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IEM XV Beijing-Haidan 2020 preview

Henrieta Hyrlikova

Another thrilling CS:GO tournament is about to kick off - ESL’s Intel Extreme Masters XV Beijing-Haidan 2020. A significant series of four regional events starts today in Europe and North America and will run till November 22. Asia and Oceania tournaments will be a week shorter, starting on November 13.


The European edition features 16 top tier CS:GO teams battling it out in a double-elimination bracket followed by single-elimination playoffs. Teams are divided into two groups of eight with the top four teams out of each group proceeding to playoffs. As usual, all matches will be best-of-three, except for the grand final, which will be best-of-five. Out of four regional events, Europe’s got the biggest cash reward of $150,000. On top of that, a seed in the IEM XV Global Challenge is in the game.


We are looking at a daily dose of two matchups and a super tough competition, with no more than one team ranked lower than within the world's top 30. Let’s see who’s on the list:

Group A:
Team Vitality, Natus Vincere, OG, FaZe Clan, Fnatic, Complexity, Spirit, MAD Lions

Group B:
Heroic, Astralis, BIG, Ninjas in Pyjamas, G2 Esports, mousesports, North, ENCE

Key storylines

The event is indeed packed with talent. A fair portion of the elite lineup will be testing out new rosters and strats and all of them will be trying to get that precious spot at the first major LAN CS:GO event since March. Which teams to keep an eye on? Read on.


After the conclusion of BLAST Premier Fall Series, G2 is drawing most of the attention and rightfully so! It seems that their recent legendary transfer of Bosnian star player Nikola “NiKo” Kovač from FaZe Clan completely turned around their otherwise not very successful 2020.

However, the significance of the transfer lies somewhere else. It marks the completion of NiKo’s long term plan - to play in one team with his cousin Nemanja “huNter” Kovač. The move was highly anticipated, as there were rumors beforehand, but mainly because it would have meant a creation of a truly frightening roster: NiKo, huNter, nexa, AmaNEk, and kennyS.

G2 announced the news shortly before BLAST series went live and then completely dominated their group with NiKo on board. So far he’s been doing excellent and the squad has a massive potential. We will surely see them going crazy in the foreseeable future. The question is: are they ready to unleash their potential? The truth is, they haven’t had a lot of time to practice as a new team and they have a lot of work to do on their strats and executes. They might need more time to adapt. In any case, all eyes are going to be on G2’s performance.


It’s hard to imagine Astralis not being among the favorites of any tournament they’re attending. With Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander and Andreas "⁠Xyp9x⁠" Højsleth back in their starting roster, the Danes will be undoubtedly trying to get back on top.


Current No.1 team in HLTV’s rankings have recently shown an incredible performance at DreamHack Open Fall 2020, where they also took the trophy. They have impressive results from recent moths and it seems their driving force Casper "⁠cadiaN" Møller is in a great form. They pose a serious threat.


Complexity's story is a bittersweet one. Moving overseas, losing star player Owen "oBo" Schlatter, gaining another great player - Australian Justin "⁠jks⁠" Savage, whose team was disbanded. Former 100 Thieves player seems to be settling just fine, bringing valuable experience to the team. Although they are probably not going to win this one, we all are still waiting for jks to show his true nature and you don’t wanna miss it when he does!

Natus Vincere and Team Vitality also deserve to be pointed out here, as both have pretty good chances. All of the teams are very capable and several have a decent shot at the title, while there is no obvious favorite. Generally speaking, it’s going to be really tight and we will most likely see a couple of surprises.

To watch IEM XV Beijing-Haidan 2020, tune in to ESL’s Twitch channel.

For even more exciting esports experience, place your bets on upcoming matches here on Midnite.