IEM Katowice 2022 – An Underdog’s Movie Plot

FaZe’s performance at IEM Katowice was among the best we’ve ever witnessed in CS:GO. It had a little portion of everything, from the squad’s drama both before and during the tournament, to the variety of difficult opponents FaZe had to overpower, to the simple fact that most of us had written them off as real contenders (just see the Katowice playoff power rankings).

Although we didn’t see the maximum five games in the finals, every single stage played ended up going the distance, to the full 30 minutes or into overtime. If you were betting on that, you’ve had a good day.

There were even interesting anecdotes that had nothing to do with the marathon. One story was of a promise given by Finn “karrigan” Andersen upon his return to FaZe, which he was able to keep a year later after reuniting with a star ex-teammate.

Another was Justin “jks” Savage, who brought a winner’s medal back to Australia as a stand-in for the first significant tournament ever won by an Australian.

FaZe’s performance at IEM Katowice 2022 may be described as a Rocky Balboa story, which makes Counter-Strike one of the most exciting esports to follow. However, it begs the question: is this the best fairy-tale comeback we’ve ever seen in our wonderful game?

Return Of The Brazilians: A New Hope

Luminosity’s run to the FACEIT League Stage 3 Finals in 2015 was one of the first excellent examples of a beautiful comeback run in CS:GO. The Brazilians had already made a reputation for themselves thanks to performances like their appearance in the previous Major, where they advanced to the semifinals of Cluj-Napoca, but they had found it difficult to go beyond promising tournament showings.

By the time the FACEIT League Finals rolled around, the squad had replaced Lucas “steel” Lopes and Ricardo “boltz” Prass with Lincoln “fnx” Lau and Epitacio “TACO” de Melo, forming what would become a famous lineup.

They were, however, far from a world class squad at the time of the tournament. They were viewed as potential upstarts from a poorly developed and overlooked region somewhere at top level, forging their own way by lifting their lives and going to North America in search of Counter-Strike greatness.

The team’s story was fascinating, and it’s one of the main reasons why their surprise run to the finale of this event is remembered. It was a watershed moment for a team that embodied great effort and sacrifice, a squad that served as a great example for young prospects all across the world, regardless of geography. In this regard, Luminosity’s 2015 run has an advantage over FaZe as the story is more compelling.


An undoubtable piece of truth, that CS:GO has given us some of the most spectacular, heart-wrenching, and exciting fairy-tale performances in all of esports is beyond debate or criticism. Our game appears to lend itself very well to Hollywood-style stories, tournament-length over-performances, and bringing out the finest and most confrontational moments in the players. There are a myriad of reasons why we all enjoy this game, and many of them are encapsulated in many of these lovely fairy-tale runs.