IEM Katowice 2021 Playoffs – The rise of the CIS

The IEM Katowice 2021 Playoffs are right around the corner. Six teams remain in one of the biggest tournaments of the year. The Playoffs section of IEM Katowice is typically reserved the strongest of Europe, the CIS and NA. However, the 2021 edition of the event is seeing the overwhelming presence of the CIS teams. Let us take a look at the journey of the Playoff teams and what it means moving forward.

The CIS dominate

Just before the event, we at Dart Frog mentioned that the CIS teams really have the potential to upset this event. Lo and behold this is exactly what happened. The four CIS team all made it to the Playoffs, with Team Spirit being the team to earn a direct seed into the semi-finals.

The four teams all had interesting runs through the Group Stages, with theoretically surprise upsets all over the place. We know for a fact that these teams certainly had the potential to go far. The likes of Gambit and Virtus Pro have attended events throughout last year getting wins over some of Europe’s and NA’s best. On the other hand, Team Spirit and Na’Vi have been at each other throats for the majority of 2020 in the CIS regional brackets.

The Lower Bracket CIS teams

Gambit Esports started off slow, losing 0-2 to EG in the first round. However, they went on to win their Lower Bracket group. They beat mousesports, Heroic, and G2 Esports in the Lower Bracket. G2 and mousesports all fell 2-0 the former youngsters. while Heroic gave them a good showing ina 2-1 series. Arguably, mousesports and G2 were not as big, since both these teams have issues. But the Heroic series was certainly a valid upset.

not bad, king

Moving on, Virtus.Pro was in the same spot. They too had to make a Lower Bracket Round One run in Group B. VP started off with a loss to CIS supreme team oof NaVi. The roster then crawled it back with a 2-0 win over NiP and surprisingly Team Vitality, before taking down FURIA and making it to the Playoffs.

The Upper CIS

The number one dog in Na’Vi has a good run through the Group Stages, only losing to Team Liquid in the Upper Bracket Final. Na’Vi performed very well against VP, with a very similar result vs FURIA. The only time Na’Vi was really challenged was against Team Liquid, with the third map going to overtime before Team Liquid won the series.

Meanwhile, Team Spirit performed exceptionally well. TS started off very competitive vs G2 Esports. A 2-1 series was the result, with the Team Spirit victories being fairly close. The same story could be told for Heroic with 16-12 and 16-14 map results. Although, the real surprise was the Astralis series. The roster continued their narrative, until the final map of the Upper Bracket of Group A. The result was a near 16-0 for Team Spirit, with Astralis only clutching the pistol round to make it a 16-1 map. The result is actually incredible.

If only this moment was on LAN
An appropriate meme

What’s Next

IEM Katowice 2021 Playoffs commences on February 26t with the Quarter Finals. Natus Vincere faces off against fellow CIS team Gambit, with Astralis battling on the other side of the bracket. The winners of Na’Vi and Gambit will then advance to face off against Team Spirit, with Team Liquid awaiting the other series.

Regardless of the outcome, there will be at least one CIS team in the Finals, which is certainly something to shout home about. We look forward to seeing the action unfold in the IEM Katowice 2021 Playoffs.

Will the dream come true?

Stay tuned to Dartfrog for all the latest news and analysis on CS:GO and follow us on our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitch.  Image via ESL Gaming.

Call of Duty

2020 CDL Playoffs: A closer look at the teams competing

The finale of the CDL season is just under two weeks away. With the CDL playoffs bracket all set, let’s take a look at which teams stand the best chance of taking home the ultimate prize – the CDL Championship.

Atlanta FaZe

Atlanta FaZe proved their dominance from the outset as they won their home series back in February. The young squad racked up an impressive 280 CDL points this year, placing them at the top of the standings. Being the number one seed, Atlanta FaZe will only have to win two games to make it to the final. With their strong form this season and impressive individual talent, it will take some doing to stop this lot taking home the trophy.

Player to watch: Cellium

Chicago Huntsmen

The Huntsmen came out victorious in the first proper home series of the season, CDL London. On paper, Chicago looked to be favourites to take the league by storm and take number one seed. However, due to some dips in form and a slight roster change, Huntsmen are placed in joint third with 230 CDL points. They will need to win four games to make it to the final, and if they turn up, the chances are you’ll be seeing them on Championship Sunday.

Player to watch: Prestinni

Dallas Empire

Second seed, Dallas Empire, start their playoff run in the same position as FaZe. They will only need to win two games to make it to the final after earning a total of 260 CDL points. The boys on Dallas won three events this year and seem to be going from strength to strength. As they start in a strong position, it’s hard to imagine them not going all the way to the final.

Player to watch: Shotzzy

Florida Mutineers

In a late run of form, Florida Mutineers won three events this season. They sit in third place in the standings, needing to win three games to make it to the championship final. With a heap of raw talent throughout the squad, Florida are definitely ones to look out for in playoffs.

Player to watch: Skyz

London Royal Ravens

The Royal Ravens have had quite the up and down season. One event they seemed the best in the game and the next the complete opposite. They finished the 2020 season in sixth place with 120 CDL points. This places them in winners bracket for playoffs where they will face Toronto Ultra in round one. After coming so close in regular season, it will be interesting to see if they can finally clutch up when it matters most.

Player to watch: Wuskin

Los Angeles Guerillas

Los Angeles Guerillas were a team with so much potential yet nothing to show for it. They placed rock bottom of the standings giving them the twelfth seed in the playoff bracket. Guerillas will start in the losers bracket and will have the toughest run in the playoffs as a result of their poor regular season performance. However, anything can happen at CoD Champs and a surprise run for the Guerillas might not be as impossible as it seems.

Player to watch: Decemate

Los Angeles OpTic Gaming

OpTic Gaming proved to be the better team in Los Angeles but also underperformed massively. They finished the season in ninth place with 100 CDL points and will start in the losers bracket in playoffs. After two huge roster changes, OpTic Gaming still haven’t found their groove. Although they face the hardest route to the final, they have a good chance of making it far in the bracket.

Player to watch: Slasher

Minnesota Rokkr

Minnesota are among three teams that sit on 120 CDL points. This places them in the winners bracket for playoffs, which gives them a much better chance of making a run. Minnesota have proved at times that they can outperform most teams in the league. They have a solid team consisting of Alexx, Asim, Assault, Exceed and SiLLY. Facing New York Subliners in the first round, they will look to cause some upsets later in the bracket.

Player to watch: Asim

New York Subliners

New York Subliners fought their way to fifth place in the standings after earning 140 CDL points throughout the season. They managed to win their home series event which gave them the boost they needed to secure a winners bracket position heading into playoffs. With their form being up and down through the year, we may see New York cause chaos or blow out early.

Player to watch: Mack

Paris Legion

Despite a couple of higher placings, Paris Legion finished in tenth place with 100 CDL points. They will start their playoff journey in the losers bracket meaning they must remain unbeaten if they wish to stand a chance. The player quality is certainly not lacking in the Paris roster, however, they need to find some team synergy in order to really pack a punch at playoffs.

Player to watch: Louqa

Seattle Surge

Seattle had all the makings of a top three team at the start of the year. The three time world champion, Karma, was on their side, however, the squad just couldn’t find their form. Surge placed joint last in the standings and will have a difficult run in playoffs. It is hard to see them doing well with their current run of form.

Toronto Ultra

Toronto Ultra will start in winners bracket and face the Royal Ravens in round one. After winning the final home series of the season, they will look to continue their good form into playoffs and cause some upsets. As champs will be played online for the first time ever, anything could happen. Players may be unhappy with the online format, but we will undoubtedly see some outstanding Call of Duty.

Player to watch: CleanX

Who do you think will be crowned CDL champions?

Let us know! Follow Dartfrog for all the latest Call of Duty news and analysis on our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitch.