ESL Challenger Katowice 2023: Highlights and Results

The ESL Challenger Katowice 2023, which took place from June 9 to June 11, was an important tournament in determining which team would qualify for the ESL Pro League Season 18. The winning team earned a prize of $50,000 and 1,000 BLAST Premier points, securing a ticket to the highly anticipated grand event on August 30.

Now let’s take a look at how this tournament unfolded.

The Group Stage of ESL Challenger Katowice 2023

The group stage of ESL Challenger Katowice 2023 followed a GSL format. The eight teams were divided into two groups, with two teams advancing from each group to the playoffs. The initial matches and winners’ matches are best-of-1, while all other matches will be best-of-3.

Here are the teams seeded into Group A:

  • Virtus.pro
  • ENCE
  • Party Astronauts
  • Bravado Gaming

Virtus .pro secured victories against Party Astronauts (Inferno 16:13) and ENCE (Mirage 19:17). ENCE, on the other hand, triumphed over Bravado (Nuke 16:11) and secured a 2:0 win against Party Astronauts (Ancient 16:13, Nuke 16:6).

And here are the teams seeded into Group B:

  • FORZE Esports
  • 9z Team
  • ECSTATIC
  • paiN Gaming

Group B’s top two teams are FORZE Esports and 9z Team. FORZE Esports started strong by defeating ECSTATIC (Overpass 16:12) and 9z Team (Mirage 16:11). The second advancing team, 9z Team, achieved victories against paiN Gaming (Nuke 16:7) and managed to secure a 2-1 win over ECSTATIC (Ancient 16:8, Anubis 13:16, and Nuke 16:14).

Here is Playoff Bracket:

Today is the final day of #ESLChallenger Katowice 2023

The winner will be decided in a single-elimination bracket featuring @virtuspro , @9zTeam , @forzegg , and @ENCE pic.twitter.com/2VX7NGG3Ap

— HLTV.org (@HLTVorg) June 11, 2023

Now let’s get to the most interesting part: the review of the Playoff Stage.

The Playoff Stage of ESL Challenger Katowice 2023

Only four teams competed for the grand prize, so the Playoff Bracket is split into the Semifinals and the Final. The teams that lose in the Semifinals will receive $10,000 and 375 BLAST Premier points, which may not be substantial, but it’s better than nothing.

Semifinals

The semifinals featured only two matches, which were crucial for the teams as they played to secure their spot in the final.

Virtus.pro vs 9z Team

The first match in the Semifinals was between VP and 9z Team.

Here’s the list of map selections and bans:

  • 9z removed Vertigo
  • Virtus.pro removed Nuke
  • 9z picked Ancient
  • Virtus.pro picked Inferno
  • 9z removed Anubis
  • Virtus.pro removed Mirage
  • Overpass was left over

Ancient

Despite 9z’s remarkable 75% win rate on Ancient, VP displayed solid gameplay, concluding the first half of the map with an 8:7 score. It was anticipated that the second half would also witness a competitive fight, but VP secured eight consecutive rounds and emerged victorious on the first map.

The pistol is secured by @9zTeam #ESLChallenger
📺 https://t.co/J1uicLL8p1
📺 https://t.co/FzbMiVr9vx pic.twitter.com/UwL72SFAFI

— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) June 11, 2023

OK @JAMEPAIN #ESLChallenger
📺 https://t.co/J1uicLL8p1
📺 https://t.co/FzbMiVr9vx pic.twitter.com/VhEYfxEQfO

— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) June 11, 2023

OK @virtuspro #ESLChallenger
📺 https://t.co/J1uicLL8p1
📺 https://t.co/FzbMiVr9vx pic.twitter.com/gbvW9JNmJN

— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) June 11, 2023

Inferno

The next map was Inferno, picked by Virtus.pro. They excel on this map and show their skills. Playing as the terrorists in the first half, the Russian team secured a solid 11:4 lead, which was a favorable outcome for the T-side.

After switching sides, 9z team couldn’t turn the tide. They lost the subsequent four rounds and conceded the victory to Virtus.pro.

The 3k spray down from @dgtcsgo #ESLChallenger
📺 https://t.co/J1uicLL8p1
📺 https://t.co/FzbMiVr9vx pic.twitter.com/kadSelrq1C

— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) June 11, 2023

IT COMES DOWN TO THE WIRE 😮😮 #ESLChallenger
📺 https://t.co/J1uicLL8p1
📺 https://t.co/FzbMiVr9vx pic.twitter.com/IBMSLV5Xji

— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) June 11, 2023

They make it a swift 2-0 as they close out Inferno 16-4 and secure themselves a place in the finals!

Who will @virtuspro go up against? 🤔 #ESLChallenger
📺 https://t.co/J1uicLL8p1
📺 https://t.co/FzbMiVr9vx pic.twitter.com/oEmuaq21N1

— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) June 11, 2023

ENCE vs FORZE Esports

The second match was between FORZE and ENCE.

Here’s the list of map selections and bans:

  • ENCE removed Inferno
  • FORZE removed Vertigo
  • ENCE picked Nuke
  • FORZE picked Overpass
  • ENCE removed Mirage
  • FORZE removed Anubis
  • Ancient was left over

Nuke

The first map of the series was Nuke. Starting as terrorists, ENCE secured six rounds in the first half, a decent performance on the T-side. However, after switching sides, ENCE defended effectively against all enemy attacks and won nine rounds in a row, securing victory on the first map.

It's looking strong for @forzegg as they upset the economy on Nuke, we take a closer look thanks to @predatorgaming #ItLiesWithin

👉 https://t.co/QKYdhUtWD0
📺 https://t.co/J1uicLL8p1
📺 https://t.co/FzbMiVr9vx pic.twitter.com/z5E3QbCFtw

— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) June 11, 2023

THE HOPE THAT ENCE NEED @NertzCS #ESLChallenger
📺 https://t.co/J1uicLLGez
📺 https://t.co/FzbMiVrHl5 pic.twitter.com/EVMsilb1am

— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) June 11, 2023

After a strong CT performance @ENCE close out Nuke 16-11 #ESLChallenger
📺 https://t.co/J1uicLL8p1
📺 https://t.co/FzbMiVr9vx pic.twitter.com/8JbwBCgKFe

— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) June 11, 2023

Overpass

The second map was Overpass, picked by FORZE. It was a logical choice for them since they have played this map 19 times this season, although their win rate is only 47%. In the first half, FORZE struggled as terrorists, winning only 4 out of 15 rounds. They managed to win the first round in the second half but couldn’t go any further. ENCE won the match with a 16:5 score.

. @ENCE have closed out Overpass 16-5 and the series 2-0, they go on to face https://t.co/0TIih6QLa5 in the finals! #ESLChallenger
📺 https://t.co/J1uicLL8p1
📺 https://t.co/FzbMiVr9vx pic.twitter.com/vuZNO8ApfK

— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) June 11, 2023

On the back of the ENCE vs Forze game @virtuspro progress into the #ESLProLeague #ESLChallenger
📺 https://t.co/J1uicLL8p1
📺 https://t.co/FzbMiVr9vx pic.twitter.com/GD3e7MeSss

— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) June 11, 2023

Now, let’s move on to the Grand Final!

Grand Final of ESL Challenger Katowice 2023

The team that lost in this stage received a prize of $20,000 and 600 BLAST Premier points. These teams had already competed against each other in the Group Stage, where there was intense competition. Now, let’s look at what happened in the Grand Final.

Virtus.pro vs ENCE

The Bo3 series of the ESL Challenger Katowice 2023 Grand Final occurred between Virtus.pro and ENCE.

Here’s the list of map selections and bans:

  • Virtus.pro removed Nuke
  • ENCE removed Inferno
  • Virtus.pro picked Overpass
  • ENCE picked Anubis
  • Virtus.pro removed Ancient
  • ENCE removed Vertigo
  • Mirage was left over

Overpass

The first map of the series was Overpass. Starting as terrorists, Virtus.pro performed exceptionally well in the first half, ending with an 11:4 score. After switching sides, the Russian team continued their strong performance, winning five rounds in a row and ultimately securing victory on the first map.

Old Reliable, the @virtuspro -90 Rush B #ESLChallenger
📺 https://t.co/J1uicLL8p1
📺 https://t.co/FzbMiVr9vx pic.twitter.com/AQD83opLEx

— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) June 11, 2023

Overpass goes the way of @virtuspro 16-4 and they pick up their first map of the series 🔥🔥

Up next we have @ENCE 's map pick of Anubis 🗝 #ESLChallenger
📺 https://t.co/J1uicLL8p1
📺 https://t.co/FzbMiVr9vx pic.twitter.com/CKhAf9OjtV

— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) June 11, 2023

Anubis

Both teams displayed a close and exciting play on Anubis, showcasing interesting and unconventional strategies that helped them secure crucial rounds. In the first half, ENCE took the lead with an 8:7 score while playing as terrorists, which was a commendable result considering the challenges of attacking.

After switching sides, ENCE successfully defended against three enemy attacks, bringing their lead to 11:7. However, VP rallied back, winning important rounds and equalizing the score at 14:14. The situation became incredibly tense for ENCE as they were on the brink of elimination. However, they showed determination, securing two consecutive rounds and forcing the match into a third map.

AHHHHHHHHHHHH #ESLChallenger
📺 https://t.co/J1uicLL8p1
📺 https://t.co/FzbMiVr9vx pic.twitter.com/Fn3w5cJuo6

— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) June 11, 2023

WE'RE ALL EVEN HERE ON ANUBIS #ESLChallenger
📺 https://t.co/J1uicLL8p1
📺 https://t.co/FzbMiVr9vx pic.twitter.com/4OldDHaB22

— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) June 11, 2023

. @SunPayuscsgo has had enough and closes out map 2 in fashion with a pair of dualies #ESLChallenger
📺 https://t.co/J1uicLL8p1
📺 https://t.co/FzbMiVr9vx pic.twitter.com/E4W9BTfKBk

— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) June 11, 2023

We're all tied up with Anubis going the way of @ENCE 16-14 as we head into the decider that is Mirage 🔥🔥 #ESLChallenger
📺 https://t.co/J1uicLL8p1
📺 https://t.co/FzbMiVr9vx pic.twitter.com/dJgpqzf92S

— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) June 11, 2023

Mirage

The deciding map was also very intense and reminiscent of the previous one. ENCE played on the T-side and took an 8:7 lead in the first half of the map. ENCE was going well in the second half as they held a 14:11 advantage. They were just a few rounds away from victory, but VP turned the game around in their favor, winning five consecutive rounds to secure a 16:14 victory.

VP emerged as the ESL Challenger Katowice 2023 champion!

. @ENCE secure the pistol #ESLChallenger
📺 https://t.co/J1uicLL8p1
📺 https://t.co/FzbMiVr9vx pic.twitter.com/yIA8vOZSgC

— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) June 11, 2023

. @ENCE seem to be finding their groove #ESLChallenger
📺 https://t.co/J1uicLL8p1
📺 https://t.co/FzbMiVr9vx pic.twitter.com/socKQZgLJv

— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) June 11, 2023

THEY TAKE MATCH POINT @virtuspro #ESLChallenger
📺 https://t.co/J1uicLL8p1
📺 https://t.co/FzbMiVr9vx pic.twitter.com/yzoiO0ohZw

— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) June 11, 2023

THEY CLOSE IT OUT @VIRTUSPRO #ESLChallenger
📺 https://t.co/J1uicLL8p1
📺 https://t.co/FzbMiVr9vx pic.twitter.com/YEbRRzQIyA

— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) June 11, 2023

🏆 Your #ESLChallenger Katowice Champions 🏆 @virtuspro @n0rb3r7_CSGO @fl1tjocs @JAMEPAIN @fame_cs @Qikert pic.twitter.com/y4AnBFSh8x

— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) June 11, 2023

To Wrap Up!

ESL Challenger Katowice 2023 ended on June 11, with Virtus.pro claiming victory. They were rewarded with $50,000 in prize money, 1000 BLAST Premier points, and, most importantly, a ticket to the ESL Pro League Season 18. In the upcoming tournament, they can compete for the top prize of $500,000.

To stay updated on this and other events, stick with us and follow our blog !

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原文链接: /ESL Challenger Katowice 2023: Highlights and Results