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CS:GO - IEM Katowice 2023 Opening Rounds

Mary C

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Cloud 9 vs IHC

The Cloud9 team, which is presently ranked number 12 in the world by HLTV, first shows up for their first appearance of the current season. Since the Russians only "won" one significant title last year, we cannot declare that they performed exceptionally well. First of all, it's important to keep in mind that the team was well-known at the time of the epidemic, having risen from less significant competitions to the top of the world in 2021, taking home seven major trophies in that year.

After last season's results didn't go as planned, the cast underwent a shift that hadn't been implemented since 2021. I think it was a wise choice to take off Timofey "interz" Yakushin from the starting lineup because he hadn't played well in a while. Talented Kazakh player Timur "buster" Tulepo, who was fired from the previous Virtus Pro in mid-May last year and has now officially rejoined the professional scene, has taken his spot.

On the other hand, the IHC Esports team also participates in the year's first pertinent competition. The Mongols, who are now ranked 36th in the world and are widely regarded as being the finest team in Asia, are becoming more common in the major competitions under the "Tier S" scenario. Due to IHC Esports' inexperience in international events, it is indisputable that opponents last year cheered when they came into contact with them. To be even better prepared for 2023, the squad should play balanced games against large corporations while showcasing all of its technical prowess.

The youthful Mongolian team that competed in the IEM Rio Major 2022 Challengers Stage didn't be ran over on any of the seven maps they played on, winning at least nine rounds on every one of them. It's also important to keep in mind that they defeated the Brazilian squad 00Nation by a score of two maps to one during an elimination match. They entered three major events for the current season, IEM Katowice 2023, IEM Rio Brazil 2023, and ESL Pro League Season 17, starting at the rate of a top-tier organization.



The ENCE team initially debuts for the first match of the season at position 15 in the world rankings. Undoubtedly, the 2022 season was both successful for the ENCE organization, who rose to become the third-best team in the world, and disappointing for their team, who failed to take home any notable championships. Alvaro "SunPayus" Garcia and Valdemar "valde" Bjorn were recently added to the lineup in an attempt to reformat it, although the results were never as pertinent as they were at that time.

But the question still stands: how did the ENCE squad achieve such high levels and even third place in the HLTV world rating last season? This occurred as a result of the team finishing second in several of the major international "Tier S" competitions. For instance, they finished second in the ESL Pro League Season 15, second in IEM Dallas 2022, and last but not least, second at ESL Challenger Rotterdam 2022.

The paiN team, on the other hand, is ranked 27th in the globe and will play in its first official match of the season. The team's performance last year was the best of its players' careers; not only had they never held a position so important in the world, but they were also regarded as the second-best CS:GO team in Brazil. Without a doubt, we should recall the historic trophy in the "Tier A" scenario that Australia earned when they triumphed in the ESL Challenger Melbourne and the CCT North America Series 2.

Despite not being regarded as one of the favorites for the championship in the primary contests of the scene, paiN is now respected in the "Tier S" scenario and is seen as a dangerous squad for the reasons described above. The Brazilian organization participated in some significant competitions in 2022, including the BLAST Premier Spring Final 2022 and the BLAST Premier Spring Showdown North America, where they were able to compete against some of the best teams in the world and even take home a Vitality map at the time.



The MIBR team initially makes an appearance for the first meaningful competition of the season while holding the 33rd-best ranking in the entire world. The Made in Brasil (MIBR) squad, ranked third in the HLTV world rankings, behind only Furia and paiN, is expected to return in 2023 with a minor makeover. Jhonatan "jOTA" William moved to Imperial and was replaced by Felipe "insani" Yuji, a young and gifted player who played for the MIBR (MIBR Academy) younger teams and will have his first shot at making the main squad.

But as was already said, the Brazilian organization will compete in this contest for the first time this year, having already participated in the ESL Pro League Season 17 Conference North America. The newly promoted young " insani " to the main line-up was obviously lacking in teamwork in this small league, which only had three organizations and offered two direct spots for the ESL Pro League Season 17. However, MIBR managed to demonstrate an excellent technical level in their matches played against Nouns and ATK, winning one of the places.

The Ninjas in Pajamas squad, on the other hand, makes an appearance in this matchup after competing in the BLAST Premier Spring Groups 2023 the previous week. It is important to keep in mind the primary lineup adjustments made for the current season before delving into the Swedish team's performance in the last tournament. Hampus "hampus" Poser recently parted relations with the group, and Kristian "k0nfig" Wieneck, a superb Danish player, has taken his place. Daniil "headtr1ck" Valitov, a promising young player from Ukraine, was also added to the team.

The Ninjas in Pajamas team produced excellent games for BLAST Premier Spring Groups 2023 during their previous competition campaign, but they only managed to take home one series victory in the competition, which came in a match against the Germans from BIG that they defeated by a score of 2 maps to 0. They faced Natus Vincere twice and Astralis once in the other three rounds. They did well in each of them, but in the pivotal third map, they lost every chance they had, demonstrating considerable difficulty in taking the last map.

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