IEM Fall 2021 – Europe Group A Preview

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Only two European RMR events will be held in 2021, and the second is just days away. IEM Fall will see twenty-four of Europe’s best teams playing for eleven qualification spots at the PGL Stockholm Major in October. This event will be the only one of all IEM Fall events to be played on LAN, giving us a chance to see how Europe’s teams will perform in a return to offline play.

To reach the playoffs, teams must first succeed in the groups stage, competing against five other teams in a best-of-one, round robin format. Today, we look at the teams that will compete in Group A!

Logo for G2 Esports G2 Esports (1640 RMR Points)

G2 Esports sit in second place in RMR points, currently putting them in position to finish with Legend’s Status and bypass Stockholm’s New Challenger’s stage. However, a recent decline in form poses a danger to the team, bombing out of the ESL Pro League with a 0-5 record and failing to advance from the BLAST Premier: Fall groups stage after losses to BIG and the Ninjas in Pyjamas.

With such a strong base coming into IEM Fall, the pressure on their shoulders is much less than that of other teams desperate for RMR points. However, they cannot afford another blow-out like the Pro League. There is still a chance that G2 let Stockholm slip through their fingers, and they will need to play like it.

Logo for mousesports Mousesports (1600 RMR Points)

Mousesports won Europe’s first RMR event of the year and in dominant fashion, dropping only a single map along the way. This puts them in third place going into IEM Fall, just forty points behind G2. The international lineup have put themselves in a great position to secure Legend’s Status at the major, but it’ll take another strong performance to get there.

Mousesports have multiple victories over the other teams in their group. They defeated both BIG and G2 Esports — the two biggest threats to their success — at Flashpoint Season 3, the region’s first RMR tournament. More recently, the squad defeated BIG en route to a 3-2 record in the ESL Pro League group stage, a performance that saw the team make the playoffs. Mousesports are likely to make the playoffs, and could very well finish the tournament with enough points to arrive in Sweden as legends.

Logo for BIG BIG (1200 RMR Points)

BIG sit in a strong sixth place with 1200 points, but their position is highly competitive with so many teams vying to take their place. Recent roster moves have left BIG in volatile form headed into IEM Fall, losing to the likes of Mousesports and FaZe Clan at the ESL Pro League but defeating G2 Esports in the BLAST Premier: Fall Groups.

If BIG can once again beat G2, and they don’t give up a match to the likes of FunPlus Phoenix or Copenhagen Flames, they’ll be in a great position to make the playoffs and finish among the top eight. Unless things take an unexpected turn for the worse, the German squad should finish among the middle of the pack in RMR points, and will likely make the PGL Major without too many worries.

Logo for FunPlus Phoenix FunPlus Phoenix (1040 RMR Points)

With 1040 points, FunPlus Phoenix sits in seventh place in the Regional Major Rankings, just one position below BIG. It should be the goal of FunPlus to finish in at least eleventh place, in order to gain points at the event and hold onto their spot in Stockholm.

With only the top two teams from each group reaching the playoffs, it seems that FunPlus will likely be among the fight for Europe’s final qualification spots. Finishing third in the group will put them into contention for these slots, but FPX can make things significantly easier for themselves with a 2nd place finish in the group, which would guarantee them enough points for a trip to Stockholm.

Logo for Copenhagen Flames Copenhagen Flames (0 RMR Points)

The Copenhagen Flames have spent much of the past two years trying to break into the top tier of European play. The team worked their way through the open qualifiers to make IEM fall, defeating notable teams such as AGO, Wisla Krakow and Team Fiend along the way. Sadly for the flames, however, they missed out on Flashpoint Season 3, and thus are playing from behind with zero points.

The Flames look to be in solid form headed into IEM Fall, but a lack of experience against Tier 1 competition is likely to cause the team some issues. Additionally, many of these players have never played on LAN, adding another element of uncertainty to the mix. Expect the Danes to finish in the bottom half of the group, but don’t count them out against any opponents.

Logo for AURA AURA (0 RMR Points)

AURA is likely a new name for most readers. The Swedish squad is a young lineup, having qualified for IEM Fall following wins over the likes of Havu Gaming, Team LDLC and SAW. Clearly capable on the server, AURA may find the best-of-one format working in their favor, and could surprise their opponents in Group A with a win against the likes of Copenhagen Flames or FunPlus Phoenix.

Joshua Treadway
Joshua Treadway
Esports writer with an interest in technology and culture. Believer in North American Counter-Strike. Universally Beloved.

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