IEM Katowice 2022 Playoffs Preview

The Playoffs of IEM Katowice 2022 are set to kick off on Friday.

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Intel Extreme Masters Katowice is an event like no other. Almost simultaneous with Counter Strike itself, Katowice is regarded as one of THE biggest events in esports. Dipping its toes into Starcraft 2 and even League of Legends, IEM Katowice’s pedigree is unmatched. The fans, as claimed by a lot of the players themselves, are the best in the world, the atmosphere, the electricity, the crowd are almost second to none.

Katowice has seen greatness first hand. Be it the renowned home team ‘’s victory stage, featuring the likes of Pashabiceps and NEO, to being the place where Astralis stamped their authority as the best of all time by defending their Major crown in 2019

In its 10th edition – IEM Katowice 2022, the action returns to LAN. And not just any LAN, at the revered Spodek Arena, filled to the brim with fans – something we had been missing since 2019. Taking place without a crowd in 2020, and then online in 2021, IEM Katowice may be missing some of its glory in the 2 years gone by, but the love for Counter Strike brings back everything we had been missing, and more.

IEM Katowice 2022 Playoff teams – 

  • Natus Vincere
  • Gambit 
  • G2
  • FaZe Clan
  • Heroic


NaVi finished 2021 as their best year ever. Winning everything there was to win – the Major, the Intel Grand Slam, BLAST World Finals you name it. IEM Katowice 2020 though, is where it all began for the world’s best. They kicked off 2020 with a thumping win at Katowice over G2, and perhaps that is where their era began. Cut short by the switch to online, Katowice still contributed to NaVi’s Intel Grand Slam. 

Albeit not looking as dominant as the NaVi of 2021 just yet, s1mple is as good as ever and in front of a crowd, we all know what the rest of the  CIS powerhouse can bring. They will look to defend their crown as the best team in the world and Katowice is where they need to begin.


Being memed on for playing second fiddle to NaVi, IEM Katowice 2020 is where the misfortune began for G2. Losing 3-0 at Katowice 2020, then 3-0’d at the first LAN back in the form of IEM Cologne and then 2-0’d in the Grand Final of the First Major in 2 years, NaVi had become G2’s kryptonite. Interestingly, apart from m0NESY, all 4 of G2’s players have played in an IEM Katowice Grand Final.

NiKo was part of FaZe Clan when they lost to fnatic in 2018, Aleksib’s fairytale run with ENCE was cut short in the Grand Final by Astralis and huNter- and JACKZ were the ones that lost to NaVi in 2020. After making changes in 2022, G2 will look to write their own history at the Spodek in 2022.


The defending champions of IEM Katowice will need to do it on LAN to keep their crown. No strangers to a LAN environment anymore, Gambit have given enough evidence that they can be on par with the best. Semi-Finals at the PGL Major, Grand Finals at BLAST Premier World Finals, and winning V4 Future Sports Festival – Budapest 2021 are testament to their ability. 

But playing in front of an electric crowd, there may still be a long way to go for Gambit. Their dismal performance vs NaVi in the Semis of the Major had everyone doubting their capability in an arena, but coach Groove says they have improved over time, despite the inexperience. Will they be able to defend their title? Time will tell.


FaZe Clan are no strangers to the biggest stages of Counter Strike and even they have been in a Grand Final at IEM Katowice. For two years straight, rain, Karrigan and NiKo made it to the final of IEM Katowice only to fall at the final hurdle. 

Back with a different look with the return of Karrigan and new blood in the form of broky, Twistzz, and ropz, FaZe look the best they have in a long while. Dominant performances throughout, even with a stand-in, and making NaVi sweat in their last game, FaZe can surprise everyone and go all the way this time.

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