G2 defeat BIG in IEM Katowice group stage opener
The European combine have now lost just one map in their previous eight matches.
G2 started the IEM Katowice group stage with a 2-0 victory over BIG, winning Anubis (16-12) and Inferno (16-8). The game was a rematch of their BLAST Spring Groups bout, with BIG this time opting to pick Anubis instead of Mirage as they look to make the newest addition to the map pool their home map.
G2 continue their amazing recent form into IEM Katowice, with the team winning BLAST World Final to end 2022 and looking dominant at BLAST Spring Groups to start off the year. Their individuals all had great games — Rasmus "HooXi" Nielsen was the lowest-rated player with a 1.13 rating, which showed the level of dominance by the European combine. Nikola "NiKo" Kovač and company will now move on to the upper bracket semi-finals and meet the winner of the FaZe vs. Spirit match.
BIG, who qualified for the group stage after wins against Complexity and FURIA in the Play-In stage, now drop down to the lower bracket where they will meet the loser of the aforementioned series.
G2 chose to start Anubis on the attack, where a pistol round ace by Justin "jks" Savage got them a 4-0 lead. BIG had a slow start and lost a round against a sub-optimal G2 forcebuy just as they started stringing rounds together. That allowed the European combine to steam away to a 7-3 lead as jks continued to find impact for his team. BIG did find a way to stop their opponents and made an impressive recovery towards the end of the half, getting five rounds in a row which meant they went into the second half one round ahead.
BIG doubled that advantage after winning the first pistol round only to lose to a G2 forcebuy straight away. The European combine won the early exchanges and retook the lead, finding themselves 11-9 up before the Germans mustered another full buy together. BIG were armed to the teeth with grenades that enabled their utility-heavy style and got back into the lead with three straight rounds, but G2 tied up the scores once again and it was none other than HooXi who stopped a quick B attack with a quad-kill on the AWP. That round turned the momentum and the European combine got five rounds in a row to end up 16-12 winners on their opponent's map pick.
Inferno was a completely different story from the first map, as G2 bullied BIG straight from the start. HooXi got his team going with a triple kill on the pistol and G2 looked a cut above their opponents, winning seven in a row before the Germans got their first. That round failed to spark a comeback, however, as G2's relentless Banana aggression netted them four more rounds to go up 11-1. BIG did make the scoreline slightly more respectable after two round win near the end and a 1vs1 clutch by Nils "k1to" Gruhne put the halftime scoreline at 12-3.
G2's confidence continued to balloon in the second half as Nemanja "huNter-" Kovač led a Middle push that extended his team's streak of either winning a pistol round or the following forcebuy to 23 in a row. BIG's first gun round victory prolonged the inevitable and got them a few more rounds on the board, a feat slightly helped by G2's unorthodox economic decisions as well. Johannes "tabseN" Wodarz and company got up to eight rounds before huNter- found two kills on the CZ-75 that turned an eco round in G2's favor to sit on seven match point. They needed just one, however, as they closed out Inferno 16-8 to begin IEM Katowice with an outright victory.
|G2||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|38 - 28||+10||76.8||1.25|
|37 - 35||+2||88.7||1.23|
|41 - 30||+11||76.7||1.21|
|38 - 27||+11||75.8||1.14|
|34 - 36||-2||72.2||1.13|
|BIG||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|36 - 31||+5||67.8||1.10|
|33 - 36||-3||65.7||0.92|
|31 - 45||-14||75.2||0.88|
|30 - 38||-8||61.4||0.84|
|26 - 39||-13||64.8||0.80|