FaZe secure last IEM Katowice invite as mousesports lose DHM Winter final
Finn "karrigan" Andersen's side will be eyeing one of the wildcard spots to compete in the Play-In stage of the Polish event.
FaZe received the final invitation to IEM Katowice 2021's main tournament on Sunday following mousesports' runner-up finish in DreamHack Masters Winter Europe. FaZe's qualification via the Road to Katowice ranking — which connects the ESL and DreamHack tournaments that are part of the ESL Pro Tour — hinged on the outcome of that final as they would have been pipped to the spot by karrigan's troops if they had managed to beat Astralis in the final.
But it wasn't just FaZe who breathed a sigh of relief as Astralis ran out 3-1 winners in a nailbiting final that lasted over five hours: OG would have dropped out of the qualification zone if mousesports had won the tournament and pushed FaZe to the Play-In. In the end, OG edged out mousesports in the Road to Katowice ranking by just 0.50 points.
mousesports are still expected to make the Play-In — a last-chance qualifier with 16 teams and eight spots on offer — as six of the remaining seven places should be determined by ESL's world ranking. mousesports are ranked eighth in the world by ESL following the latest daily update, with BIG being the only team ranked above them who still don't have a spot in either the main tournament or the Play-In.
IEM Katowice 2021 will run from February 16-28, with the Play-In tournament being held during the first two days of the event, according to the new double-weekend format that ESL will implement from 2021 onwards. Both the Play-In and the main tournament's group stage are expected to be played from the new ESL Pro Tour studio, but it's still unclear whether the playoff matches will be held at the Spodek Arena.
Below you can find the current team list for IEM Katowice 2021: