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The Counter-Strike scene moves to Chicago for the next few days as we head to IEM Chicago 2018. The tournament will see several teams from all across the globe participating in the event. There are a total of 16 teams at the event competing for a prize pool of $250,000. The event takes place at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago. The event started on the 6th of November and will continue till the 11th. While Astralis is considered to be the strongest team in the tournament, we have not seen them perform at the same level of dominance since the FaceIT London Major 2018.
The IEM Chicago tournament will be crucial for the teams aiming to prove themselves on the big stage. While the top teams are obviously competing for the title, many smaller teams are also aiming to prove themselves amongst the bigger fish.
The tournament will feature a double elimination format where every team will get a chance to prove themselves. The format allows teams to make mistakes and yet have a chance to qualify for the Playoffs. So far in the tournament, teams like North, MiBr and Natus Vincere have been eliminated from the tournament.
- Stage Host:
- OJ Borg (Oliver James Borg D’Anastasi)
- Desk Host:
- Machine (Alex Richardson)
- stunna (Tres Saranthus)
- UnknownFME (Bastian Faber)
- Group Stage: November 6th – 8th, 2018
- Two double-elimination format (GSL) Groups:
- Each group has eight teams
- The group stage is seeded using a new “Player-Selected Seeding” 
- Click here for more details on the seeding
- Two double-elimination format (GSL) Groups:
- The initial matches are Bo1
- All following matches are Bo3
- The top three teams from each group advance to the Playoffs:
- Group stage winners advance to the Semifinals
- Group stage runners-up advance to the Quarterfinals as the High Seeds
- Group stage 3rd place teams advance to the Quarterfinals as the Low Seeds
- Playoffs: November 9th – 11th, 2018
- Single-elimination bracket
- The Quarterfinals and Semifinals are Bo3
- The Grand Final is Bo5
Mousesports vs BIG Gaming
Mousesports remains a team that is slowly rebuilding this team. They did make the mistake of adding Snax to the roster despite having a relatively successful team with Styko. The team with Styko had achieved a lot of success and were constantly playing in the playoffs and sometimes in the Grand finals of tournaments. On paper, Snax is a much better player than Styko, however, the reality was quite different than expected. Snax did not find a proper fit with the team and he is now a free agent.
The Mousesports team is now a part of its old roster and it is already looking quite good. The team’s preparation has been much better with results already showing on the International stage. However, the hiatus from the team meant that the team is not yet fully in synergy despite Styko being on their team right now.
ChrisJ is the glue that holds this team together. Formerly the star on the roster, ChrisJ has allowed other players to take the spotlight on the team. His ability to take the back seat allowing for new, often younger players take the lead is truly inspirational. ChrisJ is also performing really well with the AWP. He is extremely potent with the AWP and can often play aggressively as well.
In addition to the Captain, this team relies on Sunny to put up strong performances. He might not have the most amenable attitude when it comes to being on a team, however, there is no doubt about his talent. His positioning and the mental fortitude while making strong plays is unparalleled. The team relies on Sunny to consistently put up decent numbers and he does not disappoint. Sunny’s performance definitely is one that does remain extremely consistent and then he has peaked in his performance which truly makes him a strong player.
Overall Mousepsorts also has the likes of Ropz and Oskar who put up the big numbers on a repetitive nature. The team is extremely fortunate to have such players of talent and little to no ego. As such they are able to adjust their gameplay according to what they want. Mousesports’ current set of results, however, is not their best and they definitely are looking forth to improving their results. IEM Chicago will be a good test for the team as it looks to rebuild their past success.
BIG Gaming Roster:
- Gob B
BIG Gaming is a very tactical team under the leadership of Gob B. The man himself is a legend in Counter-Strike and is considered an inspiration for new IGLs. He understands his team better than anyone else and customises the strategies depending on the team’s playstyle. This is why BIG Gaming looks so comfortable in their gameplay right now.
The team has made a name for itself with the efficient use of grenades. This ensures that they soften up the enemy or puts them out of position much before the team fights actually start. As such, it becomes much easier for the team to potentially win the round. However, no amount of tactics or strategy would help them reach their current level in Counter-Strike if they did not have the firepower to go along with it. The likes of Smooya, Tizian and Tabsen have been able to enable the team to make strong plays in their recent tournaments.
The individual level of Smooya remains a very strong point for BIG Gaming. But as we see with several talented players, Smooya is not always able to maintain the same level of consistency. Being a very momentum based player, it is not rare to see Smooya severely underperforming on the team. His ability to pull off amazing shots is often directly related to the prior performance of the player. It is not rare to see Smooya shouting on stage and being extremely excited about the team’s prospects.
However, BIG also rely on Tizian and Tabsen to keep performing at their level. It is not rare to see Tabsen put up as the best player on the server. However, he does not really have ‘bad’ days as he is always very consistent with the game. The players’ synergy is what determines how strong their store is. There have been reports of Smooya possibly leaving BIG Gaming for another organisation. However, until now, they have been woefully inaccurate and Smooya has remained on this team for now. This also means that the team believes in its ability to put up challenges to the best teams in the world. IT is not without reason as we see BIG Gaming constantly putting up good numbers against the top teams. Their win against Na’Vi definitely serves as an inspiration to the other players on the team. It will also make Smooya full of confidence which is what will make this team a strong force at IEM Chicago.
BIG Gaming will play against Mousesports for the lower bracket round 2 matches. The two teams are extremely even, especially as saw BIG Gaming pull off that win against Natus Vincere. The German team definitely has proven itself on the big stage repeatedly. The team’s performance in this tournament will be very crucial to determine their place on the International stage.
Their opponents, Mousepsorts, on the other hand, need this tournament to start producing results. The team is definitely looking much better than their time with Snax. Currently, Mouseposrts does have a decent chance but they have not had the most time to practice together with Styko. AS such as we recommend a low bet on BIG Gaming.