The Counter-Strike esports scene moves to Asia for the IEM Beijing 2019 tournament. The $250,000 LAN event features eight teams who will play at the Beijing University Student’s Stadium. 

The six direct invites include some top-ranked CS:GO teams such as Astralis, Evil Geniuses, and Vitality. The remaining two teams are Vici Gaming and Tyloo, the respective  winners of the Chinese and Asian qualifiers.

The Counter-Strike esports scene does not have a clear frontrunner. While Astralis won the CS:GO Major, they cannot keep up the same performance anymore. Evil Geniuses has emerged as a strong contender for the title of the best CS:GO team. 

Astralis – The Fallen Giants in the Room

Image Credit: Astralis

The Danish team won the StarLadder Berlin Major 2019; however, they have not produced any victories post the Major. Astralis’ strength lies in their understanding of the game and their opponents. They are not the most skilled team in CS:GO; however, they make up for it with great chemistry and smart plays. 

Despite having one of the best map pools in CSGO, the team enables its players outside of the server, ensuring a sustainable playing environment. Their preparation includes support staff, proper scheduling, and physiologists, and regular exercise. 

Astralis rarely attend LAN tournaments to ensure proper rest and rejuvenation for their players. However, they have seen a significant dip in individual form, something that can hurt the Danish squad coming into Beijing. 

Evil Geniuses – Can they keep their Number 1 spot?

Image Credit: ESL

Evil Geniuses is one of the few new organizations entering Counter-Strike Global Offensive. They picked up the former NRG roster and have already won several tournaments in the time-being. EG’s aggressive gameplay and their belief in their firepower allow the team to take aim-duels against the best players in the world. They are the world’s best team ranked above Astralis, Fnatic and Team Liquid. 

IEM Beijing is an opportunity for the North American squad to prove their worthiness despite competition from top CS:GO teams. The GSL format of the tournament could lead to some problems for the EG roster, especially since they are in a very competitive group. 

The IEM Beijing Group B puts some of the strongest teams against each other. EG are the favorites to move out of the group; however, the long travel time and burnout could play a crucial role in their performance. 

Vitality – It’s not about Zyw0o 

Despite having Zyw0o, the Vitality roster has failed in its objective of becoming the best team in the world. The French team’s hopes rely on adequate support for the 19-year-old player. The management brought in Shox to revive and possibly improve the Vitality team’s results.

Vitality’s loss to Fnatic at DreamHack Masters Malmo 2019 was a golden opportunity for the team to claim their first post-Major trophy. Once again, Zyw0o continued to put up an impressive performance. He had a K-D of +22 with an 88.9 ADR. However, the rest of the team had a negative K-D and could not match Zyw0o’s performance. The team lost 1-2 to Fnatic in the Grand Finals. 

Vitality’s performance at IEM Beijing will depend heavily on the performance of the rest of the team. Zyw0o has been consistent in his career; however, for Vitality to win tournaments, players like Shox and Rpk need to step up to the occasion. 

Vitality starts their IEM Beijing journey with their first match against the Asian qualifier winners, Tyloo. 

100 Thieves make their Debut at IEM Beijing

FaZe Clan signed the Renegades CSGO roster

With the promise of an improved facility and extensive support for the former Renegades players, 100 Thieves hopes to improve their results significantly. 

The Australian players have consistently reached the Playoffs of Premier CS:GO events. However, despite their excellent placements, the 100 Thieves team has not won any significant tournament recently. 

The 100 Thieves coach assumes significance as he can help the team overcome some of their closest competitors. Kassad is one of the most respected coaches in the CS:GO scene, and with their new organization providing adequate support staff and infrastructure, Kassad can focus solely on improving the Renegades gameplay. 

The Australian players will play in Group A at IEM Beijing 2019. Besides Astralis, they are the favorites to make it out of the group and qualify for the Playoffs. 

FaZe Clan – Was BLAST Pro Series a Fluke?

Coldzera ecstatic after FaZe’s BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen victory.

The International Mixed team brought on Coldzera to their CS:GO roster, and they look to be a strong squad on paper. However, with multiple players underperforming before BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen, the future looked dim for FaZe Clan. 

With their 2-0 victory over NiP in the BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen Finals, FaZe Clan put up a dominant performance, one that can place them at par with the best CS:GO teams. 

With Nik0 and Coldzera stepping up at Copenhagen and Olofmeister’s consistent performance throughout the tournament, CS:GO fans might witness FaZe Clan’s comeback at IEM Beijing. The players seem to have a good time and won BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen despite their poor performance in the run-up to the tournament. Their positive attitude, coupled with their extremely high skill ceiling, can push the team into the Top 10 (they are #21 in the HLTV rankings). 

FaZe Clan has a tough task ahead of them as they are in Group B, alongside teams like Vitality and Evil Geniuses. They are the underdogs in the group; however, if they can find the same form as Copenhagen, FaZe Clan has a realistic chance to move forth into the Playoffs. 

Where can Fans watch IEM Beijing?

CS:GO fans can watch IEM Beijing at ESL’s official Twitch Channel

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IEM Beijing kicks off on November 7 and will continue for four days. EBTIPS will keep CS:GO fans updated with the latest news and updates from the China-based tournament. 

The author

Esports journalist. An esports fan, former wannabe pro and occasional angry young man. You can find him trying to climb the Dota 2 MMR or just chilling in Rocket League. Or maybe building an entire city in Cities: Skylines. The current mood is always a surprise.

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