Intel® Extreme Masters Katowice 2024: Team Spirit and Serral crowned new Champions following two electrifying Grand Finals

Press Release Summary
  • The Intel® Extreme Masters Katowice 2024 Counter-Strike 2 tournament began on January 31, with Playoffs held live at the Spodek Arena in Katowice, Poland, on February 9 - 11.
  • Counter-Strike 2 results: Team Spirit have been crowned Champions, joining the race to Intel® Grand Slam V and winning $400,000 of the $1,000,000 total prize pool and a spot in the IEM Cologne Group Stage later this year.
  • Team Spirit’s dominant victory was driven by one of the best professional tier 1 Counter-Strike debuts of all time following an incredible performance from Team Spirits 17-year-old prodigy Danil “donk” Kryshkovets.
  • The Intel® Extreme Masters Katowice 2024 StarCraft® II tournament took place live at the MCK Auditorium in Katowice’s International Congress Center on February 8 - 11.
  • StarCraft® II results: BASILISK’s Joona “Serral” Sotala has been crowned Champion, winning $150,000 of the $500,000 total prize pool and an additional $2,500 from Group Stage map wins, ahead of his appearance in the Esports World Cup later this year.
  • With a peak viewership of over 972,000* for the Counter-Strike 2 tournament, more than 77,000* for the StarCraft® II competition, and attracting more than 65,000 attendees across the final weekend, IEM Katowice 2024 has set a new benchmark in the history of the tournament.

The Intel® Extreme Masters (IEM) Katowice 2024 Grand Finals have concluded, with BASILISK’s Joona “Serral” Sotala named the new StarCraft® II Champion and Team Spirit being crowned the Counter-Strike 2 Champions. While BASILISK’s Joona “Serral” Sotala returns for a second time, Team Spirit joins the legendary Hall of Heroes for the first time in history.

Team Spirit’s dominance in the Counter-Strike 2 Grand Finals saw an epic display of the young team of prodigies as they took down the veterans and one of the favorites to win the competition, FaZe Clan. Ranked #19 in the ESL World Ranking, Team Spirit beat the #1 ranked FaZe Clan in a decisive 3-0 victory. Making his tier 1 competition debut, teen superstar Danil "donk" Kryshkovets took fans’ breath away in what many are calling the best individual performance in history.

The fastest-selling IEM Katowice tournament in history, the event saw a peak viewership of over 972,000* for Counter-Strike 2 and more than 77,000* for StarCraft® II. The sold-out Spodek Arena and MCK Auditorium welcomed over 65,000 fans across four days of live StarCraft® II competition, and three days of Counter-Strike action, complemented by IEM Expo.

The return of the IEM Expo gave esports and gaming enthusiasts from Poland and beyond the opportunity to test the latest Intel® powered gaming hardware, get involved in partner activations, try out the newest games, marvel at cosplay costumes, and much more.

Counter-Strike 2

Play-In Stage & Group Stage

The tournament commenced on January 31 with the Play-In Stage, during which 16 teams battled it out for eight of the 16 spots available in the Group Stage. Local heroes ENCE proceeded to the second stage of the tournament, amongst others.

The Group Stage ran from February 3 - 6 and saw teams divided into two groups of eight, where the top two teams from the upper bracket and the top team from the lower bracket advanced to the Playoffs. Group A saw Team Spirit dominate the upper bracket, with FaZe Clan coming in second and Team Falcons emerging victorious in the lower bracket. 

In Group B, G2 Esports beat out HEROIC in the lower bracket final to claim their spot in the Playoffs. In the upper bracket, MOUZ and ENCE secured the final two spots, meaning that IEM Katowice 2024 marks the first time in eight years that a majority Polish team has reached the Playoffs. 


The final stage of the competition kicked off on Friday, February 9, with a quarterfinal clash between IEM Katowice 2023 Champions, G2 Esports, and IEM Katowice 2022 Champions, FaZe Clan. After many close rounds, the determination and teamwork of FaZe Clan proved to be stronger, leading to a 2-0 win and a spot in the semifinals.

The second quarterfinal was also an emotional rollercoaster for the Polish fans as ENCE faced off against Team Falcons. Despite having the full backing of the arena, it was ultimately Team Falcons who claimed the victory with a narrow win on map 3 and a final score of 2-1.

Saturday, February 10, saw the semifinals take place, with the top two teams from the Group Stage up against the quarterfinal winners. FaZe Clan proved themselves against MOUZ as they secured their spot in the Grand Final with a flawless 2-0 score, and Team Spirit dominated Team Falcons 2-0 to secure the other spot.

Grand Final

Following impressive performances in the Playoffs where neither team dropped a map, FaZe Clan and Team Spirit geared up on Sunday and took the stage for the Grand Final.

The first game of the day saw an even 6-6 score at half-time before Team Spirit managed to pull ahead and secure a 13-9 victory over FaZe Clan, in large part thanks to Danil "donk" Kryshkovets’ incredible performance.

The second game was closer, with FaZe Clan narrowly missing out on a win and the game ending in a 13-11 victory for Team Spirit. 

The third and final game, however, saw Team Spirit dominate, winning round after round and concluding the match with a 13-3 score. Team Spirit were an unstoppable force, claiming the title of Champion with an impressive 3-0 final score in the best-of-5 Grand Final.

I’m very happy, said Dmitriy "sh1ro" Sokolov of Team Spirit.We beat FaZe Clan 3-0. For me, it’s a really, really big achievement.” 

With their win, Team Spirit will take home $400,000 of the $1,000,000 total prize pool, while also securing their spot in the IEM Cologne 2024 Group Stage and entering the race to secure the Intel Grand Slam V.

One of the best professional Counter-Strike debuts of all time, Danil "donk" Kryshkovets received a lot of praise from his teammates as well as from the wider esports community. Furthermore, for his achievements, the young Rifler has been awarded the ESL Pro Tour DHL MVP.

The ESL Pro Tour (EPT) for Counter-Strike continues with ESL Challenger League Season 47 commencing online on February 13 and IEM Chengdu 2024 taking place on April 8-14, with the final three days being played out live in Chengdu, China.

For more information and the latest updates about ESL’s Counter-Strike esports ecosystem, head to the official ESL Pro Tour website, and follow ESL CS on X, Instagram, and Facebook.

StarCraft® II

Group Stage

The Group Stage ran from February 8 - 10 and saw 24 players split into four groups of six to compete in a Round-Robin format live in front of their fans at the MCK Auditorium.

After two and a half days of fierce battles, HeRoMaRinE (Group A), SHIN (Group B), Serral (Group C), and Dark (Group D) topped their respective groups and secured themselves a direct spot in the quarterfinals.

Surprisingly, reigning World Champion Oliveira and Gamers8 Champion Reynor fell short in the Group Stage and it was Solar, GuMiho (both Group A), Cure, Clem (both Group B), ByuN, SKillous (both Group C), Dark and herO (both Group D) who advanced to the Playoffs, following some close battles that kept the community on the edge of their seat.


With the Group Stage concluded, the second- and third-placed teams of each group continued their fight for victory in the Round of 12, with Clem, Dark, ByuN, and Cure coming out on top. 

In the quarterfinals, Serral continued his reign without dropping a single map by beating Clem 3-0, while Dark and Maru beat their countrymen SHIN and Byun 3-1 and 3-2 respectively. In the fourth quarterfinal, Cure proved to be dominant over HeRoMaRinE, who, until then, had not yet lost a map in the competition

The first semifinal was a clash between Zergs as Serral and Dark entered the final part of the competition with Serral taking out Dark 3-1. During the second semifinal it was Maru and Cure’s turn to show who was the strongest Terran, with Maru eventually claiming a 3-0 victory.

The long-longed-for Grand Final between Maru and Serral promised some spectacular action, yet already early on Maru’s dedication and diligence showed to be no match for Serral’s unparalleled level of gameplay, leading to a 4-0 win on Serral’s behalf.

"It feels amazing to play in front of the Polish crowd," said Joona "Serral" Sotala of BASILISK. "I think I gave this one my everything, and I didn't really leave anything in myself. This was my full performance, I don't think I can do much better."

With his victory, Serral takes home $150,000 of the $500,000 total prize pool, on top of an additional $2,500 awarded to him for map wins in the Group Stage. For their top placementsMaru, Dark, and Cure received a direct invite to the Esports World Cup – the 2023/2024 ESL Pro Tour season's Championship event – later this year, joining Serral and Clem who secured his spot by winning ESL SC2 Masters 2023 Summer and Winter respectively.

Next up in the ESL Pro Tour for StarCraft® II is the ESL SC2 Masters: Spring season concluding with live Finals at DreamHack Dallas in Dallas, Texas, USA, on May 31-June 2.

For more information about ESL’s StarCraft® II esports ecosystem, and the latest updates on events, please visit the official website, and follow ESL StarCraft® II on X and Facebook.

For more information about ESL FACEIT Group, check the official website and follow EFG on LinkedIn.

*According to escharts.com 


Pictures of the IEM Katowice 2024 Counter-Strike 2 competition can be found here and those of the StarCraft® II tournament can be found here. Additional assets are available in the IEM Katowice 2024 press kit.


About ESL FACEIT Group

ESL FACEIT Group (EFG) is the leading esports and video game entertainment company dedicated to creating worlds beyond gameplay where players and fans become community. EFG is built on a legacy of world-renowned brands including ESL, FACEIT, DreamHack and DreamHack Sports Games, providing innovative ecosystems for global communities of players, fans and creators around the games they love. Working alongside leading partners, brands and global IPs, EFG operates an unmatched portfolio of live events, digital platforms and developer tools that reach and engage millions of gamers worldwide. For more information visit www.eslfaceitgroup.com.


About ESL

ESL creates a world where everybody can be somebody. For more than two decades, we have been shaping the industry and leading esports and gaming innovation globally across the most popular video games, creating a comprehensive ecosystem with opportunities for players to go from zero to hero and for fans to witness the best stories esports has to offer. The ESL portfolio consists of high-profile products such as the ESL Pro Tour, Intel® Extreme Masters, the Snapdragon Pro Series, and many more, ranging from grassroots to global elite competitions. ESL is part of ESL FACEIT Group, the leading competitive games and esports company.


About Intel® Extreme Masters

Intel® Extreme Masters is the longest-running global professional esports tournament circuit in the world. Started in 2006 by Intel® and ESL, the competition features the world’s best gamers in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, StarCraft® II, and other esport titles. Approaching two decades of history and many record-breaking events in terms of viewership and stadium attendance, IEM is widely considered one of the most prestigious and traditional esports tournaments in the world (www.intelextrememasters.com).