Top 5 Plays of the IEM Katowice Playoffs 2022
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s first big tournament of the year, IEM Katowice, was full of highlight-worthy moments. There were many surprise storylines surrounding the playoffs, such as m0NESY making his big stage debut and of course FaZe Clan winning it all with a new player and a stand-in. The final six teams put on quite the show, so here are the top five plays of the IEM Katowice playoffs.
The quarterfinals matchup between FaZe Clan and Gambit Esports was supposed to be a close one on paper. That expectation was flipped when FaZe came out firing on Gambit’s Dust2 pick. After a dominant 10-5 CT half, FaZe wanted to make a statement by ending things as fast as possible. In round 21, ropz found himself alone against four Gambit players.
There were many questions surrounding G2 Esports coming into the IEM Katowice playoffs. The biggest one—how will the 16-year-old prodigy m0NESY perform on the biggest stage of his young life?—was answered immediately. M0NESY racked up 45 kills in a triple OT thriller against Virtus.pro, four of which came in a crucial OT round.
Looking to complete the sweep against Gambit, FaZe Clan went into Inferno as the new favorite following their upset on Dust2. The map started out close with teams trading the first four rounds evenly. With only a Desert Eagle to start the round, broky embarked on a rare 6K to steal a point and the momentum away from Gambit.
The Grand Finals of IEM Katowice between FaZe Clan and G2 Esports kicked off with FaZe’s Inferno pick. However, FaZe weren’t able to get anything going for the longest time. The score was 15-7 in favor of G2 after 22 rounds. At this point, FaZe embarked on an eight round win streak to bring their map pick back. The epic comeback was punctuated by this amazing ace from ropz when all hope looked lost.
In a rematch of the PGL Stockholm Major grand finals, G2 Esports fought NAVI for the right to play for the IEM Katowice trophy. After winning their own map pick of Inferno, G2 was on match point going into Mirage. Down 4-6, NAVI found themselves in a 3v1 scenario. If they won this round, they would break G2’s economy and start racking up the points towards forcing map three. M0NESY ended that hope all by himself with one of the best mechanical plays we’ve seen on this stage.
This IEM Katowice tournament was a testament to everything that makes CS:GO great. We had established super teams not make the mark, young players rise to the occasion in their first LAN, and a champion who fought through hardship to make history. This is just the beginning for this FaZe Clan roster, for m0NESY and G2 Esports’s new squad, and for an exciting year of Counter-Strike to come.