The biggest event in February is on its way, and the teams competing there are currently preparing through scrims and team outings. Some of the teams that have already secured their places in the IEM Katowice decided to take a part in the iBUYPOWER Masters IV. It will be a great chance for elite teams to see where they stand currently. Here’s a preview of the tournament.
iBUYPOWER Masters IV
As mentioned, the iBUYPOWER Masters IV will be the first real competition in 2019. We will see six out of eight teams competing for the first time this year. According to results from this tournament, we will be able to form an image of the current situation for the top teams. Moreover, this tournament is very important for IEM Katowice 2019 predictions.
Recently we found out how the group will look like, and who will be part of initial matches. All teams surely came to iBUYPOWER Masters IV prepared and eager to begin the new season. Some of them had a pretty interesting ways of preparation, like Astralis. Namely, their players were preparing for the new season in military boot camp.
Format and rules
The format and rules of the tournament are very clear and simple. The tournament has two double-elimination format groups. Every match in Group Stage is Best of 1, and the top two teams advance further. In Playoff, we have single-elimination bracket, and matches are best of 3. The prize pool is $200,000, and the winner gets half of that.
- Also read: Astralis Dominance Explained [CS:GO]
Group A: How will Astralis step in the new year?
Alongside Astralis, in Group A are Fnatic, Cloud9, and compLexity. However, fans are most interested in the way Astralis will start the new season. It is indeed very interesting how will Danes perform after such a dominant year. As well, they will carry huge pressure on their shoulders, considering they are going to be main favorites at all events. Basically, anything other than a title will be a failure for the Danish team.
As mentioned, they prepared for the new season very interestingly. Training at military boot camp, not only in gameplay way but physical as well, can be really beneficial for them. But only time will tell how that will affect them. They will come in a new year in a match against compLexity, so let’s take a look at this North American team.
If you look at their last year results, you will get the impression they played only Qualifiers. They actually played only 12 main events and much more Qualifiers. All in all, it wasn’t a satisfactory season for compLexity. Nevertheless, they won one tournament and finished 5th place at the FACEIT Major in London 2018, which created a free place for them in IEM Katowice. However, they are underdogs in this group, and it’s very unlikely they’ll do something notable here.
In the other match, we are going to see a duel between Fnatic and Cloud9. Cloud9 didn’t have any special preparation, given that they were practicing at Red Bull headquarters. Both Fnatic and Cloud9 had a great start of the year. Moreover, both teams didn’t manage to do anything quite significant finishing off last year. However, while Fnatic had some great moments and success finishing season with a title, Cloud9 pretty wasn’t able to do much throughout the rest of the year. At the end of previous year, Cloud9 signed Zellsis on trial in place of Golden. Therefore, we will have a chance to see how things work in the new Cloud9 squad. Finally, Fnatic has more of a chance of advancing in Semis than the American team given they have had more success with the team in their current roster than Cloud9.
Group B: How will roster changes affect FaZe’s game?
We can consider Group B to be not as strong as Group A. At the end of the day, any Group that has Astralis within is most likely stronger than others. Alongside FaZe, there’s Team Liquid, Luminosity, and Ghost. Luminosity and Ghost actually didn’t succeed in qualifying for IEM Katowice, so iBUYPOWER Masters IV is their chance to improve their overall impression. As well, there is a big chance they will face each other in an Elimination match, considering Team Liquid is the favorites against Luminosity, and bets are on FaZe’s side against Ghost.
Our first games with the new-look lineup will take place at the iBUYPOWER Masters in Los Angeles, California from January 19th-20th.
— FaZe Clan (@FaZeClan) January 6, 2019
As mentioned, FaZe made several changes in the off-season, and iBUYPOWER Masters IV is the perfect chance for us to see how they will affect FaZe’s gameplay. First of all, the European team parted ways with their coach RobbaN and signed former MiBR coach, Janko “YNk” Paunović from Serbia. There were strong speculations about former Gambit’s player, AdreN joining FaZe, and actually, they turned out to be correct.
On the same day when YNk joined FaZe, AdreN stood-in for the European team, and will stay there to the end of IEM Katowice. FaZe dropped down the CS:GO ranking list due to bad results at the end of 2018. They will be very motivated to achieve something big at the event. On the other side, Team Liquid will have something to say about the name of the winner too. They hope they can finally get revenge against Astralis, and the NA team will look for first win against the Danish team after a long time.