The North American leg of the second RMR event for this year’s PGL Stockholm Major kicks off on October 5th, with IEM Fall NA 2021 bringing together twelve of the region’s best sides. With the stakes ramping up, and the quality of Counter-Strike on show from NA rapidly improving, here are some of the best storylines to be following as the tournament plays out.
Battle of Brazil
NA tournaments are always well-represented with teams hailing from Brazil, with the region boasting arguably its most stacked level of competition in the history of CS:GO.
Five of the twelve teams competing at IEM Fall having a core hailing from Brazil, with FURIA ranked as the highest representatives with a world ranking place of 17th, and GODSENT being the lowest at 74th.
However, Brazilian derbies are always amongst the most passionate matchups in the competitive calendar, and this level of passion for the game has led to some pretty hefty upsets over the years. IEM Fall represents a great opportunity for teams like GODSENT, paiN Gaming, and 00Nation to showcase their skills against some of the best teams in their home region, and the event could be the point in which these orgs finally announce their arrivals on the big stage.
Are EG Finally Settled?
Evil Geniuses (EG) have been one of the most volatile and inconsistent orgs over the online era, going from a former world number one to one that seemingly can’t even agree on a settled starting lineup.
The org have played the last two events without rifler Vincent “Brehze” Cayonte and in-game leader Peter “stanislaw” Jarguz, going on a run of eight matches without winning ahead of IEM Fall, and the need for a cooling-down period of consistency is especially palpable right now.
The arrival of Damian “daps” Steele as coach in the summer has yet to make the kind of impact most EG fans would have hoped for, however, whilst he won’t be in the server due to Valve rules, the return to NA and stanislaw following his hiatus on a big stage like IEM Fall could be the perfect remedy for getting the team back on track and kickstarting his time at the helm.
EXTREMUM to deliver?
EXTREMUM were founded as one of NA’s next big hopes, reuniting the old-Renegades/100 Thieves core with head coach Aleksandar “kassad” Trifunović, the winning combination that had seen the team reaching the semi-finals of the StarLadder Berlin Major and climb to as high as fifth in the world.
Couple this reunion with the acquisition of the always-exciting Hansel “BnTeT” Ferdinand, one of Asian CS’ most gifted figures, and it looked for all the world as if EXTREMUM were all set to begin challenging at the top table.
That hasn’t happened so far, however, with the team arriving at the event ranked 64th in the world without a single event win to their name yet.
If the team are to have any hope of replicating the sorts of successes they had at CS:GO’s last Major Championship, they need to start showing off why so many in the community thought so highly of their founding and give their qualifying campaign a serious injection at IEM Fall.