Following the conclusion of the New Legends Stage of the IEM Katowice CS:GO Major, just eight teams remain to contend for the title.
Much like the New Challengers Stage, there were a number of intense and equally surprising matches during the New Legends Stage of the IEM Katowice Major over the last few days.
Astralis and Team Liquid torched the competition, while plenty of other teams struggled their way through to the New Champions Stage later this week.
Here is a rundown of my takeaways for the IEM Katowice 2019 Major New Legends Stage.
Renegades keep on trucking
After their convincing Challengers Stage performance I was a believer that Renegades could make to the Major Playoffs easily.
I put them in my Pick’Ems and they didn’t let me down. Their level of play has been extremely consistent thus far. On top of that, I’m impressed by how they can close out tight maps without letting nerves affect them much.
Stealing a map off of Astralis shows they won’t falter when they match up with the best in the world, either. The question now is if the Katowice crowd will have an effect on them in the playoffs.
NRG fall flat
For a team that sits near the top of the world ranking, their performance here was inexcusable towards the end.
Losing to Ninjas in Pyjamas and AVANGAR in best-of ones isn’t ideal but was always a realistic possibility. Their play against compLexity is where they really dropped the ball though, that can’t happen.
In my opinion, having Jacob 'FugLy' Medina on the same team as Damian 'daps' Steele will hinder them in the long run. I think locking down someone with a bit more firepower to help pick up the slack when others aren’t on their game will help them.
Once again, I would put all my money on NRG begging Tarik 'tarik' Celik to join as we speak. Out of all the options available, joining them makes the most sense. They have the league slots that a new team under TSM would have to attempt to qualify for all year long. If they added him, they’d be a lock for making it out of the Americas Minor again later this year.
MIBR do it again
Say what you want, Made in Brazil are consummate professionals that always find their way into the New Champions Stage.
Marcelo 'coldzera' David looks like he feels comfortable again and I had always imagined that would be the case if they returned to their native language in game. My prediction for MIBR was a top four spot and I think that is where they will end up.
They will face off against Renegades and would play the winner of the Astralis matchup if they both win in the quarterfinals. I’m keeping my eye on MIBR this year, as they have a real chance to do damage when they get their map pool on point.
Business as usual from Astralis and Liquid
Astralis and Liquid look a level above any other team in this tournament, as many people expected.
I hated making the cliche prediction of both teams making the final but they have shown thus far why they deserve that respect. I would keep an eye on how Lukas 'gla1ve' Rossander being sick impacts his performance in the playoffs, but I doubt it will cause any issues.
The thing I’m happy about is that the two teams can’t meet until the Final. This format has been an amazing aspect of the entire tournament. Props to ESL for that one.