IEM Katowice Play-In Bracket Set


Spencer Smith, Writer

The Play-In Stage for IEM Katowice 2022 is finally set and ready to be played. This stage will be the first time IEM Katowice will be held on LAN since 2020, as the 2021 edition of the tournament had to be moved online. The first matches of the double-elimination bracket will take place during the 16-team Play-In Stage on February 15th and 16th, featuring the likes of NIP, Astralis, and fnatic. During the two days of which the Play-In Stage will take place, two rounds of upper bracket play which will see four teams go through. Two more rounds of lower bracket play in which the remaining four survivors will successfully punch their ticket into the Spodek Arena in Katowice, Poland will be played as well. 

The opening round of the Play-In Stage will consist of only best-of-ones until the best-of-threes kick in later during the deciding matches in order to determine who will qualify and who will be eliminated from the event. The opening matches are as follows: NIP vs. Wisla Krakow, Copenhagen Flames vs. fnatic, GODSENT vs. MOUZ, Sprout vs. FaZe, OG vs Renegades, ENCE vs. Entropiq, Complexity vs. BIG, and Astralis vs. MIBR. IEM Katowice will not be held as a major this year, but the tournament will still hold immense significance in terms of Circuit Points for both the ESL Pro Tour, BLAST Premier, as well as the Intel Grand Slam circuit. The event is set to be hosted within the Spodek Arena, ultimately from February 15th until February 27th. The format for the tournament will consist of the Play-In, Group Stage, and Playoffs.  

Coming into the tournament, there is no clear answer as to who will ultimately take the trophy at the end. There have been up and down performances from each and every roster that looks capable of performing within the tournament lately. Before these performances, Natus Vincere and G2 Esports were considered the strongest teams, now they each hold the number 1 and 4 spots on the’s World Ranking list respectively. There is really no determining who is a favorite to win this tournament, as the line between those who have risen up and upset the recently established giants and the giants themselves is very thin. Perhaps we can have more of an identifiable idea of who could possibly win this tournament whenever the Play-In Stage begins on February 15th.