Five storylines heading into IEM Dallas

Stand-ins, teams missing out due to travel restrictions and FaZe's dominance in 2022 are some of the headlines ahead of the first Big Event on North American soil since 2019.

IEM Dallas will be the first Big Event held in North America since the ECS Season 8 Finals in 2019 as the region slowed down during the hardest times of the Covid pandemic, from which it is still struggling to recover.

It is also the first to be held following PGL Major Antwerp and will feature the newly-crowned Major champions FaZe, North American sides Liquid and Complexity, as well as other teams ranked among the top 20 such as FURIA, Cloud9 or G2, with the newly rebranded Encore (formerly Looking For Org) being the biggest outlier in the list.

FaZe are the team to beat in Dallas with three titles in their last three events

FaZe could leap closer to Intel Grand Slam bid

There is no denying that FaZe are the favorites to win it all in Dallas as they have been building their confidence and momentum on the world stage all the way to earning their first ever Major championship for the North American organization.

Prior to their successful Major campaign and ever since bringing on Robin "⁠ropz⁠" Kool, Finn "⁠karrigan⁠" Andersen and his men have put up remarkable results by taking home both IEM Katowice and ESL Pro League Season 15, two events included in the coveted Intel Grand Slam circuit. Out of the two, IEM Katowice was of particular value, being one of the ESL Championship wins required (those being either IEM Katowice, IEM Cologne or an ESL Major) out of the four Pro Tour victories needed in ten consecutive attempts to take home the gold ingots.

Claiming victory in Dallas would bring FaZe just one ESL Pro Tour tournament away from taking home an additional $1,000,000, and they would have plenty of opportunities after three consecutive titles to become the fourth team in as many seasons to claim the coveted Grand Slam, which went to Astralis, Liquid and Natus Vincere in its first three iterations.

ENCE to compete with Snax, NIP to field ztr

It was announced that Lotan "⁠Spinx⁠" Giladi was unable to travel with ENCE due to visa issues just days before the first set of matches at IEM Dallas, and thus ENCE will be flying the Polish flag with a majority of the team hailing from the Central European country as Paweł "⁠dycha⁠" Dycha and Olek "⁠hades⁠" Miskiewicz will be joined by countryman Janusz "⁠Snax⁠" Pogorzelski for the duration of the event in Texas.

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Snax to step in for Spinx at IEM Dallas

For ENCE, who have been red-hot this year with an ESL Pro League Season 15 grand final appearance and a semi-final run at the Major, losing their best player (statistically speaking), who currently leads the rest of his squad with a 1.18 rating in 2022, will be quite a challenge. It will no doubt be near impossible to slot someone into Spinx's position and expect the Israeli player's output, and although Snax is accomplished enough to help ENCE in a pinch, the Pole missing out on events of this stature for an extended period of time makes the European squad's chances of replicating previous results hard to predict.

ENCE will not be the only team without their full roster attending, as Ninjas in Pyjamas will also be missing a key component in their starting five, in-game leader Hampus "⁠hampus⁠" Poser, who is unable to travel to Dallas and will have to watch his team compete with Erik "⁠ztr⁠" Gustafsson slotted back into the Swedish organization's main squad. It won't be the first time for the young ninja, however, as he already had experience with the first team when he played for Ninjas in Pyjamas in early 2021 before being sent back to the academy roster.

Read more
hampus: "This is the lineup I want to see us keep going with"

Ninjas in Pyjamas have been particularly strong at consistently reaching playoffs despite myriad roster changes that have seen several Young Ninjas promoted to and demoted from the main squad as well as the signing of superstar Nicolai "⁠device⁠" Reedtz and his subsequent leave from the team, but this time around it will be a new challenge for the Swedes as the core of hampus, Fredrik "⁠REZ⁠" Sterner and Nicolas "⁠Plopski⁠" Gonzalez Zamora — the three longest-tenured players on the team—, will be broken.

Another notable absence will be that of Astralis coach Martin "⁠trace⁠" Heldt, who will not be able to join his team in Dallas and will have to do his best to help from home, as a CS-related trip to Iran a decade ago made him ineligible for the USA's Visa Waiver Program.

North American teams seek success on home soil

North American organizations, teams, players and their fans have long been struggling to maintain a strong and competitive region — ever since the hardest days of the Covid pandemic took a toll on the local scene and many players looked to Valorant in search of greener pastures while orgs downsized their CS divisions. This year, North American teams are still struggling to find their footing and a way to the top, with the best finish from a squad from the region coming during Liquid's Pro League campaign, where they placed 5-8th.

Roster shake-ups at the start of 2022 looked promising for the few North American teams still operating, but with Evil Geniuses' implosion, Liquid struggling to find form and Complexity not yet reaching their full potential, results just haven't piled up in the last five months.

Liquid or Complexity bagging a good result in Dallas would be a boost for NA

IEM Dallas will be the first time North American squads compete in a Big Event on home turf since 2019, when they did so at the ECS Season 8 Finals in Arlington, Texas. That time Liquid came in second to Astralis in one of the brightest periods for North America. Now, after failing to reach the playoffs at the PGL Major altogether, it's up to Liquid and Complexity to give their fans something to celebrate after an underwhelming start to the year.

BIG, Movistar Riders and MIBR come in as last-minute additions

Two of the teams with Russian players on their roster, Natus Vincere and Entropiq, were forced to pull out of IEM Dallas completely due to visa complications, and taking their spots are BIG and Movistar Riders, who each received invitations through ESL's replacement rules. Another last-minute change was announced when Heroic suffered from "pre-travel COVID-19 issues," making them unable to journey across the Atlantic in time for the event in Texas.

Taking the Danish squad's place is MIBR, who will have a chance to bounce back after barely missing out on the PGL Major Antwerp's Legends Stage as they went out 2-3 in the first Swiss group. Sadly, the Brazilians will not have the chance to show off academy graduate Breno "⁠brnz4n⁠" Poletto for the first time as a full-fledged member of the team, as he was not able to secure a visa in time, and will instead play with coach Bruno "⁠BIT⁠" Fukuda Lima standing in.

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BIG and Movistar replace NAVI and Entropiq at IEM Dallas

The two European squads flying in, BIG and Movistar Riders, will both be fighting for their own redemption stories to come to fruition, as Johannes "⁠tabseN⁠" Wodarz's men went out in an underwhelming 12-14th place at the PGL Major after an impressive 3-0 RMR run with newcomer Karim "⁠Krimbo⁠" Moussa, whose potential they will be trying to tap into to put on a good showing in Dallas.

Movistar Riders on the other hand will be hoping to channel the LAN prowess that got them all the way to 12th place in the world ranking earlier this year after going 5-0 in the ESL Pro League group stage, which led to a quarter-final run in the tournament. Now, having dropped to 18th place in the ranking and a real possibility of ending on the wrong side of the top 20 threshold in sight, a good result is crucial for the Spaniards as their online results have been underwhelming in 2022 — particularly when they failed to qualify for the Europe RMR, thus missing out on the last Major cycle.

Brazilian teams seek more convincing results after Antwerp

Brazil's performance at the PGL Major was rather successful as one of the country's representatives, FURIA, managed to reach the Champions Stage with a 3-2 record in the Legends Stage, dispatching G2 in their deciding match. Andrei "⁠arT⁠" Piovezan and company ultimately earned a top eight finish, unable to take on the tournament's Cinderella, Spirit, in the quarter-finals, and will no doubt have a repeat playoff run in their sights at IEM Dallas.

Can Imperial build upon their Major campaign?

One of the biggest head-turners throughout the Valve-sanctioned competition was Imperial, with Gabriel "⁠FalleN⁠" Toledo's 'Last Dance' roster reaching the Legends Stage and just missing out on reaching the playoffs, finishing in 9-11th place. Nonetheless, they were a team overlooked by many heading into the Major, and have now shown that despite being the oldest team in the top 20, they are still to be feared on the server.

The South American country will be split in the first match of IEM Dallas, however, as FURIA and Imperial are set to face off against each other in their opening Group B series, which will inevitably see one of the two teams get placed in their group's lower bracket. To potentially entangle matters further for Brazilian fans, MIBR have also been placed in the same group, albeit on the other side of the bracket, which could also end up in another derby in the latter stages of either bracket were the three teams to be still in the running.

Sweden Nicolas 'Plopski' Gonzalez Zamora
Nicolas 'Plopski' Gonzalez Zamora
Age:
20
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
1004
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.66
Poland Olek 'hades' Miskiewicz
Olek 'hades' Miskiewicz
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
572
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.62
Poland Paweł 'dycha' Dycha
Paweł 'dycha' Dycha
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
783
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.67
Germany Johannes 'tabseN' Wodarz
Johannes 'tabseN' Wodarz
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.05
Maps played:
1912
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.70
Sweden Erik 'ztr' Gustafsson
Erik 'ztr' Gustafsson
Age:
19
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.93
Maps played:
384
KPR:
0.64
DPR:
0.70
Sweden Hampus 'hampus' Poser
Hampus 'hampus' Poser
Age:
23
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
1357
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.70
Brazil Gabriel 'FalleN' Toledo
Gabriel 'FalleN' Toledo
Age:
31
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
1558
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.60
Denmark Nicolai 'device' Reedtz
Nicolai 'device' Reedtz
Age:
27
Rating 1.0:
1.16
Maps played:
1793
KPR:
0.78
DPR:
0.62
Estonia Robin 'ropz' Kool
Robin 'ropz' Kool
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.12
Maps played:
1103
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.62
Brazil Andrei 'arT' Piovezan
Andrei 'arT' Piovezan
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
978
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.70
Israel Lotan 'Spinx' Giladi
Lotan 'Spinx' Giladi
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.10
Maps played:
423
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.65
Denmark Finn 'karrigan' Andersen
Finn 'karrigan' Andersen
Age:
32
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.91
Maps played:
1985
KPR:
0.62
DPR:
0.69
Poland Janusz 'Snax' Pogorzelski
Janusz 'Snax' Pogorzelski
Age:
29
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
2103
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.65
Germany Karim 'Krimbo' Moussa
Karim 'Krimbo' Moussa
Age:
20
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
318
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.65
Brazil Breno 'brnz4n' Poletto
Breno 'brnz4n' Poletto
Age:
19
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.03
Maps played:
67
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.69
Sweden Fredrik 'REZ' Sterner
Fredrik 'REZ' Sterner
Age:
24
Rating 1.0:
1.03
Maps played:
1333
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.67
#1
 | 
United States EaZy113
ez4faze
2022-05-29 21:32
20 replies
#5
 | 
North America drac0zGOD
cancel the event already
2022-05-29 21:33
1 reply
literally 0 competition for Faze
2022-05-30 07:35
#28
 | 
Sweden GGrowler
apart from vitality, furia and g2 faze has no real threat because of all the stand-ins and other teams not even attending. it makes them one event win away from the grand slam. Twistzz is starting to look like the NA goat more and more.
2022-05-29 22:38
17 replies
I believe c9 will be a big threat for furia.
2022-05-29 22:53
5 replies
#35
 | 
Sweden GGrowler
for furia but they consistently suck on lan beyond playoffs
2022-05-29 22:55
2 replies
That's a bot argument hahahaha
2022-05-30 02:51
furia have only had two chances to prove themselves in lan playoffs setting, one of them being against a competitive gambit
2022-05-30 06:58
#39
 | 
Hungary anw_
Not on lan lmao they’re 50/50 with Liquid
2022-05-29 23:07
1 reply
It’s not complexity lmao
2022-05-30 10:14
#36
NAF | 
India FosFate
lmao Vitality is free win
2022-05-29 22:56
9 replies
#37
 | 
Sweden GGrowler
so is g2 at this point but apart from everyone else except those i mentioned faze will destroy
2022-05-29 22:57
8 replies
astralis always have upset potential
2022-05-30 00:22
7 replies
#57
Zeus | 
Australia NoLeS
Astralis have 0 upset potential Vitality, G2 have upset potential because of their star players but even if Astralis has both Blame and K0nfig lifegame they can still lose with Xyp, Farlig and Gla1ve not pulling their weight on T side in particular
2022-05-30 04:05
6 replies
astralis will beat vitality tomorrow 2-1
2022-05-30 04:34
3 replies
bo1
2022-05-30 04:42
1 reply
even better lol
2022-05-30 04:43
#80
Zeus | 
Australia NoLeS
I doubt it
2022-05-30 20:56
Maybe he meant that astralis has a lot of potential to upset their own fans.
2022-05-30 08:59
1 reply
#67
Zeus | 
Australia NoLeS
Maybe he means Gla1ve upset at Farlig potential which is of course unlimited
2022-05-30 09:00
Group A seems stronger than Group B so I would say that's the only threat for Faze, if some of the teams that have had a rough time recently find some form it might be a tough group to get through. Faze, Ence, G2, Vitality and Astralis are all in Group A. Group B doesn't look nearly as strong in comparison, especially with NiP missing their IGL of all players.
2022-05-30 10:41
#2
 | 
Finland Cucumber))
Ez maden
2022-05-29 21:32
go col
2022-05-29 21:32
2 replies
#23
 | 
United States Topher
+1
2022-05-29 22:20
1 reply
#27
 | 
United States Jeebur
+1
2022-05-29 22:32
easy for Brazil
2022-05-29 21:33
3 replies
We need bigger arena for Major
2022-05-29 22:48
2 replies
maybe openair at the beaches? beachmajor with womens
2022-05-29 22:50
1 reply
Better at Maracaná with GRILLS
2022-05-29 23:02
Let's go MOUZ!
2022-05-29 21:34
3 replies
six storylines MOUZ: going to choke
2022-05-29 22:06
2 replies
Mouz win Dallas
2022-05-30 00:27
1 reply
i wish
2022-05-30 00:39
If g2 doesn't make the final here will be a huge disappointment for them, no excuses really
2022-05-29 21:35
storyline: will g2 choke again? Answer: We will see but very likely
2022-05-29 21:35
3 replies
#16
 | 
Russia P0vTr
Not +1 but +1111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111
2022-05-29 21:48
#24
 | 
Bangladesh ImpacT_
thats not even a story line, just a daily chore for g2
2022-05-29 22:21
1 reply
Trueeee
2022-05-29 22:27
#9
 | 
Pakistan LoOuU2
Hoping Imperial does well and makes it to the playoffs VAMOS!
2022-05-29 21:36
#10
 | 
Serbia who_asked
we need more stand-ins and not accepted visas🤤🤤🤤
2022-05-29 21:38
1 reply
Yes lmao. Even traces was the worst one wtf? Hahah can we get an DALLAS LAUGH THREAD?
2022-05-29 22:08
This event will be the worst of the year why is this even a part of the grand slam
2022-05-29 21:39
There arent any tbf
2022-05-29 21:41
#13
 | 
France Gloomyz
To be honest it’s just one storyline - VISA ISSUES
2022-05-29 21:42
2 replies
and that covid 19
2022-05-29 21:49
1 reply
VISA issues are real.
2022-05-30 00:48
Only storyline is "no visas/covid/no time/ roster kicks" and NA event = trash event. We have european cups with better csgo quality.
2022-05-29 21:43
Everybody’s complaining about visa issues but it’s really the orgs fault for not getting this stuff sorted out before a few days before the event starts.
2022-05-29 21:46
1 reply
+1 its easy to blame the TO's but in all honesty, they invited the teams and its up to the teams to get there. Of course exceptions are teams like MiBR who got a last minute invite and had to sort everything out on the fly
2022-05-30 13:30
Shit event
2022-05-29 22:09
1. visa issues 2. shit teams 3. dead teams 4. tournament after major so no one cares 5. na event LUL
2022-05-29 22:14
5 replies
#52
 | 
Brazil skyron
>shit teams >major winner and major top 12~8~4 0/8
2022-05-30 02:03
1 reply
>Snax
2022-05-30 16:43
#76
 | 
Brazil flytw4tp
we know you'll be watching so don't need to act edge
2022-05-30 14:19
2 replies
i only watch G2 games but ok
2022-05-30 14:36
1 reply
#78
 | 
Brazil flytw4tp
taste bro
2022-05-30 14:51
Key storyline: NA regulations smeared what would be a great tournament, but it's still enjoyable for Brazilians
2022-05-29 22:18
EZ4ENCE AND JANUSZ
2022-05-29 22:21
These are barely storylines
2022-05-29 22:44
#30
 | 
United States Jxcek
HOPE Snax does very well during in Dallas!
2022-05-29 22:46
only storyline is if faze lose
2022-05-29 23:27
#41
 | 
Brazil MrLucas
Furia got to reach finals this time, playoffs is not enough as they should be the favourites against all the teams playing this tournament besides Faze, so being eliminated by any other team would be bad, they had enough time already to find out their game with saffee, its time to see some results
2022-05-29 23:30
Ez for Vita
2022-05-29 23:33
Storyline: Biden is desperate for some NA CSGO success so he ordered American authorities to fuck with as many European teams as possible.
2022-05-30 00:50
1 reply
As funny as this is, Sadly the man doesn't know his own name let alone CS
2022-05-30 03:53
the only storyline is visa issue
2022-05-30 01:03
Another important storyline would be c9 seeking redemption after Antwerp
2022-05-30 01:09
#50
 | 
Brazil Vicmar
Imagine if faze lose this
2022-05-30 01:18
This tourney is just a test for G2 they NEED to make the grand final
2022-05-30 01:28
#53
 | 
Japan Legoshi
EZ for ence snax carry
2022-05-30 02:03
I can't believe LFO finally found an org
2022-05-30 02:24
1 reply
+111
2022-05-30 23:22
The final gonna be FaZe - G2 or FaZe - FURIA.
2022-05-30 06:12
The most irrelevant tier 1 event in 2022
2022-05-30 07:07
1 reply
+1
2022-05-30 23:22
Tier 5 tournament
2022-05-30 08:42
where is device? unprofessional beta person lmao
2022-05-30 09:16
This tier 5 event has 0 storyline
2022-05-30 10:07
liar liar pants on fire - twistzz
2022-05-30 11:26
Yeah who cares about c9, the one of 2 T1 teams there counting faze, that are hungry to win their first ever lan tournament
2022-05-30 11:40
nobody cars
2022-05-30 13:01
#83
 | 
Germany AikoNesH
am I wrong or needs BIG to get to the playoffs here to have enough ESL Tour Points to be able to compete at IEM Cologne Play-In's? That would also be Storyline...
2022-05-31 12:37
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