IEM Chengdu Group Stage Preview: Format, Favorites & Opening Matches

Published: Apr 4, 2024

Only one week after the PGL CS2 Copenhagen Major’s conclusion, the Counter-Strike circus is on the road again with IEM Chengdu. 16 teams will participate in the $250,000 tournament, with the winner taking home $100,000 and a spot at IEM Cologne 2024. In this article, we’re taking a closer look at the event’s group stage, and who has the biggest chance to make it to the playoffs, to guide your IEM Chengdu betting.

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IEM Chengdu Group Stage Format

The Group Stage consists of two eight-team groups to be played out in a double-elimination GSL format from the 8th until the 10th of April. Three teams per group qualify for the playoffs, while the other five are eliminated (after losing two matches). Apart from the opening BO1’s, all other games will be played in a BO3 series format.

The Group Stage Favorites

FaZe

Despite their devastating loss in the recent Copenhagen Major Grand Final, FaZe are the overwhelming CS2 betting favorites to take it all in Chengdu. The international powerhouse is yet to miss a LAN Grand Final in CS2 – an unbelievable feat considering it’s been almost six months, since their triumphant victory at IEM Sydney 2023, the first CS2 event.

However, historically, teams that perform well at the Major tend to struggle in following events due to burnout and lack of motivation. Yet, FaZe’s Major Grand Final loss could spur them on to prove that it was just a fluke and that they still are the best team in the world.

MOUZ

Before the PGL Copenhagen Major playoffs, MOUZ looked unstoppable. Between their IEM Katowice semi-final loss and the Major playoffs, the international roster ended Sprit’s reign of terror and went unbeaten in both the European RMR and the Elimination Stage of the Major.

But when it mattered most, MOUZ capitulated and fell flat on the stage. Their young age and relative inexperience showed and another good start to a CS2 tournament was wasted. Akin to FaZe, MOUZ players should have a chip on their shoulders and the hunger to prove they belong among the world’s best.

iem chengdu group stage betting preview
Image: ESL

G2

The PGL Copenhagen Major semi-finalist’s level of performance continues to fluctuate with every event. The only constant force within their ranks is that of Ilya “m0NESY” Osipov. The AWPing prodigy never fails to deliver impact on the server, dragging G2 over the line on numerous occasions.

While G2 may not be a consistent squad, their peaks are extremely high and on their day they are capable of running over any opponent. At the moment, however, only their sniper is showing any signs of peak performance. If his teammates don’t step it up soon, he might start searching for a new team before the fall season begins.

Virtus.pro

While Virtus.pro’s PGL Copenhagen Major placing was objectively a disappointment, VP never let their bad performances affect their squad’s trajectory and future outings. According to several professional players, the Russians are still among the most dangerous and uncomfortable CS2 teams to play against.

Since they didn’t make it to the Major playoffs, VP players had time to rest, recuperate, and reflect on their recent performances. This week of additional time off could give them the edge over teams who’ve traveled virtually straight from Copenhagen to Chengdu.

Group Stage Opening Matchups

Due to the large variety of teams attending the event, most of the IEM Chengdu opening matchups are rather lopsided. However, they are still worth tuning in for, especially the Liquid vs Heroic and Monte vs Astralis games.

Here’s how the IEM Chengdu Opening Matchups stack up (Apr. 8):

Group A

  • G2 vs 9z (6:30 CEST)
  • Liquid vs HEROIC (6:30 CEST)
  • FURIA vs Lynn Vision (7:30 CEST)
  • TYLOO vs MOUZ (7:30 CEST)

Group B 

  • Wildcard vs Virtus.pro (8:30 CEST)
  • Fly Quest vs Cloud9 (8:30 CEST)
  • Monte vs Astralis (9:30 CEST)
  • FaZe vs Nemiga (9:30 CEST)
Bruno Sobieraj

Since: September 16, 2023

My name is Bruno and my love for Counter-Strike was sparked when the Polish Virtus.pro was plowing through opponents from 2014 to 2018. Since then, I’ve been dreaming of working in esports and here I am.

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