There were more than 1.1 million pairs of eyes glued to the final stages of the IEM Katowice CSGO event this weekend. In one of the most dramatic battles we’ve seen in recent years, FaZe Clan stormed ahead of the competition to secure the grand prize at the IEM Katowice event. This marks the first time in the ten-year history of the tournament that FaZe Clan has secured the top spot. It was a moment celebrated by fans around the world, including many professional players throughout the esports industry.
There are few tournaments more important to the CSGO esports ecosystem than the IEM events. It was the perfect end to an already star-studded tournament, even if it didn’t play out as some fans may have predicted. As we entered this tournament, Natus Vincere was the favourite where CSGO betting was concerned, but the legendary team walked away with fourth place.
Let’s break down this intense, exhilarating event.
From Strength to Strength
FaZe entered the IEM Katowice event determined to win – that much was obvious. From the moment the Group Stage kicked off, FaZe was a dominant force, effectively dispatching Team Liquid and Fnatic, before putting up one hell of a fight against Natus Vincere. While a loss was handed to FaZe by the legendary Russian side, it wasn’t enough to keep the former team out of the Playoffs. As that stage opened up, FaZe once again proved its dominance, kicking Gambit and Heroic from the competition.
And then, the grand final of the IEM Katowice tournament approached, with more than 1.1 million people tuning in. It was to be a battle between giants – FaZe Clan vs. G2 Esports, the latter of which had just ejected Natus Vincere from the tournament. It was a showstopper final that saw FaZe sweep G2 3 – 0, picking up a massive $400k prize. On the second map, Mirage, both of these teams gave it their all, desperately persisting through a 50-round game.
By the time the dust (II) had settled, FaZe stood triumphant, with the players bearing clear signs of their jubilation:
The Only Way is Up
It doesn’t end with IEM Katowice, of course. While FaZe Clan has landed a decisive victory, there’s still plenty left to play for. Between the 31st of May and the 5th of June 2022, we’ll see the IEM Dallas event play out. While this is a lower-profile tournament to the IEM Katowice event, there’s still plenty on the line and more esports betting opportunities than you can shake a stick at.
Before that, we’ve got the ESL Pro League Season 15, which starts on the 9th of March. This all-important event gives way to the BLAST World Final and carries with it a hefty prize pool of $823k. At present, it’s FaZe Clan that sits atop the League table, closely followed by G2 Esports. There’s a tense roadmap ahead, and CSGO esports in 2022 are destined to get much bigger, better, and more popular.
However, while viewership is on the up, with 1.12m peak viewers tuning in to IEM Katowice pre-COVID records remain untouched. It was in 2019 that CSGO esports peaked, at least in terms of viewership, and we’re yet to see those pre-pandemic levels achieved. Could 2022’s CSGO tournaments calendar revive the scene?
We sure hope so.