It is a busy month for CS:GO esports. Only a few days have passed since the fantastic culmination of ESL Pro League’s latest season, yet some of the best CS:GO teams in the world are already competing in another prestigious tournament.
Intel Extreme Masters New York 2020 is in the full swing for both Europe and North America, although due to the global pandemic it’s being played completely online. European division features eight teams in a double-elimination group stage, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the semifinals. All matches are best-of-three, except for the grand final, which will be best-of-five. The winner gets half of the $140,000 prize pool.
Single-elimination playoffs are scheduled on Saturday, October 10th. The grand final will kick off on Sunday, October 11th at 3PM BST.
It is well known that when it comes to IEM, only the best of the best get in. This time is no different, as five out of eight teams competing are within top 10 of HLTV’s CS:GO ranking list. However, one team is missing. Current ESL Pro League champions Astralis wasn’t themselves until recently, which cost them an invitation to IEM New York 2020. The Great Danes are not fighting in this battle, making space for other aspiring teams like Heroic or OG.
The eight attending teams are divided into two groups of four. In Group A we can see Team Vitality, G2 Esports, Fnatic and Complexity Gaming.
Group B is packed just as well with BIG, Heroic, FaZe Clan and OG.
There are big names like Vitality and Fnatic in Group A, although neither of the legends had been performing too well in recent months. Fnatic, for example, had only one good placement this year, all back in April.
On the other hand, Vitality has Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut, the player who can push the game to the win pretty much solo. And he is in great form. The French squad fought in three grand finals this year, and so it was quite a surprise that they didn’t even get to the playoffs in the latest season of ESL Pro League. All things considered, they are a tough opponent and they will aim high for sure.
Many consider Complexity Gaming the dark horse of the tournament. The young team has seen a significant rise in 2020, jumping over 40 ranks up to number 5 in world’s ranking since January. They even lifted a trophy in the top tier tournament. Unfortunately, their star player Owen "oBo" Schlatter decided unexpectedly to leave the team and go back to the United States. The Danish player Niels-Christian "NaToSaphiX" Sillassen took his place right before IEM New York 2020 kicked off, that’s why it’s hard to predict how is it going to work out for them. The potential is there. Their next match with Vitality will decide who goes straight to playoffs and odds are playing slightly in Vitality’s favor.
The journey of G2 players at this tournament has already come to an end, after they suffered two losses with Complexity and Fnatic. They share the 7th and 8th place with Heroic from Group B.
FaZe Clan isn’t expected to get too far due to their poor results since the arrival of Markus “Kjaerbye” Kjærbye in August. In their first match however, they managed to beat Heroic, current top team on the planet and huge favorite of the tournament. They still have a high quality roster after all, with great players like Nikola “NIKo” Kovač or Marcelo “coldzera” David. We might see more surprises from FaZe.
Just as we might see some surprises from OG, who seems to be an underdog in most series they are going into. So far they won both of their matches against favorites of the tournament and will meet FaZe in today's match, which will send one of them to the playoffs.
And we are getting to an actual favorite, and that is team BIG who has shown a phenomenal performance, winning four major and several minor events in 2020. Their consistency has recently taken a hit but they are trying to get back on the track. BIG has a stable roster for quite a while now, which is an advantage in these times full of roster changes. Yesterday, they sent home Heroic and therefore eliminated probably the biggest danger for everybody. It was a tight match and next time we will see them fighting for a spot in the playoffs with the loser of FaZe vs. OG match.
Don’t forget to watch and bet on IEM New York 2020 LIVE on the Midnite Website. Click here to view all live and upcoming matches.
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