IEM Katowice 2021 Playoffs Top Picks and Predictions

Posted on February 25, 2021 - Last Updated on September 3, 2021

IEM Katowice 2021 has been one hell of a ride so far featuring many upsets, and a rarely ever-seen Cinderella story in the CS:GO scene. With the likes of Team Vitality, BIG, and G2 Esports out of the picture early, it is the CIS teams that have dominated the biggest CS:GO event of the year.

Team Spirit has been the biggest surprise of the year thus far, defeating the likes of Cloud 9, BIG, G2 Esports, Heroic, and Astralis in their quest for the top. Team Liquid and Gambit Esports have turned many heads in their wake while Virtus Pro, Natus Vincere, and Astralis have continued with their winning ways.

Watch the IEM Katowice 2021 Playoffs Live!

Heading into the IEM Katowice Playoffs, we have a never-before-seen situation of four CIS teams, with the region’s ascent seemingly coming out of nowhere.

After winning their respective groups, both Spirit and Liquid have qualified directly for the Semifinals, while others will have to battle it out in the Quarterfinals.

Our predictions in this case will be updated accordingly as the matchups unfold.

Quarterfinals

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Natus Vincere vs. Gambit

Heading into the matchup, Na’Vi are the clearcut favorites. Although the team lost a nailbiter of a series against Liquid, Gambit is still a step below the North American squad currently.

Both the individual talent and map pool depth are on the side of Na’Vi, and the only way Gambit can pull through is if s1mple has a bad day. Both teams have similar weak spots, with their lowest-performing map being Overpass, leaving little to no wiggle room for Gambit.

Expect this series to be a one-sided affair going Na’Vi’s way.

Prediction: Natus Vincere 2-0
Odds: 2.52
Betting Site: GG.bet

Astralis vs. Virtus Pro

Again, we have two teams that employ a similar playstyle revolved around teamwork rather than individual potential. Virtus Pro had a tougher route to the Playoffs, battling it out through the gauntlet of the Lower Bracket in Group B. Astralis on the other hand is the better side, and will have a tough battle against the surging Virtus Pro squad.

Although Astralis did look shaken in their last map against Spirit, the Danes should have this one in the big just based on pedigree alone. But don’t expect Virtus Pro to go down without a fight, as this might easily turn into a three-map series.

Prediction: Total maps | Over 2.5 |
Odds: 1.87
Betting Site: GG.bet

Semifinals

The Quarterfinals once again proved how stacked and unpredictable IEM Katowice 2021 actually is, with both Gambit Esports and Virtus Pro managing to score upsets against Na’Vi and Astralis respectively.

Na’Vi had a tough opener on Overpass, and could not break Gambit’s CT hold, before completely crumbling on their own map pick Train. Gambit held the CT sides on both maps to near perfection, shutting down s1mple and not allowing Na’Vi to snowball. Sh1ro once again proved that his previous performances were not a fluke, as the Russian AWPer is looking like a prime MVP candidate for the event.

Astralis on the other hand played a tough series against Virtus Pro, with the Russian side ultimately emerging as the victors after three maps. For a big part of the match, it was all YEKINDAR, as the up-and-comer showed why he’s considered one of the brightest prospects in CS:GO, winning clutch after clutch to secure his team a spot in the Semifinals

Team Spirit vs. Gambit Esports

Heading into the Semifinals, this is definitely a more equal matchup than the odds say. Both teams have managed to achieve some monumental upsets, but employ a relatively different playstyle with Team Spirit focusing more on teamwork. Gambit’s chances will depend on how well sh1ro performs, but the IEM Katowice’s breakout player has still failed to let us down.

Team Spirit will be looking for their chances on Dust 2 and Inferno, while Overpass and Vertigo will likely remain as Gambit’s best options. Expect a three-match series heading into this matchup.

Prediction: Total maps | Over 2.5 |
Odds: 1.90
Betting Site: GG.bet

Team Liquid vs. Virtus Pro

Virtus Pro managed to knock out Astralis on the back of some huge plays by YEKINDAR. Although the team is not solely dependant on him, the young Latvian’s performance in this series will likely make it or break it for VP.

Surprisingly Liquid are the underdogs heading into the series, and despite playing under their new in-game leader for a short time, have proven just how dangerous they can be.

VP will likely be looking towards their proven Inferno and Overpass cocktail, but Liquid are no slouches on either one of those maps. Liquid will almost certainly turn to Vertigo, and if given the pick, are almost shoe-ins for the Grand Finals.

Prediction: Team Liquid 2:0
Odds: 4.38
Betting Site: GG.bet

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Admir Mujacic

An esport writer with a huge passion for Dota 2, CS:GO and basketball. Self-proclaimed number #1 J. Cole superfan.

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