This article is part of our CS:GO series.
IEM Katowice offers the first trophy of 2023 with all of the best teams in the world competing for what is in many eyes an unofficial major. With the best teams and players showing off new changes for 2023, here's a look at some players to target and fade in IEM Katowice Week 1.
Players to Target
The third best player of 2022, sh1ro comes into the 2023 season looking for more trophies and the chance to compete for the top overall spot. The sniper is one of the best in the world and Cloud9 are rocking a new look roster with eyes on taking the top spot in 2023. sh1ro will be the center piece of this team once more, and with Buster added to the roster, sh1ro should be given the chance to take an even larger hold on the most impactful roles. Cloud9 take on ENCE in a qualification match for the main event.
Fnatic's superstar entry rifler, roeJ, is among the best entry players in the world and will look to open 2023 with the same red-hot form he closed 2022 in. The rifler creates a major impact on the map and was putting himself in the conversation as the best entry player of the year in 2022. Fnatic have tough matches against EG and OG on the cards in the upper bracket, but still will be favorites in both matches.
FURIA is impossible to project, as per usual with the top South American side who are often limited to international competition. The one part of FURIA's form you can predict is the incredible level of yuurih, who has shown time and time again to be one of the top players in the world. yuurih and FURIA open the tournament against Permitta before a tough clash with BIG Clan, both of which are comfortably winnable matches for the Brazilian side.
Players to Fade
Week 1 of IEM Katowice is likely to be very chalky. With that in mind, iso is the first on the list of players to fade. Playing for Permitta, who rank 56th in the world, it's hard to see this roster competing with the very top teams. iso will likely be in for a tough tournament, one that will very possibly end with the Polish side failing to win a single map.
Vexite and Grayhound stormed through the Oceanic scene once more in what is a totally unsurprising outcome for the region. Similarly to Permitta, it would be a surprise to see Grayhound win a map, let alone qualify to the main stage. Vexite isn't a bad player domestically by any means, but Grayhound is likely to be completely out-played heading back into the gauntlet of the international scene.
Techno is the final name in the red, and there is certainly a theme here. IHC is the top seed from the Asian region, a title they've held comfortably for over a year ever since TyLoo lost most of their starting lineup. Still whenever international play rolls around, IHC struggles to make a difference in the deepest stages of the tournament. There's little reason for Katowice to be any different, and despite his incredible domestic numbers, Techno finds himself in the red.
Stats courtesy of HLTV.org