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IEM Beijing Europe 2020 - Preview

The likes of Complexity and Astralis will duke it out in one of the most stacked events on the calendar.

Valentin Gustafsson
Freelance Esports Writer
6th Nov, 2020·☕️ 7 min read
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The likes of Complexity and Astralis will be in action as IEM Beijing Europe is set to kick off. We break down the recent form of some of the favourites and give you a rundown of the format in this preview.

Competition Information

Just like with IEM New York earlier this year, IEM Beijing has been split into multiple regions and will be played entirely online due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While the other regions have been weakened significantly, Europe remains incredibly competitive, and this tournament is no exception. Some of Europe’s finest teams will be participating at this event, eight of which are currently among the Top 10 teams in the world. In total, $150,000 in prizes will be up for grabs, including a spot at the IEM XV Global Challenge and 400 Pro Tour Circuit Points for the winner.

Format

The format is similar to the one that we have commonly seen with ESL tournaments so far this year, and it is identical to the one used at IEM New York, with the exception being that the tournament has sixteen teams instead of eight.

There will be two GSL style groups of eight (Double-Elimination) with the top four teams advancing to the playoffs. The playoffs will be a simple single-elimination bracket. All matches are best-of-three at this event, except for the grand final, which will be a best-of-five.

The groups for IEM Beijing Europe are as follows:

Group A

  • 🇫🇷 Vitality
  • 🇸🇪 fnatic
  • 🇺🇦 Natus Vincere
  • 🇪🇺 Complexity
  • 🇪🇺 OG
  • 🇪🇺 FaZe
  • 🇷🇺 Spirit
  • 🇩🇰 MAD Lions

Group B

  • 🇩🇰 Astralis
  • 🇩🇪 BIG
  • 🇫🇷 G2
  • 🇸🇪 NiP
  • 🇩🇰 Heroic
  • 🇫🇮 ENCE
  • 🇪🇺 mouz
  • 🇩🇰 North

IEM Beijing kicks off November 6 and runs through November 22.

The Current Season

Heroic

Heroic
Record: 109 / 0 / 65
Most Played Map: Nuke (79.4%)
Best Map: Nuke (79.4%)
Worst Map: Dust2 (50.0%)

Despite the drama involving their coach HUNDEN, Heroic came out swinging at DreamHack Open Fall and eventually walked away as the winner after taking down Vitality in the grand final. Heroic have undoubtedly established themselves as a force to be reckoned with over the past quarter, climbing up to No.1 in the world rankings after their win at DreamHack Open Fall. They have received a very favourable group draw against Danish rivals North, whom they have swept in their last three meetings.

Natus Vincere

Natus Vincere
Record: 79 / 0 / 63
Most Played Map: Dust2 (53.1%)
Best Map: Train (63.6%)
Worst Map: Vertigo (0.0%)

NaVi have had a rough go of things recently, having to forfeit several games after Perfecto was diagnosed with Covid-19. This really hurt their momentum after grabbing second place at ESL Pro League Season 12. This is probably one of the more inconsistent teams in the top flight at the moment. s1mple is pretty much guaranteed to put up big numbers, but electronic is someone who has continued to find it difficult to adjust to online play. If electronic doesn’t show up for NaVi, they just don’t have enough quality outside of s1mple to truly challenge for titles.

BIG

BIG
Record: 139 / 0 / 78
Most Played Map: Dust2 (71.4%)
Best Map: Dust2 (71.4%)
Worst Map: Vertigo (50.0%)

BIG had an unbeliavable summer period, but have since dropped off a bit. They are still playing well overall, but they are finding it hard to beat teams like Vitality deep in tournaments. Regardless, this is still one of the most skilled sides in Europe with a very strong map pool and strong fundamentals, so it would be foolish to understimate them. They will be going up against mousesports in the opener, a team that managed to beat them in ESL Pro League at the start of October.

fnatic

fnatic
Record: 82 / 0 / 79
Most Played Map: Inferno (67.5%)
Best Map: Inferno (67.5%)
Worst Map: Dust2 (35.3%)

Except for their ESL Pro League Season 11 win in March, fnatic have failed to make Top 3 at any of the events that they have played. Out of the top teams, fnatic are probably the ones who have struggled the most with the switch to online play. This is something which they are quick to mention in inteviews and the like. While it may seem like a bit of a cop-out, it is understandable, as they are one of the more experienced teams at LAN. They will be going up against Complexity in the first round, and they are coming in as the underdog – something which they aren’t quite accustomed to. However, fnatic are definitely the type of team that can surprise when you least expect it, as we have seen at tournaments like IEM Katowice in the past. The fact that they have now incorporated Vertigo into their map pool should give them a better chance against strong Dust2 and Nuke teams.

G2

G2
Record: 7 / 0 / 3
Most Played Map: Nuke (75.0%)
Best Map: Mirage (100.0%)
Worst Map: Inferno (0.0%)

G2 managed to qualiy for the BLAST Premier Fall Finals in flying colours after acquiring NiKo from FaZe in a blockbuster move. There has been a lot of speculation regarding what type of roster G2 would field. Would G2 move forward with a six-man roster similar to Vitality or Astralis? Or would JaCkz or AmaNEk get a permanent spot on the team? So far, they have used AmaNEk instead of JaCkz in all of their games, something which seems unlikely to change after how they performed in the recent BLAST tournament. They will take on NiP in the opener, a team that they don’t have a ton of experience against in official matches. In fact, they have not even played a single official match against them this year. Despite this, they are coming as a pretty sizeable favourite according to the oddsmakers.

Vitality

Vitality
Record: 93 / 2 / 59
Most Played Map: Dust2 (62.2%)
Best Map: Vertigo (80.0%)
Worst Map: Mirage (50.0%)

This Vitality team has been a consistent force throughout the summer and fall period, making finals at four of the most prestigious events on the calendar. Despite this, they don’t have not been able to celebrate a single win. It is bizarre, really, as they just continue to fall on the finish line. They have recently picked up the talented Belgian, Nivera, and will be playing with a six-man roster moving forward. When allowed to, they have been switching players mid-match, with Nivera playing Dust2 and Inferno and misutaaa playing Nuke and Vertigo. A very different approach that we have never really seen before in CS:GO and it remains to be seen how succesful this strategy will be, but so far it has been working for them.

Astralis

Astralis
Record: 40 / 0 / 19
Most Played Map: Dust2 (64.3%)
Best Map: Inferno (84.6%)
Worst Map: Overpass (57.1%)

Astralis are back with their original five, with Xyp9x coming back after an extensive break from the game. Their first tournament together wasn’t the smoothest, but it was enough to secure qualification for the BLAST Premier Fall Finals which is what mattered the most. They will be taking on ENCE in the opener, a team that has recently made a roster move of their own, with doto coming in to replace Aerial. This is interestingly a team that has been a bit difficult for Astralis. While this is a team that they are expected to defeat, it is worth noting that ENCE have taken Astralis to a decider in both of the BO3s that they have played this year.

Complexity

Complexity
Record: 3 / 0 / 4
Most Played Map: Mirage (100.0%)
Best Map: Mirage (100.0%)
Worst Map: Vertigo (0.0%)

Complexity had to settle for a spot in the BLAST Premier Fall Showdown after losing to Vitality and BIG at the BLAST Premier Fall Series. This was their first tournament with jks whom they recently acquired from 100 Thieves. While this wasn’t the best result, losing to Vitality and BIG isn’t particularly shameful and I think most people didn’t expect them to be succesful right off the bat. jks is a player who has a very high skill ceiling and if they can find a way to get the most out ot the Aussie, Complexity will be a team to look out for moving forward.

Betting Tips

Vitality have been one of the most consistent teams in the world and they have a very manageable side of the bracket with Spirit, FaZe and OG. The same is true for Astralis and Heroic, who definitely have potential to challenge for the title. For more in depth betting advice, make sure to keep an eye out for our betting tip articles.

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