IEM Fall 2021 – Europe Group D Preview

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We conclude our preview of IEM Fall: EU by looking at Group D. Featuring both old names and new, these teams will compete in a round robin stage under best-of-one format to decide who will advance to the playoffs and who will see a premature elimination.

Of course, there’s more than money to compete for: on the line are Regional Major Rankings points, which will ultimately decide the participants at the PGL Stockholm Major. In this article we take a look at the recent results and current forms of Group D’s teams, to decide who has the best shot at making it to the next stage of IEM Fall.

Logo for Ninjas in Pyjamas Ninjas in Pyjamas (1488 RMR Points)

Fresh off the addition of Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz, the Ninjas in Pyjamas played a great tournament at Flashpoint Season 3, finishing in second place. More roster moves have seen them lose points and move down the rankings, slipping into fourth place and losing Legend’s Status in the process. In the meantime, however, they’ve continued to impress — first reaching the quarterfinals of the ESL Pro League, then running through the BLAST Premier: Fall Groups with a 3-0 record.

Despite being unable to find a stable fifth player, The Ninjas have managed to pull off several impressive displays against Tier 1 opposition. They will look to reclaim Legend’s Status at IEM Fall, and a strong start in Group D would put them on the right track to do so. They should finish among the top half of the group, but anything short of a deep playoffs run will likely be a disappointment for NIP.

Logo for Double Poney Double Poney (720 RMR Points)

A top-eight finish at Flashpoint Season 3 has left Double Poney with 720 points heading into IEM Fall, putting the squad in ninth place in Europe’s RMR circuit. A slot at the PGL Stockholm Major is within reach, but they will need to earn some points here to maintain their position. The French roster looks in solid form prior to the event, currently sitting at a 5-1 record in ESEA Premier Season 38.

They’re in a tough group, but finishing among the top three will be a necessity for Double Poney. Unfortunately, the return to LAN is likely to hurt them more than it helps due to a lack of experience in offline play for some of the teams players. Double Poney just needs one strong finish to carry themselves to Stockholm, but it’ll be one of the toughest challenges this young squad has faced to this point.

Logo for Fnatic Fnatic (294 RMR Points)

Fnatic is currently in fourteenth place after bombing out of Flashpoint and making several roster moves. These changes seem to be paying off, as the team’s form has gradually improved in recent weeks. They finished the ESL Pro League with a 3-2 record in their group, advancing to the playoffs where they lost to Team Liquid. Fnatic’s recent games include wins over the likes of BIG, Evil Geniuses and group rival FaZe Clan.

Fnatic should end up among the top half of Group D, and could wind up playing in the 12th-9th place tiebreakers. After missing out on the 2019 StarLadder Berlin Major, it would be a crushing blow to this squad to fail to reach the major once again — but it’ll take a string of consistently strong performances to prevent that fate.

Logo for FaZe Clan FaZe Clan (248 RMR Points)

FaZe Clan enter IEM Fall in a very interesting position. The team collected just 250 points following a last-place finish at Flashpoint, putting them in fifteenth place in Europe’s RMR Circuit. On top of this, the team has had some up-and-down results recently, missing the playoffs of the ESL Pro League but advancing out of their group in the BLAST Premier.

However, FaZe has one thing going for them: LAN. This team is known for putting up big performances during offline play, evidenced by their semifinals finish at IEM Cologne. If FaZe can continue this trend, then the return to offline play puts them in a great position to gain some much-needed points. Expect to find them floating around the peak of Group D, if not at the very top.

Logo for Team Fiend Team Fiend (0 RMR Points)

The first of two Bulgarian teams in Group D, Team Fiend enters their initial RMR tournament with this event. The team has some recent wins against European opposition — including names such as Dignitas, Sinners Esports and SKADE — but struggle with inconsistency issues against teams of similar calibre.

At most, expect Team Fiend to win one or two games. IEM Fall serves as an opportunity for this team to compete against Europe’s best, serving as valuable experience on their campaign towards the next level of competition. If they can impress in Group D, it will be great momentum for the roster as they look towards the new year.

Logo for SKADE SKADE (0 RMR Points)

Rounding out Group D is the tournament’s only other Bulgarian squad, SKADE. The squad just missed out on Flashpoint Season 3 and thus arrive here without any points. They’re currently competing in the 38th season of ESEA Premier, but a 2-4 record has left them among the bottom of their group. IEM Fall offers much stronger competition, and thus their chances of pulling away from the bottom of the group seem slim at best.

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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