IEM Fall EU: Who's still in the running for a Major spot?
The IEM Fall Europe group stage is heading into the final round of matches, where it is still almost all to play for. Out of the 24 teams, three are already confirmed to play in the playoffs — NIP, Copenhagen Flames, and Astralis — while five more are out of the running entirely with fnatic, AURA, Endpoint, MAD Lions, and Sprout no longer able to place in the top three in their respective groups.
Any of the other 16 teams could still finish in the top 11 placings which award points in the Regional Major Ranking and at least have a chance to make it to the PGL Major, with only two out of the 11 spots on offer in the European standings being locked out by NIP and Astralis.
For many of these 16 teams, a placing in the points is absolutely necessary, which puts a lot on the line on today's 12 matches. All of them have some implications on whether a team can make it into the points and have a chance to qualify for the Major, which makes things more than a little complicated, so we are here to help.
Let's see what each team still in the running needs to do to have a shot at making it to PGL Major Stockholm.
In Group D, NIP can already rest easy as the top spot already belongs to them and, at the very least, they will play in the first stage of the Major no matter what else happens. Meanwhile, fnatic can only play spoiler after having been eliminated from contention on day three already, which leaves us with four teams playing for one spot in the playoffs and one in the 9th-12th decider bracket.
— A loss to Fiend puts them in third place of the group and the 9th-12th bracket, where they need to place at least 11th to have a chance to qualify
— A loss to FaZe would put Fiend in a tough position, where they need DBL PONEY to lose to NIP so that they have a chance to place third outright or at least play mr3 decider matches for it
— Placing at least 10th overall gives them an outside chance to qualify
— DBL PONEY are out of the running for playoffs and can only place third in the group, and then need at least 11th place overall to have a solid chance to qualify, or 10th place to guarantee a spot
— To place third in the group, DBL PONEY need FaZe to win at the bare minimum, and then to either win their match against NIP to place third or SKADE to beat fnatic to enter tiebreakers for third place
— SKADE are also out of the running for playoffs and need to place third in the group and at least 10th place overall. They can no longer outright guarantee a Major spot, as even 9th place might not be enough
— Only one scenario can see them place third, which is if NIP beat DBL PONEY, FaZe beat Fiend, and SKADE beat fnatic, resulting in mr3 tiebreakers between DBL PONEY, SKADE, and Fiend
The situation is similar in Group A, where Copenhagen Flames have already clinched the top spot and qualified for the playoffs, earning themselves a decent chance to qualify for the Major already and a possibility to guarantee a spot if they improve to top six. On the other end, AURA are out of the running.
— A loss will see G2 place third in the group and play for points in the 9th-12th decider bracket, where getting at least 11th place would qualify them for the Major
— Even without a points finish they are in a good spot as the second-highest team in the RMR standings before IEM Fall results
— In case of a loss, they can still place third as long as BIG lose to Copenhagen Flames, in which case mouz would either be third if AURA beat FPX or otherwise play mr3 tiebreakers with FPX and BIG for third place
— A top-11 placing is enough to guarantee a Major spot, no points placing puts qualification out of mouz's hands, but with 1,600 points already they wouldn't be in a bad situation
— BIG are out of playoffs contention and can place third at best, which they can earn only if G2 beat mousesports. Winning their own match against Flames would then see them place third, while losing the match and FPX beating AURA would result in mr3 tiebreakers between mouz, FPX, and BIG
— They don't strictly speaking need to earn points at the moment, but they'd rely on several other results to go their way to qualify for the Major then
— A top-11 placing is enough to guarantee a Major spot
— FunPlus Phoenix are out of playoffs contention and only have one way to place third in the group: If they beat AURA, G2 beat mousesports, and Copenhagen Flames beat BIG
— They will then play mr3 tiebreakers which they need to win to place third and play for points in the 9th-12th bracket
— This is the only way FPX can qualify for the Major, as they need to finish in points, and a top-11 placing would automatically qualify them
Just like in the previous two groups, only one playoffs spot and one spot in the 9th-12th decider bracket is on the line in Group B after Astralis secured their playoffs spot in round four and confirmed their attendance in the first stage of PGL Major Stockholm. Endpoint are left to play for pride, set to finish last in the group.
— Winning their last match against Astralis would put SINNERS through to the playoffs, which is enough to give them a chance to qualify for the Major and a possibility to improve to top six to guarantee a spot
— In case of a loss they will still advance to playoffs if Endpoint beat Movistar Riders, while if Movistar and Complexity win their matches Sinners will place third, and if Movistar and Heroic win their matches then Sinners, Movistar Riders, and Heroic will play mr3 deciders for second to fourth place
— Need at least a top-10 placing to have a chance to qualify, but even 9th might not be enough
— A loss still gives Heroic a chance to play mr3 tiebreakers for third place if Endpoint beat Movistar Riders
— A top-11 placing guarantees Heroic a spot at the Major, but even if they don't earn points they are still likely to make it as the team with the most RMR points ahead of IEM Fall
Bear with me here, because the Spaniards' fate depends on all three results.
Movistar win cases
— Astralis and Complexity winning the final round puts Movistar in the playoffs
— Astralis and Heroic winning puts Heroic, Sinners, and Movistar in mr3 tiebreakers for second to fourth place
— Sinners and Complexity winning puts Movistar in third place
— Sinners and Heroic winning puts Movistar Riders in fourth place
— Losing their match means they will be out of playoffs contention and can only play mr3 tiebreakers for third place in case Complexity beat Heroic, or they will get eliminated if Heroic beat Complexity
— Movistar need third place in the group at least, but even 9th place overall might not be enough, so a playoffs finish is the goal. Top 6 guarantees them a spot at the Major
— Complexity are out of playoffs contention and need to win their match against Heroic as well as Endpoint to beat Movistar to be in contention for third place. Complexity would then play mr3 tiebreakers against Heroic and Movistar for third place
— This is the only way Complexity can advance to the Major, as they need at least a top-11 placing overall for a chance, with a top-9 placing guaranteeing them a spot
Group C is perhaps the most complicated, with both playoffs spots as well as a spot in the 9th-12th decider bracket still to play for. MAD Lions and Sprout can no longer place in the top three and are out of contention for the Major as a result. Barring big surprises, we will get tiebreakers for first to third place among the three favorites.
— Vitality winning their match against Dignitas would see the Frenchmen secure playoffs and the Major spot as long as an upset happens in one of the other two matches (Sprout beating ENCE or MAD Lions beating OG, or both). If the favorites all win, Vitality, ENCE, and OG will play rematches for first to third place
— In case of a loss to Dignitas, Vitality would be eliminated in fourth place unless MAD Lions and ENCE win their matches, in which case Vitality, OG, and Dignitas would play mr3 rematches for second to fourth place
— A top-11 finish would guarantee Vitality a spot at the Major, otherwise they need other results to go in their favor so they remain among the Major qualifying spots in RMR standings
— They would still make playoffs even if they lose in the case Dignitas beat Vitality, or at least place third if Vitality win
— A top-10 placing is enough for ENCE to have at least some chance to qualify, but a playoffs finish would greatly increase their chances, with a top six placing guaranteeing them a spot at the Major
— They would advance to playoffs even in case of a loss if Sprout beat ENCE, while if ENCE and Vitality win OG would place third. Finally, if MAD Lions, Dignitas, and ENCE win, mr3 rematches between Vitality, OG, and Dignitas would be played for second to fourth place
— The final scenario mentioned is the only way OG can be out of the top three
— Thanks to the 430 RMR points they already have, a top-11 placing is enough for OG to have a chance to qualify, while a top-9 placing would see them clinch a Major spot
— Dignitas's situation is the hardest, as they can't earn a playoffs spot outright, but they can enter one scenario where they will play tiebreakers for second place
— Losing to Vitality would eliminate them from groups and Major contention
— A win would put them in third place in all cases but one, when MAD Lions and ENCE win their matches, which leads to a three-way tie and mr3 tiebreakers between Vitality, OG, and Dignitas for second to fourth place
— At a bare minimum Dignitas require a top-10 placing for any chance at all to qualify and a top-6 to clinch a Major spot for certain
Below you can see case-by-case how the three final matches affect the standings in each group: