IEM Sydney 2019 Early Preview and Analysis -

IEM Sydney 2019 Early Preview & Analysis

By: EsportsOnly.Com
Feb 18, 2019

Connect socially with esports


Share on facebook
Share on reddit
Share on twitter

IEM Sydney or Intel Extreme Masters XIV Sydney is an upcoming CS:GO event of great importance. In total, 16 teams will attend the tournament and compete for a prize pool of $250.000.

As the name suggests, IEM Sydney will be held in Sydney, Australia, at the end of April, being the most important CS:GO event scheduled to take place in this region in 2019.

IEM Sydney Event Format

IEM Sydney will be played in 2 stages: Groups and Playoffs.

The Group Stage consists of 2 groups of 8. Winners advance to the Semifinals, while the next 2 teams in each group advance to the Quarterfinals, where they are cross-seeded: 2nd from Group A plays against 3rd from Group B and vice versa.

The Playoffs Stage consists of a single elimination bracket. Every match is a Bo3 series except the Grand Final (Bo5).

Prize Pool Distribution At IEM Sydney

The $250K prize offered by IEM Sydney will be split among the 16 teams in the following way:

  • 1st place: $100K
  • 2nd place: $42K
  • 3rd – 4th place: $20K
  • 5th – 6th place: $10K
  • 7th – 8th place: $6K
  • 9th – 12th place: $5K
  • 13th – 16th place: $4K

Team Analysis

Here’s an analysis of the 4 teams that have already been announced. The other 12 are not yet known. What is known is that 6 of them will receive direct invites, which means that Astralis, Team Liquid, Natus Vincere, mousesports and others will probably be at this tournament as well.


For the first time since it’s reformation, MIBR is playing with a purely Brazilian roster, living up to their name: Made in Brazil. FalleN and his squad look ready to take on the world and win. To be fair, it’s been a while since they started to fall from grace. But they didn’t fall into the depths of anonymity like other teams. Thanks to the vast experience of every member of the roster, MIBR continued to be a top 6 team even during their hardships and inner struggles.

Right now, with TACO back to the team and zews as their new coach, MIBR have all the ingredients to succeed. All indicators show that they will probably stabilize first in the top 4 and become once again an unbeatable team by anyone except the very best. After that it’s not yet clear what will happen. A lot depends on coldzera and FalleN. The first of these two was once at s1mple’s level – an absolute beast who could win duels and clutches and make a huge difference for his team on every map. The second one used to be in the top 3 as a sniper.

TACO is still TACO, fer is still fer, and felps will probably do his part as well, although nothing special is expected of him. The plays and miracles must come from coldzera and FalleN. If these two players do their thing at the level they used to play at 18 months ago, MIBR will crush almost every opponent as long as the other 3 members of the team have decent performances.

Due to the hype that has been created around MIBR, this team is one of the most thrilling to watch at every event. At the time of this writing, they are waiting to play in the IEM Katowice Major and we’ve yet to see how they’ll perform.

Going into IEM Sydney, we expect MIBR to get a 3rd – 4th place finish. This is the most likely result based on what we’ve seen from them so far. But if they start playing at maximum potential, then nothing should be impossible for this team.

FaZe Clan

FaZe Clan are going through another transition during which they need to prove themselves, assimilate a new player and learn to play under a new coach. Last season they had a lot of great performances, playing in 5 Grand Finals, winning 3 titles and placing 3rd – 4th at many other LAN events. But, for reasons that aren’t obvious to us, the management of the team decided to send karrigan on a loan to Team Envy and bring in AdreN from Gambit Esports.

So far, FaZe Clan have done well with their new lineup. They won the title at ELEAGUE CS:GO Invitational 2019. Apart from that, we haven’t seen them in action. At the time of this writing, FaZe are waiting to play in the second stage of the IEM Katowice Major.

With AdreN as their fifth active player and YNk as their new coach, FaZe Clan are training hard right now to discover a unique style of playing that suits this new lineup. YNk did well with MIBR, helping them get some decent results, including titles. At FaZe, he will try to do the same thing, although many challenges await him.

Going into IEM Sydney, FaZe Clan are definitely one of the stronger teams and will almost certainly achieve a top 6 result.


This is by far the best team in Australia and a competitor seen by many to be on an ascending trend. At the ongoing IEM Katowice Major, Renegades demolished everyone during the first stage of the event and are waiting to play in the second stage.

In 2018, Renegades finished 5th – 6th at ESL Pro League Season 8 Finals, 3rd – 4th at TOYOTA Master CS:GO Bangkok 2018, 5th – 6th at IEM Sydney (previous edition) and 1st at Asia Minor Championship London 2018.

Overall, this is a sold tier 1 team with a lot of potential to break into the top 6 at a tournament like this one.


BIG are in big trouble right now, having gone through some severe roster changes. The team lost smooya, a very strong AWP player, and brought in XANTARES from Space Soldiers.

In terms of results, BIG had a phenomenal year in 2018, doing what few would have expected them to do and achieving multiple great results. Keep in mind that while these results are peanuts for the likes of Astralis, Team Liquid and Natus Vincere, for a relatively unknown team such as BIG was at that time, they were nothing short of a miracle. Examples include: 5th – 8th place at FACEIT Major: London 2018, 2nd place at ESL One: Cologne 2018, 3rd place at cs_summit 3 and 3rd place at SuperNova Malta 2018.

After their roster changes, BIG have changed as a team and we are now waiting to see how they’ll perform at IEM Katowice. Unfortunately for their fans, it’s likely that they’ll do poorly and fail to qualify for the Playoffs. That’s because their roster changes have come at a very bad time and will almost certainly prevent the team from getting the required amount of training that it needs to flow well.

However, given that IEM Sydney is still some months away, we’re probably going to see a stronger and stronger BIG as weeks go by. As a result, by the time we actually get to this tournament, this team could easily be among the top 10 in the world.

To get a better idea of how BIG will probably do at IEM Sydney, make sure you watch or at least check the results from IEM Katowice and other tournaments that will be played until then.