CS2: Team Spirit sweep FaZe Clan 3-0 to win IEM Katowice 2024 behind historic performance from donk

Team Spirit lost only one map in the entire tournament, with their dominant run fueled by donk's historic performance 1.70 rating, highest among all players to ever compete in IEM Katowice.

Team Spirit were crowned as champions of IEM Katowice 2024 after they swept FaZe Clan, 3-0, in the Grand Finals behind a historic performance from prodigy rifler donk. (Photo: ESL)
Team Spirit were crowned as champions of IEM Katowice 2024 after they swept FaZe Clan, 3-0, in the Grand Finals behind a historic performance from prodigy rifler donk. (Photo: ESL)

Ascendant Russian Counter-Strike 2 (CS2) squad Team Spirit have been crowned as champions of IEM Katowice 2024 on Monday (12 February) after a historic run that saw them come all the way from the Play-In stage to soundly sweeping FaZe Clan, 3-0, in the Grand Finals.

Spirit had to start the tournament in the Play-In stage, first Norway's Apeks and Mongolia's The MongolZ to earn a spot in the double-elimination GSL format Group Stage.

The Russian squad was seeded into Group A, where they continued their strong start by defeating Natus Vincere, 2-1, and sweeping Complexity. Spirit then had their first encounter with FaZe in the group's upper bracket finals, where they showed signs of what's to come in a 2-0 sweep that earned both teams a spot in the Playoffs.

By virtue of winning their group, Spirit were automatically seeded into the Playoff semifinals, where they swept Team Falcons to become the first team in the Grand Finals. Meanwhile, FaZe started in the quarterfinals and had to sweep G2 Esports and MOUZ to earn a rematch with Spirit for the championship.

Just like in their previous meeting, Spirit looked nigh unstoppable against FaZe as 17-year old prodigy rifler Danil "donk" Kryshkovets put on a historic performance in his S-tier tournament debut.

In game one at Nuke, Spirit came out swinging by winning five of the first six rounds as the CT side before FaZe managed to tie things up at 6-6 by halftime. However, the Russian squad then flexed their muscles as the T side with a 7-3 run in the second half to take their first map of the series with a comfortable 13-9 score.

Donk's game one performance was nothing short of phenomenal as he racked up 32 kills (with 17 headshots) and two assists on 14 deaths for a stellar 2.06 rating.

FaZe put up a better fight in game two at Mirage, finishing the first half as the CT side with a 7-5 lead. But Spirit flipped the script after the side switch, winning seven of the first eight rounds of the second half to take a commanding 12-8 lead.

While FaZe scored the next three rounds to keep things interesting, Spirit still claimed the map win at 13-11 and took a commanding 2-0 series lead.

Spirit's game two win wasn't all thanks to donk though as AWPer Dmitriy "sh1ro" Sokolov also put on a show. Donk finished with 24 kills (with 15 headshots) and four assists on 18 deaths for a 1.55 rating while shi1ro had 20 kills (with 7 headshots) and two assists on 13 deaths for a 1.26 rating.

Donk and Spirit saved their best performance for last as they absolutely stomped FaZe, 13-3, in Overpass to secure the 3-0 sweep and claim the IEM Katowice 2024 championship.

Spirit won six-straight rounds as the CT side before FaZe scored their only round win of the first half, which ended 11-1 in the Russian squad's favour. FaZe then showed signs of life by winning the first two rounds of the second half before Spirit claimed the next two rounds to seal the deal.

Donk put on a masterclass to close out the series, finishing with 26 kills (with 13 headshots) and one assist on just eight deaths for an absurd 2.38 rating.

It comes as no surprise that donk claimed the MVP honour for his impeccable performance all throughout the tournament. Out of all the players to compete in the history of IEM Katowice, donk posted an all-time record rating of 1.70 across 12 maps — a feat made even more impressive when considering this was his S-tier tournament debut.

Donk's performance was so good that even the official CS2 X (formerly Twitter) account couldn't help but jokingly tweet to FaZe that they're trying to stop him in the middle of the Grand Finals.

With their victory, Donk and Spirit claimed the lion's share of US$400,000 out of IEM Katowice 2024's US$1 million prize pool. They also earned direct qualification to IEM Cologne 2024, the BLAST Premier World Final, and Esports World Cup 2024.

Meanwhile, FaZe settled for second place and US$180,000 in consolation.

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