Heading into Day 2 at IEM Katowice 2022, we have two perfect matches to set out some bets and thrill at quality CSGO.
On Day 1 we went 2 for 3 in our predictions. The “safest” of our bets in Gambit vs NiP came as a fluke, but the other two pulled through perfectly. Let’s see if we can keep the momentum going with two hot matches today.
Na’Vi vs ENCE
Na’Vi hit a rough patch in the Blast Premier Spring Groups. After devastatingly disappointing losses to MIBR and NIP, they pulled themselves together. A nicely rounded Bo3 win in a rematch against NIP was a good way to right the ship.
Now, they faceoff against an on and off again ENCE.
ENCE have been consistent in their matches against tier 2 and lower tier 1 teams. However, they have constantly come up short against good tier 1 challengers with this roster. They have map wins in their Bo3 losses, but they cannot seem to push over the hump.
The interesting aspects of this matchup will be two fold: Can Na’Vi get back to the form they were in before this last performance? If they can, discussions surrounding the Na’Vi era will continue. If not, this may be the final straw that sees the team crumble.
Na’Vi is a clear favorite in this matchup for one reason: It will be played on LAN. All of Na’Vi’s questionable performances have been when they are in online matches. ENCE will be a massive underdog coming into this match as Na’Vi will be looking for vengeance. Historically, this Na’Vi roster has responded to losses with dominant victories as soon as they step back into the arena.
Key not to take into consideration is the absence of Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhailov, who will be playing remotely from his room instead of the venue due to COViD. How this impacts NaVi’s performance remains to be seen, but do expect a closer match then usual.
Prediction: NaVi to win
FNATIC vs G2 Esports
This matchup should be a fun one. FNATIC’s new roster has been exciting to watch. Smooya adds a much needed AWP presence to this team as well as some fun personality. His outspoken nature and general passion for the game has made FNATIC a real contender. A rolling back of the years from Krimz has been a big deal as well. This roster is finally getting an opportunity to perform in a big event now having had time to refine their playstyle since the big changes.
G2 Esports are a fun team to watch right now as well. With m0nesy giving a performance that lives up to they hype at BLAST, he will have a true LAN showing here. After some clutches and great multi kills in his showing so far, it will be exciting to see what he can do on LAN. Additionally, Alexib seems to have adapted his style of IGL-ing in order to better suit NiKo. This team has the pieces in place to compete with the best of the best.
Expect FNATIC to edge out G2 in a very close series. Though G2 has the edge on paper, it seems like this match will come down to a battle between AWPers. Smooya’s style just makes me think that he will dominate m0nesy in this series. Smooya has more confidence and m0nesy will be making his debut on LAN. G2 still has NiKo to bail them out of situations, so expect it to be a very close series.
Prediction: Fnatic to win 2-1