Just like that, IEM Katowice 2019 is now over. However, its effects on the CS:GO scene will still be felt months from now, even years....
Mar 10, 2019
Just like that, IEM Katowice 2019 is now over. However, its effects on the CS:GO scene will still be felt months from now, even years. As the first CS:GO Major of 2019, IEM Katowice 2019 gave birth to some of the biggest stories and most memorable moments in the game’s history. To say that the tournament delivered would only be fitting, and because of that, we’ve decided to round up some of our biggest takeaways from the IEM Katowice 2019 Major.
ESL VP Brings Audiences to Tears
Michal ‘CARMAC’ Blicharz, Vice President of Pro Gaming at ESL, moved audiences, both at the Spodek Arena and from around the world, with his opening speech prior to the start of the playoffs.Having worked with ESL for the better part of the past seven years, CARMAC is one of the few personalities in CS:GO to have literally seen it all. As such, his message reverberated throughout the entire community. He kicked things off by talking about his most memorable IEM moment, where the star player on a losing team dropped to his knees in tears during a Semifinal match back in 2011. He described such moments as pivotal in a player’s life and how a player must learn how to cross such boundaries if they are to achieve greatness, which, he CARMAC described, is the “best feeling in the world.”He also talked about the sacrifices a player has to make to achieve greatness, alluding to what Cloud9's Robin ‘Flusha’ Rönnquist and Peter ‘dupreeh'' Rasmassen have had to go through at the tournament, where they had no choice but to soldier on and prove that they are the best in all of CS:GO despite the death of a loved one. CARMAC’s speech was heartwarming, inspiring, and bittersweet all of the same. He was able to capture exactly what it meant for CS:GO players to compete at the biggest stage of them all.Among those who was moved by his speech was the former Virtus.Pro player, Jarosław ‘pashaBiceps' Jarząbkowski, who was at IEM Katowice 2019 to carry the trophy on stage.
Watch out for ENCE
Hands up if you ever thought that ENCE would capture the hearts of CS:GO fans at IEM Katowice 2019. A team that journeyed all the way from the European Minors, ENCE fought against all odds to make it to the Grand Finals, with some of their members appearing in their first ever CS:GO. To say that no one expected this is only fitting. After all, outside of a title win at StarSeries & I-League Season 6 back in October 2018, ENCE have not had much to show. However, at IEM Katowice 2019, against the giants of the CS:GO scene, ENCE proved to everyone that they will not back down; that chemistry, cohesion, and tactical prowess trumps individual skill and brilliance any day.That ENCE fought off elimination after initially going 0-2 during the New Legends Stage only made the narrative surrounding their run even stronger. Resilient doesn’t even begin to describe the tenacity that ENCE showed as they took out BIG, G2 Esports, and AVANGAR in best-of-threes to advance to the playoffs stage. But they weren’t done yet. Matched up against Team Liquid, and then Natus Vincere, who are both considered to be the best CS:GO teams in the world outside of Astralis, the underdogs played their hearts out and made it through arguably the toughest slate of the playoffs stage to secure a grand finals berth. ENCE’s run at IEM Katowice 2019 may not have ended with them lifting the trophy, but it should be more than enough to give them a huge confidence boost and be a lot more successful going forward.
Astralis Authenticates their Legacy
Astralis had already been considered as one of the best CS:GO teams of all time prior to IEM Katowice 2019. They could’ve lost the tournament for some unlikely reason and they still would’ve had their place in the pantheon of CS:GO teams. However, for Astralis, it seems that their goal is much higher than everyone’s expectations. IEM Katowice 2019 didn’t just deliver – it exceeded all expectations.