IEM Katowice 2021 – CS:GO. Match Schedule, Teams, Bracket

2021 is just around the corner. We reveal all the information about the mega event.

The tournament will take place over two weeks in February 2021. It starts with the play-in tournament on February 16 and 17, followed by the group stage from February 18 to 21. The playoffs will then take place from February 26 to 28. In addition to the prize pool of a whopping $1 million, participating teams will also have their chance to earn another point toward the Season 3 Intel Grand Slam title. For this, the teams have to win four Grand Slam events within one season. Then another 1 million US dollars beckon. So far, only Astralis (Season 1) and Team Liquid (Season 2) have managed this feat.

IEM Katowice: No audience in 2021 either

The IEM Katowice 2020 was hit especially hard by the beginning Corona crisis, many fans had already arrived, but the organizers were not allowed to let anyone into the arena. So also this year the tournament will take place without spectators on site.

Nevertheless, Counter-Strike enthusiasts can look forward to an exciting tournament, after all, the list of participants reads like a who’s who of the absolute top teams. Contrary to earlier plans, the IEM Katowice will take place exclusively online. The games will be presented from a fancy new studio that was recently unveiled.

The tournament format

The play-in phase will start with best-of-1 matches, the following matches will be best-of-3 series. Those who successfully master the Play-In phase will advance to the Main Stage and will be one of 16 teams divided into two groups.

The matches of the group stage will be played as Bo3 in a double knockout system. The top three teams in each group, six in total, advance to the playoffs. The first-place teams are seeded directly for the semifinals, with second and third place advancing to the quarterfinals. The semifinals and semifinals are Bo3s, the Grand Final is a Bo5.

The participants

A total of 24 teams will participate in the IEM Katowice 2021. 16 teams will start in the play-in stage. Participating this year are:

  • BIG
  • Team Liquid
  • Virtus.Pro
  • mousesports
  • fnatic
  • OG
  • Spirit
  • Complexity
  • Gambit
  • NiP
  • Cloud9
  • Movistar Riders
  • MIBR
  • TeamOne
  • Wisla Krakow
  • Renegades

For German fans, the focus is of course on BIG, whose strong performance at the current BLAST Premier Spring Groups (including a win over Astralis) gives them hope of winning the tournament. Eight other teams are seeded directly for the group stage. These are this year:

  • Heroic
  • Astralis
  • Team Vitality
  • Natus Vincere
  • G2 Esports
  • FaZe Clan
  • FURIA
  • Evil Geniuses

This means that all teams from the top 20 of the HLTV world ranking are represented at the tournament except FunPlus Phoenix (#17). The field of participants guarantees top-class Counter-Strike and if BIG plays like last time, the chances for a German team in the playoffs are pretty good. The squad around Johannes “tabseN” Wodarz will face the Spaniards from the Movistar Riders in the opening match on February 16 at 12:00 German time.

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