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IEM New York 2020 EU - Preview

Eight of Europe's best teams will duke it out hoping to win part of the $140,000 prize pool this week at IEM New York.

Valentin Gustafsson
Freelance Esports Writer
5th Oct, 2020·☕️ 7 min read
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Eight of Europe’s best teams will duke it out hoping to win part of the $140,000 prize pool this week at IEM New York.

Competition Information

The name may be bit confusing, but rest assured, this tournament will be played entirely online and will feature three different regional competitions due to ongoing pandemic. In this article, we will be breaking down the format and the form of the teams for the European side of things.

The Format

The teams have been split into two GSL groups of four. Once the group stage has concluded, the top two teams will advance to the single-elimination playoff bracket. The playoffs will feature BO3s for both the quarter and semi-finals and the tournament will cap off with a BO5 grand final.

These are the groups for IEM New York 2020 (EU

Group A

  • 🇫🇷 Vitality
  • 🇸🇪 fnatic
  • 🇫🇷 G2
  • 🇪🇺 Complexity

Group B

  • 🇪🇺 FaZe
  • 🇩🇪 BIG
  • 🇩🇰 Heroic
  • 🇪🇺 OG

IEM New York 2020 kicks off with the European portion Tuesday, October 6th.

The Current Season

Heroic

Heroic
Record: 87 / 0 / 47
Most Played Map: Nuke (80.8%)
Best Map: Nuke (80.8%)
Worst Map: Dust2 (50.0%)

Heroic have claimed the №1 position in HLTV’s world rankings after a streak of top 3 finishes, including a win at ESL One Cologne at the tail end of August. Both Astralis and Natus Vincere are closing in on them, but neither of those teams will be participating at this tournament. Heroic were one of the teams who had their coach banned after the recent bug abuse scandal, but they have continued to play solid CS even without the aid of HUNDEN. While teams like BIG have slowed down somewhat, Heroic have performed well all throughout the online era, making them one of the prime candidates for the title.

Vitality

Vitality
Record: 74 / 2 / 50
Most Played Map: Dust2 (57.6%)
Best Map: Vertigo (83.3%)
Worst Map: Mirage (47.4%)

Vitality are coming off a disappointing 9th finish at ESL Pro League, but they have been a consistent force over the summer period, getting second place at ESL One Cologne, cs_summit and BLAST Premier. 

BIG

BIG
Record: 123 / 0 / 62
Most Played Map: Dust2 (76.2%)
Best Map: Dust2 (76.2%)
Worst Map: Vertigo (52.4%)

BIG have dropped out of the top 5 after failing to make it out of groups at both ESL One Cologne and ESL Pro League. Before that, they were on absolute tare, winning DreamHack Masters Spring, cs_summit 6 and DreamHack Open Summer. XANTARES was the team’s top fragger and second-highest rated player during this time period. However, he has failed to replicate that strong form in the last two tournaments, posting a negative K/D of 0.97 with an overall rating of 1.03. If BIG are to contend for trophies again, they are going to need the Turkish powerhouse to return to form. 

FaZe

FaZe
Record: 7 / 0 / 16
Most Played Map: Dust2 (40.0%)
Best Map: Dust2 (40.0%)
Worst Map: Overpass (0.0%)

FaZe have been absolutely abysmal since they acquired Kjaerbye and there has been rumors that NiKo is on the way out of the team. If this is true, it hard to see where FaZe will go from here, and the team might be on verge of collapsing entirely. They have a tough group that includes a BIG side that have had FaZe by the balls this year, not to mention Heroic who have been on fire recently. With all of this in mind, it is very hard to see them making a deep run at this event.

Complexity

Complexity
Record: 2 / 0 / 5
Most Played Map: Nuke (0.0%)
Best Map: Mirage (100.0%)
Worst Map: Vertigo (0.0%)

Complexity got royally screwed over by oBo’s sudden departure from the team and they have had to bring in NaToSaphiX as a stand-in. They were able to perform decently well at the ESL Pro League playoffs all things condered, beating ENCE in the opener before falling to the eventual finalists Astralis and Natus Vincere. oBo was probably one of the more replaceable players on the team in the sense that he was “just” a fragger. Losing blameF or poizon would have been a tougher loss. However, their upside is definitely limited with NaToSaphiX.

fnatic

fnatic
Record: 67 / 0 / 65
Most Played Map: Inferno (70.0%)
Best Map: Inferno (70.0%)
Worst Map: Vertigo (20.0%)

fnatic looked amazing last spring, where they sliced and diced their way to a win at ESL Pro League Season 11. However, since then they have really struggled to perform to their usual standards in the current “online era”. They still show glimpses of their usual selves now and then, but it is quite evident that the core of JW, flusha and KRIMZ have struggled a bit with online CS. The good news is that Brollan continues to deliver the goods, leading his side with an overall rating of 1.13 since their win at ESL Pro League Season 11. No one is really talking about fnatic right now, but as long as the original core turns up to play, they definitely have the potential to go all the way.

G2

G2
Record: 59 / 0 / 56
Most Played Map: Dust2 (41.7%)
Best Map: Vertigo (63.2%)
Worst Map: Train (37.5%)

G2 had a solid start to the ESL Pro League season, but they failed to make playoffs after losing five straight games to end the season. There has been rumors circulating that a roster-move could be on the cards for G2, but nothing has been announced as of yet. It is always a bit hard to gauge how teams will perform in this spot, but personally I would not want to have any sort of significant money riding on G2 with this in mind. With Complexity playing this event with a stand-in, they will still have a solid shot at making playoffs at least, but it would be a bit surprising to see them win the whole thing.

OG

OG
Record: 71 / 0 / 71
Most Played Map: Inferno (62.5%)
Best Map: Inferno (62.5%)
Worst Map: Overpass (40.0%)

OG narrowingly lost out on a playoff spot after falling at the hands of Heroic in the final game of the season. I still feel like this team is one or two roster moves away from actually becoming an elite team, but they have looked pretty solid recently. Aleksib has done a solid job with this team and his impact in the server is also undervalued, in my opinion. mantuu has had some injury concerns but he should be fit for fight. He has been a consistent force for this team ever since he was picked up and continues to impress with the AWP. As long as ISSAA and valde show up on the server, OG could prove to be a hard nut to crack even for the likes of Heroic and BIG.

Betting Tips

From Group A, I like Vitality and fnatic’s chances of advancement, with fnatic making for a realistic long shot pick to win the event. Heroic have looked incredibly solid and they won’t have to worry about facing NaVi and Astralis at this event, making them a prime candidate for the trophy, as well.

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