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IEM Sydney CSGO 2019 – Preview & Predictions

By: Pierre Portelli
Apr 21, 2019

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IEM Sydney CSGO or Intel Extreme Masters Season XIV Sydney is an upcoming CS:GO event that brings together most of the world’s best teams. Except for Astralis, Natus Vincere and ENCE, everyone you’d expect to be here is here. In total, 16 teams will compete in the tournament and thanks to all of its other features, IEM Sydney is probably one of the most anticipated CS:GO events of 2019.

IEM Sydney Schedule, Dates and Format

IEM Sydney CSGO is scheduled to take place between April 30th and March 5th. The tournament will be played in two stages. For the Group Stage, two groups of eight are formed and each of these groups will be played in a Double Elimination format. The winner of each group advances to the Semifinals. The teams that finish 2nd and 3rd advance to the Quarterfinals. Apart from the initial Group Stage matches, which are Bo1s, every other match is a Bo3 series.

IEM Sydney Prizes

IEM Sydney CSGO offers $250.000 in prizes. The money will be shared among the 16 participants in the following way:

  • 1st place: $100.000
  • 2nd place: $42.000
  • 3rd – 4th place: $20.000
  • 5th – 6th place: $10.000
  • 7th – 8th place: $6.000
  • 9th – 12th place: $5.000
  • 13th – 16th place: $4.000

IEM Sydney CSGO Participants

IEM Sydney CSGO will be attended by 16 teams. These teams are the following:

  • FaZe Clan
  • Fnatic
  • Team Liquid
  • MIBR
  • mousesports
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas
  • NRG Esports
  • Renegades
  • Heroic
  • BIG
  • eUnited
  • ViCi Gaming
  • MVP PK
  • BOOT-dream[S]cape
  • Grayhound Gaming
  • Chiefs Esports Club

The reason why you see so many Australian teams has to do with the location of the event. One remarkable aspect about this list of participants is that both Astralis and Natus Vincere are missing from the list of IEM Sydney Teams. This will give more space for some of the other competitors to cover themselves in glory.

In particular, Renegades, FaZe Clan and Team Liquid are expected to do well at this event. In all probability, all three of these teams will be in the Playoffs and possibly even the Semifinals.

IEM Sydney CSGO Teams

IEM Sydney Teams Analysis

Here’s a brief analysis of the most important teams that will take part in IEM Sydney.

FaZe Clan

FaZe Clan had a huge performance at the latest BLAST Pro Series event, winning the tournament after a series of victories that nobody would have predicted. Initially, FaZe got destroyed by Team Liquid (5 – 16) and then they drew against MIBR. What followed was an unforgettable surprise that brought them victories against Cloud9, Natus Vincere, Astralis and Team Liquid. The match against Cloud9 wasn’t spectacular but the other three reminded everyone why FaZe used to be the best team in CS:GO.

Going into IEM Sydney CSGO, FaZe Clan is expected to get a top-four result, simply because there aren’t that many teams that can beat them in their current form.

Team Liquid

Team Liquid is one of the most consistent teams in Counter-Strike and at the recent BLAST Pro Series tournament from Miami, they finished 2nd after Grand Final loss against FaZe Clan. Up until that point, Liquid had demolished every single opponent, ending the Group Stage with 5 consecutive wins and a round handicap of +25.

At IEM Sydney CSGO, Team Liquid is expected to either win or at least play in the Grand Final. On paper, they’re the best team in the event and only another exceptional performance from FaZe Clan could bring them down. Their other strong opponents are Renegades and MIBR.

Renegades

This team has an excellent chance of playing well at IEM Sydney 2019, simply because they’re one of the world’s best at the moment and they will be competing on their home soil. The Australian fans will definitely be cheering for Renegades at this event and we’ve seen what that can do to a team’s morale. In 2018, Cloud9 won a Major thanks to the support they received and they were underdogs at that tournament. By contrast, Renegades is currently sitting at number 7 in the global rankings.

MIBR

Like FaZe Clan, MIBR had a better than expected performance at the latest BLAST Pro Series tournament, where they demolished the world’s best team, Astralis, beating them in a way we hadn’t seen Astralis lose in a long time: 16 – 2 on Overpass.

Overall, MIBR is going through a challenging phase right now and seems a bit underwhelming against the world’s best teams. Even though they placed 3rd – 4th at the Major right after changing their roster, MIBR struggled a lot since then and so far, hasn’t managed to find a success formula.

Nevertheless, at IEM Sydney CSGO, MIBR is expected to get a top 6 result and finish 5th – 6th. If they don’t encounter the likes of Liquid and FaZe in decider matches, they might even get to the Semifinals.

Fnatic

After their poor performance at the IEM Katowice Major, Fnatic resurfaced one month ago at WESG, where they finished 4th. More recently, we also had the chance to watch them play at StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 7, where they finished 2nd after losing in the Grand Final against Natus Vincere.

The main problem with that result is this: Fnatic somehow managed to avoid every single serious opponent at the tournament, meeting a top 5 team only in the Grand Final, which they lost. So the fact that they finished 2nd at an event that also had FaZe Clan, ENCE, MIBR and Renegades in it doesn’t mean much, given the circumstances.

Still, Fnatic should be regarded as one of the stronger teams that are likely to survive the Group Stage and finish 5th – 6th at IEM Sydney. Anything better than that is quite unlikely.

mousesports

They are reformed and on an upward trend. Due to the internal issues and changes that the organization had to go through, mousesports had dropped out of the top 50 a few months ago, but have climbed back to a much higher spot since then. They are now sitting at number 23 in the global rankings, and we regard them as being significantly better than this.

The results speak for themselves but it’s more than that. The team has some of the world’s best players and one of the most famous captains in the game: karrigan. Thanks to this combination of talent and excellent leadership, mousesports is likely to become a top 8 team again in the near future and return to the glory days of 2017-2018.

Going into IEM Sydney 2019, we expect mousesports to finish somewhere between 5th – 8th.

Ninjas in Pyjamas

NiP is sitting at number 8 right now in the global rankings but they are clearly struggling against every single one of those 7 teams sitting above them. It’s rare when we see the Ninjas win an important match and get a top result, but this is still one of those teams that have everything they need to survive the Group Stage of a big tournament and get a decent result.

Overall, we expect NiP to finish somewhere around 5th – 8th at IEM Sydney CSGO, just like mousesports. From the beginning of March until now, the Swedes had three notable results at important competitions: 5th – 8th at the IEM Katowice Major, 4th at BLAST Pro Series Sao Paulo 2019 and 5th – 8th at StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 7. In principle, they could do well at IEM Sydney but keep in mind that many of their nemesis are present at the event.