IEM Fall Europe starts tonight
It is finally the time.
The final RMR event of the season, IEM Fall Europe, will be played on LAN in Stockholm, the same city as the PGL Major itself. Missing a coveted tournament is the same as a complete disaster, considering that the last Major was more than two years ago, qualifying for it - a chance to make history in few weeks.
24 teams will clash for the title, but the most important are the RMR points themselves. Making top-11 is everything, missing on the cut is a disaster. Four groups of six, best of ones along the way until the playoffs - every mistake is going to be punished but those who adapt the quickest will survive and advance to the Major.
Curious about the key storylines? Then let’s discuss them below!
Are G2 completely toast?
This is still the team, which was crushing all the European opposition for months before the players break, still the unit with Kovac cousins running and gunning on the server, still the squad behind one of the most powerful organisations in all of esports.
And yet something feels off.
G2 Esports have floundered during both ESL Pro League Season 14 and BLAST Premier Fall, losing maps they should never have and not having an identity - once again. Even a superhuman effort by “NiKo” was not enough to drag them through NiP and BIG at BLAST, there are no maps you can be confident in G2 winning, there is simply nothing besides some hope.
Hope, that all that power is going to be unleashed during the final stretch of the season. “huNter-” and “nexa” are way too good to be in the slump for months, a French duo of “Amanek” and “JaCkz” should be able to express themselves during the LAN in Stockholm and something should click. You don’t need to play Vertigo, Ancient or Overpass - simply being yourself is more than enough in G2 Esports case, since the level of talent is going to overwhelm 90% of the opponents, if not all of them.
But it is going to be five bo1s to secure top-2 and a PGL Major Stockholm berth with teams like mousesports, BIG and FunPlus Phoenix eager to throw the European mix out of the biggest stage, despite all the work which was put in.
Can fnatic extend their streak?
Natus Vincere are the one team which was at each CS:GO Major, dating back to 2013. fnatic can become another, if they can obtain enough points to make it work.
Few months ago that goal seemed unlikely, as the team was in a state of complete disarray, now, however, after their performance with a new lineup during the ESL Pro League Season 14, it feels like “ALEX”’s squad has turned the corner.
Skilled and frustrating to deal with on their comfortable maps, fnatic have been placed in the group with FaZe Clan, Ninjas in Pyjamas, SKADE, Fiend and DBL PONEY - not the scariest lineup in the best of three format, ultra scary in best of ones. Two Bulgarian lineups, famous for their ability to grind and perform, a solid French unit, an international mix, eager to return to the Major and NiP, who might be the biggest favourite to take the entire event at this point.
Chances are high that even finishing top-3 is going to be enough for fnatic to make it to the coveted top-11. But the road starts tonight against their old friend “olofmeister” and his FaZe Clan, no less.
Who will be the biggest surprise of the event?
The European scene is known for its depth and IEM Fall Europe provides a chance to look at it in spades.
Will Sinners Esports make another step forward, build up on their ESL Pro League Season 14 performance and advance to the Major, where only “oskar” has been in the past? Is one of the Bulgarian teams, SKADE or Fiend, going to finally make it to the Major, despite being near the elite level for almost a decade? Are “f0rest” and “friberg” going to guide a younger bunch of Dignitas to the promised land?
Every group provides enough of a storyline, but it simply depends on who and what do you prefer watching. Fan of a high octane gameplay? SKADE, ENCE Esports or even MAD Lions are your choice. Want a more calculated performance? Movistar Riders, Fiend and Copenhagen Flames are there to show themselves. Best of ones multiply the danger of each mistake and combined with an insane talent pool this event might be higher in quality than the upcoming Major itself.
Eleven spots are on the line, as every team in the tournament can still make it to the Major. Will the usual suspects make it through or multiple slots are going to be taken by the rookies and rising stars? We will learn it very soon, as IEM Fall Europe begins tonight!