“I would like to challenge you to make this event more loud and more legendary than it has ever been before!” This was the call to the fans packed in the iconic Spodek Arena from ESL’s Michal “CARMAC” Blicharz during the spectacular opening ceremony for Intel Extreme Masters in Katowice, Poland. Let’s look at some of the highlights from the day’s matchups.
Quarter Final One: Faze Clan vs Cloud 9Overpass
The first match would be a replay of the recent Major Final. The European All Stars of Faze Clan comprehensively crushed Major Champions and crowd favourites Cloud 9. The 16 - 5 scoreline proving the folly of picking Overpass into Faze who are one of the world’s best on the map. This ace B site hold from Nikola “NiKo” Kovač shows just how much punishment Cloud 9 were taking: Cache Moving over to Faze’s pick Cache, it seemed like a clean 2 - 0 was on the cards. Faze were up 10 - 5 after their Terrorist half and in a commanding position. Cloud 9 however had other ideas. At 12 - 5, on a low economy buy they were able to overwhelm the A site defence and get the comeback underway. Eventually, Could 9 were able to close it out 13 - 16 as Faze seemed to crumble under the American assault. In the first pistol round, in game leader Tarik “tarik” Celik pulled off a great 4K on B site defence: Inferno The classic third map from the Major Final would be the replayed as the decider for this series that was starting to heat up. Heat up it in the Katowice cold it did as they eventually went to overtime. The double overtimes that ensued would ensure that this will be remembered as another all-time great match. The highlight rounds just kept coming as both sides gave it everything. Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham’s magnificent 3v1 clutch came right after a two previous similarly Herculean clutch efforts from his teammates and seemed to seal the victory: Faze kept themselves alive in the game with Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovács bringing it back in similar style in the second half of overtime, while NiKo contributed with another ace. With the second overtime underway, Faze started to take control and were finally able secure an epic win 22 - 20, and with it, the series 2 - 1. Legendary indeed.
Quarter Final Two: Team Liquid vs Ninjas in PajamasOverpass
NIP put together an excellent Terrorist half on their map pick and looked set to take the match. Liquid were having none of it and played an even better T side to clinch the match 16 - 13. Here, Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund picked up an impressive 3K on B site defence. This forced Keith “NAF” Markovic to display some tremendous clutch abilities to win the 3v1, late in the game while on low health: Mirage With their map pick going to their opponents, NIP returned the favour on Liquid’s map. Their sniper William “draken” Sundin had a particularly good time of it, claiming 30 kills in the closely-fought 13 - 16 victory. Inferno Another series decider on Inferno, but this time it wasn’t all that close in the end. The first half stayed tight, but in the second Liquid opened the taps and triumphed 16 - 9 to take the series 2 - 1. New in-game leader for the Ninjas delivered what was the highlight of the match with this CT side ace: Day two of the IEM Katowice Playoffs continues at 2pm GMT. Watch on the official Twitch stream.