Can FaZe Clan repeat their dominance at IEM Beijing?
The Intel Extreme Masters tour lands in Beijing on Thursday with eight teams battling for $250,000 in prize funds and a ticket to IEM Katowice. IEM Beijing is highlighted by a battle for 1st place in global seeding and a potential return to dominance by FaZe Clan. But before we delve into the nitty-gritty details, let’s round out the list of attendees and the groups division.
Two weeks ago, Mousesports and Liquid withdrew from the event citing visa/schedule issues, and were to replaced by ENCE and Renegades. A week later, Renegades were acquired by the 100Thieves organization, making the final list of participants as follows: 100Thieves, Astralis, ENCE, Evil Geniuses, Tyloo, ViCi Gaming and Vitality.
Two groups of four will play the double elimination (GSL) format with the top two teams advancing to the Playoffs.
IEM Beijing Groups Breakdown
With Liquid and Mousesports both dropping out, Group A is all about Astralis and their path to revenge. A week ago, Astralis were absolutely dominated by FaZe at Blast Copenhagen. This week they have an “easy” group where they are the absolute favorite and should easily secure 1st seed and a preferential bracket. The 2nd seed is a toss-up between ENCE and 100Thieves where map choice will determine the victor. As for home squad ViCi Gaming, the recent success at the Asia Championship might be a hint towards a return to form, but beating their group or advancing is highly unlikely. With this information in mind, our Group A placements end up in the following manner:
- Vici Gaming
Group B has a lot more action going on than their counterparts with three teams having a solid chance of getting 1st seed. The opening match between FaZe Clan and EG should set the tone for the entire group. Tyloo is in a similar position as ViCi from Group A and will probably end up last in the standings. Vitality should easily best Tyloo resulting in a 1st place brawl between them and the potential winner of the FaZe/EG matchup. Beyond the opening match-ups, everything in this group is a toss-up. FaZe did win the recent Blast event, but EG is still the best global seed. Vitality on the other hand has a great track record in Group stages at large events. They might also be able to steal the first place if they catch one of the top seeds off guard.
We can only predict Tyloo ending up in 4th. As it stands, predicting Group B is a subjective task.
Remember to set your alarm clocks for the party at the Beijing University Students’ Stadium this Thursday starting at 5:00AM CET. The standard ESL broadcast team is once again here to guide us through the action. Henry “HenryG“ Greer and Matthew “Sadokist” Trivett will once again pair up as commentators while Frankie “Frankie” Ward covers the interviews.