The end of 2020 is just around the corner, although the end of CS:GO year is even closer. There is only one last CS:GO event left before the season definitely wraps up and players will take off to enjoy their well-deserved, month-long holiday.
As a proper conclusion of the year, IEM XV Global Challenge, set to take place from December 15th - 20th, will feature the highest level of competitive CS:GO there is.
The lineup is filled with prominent teams, so there’s no doubt we are looking at a load of insane games.
The event was originally supposed to be a LAN tournament, but as it went with most esports events in 2020, it was transitioned to an online competition. Too good to be true this year, let’s just hope that 2021 will have more mercy.
The format will see eight CS:GO teams fighting in two classic double-elimination (GSL) group stages, followed by a single-elimination bracket that will conclude in a best-of-five grand final.
As for the prize pool, $500,000 is up for grabs, with the winning team taking $200,000.
Looking at the list of teams, there are only top names. Originally, the composition included Chaos Esports Club and Evil Geniuses, but both teams had to be replaced as they were unable to travel to Europe. The organiser invited Team Liquid and BIG instead, as they were the next teams in line according to ESL's World Ranking.
Group A: Team Vitality, Complexity Gaming, Astralis, BIG
Group B: Heroic, FURIA Esports, Natus Vincere, Team Liquid
The combination of elite team composition with such an unforgiving format suggests that there is little space for mistakes. More than one lost match means elimination, and we’ve seen these teams fighting together a lot recently, so we know that they are perfectly capable of beating each other. Generally speaking, the competition is the hardest it can be and it certainly won’t be easy for any team, so be prepared to see upsets and surprises.
With that said, we at Midnite do have a few favourites to win the IEM XV Global Challenge.
It seems that the Great Danes are back on track and they mean it. Sure, it’s been a bit shaky year for Astralis, mainly because of slight roster alterations during summer, but since Andreas ‘Xyp9x’ Højsleth and Lukas ‘gla1ve’ Rossander returned from their personal CS:GO breaks, they are clearly working hard to take back their throne.
And their results only confirm this theory. In the last two weeks, Astralis came out victorious in DreamHack Masters Winter 2020 and second at yesterday's BLAST Premier Fall 2020 Final, where they lost to Vitality. There's no doubt Astralis will want their revenge, and the opportunity should come very soon, considering both teams are in the same group.
At the same odds as Astralis we have Vitality, the champions IEM XV Beijing 2020 and BLAST Premier Fall 2020 Series. The team have seen astonishing results in recent months, nailing all the tournaments they attended. Yesterday's grand final, where the Frenchmen asserted dominance over Astralis and took another crown, is a proof of their great form and confidence. Taking the third trophy would be a phenomenal end of the year for Vitality.
NaVi have been trying so hard since lifting their last trophy at IEM Katowice 2020, and almost even made it, finishing on stage twice. No doubt they would love to finally snatch a title for themselves. Considering the composition of Group B, we will most likely see them in the playoffs. Plus, NaVi too will want to revenge their elimination from recent BLAST Premier Fall Final by Astralis, so the playoffs ought to be a proper thrill!
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