September 29 marked the beginning of the final series of the IEM Fall 2021 RMR tournaments in four regions: Europe, CIS, South America, and Oceania. These events will determine the participants of the long-awaited Major. For now, only Natus Vincere are certain to take part in PGL Major Stockholm 2021. The CS.MONEY Blog is here to assess the teams’ chances of making it through.
The format of IEM Fall 2021
The format of IEM Fall 2021 for Europe and the CIS is pretty controversial. All group stage matches will be BO1, ensuring higher randomness. On top of that, the final RMR tournaments and the Major itself will take place with the fresh patch in force, with updated maps, devices, and grenade drops.
Two teams out of six from each group qualify for the playoffs, rendering each match even more important.
IEM Fall 2021 Europe
The European RMR tournament symbolizes the multinational nature of esports. Players from 25 countries and 4 continents will participate in the championship. With 28 Danish players attending, they are the most numerous ethnic group at the event.
IEM Fall 2021 Europe is the only RMR that will be played on LAN. The matches will take place in a studio located in Stockholm. An environment like this gives an advantage to the more experienced teams who have dozens of offline events under their belt. Nevertheless, the BO1 system provides every team with a chance to succeed.
At the end of RMR, eleven teams will receive points. The number of teams that will travel from Europe to the Major — also eleven.
Team Vitality, Heroic, and NiP have all made good progress since the break. They’ll most likely have no problem making it to the Major. In addition, each of these teams has only one representative from the top 10 of the HLTV.org ranking in their groups.
The French, Danish, and Swedish squads are currently among the top five teams in the regional rankings. The points they’ll have at the beginning of the tournament will be of great significance for them. Naturally, as the tournament progresses, we’ll have to recalculate the teams’ standings and their odds of advancing several times a day. However, even if something goes wrong for these three teams, they simply have to get into that “point zone,” which will almost certainly send them to the main tournament of the year.
Watching Heroic perform at IEM Fall 2021 will be particularly exciting. Surely the lineup is still feeling the pressure due to the scandal around former team coach Nicolai “HUNDEN” Petersen. We’ll see if the team can cope with the pressure real soon. At ESL Pro League Season 14, the Danes played rather well, finishing at 3–4 place. To qualify for the Major, all they need to do is get into the point zone.
Big names, vague prospects
While G2, Astralis, mousesports, BIG, Complexity, and OG are all big names, they all have issues with showing stable performance or roster-related problems.
- G2 have only won one of their last nine games.
- Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander’s wife is having a baby, so the Danish captain is temporarily out of action, with Andreas “Xyp9x” Hojsleth replacing him. Andreas has already expressed his intention to leave the team.
- Even though BIG are a lineup with some amazing players on board (BLAST Premier Fall Groups 2021 stats prove that), they haven’t made the playoffs of any major tournament since February.
- Complexity are once again forced to make reshuffles and integrate a new player into the team.
- As ESL Pro League S14 and BLAST Premier Fall Groups 2021 have shown, OG can play well at one tournament but then fail miserably at the very next.
- Mousesports were the champions at the first RMR, but their best accomplishment since then is 3–4 place at the Gamers Without Borders 2021 charity event.
In any case, each of these teams boasts big-caliber players. Besides, the Major qualifier implies extraordinary morale in place. So perhaps mousesports — as an example — will bring their A-game again. And almost all of these squads, except OG and Complexity, need to get into the top 11 to go to the Major. Not the most challenging task for teams of this level.
Who are the possible rivals?
FunPlus Phoenix is a roster that’s far from stellar. Be that as it may, the international team earned 600 points at the last RMR and is now the seventh one in the regional ranking. By the way, FPX occupies the 38th line in the HLTV.org ranking — that’s four places apart from the lowest position among all participants of IEM Fall 2021 Europe.
What should we expect from this team? They don’t exactly play in many big tournaments, yet they boast a mix of experienced players and young, talented blood. That combination could help them succeed. Sure, FPX are in a tough situation. Their formidable opponents include BIG, G2, and mousesports. That’s right, all of those clubs have their problems. Nevertheless, making the playoffs would be a genuine miracle for FunPlus Phoenix.
FaZe Clan has only 248 points. The team made its way to this RMR through closed qualifiers.
The star roster finished last season with a semifinal at IEM Cologne 2021, their best achievement in 2021. After the vacation, the team didn’t make it out of the group at ESL Pro League Season 14, but managed to reach the playoffs at BLAST Premier: Fall Groups 2021. FaZe are usually well-prepared, although they don’t always get positive results. They are one of those teams at the RMR that can definitely display mesmerizing performance. To make it to the Major, they need to be in the top 7.
Two-time Major champion Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer means business:
Another such team is fnatic. They renewed their roster over the summer and are now trying to gradually rise to their former glory. While their results are modest so far, the Swedish-British squad at least managed to qualify for the RMR. Also, fnatic didn’t participate in BLAST Premier: Fall Groups 2021, which featured all the top teams. This means they had enough time to prepare for the upcoming event and invent strategies based on Valve’s innovations.
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Among the remaining participants, one team we can mention specifically is Dignitas, which includes veterans of the Swedish scene Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg and Adam “friberg” Friberg. ENCE, who made it to the quarterfinals of ESL Pro League Season 14, can work some miracles as well.
And we shouldn’t forget about the DBL Poney lineup, who are currently in ninth place. At the last RMR tournament, their roster included Nathan “NBK-” Schmitt. With his departure, the team’s results have worsened a bit. Nonetheless, DBL Poney already have 900 points and therefore a good chance of making it to the Major.
IEM Fall 2021 CIS
Too bad that the CIS RMR will take place online. NAVI and Gambit won’t be able to fight their offline LAN battles until the Major. NAVI have already secured their spot at the Major, and Gambit’s chances of joining NAVI are really high.
CIS has five Major spots. With NAVI factored out, that leaves four. The real contenders for the remaining vacant spots are Gambit, Team Spirit, K23, forZe, Virtus.pro, Entropiq, and even the infamous Akuma. In theory, other teams may qualify for the Major as well, but that would require too many favoring factors coming into play simultaneously.
To enter the battle for the Major, Entropiq, Virtus.pro, and Akuma need to get out of the group. ForZe and K23 are currently in limbo: they have a decent amount of points, but the aforementioned three teams are really close behind them. If they stumble a couple of times, they can bid their dream of the Major farewell. Given the density of groups and the level of CS:GO in the region, anyone can make a mistake.
Just think about it: two of the four teams — Gambit, K23, forZe, Virtus.pro — won’t make the playoffs, and at least one of them won’t even get any points since there are only five places.
A few words about Virtus.pro. The team hasn’t been in the best shape recently, and there are rumors about Sanjar “SANJI” Kuliev getting replaced. Virtus.pro need to finish in the top 4 to safely make it to the Major.
Of course, Gambit, NAVI, and Team Spirit won’t just chillax either (these squads have more than 3000 points). After all, it’s not only the place at the Major that’s at stake but also the distribution of stages. The outcome will define the stage at which the teams will set off on their path at the year’s biggest tournament. The first two teams advance to the Legends stage, one to the Challengers stage, and two more to the Contenders stage. With that said, even NAVI, who are guaranteed to attend PGL Major Stockholm 2021, will be working hard to that end.
IEM Fall 2021 South America & Oceania
The scope of IEM Fall 2021 South America & Oceania is much more modest, with only four teams and one Contenders spot per region.
It will be two teams that will mostly fight for the South American ticket: MIBR and Sharks Esports. Interestingly, these clubs occupy two adjacent places in the rankings: 53rd and 54th, respectively. The level of the lineups couldn’t be more equal. The other two clubs, Bravos and Imperial, won’t see the Major even if they finish first in the tournament.
In Oceania, one favorite stands out: Renegades. The Australians won the last RMR tournament and, against the backdrop of all other teams in the region, have recent experience in big international events. We’ll find out whether they’ll be part of the Major based on the outcome of their encounter with Order. Just like with the South American RMR, the other teams have lost their mathematical chance of making it further.
IEM Fall 2021 is setting up to be full of surprises for viewers from different regions. After a two-year hiatus, everyone wants to get to the Major — the teams’ motivation is off the charts. The CS.MONEY Blog will closely follow the championship. In the next post, we’ll tell you about the state of affairs in the North American and Asian RMR tournaments, which start on October 5. Stay tuned!
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