A lot of articles showed up about “Power rankings” for IEM Katowice that are based on team`s performances lately. The reason i don`t agree with those power rankings is because of IEM Katowice best of 1 model. Best of 1 is very specific model because it doesn`t give any counterplay – team can pull of a new strategy, some other team might have a bad game, but biggest issue with Bo1 is that teams play only 1 side instead of 2. That can be a problem because some teams are stronger on blue and weaker on red side and if they play only blue side they will be always stronger, if this was Bo3 then they would also had to win on red weaker side and that would be fair enough. But lets get back to our groups and match predictions.
Cloud 9 vs GE Tigers – GE Tigers hold 1st position in LCK and currently they are best team in the world. They are on 10 games winning streak and with how strong they are atm, i don`t see them giving away any game. Cloud 9 is 3rd in NA LCS. With veteran players and strong team synergy, they will be a strong opponent in Katowice, but not to GE Tigers. In this match up, winner will be GE Tigers without any doubt.
SK Gaming vs Yoe Flash Wolves – SK Gaming is currently first in EU LCS. With strong players like Forg1ven and their aggressive play style, they are looking very strong coming into this tournament. Yoe Flash Wolves are currently first in LMS. Even tho they came back from 0-2 in grand finals against TPA and won 3-2, i don`t see them going to semifinals. They are going against best EU team that has a lot of veteran players plus the pressure from the audience since they will be supporting EU teams. In this match up, i`m going for SK Gaming.
Winners: GE Tigers vs SK Gaming – without any doubt GE is taking victory here for same reasons as in C9 vs GE.
Losers: Cloud 9 vs Yoe Flash Wolves – With Cloud 9 recent performance, i don`t see them losing to YFW.
SK Gaming vs Cloud 9 – Now this will be interesting matchup and i must favorite Cloud 9 for this matchup. The reason is that C9 is strategically a lot stronger then SK and their vision control is their key to success, while SK is having a lot of trouble with having a good vision control.
I expect GE Tigers and Cloud 9 to proceed to semifinals.
Gambit Gaming vs CJ Entus – A battle of old teams, with some new players. Unfortunately we won`t see again old good matches between this 2 teams since we lack Darien, Genja and Alex Ich, but maybe Coabochard, Betsy and P1noy can repeat the history, who knows. In this match up i must go with CJ Entus. Even if i like Gambit`s lineup, they have good coach and were showing some very good results lately, CJ comes to Katowice as third place from the strongest region and with old veterans like Madlife and Ambition against new blood, i don`t see them not winning this. What i`m looking forward in this match up is Diamond vs Ambition, a matchup that we already saw in 2013, when the two met at Season VII`s IEM Finals.
Team SoloMid vs Team WE – This is a tricky one. Team SoloMid is first in NA LCS and are very strong right now. Team World Elite is last in LPL and they don`t look so strong. Why is this tricky, because it is best of 1 and WE is coming with different roster that can pull something unexpected and surprise TSM. Other then that, this should be easy pickup for TSM.
Winners: CJ Entus vs TSM – Not a lot things to say, best of 1 is going to Korean power house.
Losers: Gambit Gaming vs Team WE – This should be in favorite of Gambit, but it will heavily depend on how much WE will shut down Betsy since he is new blood, doesn`t have a lot of international experience so i think this one will be decided by him. But i`m going with Gambit in other scenarios.
TSM vs Gambit – This will be very exciting match up and there will be a lot of pressure on Betsy and i expect TSM to pick up Zed for Bjergsen just so he could make plays and shutdown Betsy. Another point that will be important is Diamond, because he have potential to solo carry and is very dangerous on some champions. I have no predictions for this one, but since i`m fan of Gambit i`ll go with them in this matchup.
Whatever results are, i wish good luck to all teams and hope we will have some exciting matches to watch.