IEM Fall Europe RMR – Tournament Preview

September 27, 2021 | 0 | 1185| |

After two years since the last Counter-Strike Major, fans are finally rejoicing as the PGL Stockholm Major starts in less than a month. It has been a rough era for esports, but the end is in sight.

However, before we head to the PGL Major itself, the RMR circuit is still ongoing. Besides Natus Vincere, no other team has guaranteed their spot in the big stage – and that’s why IEM Fall is a key event for almost every squad taking part. This is the final opportunity to get a place on the Major, and 24 teams from Europe will be heading to ESL’s studios this Wednesday to fight for 11 spots given to the Europe region.

Before the event starts, we have prepared a quick guide to make sure you’re fully up-to-date on the event details. Moreover, we’ve also highlighted six storylines from teams coming to IEM Fall. Take a look!

Everything you need to know about IEM Fall EU

Starting this Wednesday (29th), 24 teams from Europe will be on ESL’s studios in Stockholm. The event will be played offline, but there will be no crowds at any point.

As for the format, IEM Fall EU will firstly run a round-robin group stage with four groups, each with six teams. All matches in the group stage are best-of-one series and all teams play each other once. The top two teams from each group advance to the playoffs, and the teams that finish in 3rd will be playing tiebreakers for 9 – 12th places.

The second stage of the event, the playoffs, is a single-elimination bracket with tiebreaker games being played for all placements. All games will be best-of-three maps but the grand-final, which is a best-of-five match.

As for rewards, IEM Fall EU features a $105,000 prize pool and points to the RMR circuit. The top eleven teams from the RMR rankings will be qualified to the Major. Here’s how the point distribution works in IEM Fall EU:

PLACERMR POINTS EARNED
1st2500
2nd2344
3rd2188
4th2031
5th1875
6th1719
7th1563
8th1406
9th1250
10th1094
11th938
12 – 24th0

Lastly, you will be able to catch all matches through ESL’s channels on Twitch. Here’s the main channel, and here’s the secondary stream channel.

Groups

Here are the four groups of IEM Fall EU:

Current standings

And here are the current RMR standings for European teams:

PLACETEAMTOTAL POINTS
1.Heroic1660
2.G21640
3.mousesports1600
4.Ninjas in Pyjamas1488
5.Vitality1480
6.BIG 1200
7.FunPlus Phoenix1040
8.Astralis1024
9.DBL Poney720
10.Sprout480
11.OG430
12.Complexity420
13.Anonymo Esports300
14.FNATIC294
15.FaZe Clan248
16.HYENAS108

Now that we have gone through all details, let’s take a look at some of the most interesting team backgrounds and storylines developing through this event.

ASTRALIS – never stop fighting

PLAYERROLE [according to Liquipedia]HLTV Rating in 2021
BubzkjiRifler0.96
dupreehRifler [entry fragger]1.07
LuckyAWPer1.12
MagiskIn-Game Leader, Rifler1.05
Xyp9xRiffler [support]0.98

After months of rumors and speculation, it’s becoming clear that Astralis might not be the same team as it’s now once the PGL Stockholm Major is over. Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth has announced that his future is uncertain and that he’s on the lookout for options. Danny “zonic” Sørensen is rumored to be leaving the organization at the end of the year. Then, there’s the uncertainty regarding the future of Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen and Emil “Magisk” Reif.

However, that hasn’t stopped the current roster of Astralis from going above and beyond expectations. We saw this team shining in IEM Cologne 2021, and even without their captain, Astralis also finished in 2nd place of their group during BLAST Fall Groups after putting a fight against Vitality and defeating Liquid and Evil Geniuses. This team might not be on the on the same level they once were, but the fire is still there.

To the Major

In the current RMR standings, Astralis is sitting in 8th place with 1024 points. This is definitely a respectable record that surely will help them get a spot in the Major. However, just like every other team in IEM Fall Europe, their spot in the Major is far from being safe.

For that, Astralis will have to once again, go above and beyond as they are in one of the most dangerous groups of IEM Fall. With Astralis, Complexity, Heroic and Sinners, group B should have some of the fiercest games in IEM Fall, and one mistake might be enough to take one’s opportunity of reaching in the Major.

To further complicate Astralis’ situation, they will be without their captain again. This, combined with Astralis’ form certainly puts them on a more than inconvenient situation. But hey, if there’s a thing that CSGO fans learned these past months is to never count the Danes out.

DIGNITAS – for the fans

PLAYERROLE [according to Liquipedia]HLTV Rating in 2021
f0restRifler1.13
fribergIn-Game Leader0.88
hallzerkAWPer1.08
HEAPRifler [lurker]1.06
Lekr0Rifler [entry fragger]1.09

Ever since it’s formation back last year, Dignitas has been playing mostly against the second and third tiers of competition in Europe. The team hasn’t taken part in any high-level event besides cs_summit 7 in 2021, but they are now heading to IEM Fall as one of the biggest opportunities this squad ever had.

To make matters better for this team, Dignitas is going through a good phase. Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg keeps delivering good performances consistently and so does Håkon “hallzerk” Fjærli. Jonas “Lekr0” Olofsson has also been a key element for this team most recent successes: winning Nordic Masters Fall and qualifying for IEM Fall.

Dignitas’ performances, albeit good ones, are mostly against teams far from the likes of Vitality or Heroic, though. In their group at IEM Fall, every team will be a hard opponent. To make through the first stage of the competition, Dignitas will be relying on upsets, which are indeed more likely thanks to the BO1 format.

Underdogs

Dignitas is playing on the same group as OG and Vitality, two favorites of IEM Fall. Then, there’s ENCE and MAD Lions, two of the best teams competing below the premier level. Dignitas is an underdog even among underdogs.

Still, watching Adam “friberg” Friberg and f0rest back on LAN certainly is going to be a treat for fans of the legendary players. Don’t expect them to take IEM Fall by storm, but know that f0rest and his boys will be giving all they have – and that’s enough to keep an eye on this team.

FAZE CLAN – on the verge

PLAYERROLE [according to Liquipedia]HLTV Rating in 2021
brokyAWPer1.10
KarriganIn-Game Leader0.90
olofmeisterRifler [support]0.96
rainRifler [entry fragger]1.00
TwistzzRifler1.12

Ever since IEM Cologne 2021, the outlook on FaZe changed for many. There, Finn “karrigan” Andersen proved that his team still could put a fight even against the best teams in the world. FaZe’s most recent performances haven’t been as good, but the potential is still there.

However, counting on a team’s potential is a dangerous factor to rely on. FaZe has also shown in these past weeks that they are strong, but still have plenty to work on. Specifically, their T-side, which is costing them maps.

Unfortunately, this one major flaw might cause their demise in IEM Fall. Most of their opponents should have a lot of trouble facing FaZe’s defenses, but when it comes to attack the European squad isn’t as satisfactory.

No easy way in

FaZe won’t have a lot of time to regroup for IEM Fall. The team just finished their run at BLAST, so they have less than a week to head to Stockholm for the final RMR event. Hopefully Karrigan can make the best out of the few days he has before the event starts, because they will need it.

As things stand, FaZe is sitting on the 15th place in the RMR rankings, having a total of 248 points. This means that they need to finish in the top two places in their group to have a good chance of getting to the Major. Unfortunately for FaZe, this won’t be easy as their group surely has plenty of competition. Not only FNATIC and NiP are there, but considering the BO1 format, Fiend, SKADE and DBL Poney are also highly dangerous threats.

This means that FaZe won’t have an easy time making to the Major. Fans, however, are expecting them to do so. After all, this is a project that had enough time to develop, and skipping the first CSGO Major in two years would be a massive disappointment. IEM Fall can either make or break this project.

FNATIC – little time

PLAYERROLE [according to Liquipedia]HLTV Rating in 2021
ALEXIn-Game Leader0.98
BrollanRifler [entry fragger]1.09
JackinhoAWPer1.01
KRIMZRifler [support]0.99
meziiRifler1.16

All things considered, FNATIC’s new roster with Alex “ALEX” McMeekin and William “mezii” Merriman is still a young roster. They did impress many fans during EPL Season XIV, though, but the remaining of their results are more in line with expectations for these first months of the new FNATIC.

Still, time won’t wait for FNATIC to be fully adjusted, and neither will the CSGO scene. Whether FNATIC is ready or not, the IEM Fall is here and this is their only and one chance of making to the Major. It won’t be easy at all, but at some point, younger teams have to make their breakthrough to prove that they are worth of the investment, and there’s no better time than now for ALEX.

Then again, FNATIC’s results aren’t inspiring a lot of confidence. The squad reached the playoffs of EPL Season 14, but the team failed to impress in Nordic Masters Fall and they qualified to IEM Fall through the losers’ bracket of the event’s qualifier, as the team got defeated by Sinners in their opening match.

It’s not going to be easy

If Nordic Masters is anything to go by, FNATIC won’t be an easy time from their starting day in IEM Fall. BO1 games certainly are harder to play when you have a newer team, and FNATIC’s group will provide plenty of challenge.

To make things even more complicated for ALEX, FNATIC doesn’t have a many RMR points to their name. With just 294 points, FNATIC hopes of a spot in the Major lies in the playoffs of IEM Fall, much like FaZe Clan.

Talking about FaZe, they will be on the same group as FNATIC. Alongside NiP, fans are expecting these three to be the ones fighting for the top spots of their group, and while the last encounter between ALEX and Karrigan ended with the former as the winner, nothing is guaranteed now.

FNATIC will have to make a herculean effort to survive their group, but ALEX needs to prove that he’s the man to bring FNATIC back to the place where the team belongs, and there’s no better time and place to do so than IEM Fall.

G2 – rough times softened by the past

PLAYERROLE [according to Liquipedia]HLTV Rating in 2021
AmaNEkAWPer0.99
huNter-Rifler1.09
JaCkzRifler [entry fragger]0.94
nexaIn-Game Leader0.98
NiKoRifler, AWPer1.18

G2 fall from grace was rough and unpredicted. The team which finished the first half of the year by reaching 2nd place in IEM Cologne after a streak of good performances, hasn’t reached anything close to that level ever since then. While fans hoped that EPL Season 14 was just a fluke, G2’s performance at BLAST Fall Groups points that it wasn’t.

Unfortunately, G2 picked the worst time to start underperforming. Unless Nemanja “nexa” Isaković has a great plan under his sleeve to bring G2 to the same level they achieved before the player break, it’s hard to see G2 making a deep run in IEM Fall. Even though G2’s group isn’t the most competitive one, it’s hard to expect great things out of this squad right now as everyone but Nikola “NiKo” Kovač struggles to perform.

Not everything is lost, though. G2 performances in the previous RMR events might be just enough to save G2’s spot in the Major. As the second team in the RMR ladder, just 20 points behind the first, G2 is in a good position overall, and they shouldn’t need to do a deep run as many teams do. However, they can’t bomb and finish the even below 11th place either.

Not enough

Sure, 1640 points are pretty good and gives G2 a solid shot of making through as long as they reach 3rd place in their group, which is a fairly achievable task – or at least should be.

Unfortunately, G2 current form and the group stage format doesn’t help the Europeans’ case. Teams like Copenhagen Flames and FunPlus Phoenix could take advantage of G2’s current map pool and form and get away with a win.

It’d be a shame to see G2 failing to make to the Major after having a great streak of performances earlier in the year. Fortunately for them, thanks to those previous events, they have a good amount of RMR points to make the process easier, but their current form creates a lot of uncertainty around this roster going to IEM Fall.

OG – now or never

PLAYERROLE [according to Liquipedia]HLTV Rating in 2021
AleksibIn-Game Leader1.01
flameZRifler [entry fragger]1.11
mantuuAWPer1.14
nikoRifler [support]1.01
valdeRifler [lurker]1.11

2021 has been a year of mixed results for OG. The squad led by Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen had good results in IEM Summer and EPL Season XIV, but disappointed in IEM Cologne and BLAST Premier Fall Groups most recently.

Now, IEM Fall’s the most important tournament for this team in the second half of the year. OG is expected to make to the Major – they have to. And on paper, OG has everything they need to do so. However, as they have shown plenty of times, this team often can’t live to what’s expected from them.

Furthermore, it’s hard to know in which form OG will show up for IEM Fall. Considering it’s an offline tournament, we might see this team struggling due to some of their players’ inexperience in such environment. Mateusz “mantuu” Wilczewski, OG’s AWPer and a key piece of their success, had some rough performances recently, and he’s doesn’t have much LAN experience under his belt, raising some red flags around this team chances.

Maybe, however, we’ll be watching the OG fans have waited for the past year. Shahar “flameZ” Shushan and mantuu are incredibly strong players in their roles, and Valdemar “valde” Bjørn Vangså rarely fails to perform. This team has a ton of potential, and it’s time to start reaching for it.

400 points in the bank

OG is coming to IEM Fall with 400 RMR points to their name. This doesn’t mean a lot, but every point count, and OG will gladly take every advantage they can. Still, OG has to aim at a spot in the playoffs in order to guarantee their place in Stockholm.

Fortunately for OG, they are one of the favorites in their group alongside Vitality. Unfortunately, considering that group C has plenty of dangerous teams that could take a map from OG on a good day, we could be seeing ENCE or Dignitas taking that spot.

To make things a bit more complicated for OG, the team had to replace their roster for IEM Fall. Casper “ruggah” Due can’t be with them for the PGL Major due to his ban, so the team will count on Samu “uli” Leirilaakso for IEM Fall and the Major, if they qualify. While Valve’s restriction on coaches limits their influence in the server, it still is a small disadvantage for this team.

OG has to be aware of how important this event is for them. Not qualifying for the PGL Major could definitely endanger this whole project.

IEM Fall starts this Wednesday

It’s the final countdown from now until Wednesday. Once IEM Fall starts, we will be having surprises, disappointments and plenty of incredible matches across all regions.

In order to make sure you’re up with everything, make sure to follow us! And if you missed it, here’s our IEM Fall CIS preview.

The author

My name is Marcos, I have been following the CSGO pro scene since 2015 but really got into in following games and pro teams in 2016. Used to bet a lot, stopped a bit but never stopped following the esports scene. I'm a student right now so I got a lot of time to keep with it and discover new things.

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