IEM Katowice groups, opening match-ups announced
Action will resume on Thursday with the first matches of the double-elimination group stage.
ESL has unveiled the groups for the main stage of IEM Katowice 2021. The 16 competitors - eight invited and eight coming out of the Play-In stage - have been split into two double-elimination groups, in which every match will be played in a best-of-three format.
The group draw has thrown up a number of interesting opening fixtures, especially in Group B, where FaZe and Liquid will face each other for the third time in the space of a week, now with Finn "karrigan" Andersen leading the European team. The group will also feature a mouth-watering CIS derby between Natus Vincere and Virtus.pro in the only first-round clash between two top-five sides.
In Group A, Astralis will be taking on mousesports, who booked the final spot in the main stage after beating Complexity in a three-map affair. G2 and Evil Geniuses face tricky clashes against CIS pair Spirit and Gambit, while BIG will go up against Heroic in a match between two sides separated by just two places in the world rankings.
Below you can find the match-ups for the first round of the group stage:
Thursday, February 18:
Friday, February 19:
The 16 teams will duke it out over the next four days for the chance to reach the playoffs, which will be held between February 26-28. The group winners will advance straight to the semi-finals, while the runners-up and the third-placed sides will move on to the first round of the bracket.