The first week of IEM FALL was electrifying, having crowned a CIS and South American champion, we now look forward to the European Playoffs and the beginning of major qualification for Asia & North America. The Week 2 Compendium offers insight on the new competing teams, perusing those with the most on the line as major qualifiers come to a close.
Notable Teams @ IEM Fall North America
The true champions of North America have one last task before they can get to work at Stockholm’s Major. IEM Fall provides another training grounds for the internationally tenured squad and could be a confidence booster in disguise. EPL Season 14 saw Team Liquid nearly make a terrific run to the semifinals after a groundbreaking clutch from refrezh stole it all away. With the wind cut from their sails, their group at BLAST did not provide the much-needed pick-me-up the team needed after a loss to Lucky’s dramatics on the AWP sent Liquid packing to the Showdown. Momentum on the downturn could allow for the dark horses of Extra Salt and paiN to rise from the shadows and cause serious damage to Liquid’s domestic success. The onus remains on the wildly volatile emotions of the North Americans. When the frags are flowing, they are unstoppable. But when met with a staunchly prepared squad, their worst enemy simply remain themselves.
on the fence of international prowess
Near total domination within the Tier 2 North American scene leaves Extra Salt in a predicament. When approached to jump up in competition, they seemingly fall just short of success at the final hurdles. At the BLAST Showdown qualifiers, they were defeated by paiN. At DreamHack Open September, their EPL Season 15 Conference spot was nabbed by GODSENT in a grueling BO5 loss. Now at IEM Fall, the South African/North American mix wish to finally break through their recent struggles against the tougher competition in their region. OSee remains the constant in Extra Salt’s success and will need to keep up his stellar form if they want to snatch away the final spots at the Major. In order to truly cross the threshold of becoming an elite North American team, however, the return of FaNg’s remarkable European success must be put on full display throughout IEM Fall. Rosters like BIG and forZe crumbled at the likes of the Canadian’s crisp entries and the RMR’s competition will be no exception. Trying to hop the fence into international competition, the final call for Extra Salt has arrived.
Brazil´s Next in LINE
Throughout FURIA’s reign in North America, paiN sat by playing second fiddle to their successes. 00Nation gained notoriety, GODSENT nurtured new talent, but paiN remained resilient around the region’s shakeups. Led by saffee’s blistering AWP and consistent rifling from biguzera, the Brazilian squad has quickly risen through the ranks of North American Counter-Strike and now have a prime opportunity to attend their first international LAN together in Stockholm. Chemistry in calculated site takes powered by fierce Brazilian individuals creates an orchestrated roster of chaos that few in the region can stop. First, they must put an end to the back-and-forth affair their fierce rivalry with Extra Salt has caused over the recent months. Then, the region’s kings of Team Liquid become the final targets in the slow but steady conquest of Brazil’s next in line. The door is wide open for a Major appearance from paiN, but their fate simply remains in their hands.
The notorious yet beloved of brazil
From 100 Thieves to MIBR to O PLANO, kNg has chased a return to world Counter-Strike for an incredible amount of time. Roster after roster, he failed to make it back to the summits that he so easily used to scale. Now under 00Nation, a golden opportunity arises. The dynamic duo of HEN1 and LUCAS1 reunite to recreate Immortals’ former charm. The hunger for leo_drk to redeem himself following his departure from the Sharks. The chance for vsm to attend his first ever Major after his unbanning. IEM Fall means everything to 00Nation’s individuals and will be the tallest test required. Pressure will certainly be peaking against world class opposition like FURIA and Evil Geniuses, while also having to deal with their rising domestic opponents of GODSENT and TeamOne. The highest highs and lowest lows await 00Nation. Which version of the passionate Brazilian roster will unfold at IEM Fall?
Pride and Prestige on the line
The once pride of North America has descended past inconceivable new lows and IEM Fall remains the last straw. Riddled with player fatigue and lack of motivation, Evil Geniuses had to field stand-ins for multiple events with more failures added to the tally. Brehze and Stanislaw now return to the active-duty lineup in order to secure their spot at Stockholm come what may. Their success largely hinges on the veterans to supplement their younger talents of MICHU and oBo on their path back to excellence. While away from North America however, their region has quietly stacked many talented teams who could quickly sweep away the longstanding organization and further the sinking of the EG ship. Evil Geniuses must be on high alert at IEM Fall if they wish to return to any semblance of their former glory. By no means will Group B an easy feat to conquer but for the EG camp, it is simply all or nothing.
Drop´s Definitive Debut
An attempt with junior, honda, and a charismatic guerri, FURIA continues to struggle in filling their final fifth position. Now the Brazilians have finally settled on another academy player, drop, as their potential solution. The stakes couldn’t be higher for the 17-year-old as the few spots in the region for the Major can be quickly nabbed under his nose if he isn’t on his guard. ArT now returns to primary AWP role much to the dismay of Brazil’s fans as he truly shined when paired with a double AWP setup alongside junior or HEN1. New roles and players could spell disaster in the final stages of the RMR cycle for FURIA, but the solid consistencies of KSCERATO and yuurih have remained a staple of success throughout 2021. Fellow Brazilian rivals like 00Nation, TeamOne and GODSENT all could pose major threats to the top dogs of the country if they aren’t careful enough. One small step in the chaos of BO1’s may result in a catastrophic end to the season for FURIA.
Notable Teams @ IEM Fall Asia
Gathering back prestige
International affairs used to be the space where TYLOO showcased their best work. Continued scalps over the world’s best through unbridled aggression and exceptional aim, the Chinese had slowly grown to startling heights before COVID-19 struck hard. Within their own region TYLOO face difficulties with overcoming their classic domestic rival in ViCi. After losing the qualification spot for IEM Cologne, the rankings and confidence of the roster plummeted even further. Now the team stand neck and neck with ViCi to claim the only Asian spot at the Stockholm Major and reclaim the title of being the best Asian team yet again. Can the longstanding veterans of somebody, Attacker, and Summer return to the bright lights of international Counter-Strike?
ViCi have long remained under the shadow of TYLOO. Too often have their near qualifications slipped through their fingers and countless matches spiral out of their control. However, with the introduction of JamYoung into the roster, ViCi have thrived in Asia against all odds. Qualifying for IEM Cologne’s Play-In stage, the BLAST Showdown, and sweeping through titles galore, the Chinese squad has flourished into the new top dogs of Asian Counter-Strike. Having the opportunity to return to international play after the capitulation of their star AWPer Kaze at IEM Cologne, the hunger for their most important title at IEM Fall remain at an all-time high. Only two series wins separate the new kings of Asia from their spot at Stockholm.