G2 esports claims IEM Katowice 2023 trophy
The grand final of the IEM Katowice 2023 came to an exciting conclusion on Sunday as G2 Esports emerged victorious and secured the $400,000 prize with a 19-map win streak.
The victory was a chance at atonement for G2, who finished in second place after losing 3-0 to FaZe Clan at last year’s Katowice tournament.
Some members of G2 view the triumph as historic. Nikola “NiKo” Kovač had previously lost three consecutive championship matches at this venue in 2017, 2018 and 2022.
“I’ve been really patient. I’ve been in many finals, always losing. I guess you just have to believe in yourself and keep working,” NiKo said.
Justin “jks” Savage played a crucial part in both G2’s victory this year and FaZe Clan’s victory last year. With his second straight victory at IEM Katowice, jks made history by becoming the first player to win the tournament with two different teams.
G2 defeats Heroic in grand finals
The grand finals featured two of the best CS:GO teams of 2022 — G2, the champion of the BLAST Premier World Final late last year, and Heroic, the runner-up of the 2022 IEM Rio Major.
Heroic had been showing outstanding performance in Katowice. The team lost the first map of the tournament to Complexity but won the next three. To get to the finals, Heroic had to beat teams like OG, Vitality and NAVI.
Heroic was also armed with a formidable roster, comprising Casper “cadiaN” Møller, Martin “stavn” Lund, René “TeSeS” Madsen and Jakob “Jabbi” Nygaard.
Despite Heroic’s excellent form, G2’s winning streak was unstoppable. G2’s current success can be attributed to its outstanding roster, including players like Rasmus “HooXi” Nielsen and jks.
There were also Nemanja “huNter-” Kovač with 0.73 kills per round in the last three months, NiKo with 53.8 percent headshot percentage and 17-year-old Ilya “m0NESY” Osipov, who racked 6,748 total kills.
G2 almost sweeps Heroic
The match-up between G2 and Heroic had plenty of excitement, as both G2 and Heroic had been dominating the tournament.
When G2 picked Nuke, they probably expected to get more attack working than they had been getting, as the team had been consistently scoring at around 10 or 12 on the same map. With the switch, they were almost flawless, and even though Heroic put up a valiant fight, G2 won 16-12.
Heroic’s could have won their first pick, Mirage. They were up 8-1 on their T-side, but they were eventually only able to get nine attacks on the board. G2’s offense was just too much for the Norwegian team to handle.
The Danish team was led by cadiaN as he put up a massive amount of kills – 25 – while stavn had the highest average damage per round. G2 got away with a narrow 16-13 triumph.
Heroic made a commendable effort on Inferno despite widespread speculation that G2 would sweep the series. Although starting strong on defense, they let in several rounds in the latter minutes, resulting in a score of 8-7.
On the offensive, however, they were able to harness their full potential, winning 8 of 12 rounds and the map by a score of 16-11. In an unexpected turn of events, m0NESY ended up at the bottom of the table. Shutting down m0NESY allowed Heroic to win.
As Ancient rolled around, some began questioning whether Heroic could reclaim its once-proud moniker. Unfortunately, they were up against opponents whose defense was so solid. G2 put nine points on the board, while their offense was so potent that they only allowed Heroic one round in return for seven. The Danes were outclassed with a score of 16-7 – reminiscent of their loss in the Rio Major’s last map.
“In the first two rounds, we had opportunities we should’ve capitalized,” cadiaN said. “This result shows what kind of mentality they have. They deserve this.”
G2’s victory ensures the team a spot in the upcoming IEM Cologne tournament, with a $1,000,000 prize pool in July this year. If the squad wins IEM Cologne, it will secure G2 a spot at IEM Katowice 2024.