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Esports: CS:GO IEM Katowice Saturday Preview

The semi-final matches of IEM Katowice are set, with the final four teams looking to reach the Grand Final showpiece on Sunday.

The first of the two semi-finals will see Heroic and Natus Vincere go head-to-head. Na'Vi was the runner-up in Group A in the qualifying round and now they face the top team out of Group B.

The other match-up on the schedule will be a big battle between G2 Esports and Team Liquid, as both will try to improve on an ugly finish to their respective group matches. Vitality was the runner-up in Group B, while Liquid came in as the third-place team out of Group A.

There are plenty of things on the line as a ticket to the Grand Final is up for grabs in both matches. Not only that but the one-million-dollar prize pool and an automatic bid for the champions to the IEM Cologne event later in the season makes this an important weekend of competition.

The action will be fierce with all four teams likely to partake in several big events throughout the rest of the 2023 season. Let's dive into Saturday's slate of matches.

Natus ready to deliver

WhatHeroic v Natus Vincere
WhereKatowice, Poland
When14:30, Saturday 11th February 2023
How to watchCS:GO Twitch and YouTube Channel
OddsHeroic 8/11, Natus Vincere 1/1

The first of the semi-final matches features plenty of talent on both sides with Heroic looking to outduel Natus Vincere. Natus has been a staple in the final four teams at this event over the past four seasons and will be looking for another championship crown.

Heroic didn't have to play their way out of the quarter-final round after securing top spot in Group B. They will now try to carry that momentum into an ultimate showdown with one of the favourites to win this event in Natus Vincere. Heroic isn't afraid of a challenge having forced their last four matches with Natus to three maps.

Na'Vi hasn't had an easy path to the semi-finals as they finished second in their Group A stage. Losing the Upper final 2-0 against G2 Esports. They did rebound in the quarter-final round sending Outsiders home with a 2-0 victory.

The last three head-to-head meetings have been hugely in favour of Natus Vincere. Yet none of those victories came easy with the team needing three maps at PGL Major Antwerp 2022, ESL Pro League Season 16 and the BLAST Premier World Final 2022. These teams definitely know what it is like to be on the big stage.

They both want a shot at the big prize on Sunday, but one will go home with a top four finish nonetheless after this match-up. The key will be whose top player will deliver. Can Heroic's Stavn outshine Na'Vi's s1mple.

Both squads are fun to watch, but Natus could have the edge and are 1/1 to secure the victory.

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G2 to cover against Liquid

WhatG2 Esports v Team Liquid
WhereKatowice, Poland
When18:00, Saturday 11th February 2023
How to watchCS:GO Twitch and YouTube Channel
OddsG2 Esports 2/9, Team Liquid 3/1

It's all about reaching Sunday's Grand Final and the two teams in the second semi-final match will be out to outduel the other. G2 Esports has been on a roll with a 10-match winning streak coming in. Liquid hasn't disappointed either lately with three-match wins in a row. G2 was able to best Natus in Group A to claim a bye into the semi-finals.

As for Liquid, they had a big mountain to climb after falling to the lower portion of the Group A bracket. They were able to send Team Spirit and FaZe Clan home early. They then took on Team Vitality in the quarter-final round and were able to secure a 2-1 win to also send Vitality packing.

The focus turns forward quickly for both teams and G2 has a little trash to talk about after winning the last head-to-head meeting at BLAST Premier World Final 2022. That was G2's first head-to-head win over Liquid in their last three meetings. This contest won't be an easy task either, as Liquid is out for a little revenge.

The duel between G2's NiKo and Liquid's NAF will be something to watch. But when it comes down to it a second player will have to deliver a big KO punch to get the victory here. Three maps is more than likely in this clash, but siding with G2 Esports to cover -1.5 in the Match Handicap market could prove shrewd.

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