Six CS:GO teams are left in the running for the IEM Katowice 2023 trophy, but only one of them stands out as the clear favorite: G2 Esports.
Over the last couple of weeks, the European superteam has been playing near-perfect CS:GO, displaying exceptional individual mechanics, confidence, and strategies. When combined, these factors make it difficult for G2's opponents to win a map against them, let alone a series.
G2's record is backed up by some impressive feats. Rasmus "HooXi" Nielsen and his men are currently on a 17-map win run, including their last defeat against FaZe Clan in the BLAST Premier World Final 2022.
G2 have not only won twice against FaZe, but also defeated some other big names in CS:GO, including Vitality, Liquid, BIG (twice), and Natus Vincere (three times). They have only lost one map against the former.
The European team won a place directly in the IEM Katowice 2023 semifinals, and it's difficult to predict anyone beating them in the race for the trophy. Here are just a few reasons.
G2 players are increasing.
With a lineup of G2, of the same caliber, one should always expect to see the individuals perform at a high level under immense pressure. In the last two months, though, they have accomplished more than that.
Ilya "m0NESY" Osipov" and Nikola "NiKo" Kova" have been bringing their A-game lately. According to HLTV, the latter was the best player in BLAST Premier Spring Groups 2023 with a 1.48 rating, and the young AWPer came in ninth place with a 1.16 rating.
Justin "jks" Savage is the third-best player in the IEM Katowice 2023 group stage with a 1.30 rating. And even their IGL HooXi has a decent rating with a 0.99 score, similar to star players like Emil "Magisk" Reif (0.97) and Lotan "Spinx" Giladi (1.01).
G2 players have been solid across many tournaments in the last month, and that's a fact, not an opinion. Only they can be their own greatest adversaries if they get too self-aware.
They have their head in the correct place.
Despite the fact that the players have been constantly underlining that they take things step by step and keep it cool, G2 does not appear to be overconfident.
After G2's recent victory against NAVI, huNter- said in a post-game interview that he is aware that [overconfidence] can be dangerous.... Step by step, game by game, we are only thinking about the next opponent.
huNter- pointed out that G2 is aware of being the world's strongest team right now, and that every other team will be aiming to undermine them. And when it comes to staying in the top position and securing medals, having that self-awareness and being cautious when approaching their next opponents are crucial to staying in that position.
G2 is still able to execute confidently in round 20 against NAVI during IEM Katowice 2023. Despite having a comfortable 12-7 lead, they bravely took control of the lobby on Nuke's CT side just 10 seconds into the round. It was a clear demonstration of G2's individual skill and the strategies they had planned.
The superstars of G2 outperform other well-known players.
Several of CS:GO's greatest stories are inspired by exceptional individual performances. You can have a team that excels across the board and has its head in the right place, but lose due to a single enemy's brilliance. Well, that doesn't appear to be the case here since G2's superstars are also outperforming the competition.
According to HLTV, their AWPer m0NESY has already made some incredible plays in Katowice. During Inferno against NAVI, he secured a one-vs-two clutch on B site defense, which sealed the map for G2. More importantly, m0NESY won all 13 matches against the G.O.A.T. of CS:GO, s1mple.
No team has won the tournament in ten years without losing a single map. With their performances so far in Poland, though, G2 might very well make history as the first roster to do so. If that were to happen, jks would also become the first player to win the event back-to-back since he won with FaZe Clan last year.
Any of the other five teams that will compete in the Spodek Arena have the ability to defeat G2, although Heroic is the only one of the five teams left who hasn't lost to G2 since the latter's defeat to FaZe in December. So if there is a final nemesis on G2's way to IEM Katowice 2023's trophy, it's them.
IEM Katowice 2023 will resume on Friday, February 10 with the quarterfinals. G2 will face the winner of the Liquid vs. Vitality matchup on Saturday, February 11.