IEM Fall 2021 Europe, North America, and Asia recap: NiP are champions, nades meta in action, sleep is more important than Major


IEM Fall 2021 EU, NA, and Asia have come to an end. This means that we now know all 24 participants of PGL Major Stockholm 2021. The CS.MONEY Blog is here to sum up the outcome of the events in Europe, North America, and Asia, and to look back at their highlights.

Underdogs going to Major

IEM Fall 2021 Europe featured quite a few surprises. Four squads that were barely playoffs contenders — Movistar Riders, Fiend, Copenhagen Flames, and ENCE — did advance out of the group. The latter two managed to make it to the Major, and ENCE even fought NiP in the finals.

Some big names, including BIG, mousesports, OG, Heroic, Complexity, and FaZe (we’ll speak about the latter a bit later), dropped out of the playoffs. To an extent, this is another testimony that BO1 format is quite controversial. However, teams must be ready for anything and always bring their A-game, especially if it’s a qualifying tournament for the Major.

All 24 PGL Stockholm Major 2021 participants (source:

The FaZe odyssey at IEM Fall 2021 Europe

FaZe have been making good progress lately. At IEM Fall 2021 Europe, they obviously laid claim to a place in the playoffs. However, in the decisive match against the Bulgarians from Fiend, the international squad made blunders.

Still, that wasn’t the end of the tournament for FaZe: they landed 9–12th place and made it to the bracket. Finn “karrigan” Andersen’s team did everything they possibly could: they won all their remaining matches. Afterward, everything was up to G2, who had already secured a trip to Stockholm. The French club had to win at least one of their three matches to allow FaZe to attend the Major. Eventually, G2 defeated Fiend, giving FaZe their much-coveted ticket to the main event of the year.

Karrigan confessed that he hadn’t slept for several days over that time because he was extremely worried about the event’s outcome.

Judging by the cap’s tweet, the respite won’t last too long 🙂 

Player with VAC ban could attend Major

Team Fiend made a heroic comeback in Group D: after the Bulgarians lost their first two matches, they refused to give up and won the remaining three. 

In order to advance to the Major, they had to win one match out of three in their fight for 9–12th place. But first, Fiend lost to Astralis and G2, and then, in the tournament’s last match which featured overtime on both maps, they suffered a defeat from Copenhagen Flames. Yet that’s not the only curious side of the team’s performance at the event.

In 2016, Fiend’s Simeon “dream3r” Ganev received a permanent ban from all Valve-sponsored tournaments. Long story short: his Steam account was stolen in 2014. When dream3r managed to restore it in 2016, it turned out that the offender had received a VAC ban. At the time, Valve weren’t satisfied with the player’s explanation, and the lifetime VAC ban remained valid. Then in April 2021, Valve allowed players with a permanent ban to attend their events provided five years had passed since the ban had been issued. Therefore, if Fiend made it to the Major, dream3r would be the first player with a VAC ban to attend a Major after Valve changed the rules. For now, the historic moment has been postponed.

Final ranking for Europe (source:

However, participating in our Gleam event shouldn’t be postponed. On the contrary, you should hurry up, as it ends on October 15! In it, you can win new Operation Riptide skins. The main prize is Butterfly Knife Lore FT! Use the promo code ThD9csc to increase your chances of winning it. Good luck!

NIP in top 3 for the first time in five years

Ninjas in Pyjamas won IEM Fall 2021 Europe — the team’s first title since IEM Oakland 2017. Moveover, NIP are now in the top 3 in the world ranking — for the first time in five years! On top of that, Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz has won his first MVP award on board the Swedish team, the 19th one in his career. With all that said, we’ll really be looking forward to seeing the Swedish-Danish lineup in action at the Major.

From fifth place at IEM Fall to the PGL Stockhold Major as Legends

Following the developments of the American RMR-tournament was exciting too. Over the past year, analysts have noted a significant decline in the region’s play level. Still, as many as five teams from North America will go to the Major (as is the case with the CIS region), and three of them will start in the New Legends Stage. That’s because of NA teams’ great performance at StarLadder Major Berlin, which took place more than two years ago.

Evil Geniuses had a terrible group stage: they won only two matches, and only one of these two victories was their merit. In the game versus Triumph, Evil Geniuses’ opponents lost by forfeit.

As a result, Evil Geniuses failed to advance out of the group. However, they did manage to reach the match for fifth place against EXTREMUM. This game essentially determined who would attend the Major — and EG won. The team was one step away from failure and elimination from the event, and now, they are participating in the main tournament of the year holding the Legends status.

Final ranking for North America (source:

Qualifier for the Major? Nah, I think I’ll take a nap instead

Who knows how Evil Geniuses would’ve fared had the match with Triumph actually taken place. The game was supposed to take place on Nuke, where EG won 0% of games in 6 months and Triumph, contrariwise, suffered only one defeat in 10 last matches. But…

Triumph’s Jack “xCeed” Holiman didn’t show up for the game against EG: he slept through the whole thing! This resulted in a forfeit loss for his team. Triumph had a solid chance to advance out of the group, or at least to compete for 5th place. But their situation got much more difficult after this loss. In the end, Triumph aren’t going to the Major.

Nades usage masterclass by Aleksib

OG didn’t make it to the Major, but the ingenuity of their captain, Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen, was nothing short of amazing. The Finnish player took full advantage of the most recent update, which introduced the ability to drop grenades.

In the match versus Sprout on Dust 2, it was Aleksib who got most of the HE nades — of which he made fantastic use. In the process, Virolainen dealt 967 grenade damage in the match, averaging 42.1 per round. Normally, this value would amount to 3-5 units.

While grenade drops are already part and parcel of the meta, teams still exhibit caution as to the new Dust 2: it hasn’t been played at the North American RMR Tournament a single time. Will any of the teams risk preparing Dust 2 for the Major?

IEM Fall 2021 Asia: Tyloo are once again the region’s strongest team

IEM Fall 2021 Asia featured only four teams, and only two of them competed for a slot in the Major: Tyloo and Vici. The squads met in the BO5 finals. Tyloo, who have been the region’s main team for a long while now, were victorious. Nevertheless, most of their successes pertain to the local scene.

Final ranking for Asia (source:

PGL Major Stockholm starts on October 26th, it will be the first Major and the first big LAN tournament with an audience in over two years. The CS.MONEY Blog is looking forward to the championship. May the strongest win!




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