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals.
Map Veto (Potential Bo3 Maps – Inferno, Vertigo, Dust2)
Coming to the map veto, fnatic are likely to ban Nuke, considering 100 Thieves just beat mousesports on the map in order to set up this fixture. 100 Thieves have been consistent with their Overpass ban and should continue to do so.
fnatic have persisted with the Inferno pick and although, it is a good map for 100 Thieves, Maikil ‘Golden’ Selim should fancy their chances on the map. 100 Thieves could whip out the Vertigo pick considering fnatic don’t play the map too often and their only appearance on the map at IEM Katowice 2020 came in a resounding defeat at the hands of Astralis.
fnatic haven’t played Train so far at IEM Katowice 2020 and are unlikely to do so, with Train their go-to ban after the respective map picks. 100 Thieves would favour their chances on Dust2 over Mirage and should ban the latter, leaving Dust2 as the decider.
fnatic may have locked down their place in the Playoffs rather comfortably but it is 100 Thieves that come into the fixture on the back of momentum and if the map veto does pan out like we expect above, we could see the North American organization prevail and set up a Semi-final matchup with G2.
Natus Vincere vs Liquid
Natus Vincere persevered over FAZE Clan with a 16-14 win on Map 3 of the Decider to get over the line and make the playoffs. Liquid on the other hand, were taught a lesson by G2 as the North Americans were unable to proceed directly to the semi-finals. Liquid will now have to battle Natus Vincere, with the winner going on to face Astralis in the semis.
Map Veto (Potential Bo3 Maps – Nuke, Overpass, Inferno)
Natus Vincere have shied away from Vertigo all Katowice and should continue to do so against a Liquid team that always look strong on the map. Liquid will likely proceed to ban Train.
The CIS giants should ideally pick Dust2, a map they seem to have more confidence in compared to any other potential picks, especially with Train banned as well. But, it is a bit tough to call and we could also see Natus Vincere pull out Nuke against Liquid. Interestingly, the two teams have never faced each other on Nuke. So, if Aleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev & co. do plan on picking Nuke, it will be an intriguing sight for the audience and the analysts.
Liquid on the other hand, will not hesitate one bit in picking Overpass against Natus Vincere. Natus Vincere should ban Mirage subsequently while Liquid proceed to ban the map left between Dust2 and Nuke, leaving Inferno as the decider.
Dust2 has always been a close affair between the two and if Natus Vincere do pick it into Liquid, we could see a potential sweep from the North Americans. But, a Nuke pick would throw a wrench in Liquid’s plan and likely push things into Inferno, where the CIS giants would be favourites to clinch the series and set up an enticing clash with Astralis.