IEM Fall 2021: Europe – Group Stage Recap

After one heated week of incredible matches, surprises and disappointments, IEM Fall 2021: Europe group stage has come to an end – kind of. Tiebreakers are yet to be played, but we already have a few names which have confirmed their spot in PGL Major Stockholm, and some who have confirmed that they won’t be playing there.

So, just as the teams take a break from the competition this Monday, let’s take this opportunity to catch-up on what happened this week in the second international CSGO LAN event of the year. Here’s the current teams’ standings after the first week of IEM Fall 2021: Europe, and the most interesting storylines from teams that took part on it.

Which teams are going to the Major, which teams are out, and which ones are hanging in there?

Out of 11 spots in the Major available to Europe, five of those are already taken. There still is six spots available, though. Check below to see the current status for each team that gained RMR points across the year:

PLACE TEAM POINTS STATUS
1. G2 3046 QUALIFIED TO THE PGL Stockholm Major
2. Ninjas in Pyjamas 2894 QUALIFIED TO THE PGL Stockholm Major
3. Vitality 2886 QUALIFIED TO THE PGL Stockholm Major
4. Astralis 2430 QUALIFIED TO THE PGL Stockholm Major
5. Heroic 1660 QUALIFIED TO THE PGL Stockholm Major
6. mousesports 1600 ELIMINATED – In Contention – See Below
7 – 10. Copenhagen Flames 1406 ADVANCED TO PLAYOFFS – In Contention – See Below
7 – 10. Team Fiend 1406 ADVANCED TO PLAYOFFS – In Contention
7 – 10. ENCE 1406 ADVANCED TO PLAYOFFS – In Contention
7 – 10. Movistar Riders 1406 ADVANCED TO PLAYOFFS – In Contention
11. BIG 1200 ADVANCED TO TIEBREAKERS – In Contention
12. FunPlus Phoenix 1040 ELIMINATED – Out of Contention
13. DBL Poney 720 ELIMINATED – Out of Contention
14. Sprout 480 ELIMINATED – Out of Contention
15. OG 430 ADVANCED TO TIEBREAKERS – In Contention – See Below
16. Complexity 420 ELIMINATED – Out of Contention
17. Anonymo Esports 300 FAILED TO QUALIFY TO IEM FALL – Out of Contention
18. FNATIC 294 ELIMINATED – Out of Contention – See Below
19. FaZe Clan 248 ADVANCED TO TIEBREAKERS – In Contention – See Below
20. HYENAS 208 DISBANDED – Out of Contention

Now, here are the key storylines going forward after this first week of the event.

COPENHAGEN FLAMES – Danish Counter-Strike keeps delivering

PLAYER ROLE [according to Liquipedia] HLTV RATING AT IEM FALL 2021: EUROPE GROUP STAGE
HooXi In-Game Leader 0.97
Jabbi Rifler 1.30
nicoodoz AWPer 1.25
roeJ Rifler [lurker] 1.05
Zyphon Rifler [lurker] 1.01

Coming as one of the underdogs of IEM Fall, Copenhagen Flames was placed in one of the most disputed groups. In Group A, not many though that the Danish team would have a shot considering that Mousesports, BIG, G2 and FunPlus Phoenix were also there.

So, to the surprise of many, not only Copenhagen Flames played incredibly well, they also finished the event’s group stage undefeated. Even a mighty-looking G2 wasn’t enough to stop this Danish train.

The squad which doesn’t have a single player which has played in a Major in the past now has a real shot of getting to the big stage later this month. And if they keep playing like this, their spot in the Major is almost guaranteed.

Bright flames burning in Fall

Copenhagen Flames’ first game in the playoffs will be against Vitality. While the Frenchmen might be a tad too much for this team, they will still have some opportunities to guarantee their spot in the Major. If they finish in any place above 6th, their spot is guaranteed. If they don’t, they can still qualify, but they will need to count on other teams’ performances.

In any case, even in 8th place this team has hopes of qualifying to PGL Stockholm, and going by their performances this past week, they surely can do better than that.

FAZE CLAN – in their hands

PLAYER ROLE [according to Liquipedia] HLTV RATING AT IEM FALL 2021: EUROPE GROUP STAGE
broky AWPer 1.16
Karrigan In-Game Leader 0.97
olofmeister Rifler [support] 0.73
rain Rifler [entry fragger] 1.20
Twistzz Rifler 1.02

FaZe Clan had a mixed showing in IEM Fall 2021: Europe. The squad started the event by demolishing FNATIC, and finished it by getting demolished by one of the biggest underdogs in the whole tournament, Fiend.

That match against Fiends was crucial for FaZe, and losing it got FaZe in a very delicate situation. There’s no room for another defeat; if FaZe wants to get to the PGL Stockholm Major, not only they need to win their next two games in IEM Fall, but they’ll also be counting on other teams’ performances.

Time to fire on all cylinders

FaZe performances in IEM Fall didn’t inspire much confidence, but neither did any those of the other teams going to the tiebreakers. FaZe has a chance of getting that much-needed 9th place, and not doing so would be very disappointing.

Still, even if FaZe reaches 9th place, they’d depend on other teams results to guarantee their spot in the Major. For that to happen, Heroic would need to win their match against BIG, then OG also have to win over BIG.

If that doesn’t occur, then FaZe would need to see one team out of Copenhagen Flames, ENCE, Fiend or Movistar Riders losing all of their games in the playoffs. Again, nothing impossible, but for that to be considered, first FaZe will need to win all of their games in the tiebreakers. That alone will be one good challenge.

FNATIC – demolished at IEM Fall

PLAYER ROLE [according to Liquipedia] HLTV RATING AT IEM FALL 2021: EUROPE GROUP STAGE
ALEX In-Game Leader 1.00
Brollan Rifler [entry fragger] 0.77
Jackinho AWPer 0.90
KRIMZ Rifler [support] 0.87
mezii Rifler 1.08

When I previously talked about FNATIC’s chances at IEM Fall, I pointed out that this fairly young squad could struggle in the BO1 format used in the tournament’s group stage. However, FNATIC performance was surprising, even to those who didn’t expect much from the team.

To cut to the chase, FNATIC was one of the worst teams competing in the event. The squad didn’t feel cohesive at a single point in the event, and besides William “mezii” Merriman, FNATIC’s players individual form was way below what the team needed.

FNATIC gave fans and themselves a dreadful event that they will be looking to forget as soon as possible. Unfortunately for them, this is the second CSGO Major the organization will be missing.

Nowhere to go next

FNATIC is a young roster, sure, but even then, many were right to expect more of this team in IEM Fall. This was the most important event of the year for this roster, and not only they failed to accomplished to do anything, they did so while looking bad.

There’s now a world of doubts and questions surrounding this squad. Is it too early to do further changes? Is time to replace ‘X’? Can we blame Alex “ALEX” McMeekin for this failure? The questions are there, and unfortunately, FNATIC will have plenty of free time to answer them since they won’t be going to the Major.

G2 – crisis averted

PLAYER ROLE [according to Liquipedia] HLTV RATING AT IEM FALL 2021: EUROPE GROUP STAGE
AmaNEk AWPer 1.06
huNter- Rifler 1.49
JaCkz Rifler [entry fragger] 1.28
nexa In-Game Leader 1.07
NiKo Rifler 1.32

Many were unsure of what to expect about G2 coming to IEM Fall. After two disappointing showings back-to-back, G2 was surrounded by uncertainty. However, besides one defeat to an impressive looking Copenhagen Flames, G2 gave fans a solid performance in Stockholm.

G2 not only survived their group but they did so while looking strong doing it. After so many underwhelming performances, it was great to watch Audric “JaCkz” Jug and Nemanja “huNter-“ Kovač playing so well. With plenty of highlights from the group stage, expectations for a deep run are high.

Not leaving Stockholm

Thanks to their previous performances in RMR events and this showing at IEM Fall, G2 has guaranteed their spot at the upcoming Major. From now on, G2 will be fighting for IEM Fall’s prize pool and for a Legend spot in the Major.

Still, no matter what happens to this team, the worst has passed. After this display, G2 certainly has rekindled the hopes that some might’ve lost in this squad after the past month. Anyhow, G2 has no reason to stop now, and a deep run certainly would boost G2’s momentum going forward.   

MOUSESPORTS – lost the Fall battle, but not the war

PLAYER ROLE [according to Liquipedia] HLTV RATING AT IEM FALL 2021: EUROPE GROUP STAGE
acoR AWPer 1.03
Bymas Rifler [entry fragger] 1.03
dexter In-Game Leader 0.92
frozen Rifler [entry fragger] 1.15
ropz Rifler [lurker] 1.15

Mousesports came to IEM Fall 2021: Europe after some worrisome showings in both IEM Cologne and ESL Pro League Season XIV. The squad failed to impress in both occasions, and no one was sure about which Mousesports we’d be seeing in IEM Fall.

Turns out IEM Fall was another rough tournament for Christopher “dexter” Nong and his squad. Mouz only won two games there, against AURA, which finished the event with a 0 – 5 record, and BIG, who was surprisingly underwhelming this time around.

Mouz was still able to go to their group’s tiebreakers. There, the squad won against FunPlus Phoenix, but lost against BIG. This means that Mousesports is out of IEM Fall 2021: Europe.

It’s not up to them anymore

While Mousesports has been eliminated from IEM Fall, they still have a good chance of getting a spot in PGL Stockholm Major. Thanks to Mousesports victory at Flashpoint 3, the team have plenty of RMR points in reserve.

Now, Mouz players will have to sit and observe how the remaining of IEM Fall plays out. Again, chances to see Mouz there are decent, but nothing is guaranteed. In any case, Mouz really needed to deliver something better this time around. They were definitely one of the disappointing teams of this event.

NINJAS IN PYJAMAS – the only Swedish team remaining in IEM Fall

PLAYER ROLE [according to Liquipedia] HLTV RATING AT IEM FALL 2021: EUROPE GROUP STAGE
dev1ce AWPer 1.45
hampus In-Game Leader 1.23
LNZ Rifler [support] 1.19
Plopski Rifler 1.06
REZ Rifler 1.15

Three teams from Sweden came to IEM Fall 2021, and only one remains. The Ninjas in Pyjamas not only are the only Swedish team still in IEM Fall, but they are also the only team representing their home country in PGL Stockholm Major.

While the situation is dire for fans of Swedish Counter-Strike, going by NiP’s performance at IEM Fall, there’s no reason to give up hopes. The Ninjas looked strong during IEM Fall’s group stage, and while their performance in the playoffs still will be key for fans to adjust their expectations accordingly, there’s no signs that this NiP can’t do a deep run here, and at the Major.

This display is coming right after NiP solid showing at BLAST Fall Groups, which furtherly backs up any high expectations’ fans might have regarding this squad going forward.

Going home, in a good way

After going through IEM Fall’s group stage without a single defeat, NiP has guaranteed their spot in the PGL Major. Much like G2, NiP is now fighting for a Legend spot there, as well as for the lion’s share of the event’s prize pool.

Still, after so many months of uncertainty, fans of the Ninjas certainly would appreciate if the team continues their strong form going into the playoffs. Whether or not NiP achieves a deep run here, they target now is the PGL Stockholm Major. It’s time to give their fans one show to remember.

OG – the fight isn’t over yet

PLAYER ROLE [according to Liquipedia] HLTV RATING AT IEM FALL 2021: EUROPE GROUP STAGE
Aleksib In-Game Leader 1.20
flameZ Rifler [entry fragger] 1.05
mantuu AWPer 1.20
niko Rifler [support] 0.95
valde Rifler [lurker] 1.06

OG started IEM Fall fairly well, but the squad failed to keep that momentum going. In their final group stage match, OG lost to MAD Lions, and that loss led them to finish in third place in their group. This means that OG will be playing on the tiebreakers, with their first game being against FaZe Clan.

As for OG’s performance in IEM Fall, it definitely wasn’t as good as many expected. Besides their loss to MAD Lions, OG also lost to Vitality to no one’s surprise. Besides these defeats, OG also had a lengthy match against ENCE and had some issues dealing with a struggling Dignitas. In general, OG never looked like a top tier contender in IEM Fall.

No room for mistakes now

At this point in time, OG fans can just hope that Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen has a plan going to the tiebreakers. OG will be facing FaZe initially, which certainly won’t be an easy task. If they win over FaZe, then they’d have to win against either BIG or Heroic. Finishing in 9th place means that OG spot in the Major is safe.

If they don’t win against FaZe, or fail to win the 9 – 10th decider, then not only OG would disappoint their followers, but it’d put them at a place where they’d be relying in others’ performances.

Still, as long as OG doesn’t lose both of the tiebreakers, they have a chance. Worst case scenario that still allows OG to qualify is if they finish in 11th place. Then, they’d need Heroic to win both games – which is nothing out of the realm of possibility.

IEM Fall continues after a short break

This Monday, IEM Fall will take a quick break as teams prepare themselves for their upcoming games. On Tuesday, the event resumes, and alongside it, IEM Fall 2021: North America starts. If you’re looking for more info on that, here’s our guide for the NA event.

In any case, make sure to keep up with us here!

The author

My name is Marcos, I have been following the CSGO pro scene since 2015 but really got into in following games and pro teams in 2016. Used to bet a lot, stopped a bit but never stopped following the esports scene. I’m a student right now so I got a lot of time to keep with it and discover new things.

More articles from MJunior

Author: Rose Gilbert