New Challengers Stage all set to kick start today

Aditya Singh Rawat

12th, Feb, 2019

Cover Image Courtesy: Intel Extreme Masters

The CS:GO major is upon us starting today with the New Challengers Stage taking place in Katowice at the ESL Arena from 13th-17th February. 

This stage of the event marks the start of the IEM Katowice 2019 witnessing participation from 16 teams of which 6 were directly invited while the remaining 10 had to fight their way through their respective regional minors. 

This is going to be an exciting stage which will be observing four Asian teams competing in it, with the likes of Tyloo, ViCi, Renegades and Grayhound.

The Katowice major this time around is adopting something known as the ‘Player Selected Seeding’. The method consists of each participating team ranking the remaining 15 teams, the results obtained are combined by ESL to determine the seeding for the New Challengers Stage.

Following is the seeding result after ranking from all the teams were obtained and combined,

  1. Fnatic 

  1. NRG 

  1. Cloud9 

  1. NiP 

  1. ENCE 

  1. Vitality 

  1. G2 


  1. Renegades 

  1. Vega Squadron 

  1. Tyloo 

  1. Spirit 

  1. FURIA 

  1. Grayhound 

  1. Winstrike 

  1. ViCi 

Based on this seeding outcome, the teams were matched up against each other as follows, 

  • Fnatic vs ViCi | 17:30 IST 

  • NRG vs Winstrike | 21:00 IST 

  • Cloud9 Vs Grayhound | 18:40 IST 

  • NiP vs FURIA | 21:00 IST 

  • ENCE vs Spirit | 19:50 IST 

  • Vitality vs Tyloo | 18:40 IST 

  • G2 vs Vega Squadron | 19:50 IST 

  • AVANGAR vs Renegades | 13th February | 17:30 IST 

The New Challengers Stage will be following a Swiss System Format which will witness all Elimination and Advancement matches to be a BO3 series with the remaining match-ups being a BO1. This stage will also follow ‘Live ELO Rating’.

Every team will start off with an ELO rating already being assigned to them during the initial seeding process. This ELO will fluctuate depending upon the result of every game, helping in determining the match-up between teams after the Opening Round is played out.

The top 8 teams will be the ones qualifying onto the next round while the remaining 8 will be eliminated from the tournament.


Here are all the personalities that will add magic to an already amazing major, turning it into the perfect viewing experience for everybody.


It is quite obvious to pick out some teams that will be surely making it to the next stage, so I will just skip past them and instead point out to some of the underdogs that might grab the last two or three qualifying slots. 

Already having proved themselves once last year during the FACEIT London Major, Tyloo has in them the potential to qualify through the New Challengers Stage. Though the team is stepping into the event with a new line-up, the team has even more firepower than before. The aggression this team can pull out is immense without losing out on individual match-ups. My best bet would be to see Tyloo making it through without much of a problem.

Renegades & Vitality are also great competitors for a spot in the next round. Though many strongly support ENCE and NRG, I would like to root for the former mentioned teams. They are capable of causing quite the ruckus especially with players like Zywoo and JKS being in such great form they can take down the toughest opponent on their good day.

Pretty excited to see how the event takes off starting today. Which teams do you guys think will be qualifying through to the next stage?

The matches will be streamed live, 

Click HERE to tune in for the Primary English stream. 

Click HERE to tune in for the Secondary English stream.


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