The Upper-Bracket Quarter Final in Group B of IEM Katowice 2021 pits two familiar foes together – FaZe CLAN and Team Liquid. The winner of the best-of-3 will advance to the Upper Bracket Semi-Final to face the winner from the match between Team Vitality and OG while the loser moves down to the Lower Bracket and will fight for their lives against the loser of the same aforementioned matchup.
Road to IEM Katowice 2021
FaZe CLAN somehow managed to eke into the top six of the Road to Katowice European Ranking List, thanks to mousesports’ runners-up finish in the DreamHack Masters Winter. However, the North American organization has since seen an upturn in fortunes and form, especially with the arrival of Russel ‘Twistzz’ Van Dulken from Team Liquid. FaZe CLAN have also welcomed back mercurial IGL Finn ‘Karrigan’ Andersen, who has left mousesports to join the new and exciting project.
For Team Liquid, it has been far from a rosy path. The heavyweights failed to book their slot through the North American Road to Katowice Rankings and were hence, thrown into the Play-In stage. While the 16-12 against mibr was a relatively comfortable affair, their 2-1 series win over OG pushed them to their limits. After trading their map picks with an identical scoreline, the decider, Nuke, saw the two teams level at 14-14 before Liquid managed to persevere through to book their place at the Main Event. With Gabriel ‘FalleN’ Toledo taking over the reins of the IGL at Team Liquid now, an improvement in form is expected from the new-look lineup.
Twistzz has made a huge impact since joining FaZe CLAN and his former teammates have been at the receiving end of it. The two teams faced off in the Blast Premier Spring 2021 Group Stage, with FaZe CLAN recording two clean 2-0 wins over Team Liquid, including a 16-1 rollicking on Nuke.
Map Pick Prediction (Nuke, Inferno, Dust2)
FaZe CLAN are unlikely to take any chances and continue to veto Vertigo out against Team Liquid. The latter will be aware of karrigan’s fondness of picking Train and are likely to remove it from the map pool. FaZe CLAN’s recent successes over Team Liquid would have instilled confidence in their Nuke pick and karrigan is likely to take it as their pick.
Team Liquid have been experimenting on their map pick choices, with Nuke, Inferno and even Dust2 picked frequently. However, the North American stack will likely prefer Inferno over Dust2 right now, especially with FalleN now in charge of calling duties.
FaZe CLAN will ban Overpass subsequently, with Team Liquid banning Mirage to automatically choose Dust2 as the decider.
Predicted Result (FaZE CLAN 2-0 Team Liquid)
Should the aforementioned map picks come to fruition, it will be an advantage of FaZe CLAN once again. While FaZe have already beaten Team Liquid on all of these maps in the last 2 best-of-3 series, karrigan’s arrival will mark the start of the honeymoon period, if you will, for FaZe CLAN.
FaZe Clan being the favorites, they are expected to win the battle 2-0. The odds on sites such as ComeOn are compelling, to say the least.
We can expect some form of improvement from Team Liquid, who might be able to push it to a third map. But, it would be a surprise and nothing less if Team Liquid manage to beat FaZe CLAN. We are going for a 2-0 win for FaZE CLAN.