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Dallas has been hilarious, if you hate Americans or upsets. At least we get FaZe vs G2 in a playoffs game, even if some of you think it’s a month late.
We’ll admit we love a good storyline, whether it’s a player returning to haunt the team that kicked them or a team going on a magical run on home soil. You can’t deny there’s beauty in that.
But we also love laughing at people's downfall, especially when NA gets involved. So, boy, has Dallas been some comedy gold.
North America has four representatives over at IEM Dallas. In turmoil Liquid, hometown heroes Complexity, and now-it’s-just-sad EG. While we know that Ryan deluded NA fans count the whole Americas as theirs, we’re ignoring FURIA and 9z. Because it doesn’t make a difference, even if you count them, 0 (that’s ZERO) made it to the playoffs.
Three NA teams were drawn into the same group, all with tough opening games. EG played FaZe, Complexity faced ENCE, and Liquid played Astralis. You’d imagine FaZe V EG would have the biggest gulf in quality, yet, somehow, that game went all the way to overtime before FaZe clinched it.
With a close game like that, you’d almost think Complexity and Liquid had a chance. Almost. Because unlike EG, they were blown out of the water. The end results were still the same; they were thrown down into the lower bracket. CoL even had the pleasure of drawing EG.
At this point, desperation had to set in for the NA fans. One of EG and CoL was set to be knocked out already whilst the winner had to face one of Astralis/Cloud 9. That winner? Come on. Obviously, it was CoL because EG doesn’t do winning. Meanwhile, Liquid won a game against Grayhound that might as well have been a Bo5.
At this point, there were two NA teams alive. They avoided each other in the draw, and… wait, who do they play then? Oh, CoL plays C9, and Liquid plays FaZe… right.
We’d love to pretend that maybe one of the teams could’ve done some magic, and to be fair, Complexity did manage to trade punches to a decider against C9. They just also got 16:2’d on that decider. Liquid didn’t even get to go to three maps; FaZe, for once, decided they wanted to close out. Even if that means Twistzz tried to ninja defuse what could’ve potentially been Nitr0’s last-ever round of pro-CS. At least they saw some humour in it.
You might have noticed we left a team out. We mentioned 4 NA teams but only named EG, Liquid, and CoL. That’s because Nouns were here also!
The reason we left them out is… frankly, we forgot about them, and can you blame us? They only mustered 12 rounds across 3 maps. Specifically, FURIA just hammered them. We’re sure NA fans themselves would’ve rather we forgot about them.
So, there’ll be no NA teams in the playoffs of IEM Dallas. But there is one North American left, Twistzz, a lone NA star in The Lone Star State.
Tune in to this week's episode of Overtime on Inferno where your favorite hosts, aizyesque and Logan Ramhap, go deep on the biggest news in CS:GO:
If you hated the Paris Major, you’ll love the IEM Dallas playoffs.
All the old-school big names are here - Heroic made it, with G2 and FaZe, ENCE are more of a modern phenomenon, but MOUZ are super old school. There’s even a guest appearance from Astralis.
Just like the old days.
While there’s a bunch of weirdness with regard to rosters, these teams rose above that and actually showed up in the last big tournament before the player break.
Looking at you, Cloud9, Team Liquid, et al.
Today’s games start in the evening here in EU, so you’ve got time to get home from work or… wake up if you’re a real gamer. Kicking off with the impressive Astralis against the… well, better than Major-form MOUZ.
We don’t want to say they’ve been good - they’ve beaten a shoddy-looking FURIA and an OG-looking OG - but they haven’t been terrible. Astralis 2-0’d Cloud9 and beat Liquid in OT, which just gives us a bit more faith in them.
Even if they did lose to ENCE. Ignore that.
They look much better, though — Altekz isn’t the best player we’ve ever seen, but he’s pretty damn good at what he does. He’s a huge upgrade on Xyp9x, at least in 2023.
The winner of that game meets Heroic, while ENCE await G2 or FaZe. G2 are what they always are - wildly talented, quicksilver, and falling apart at the seams. They might still win the event, but it won’t be off the back of outthinking anyone.
FaZe, similarly, are the same team as ever. Dangerous, un-put-away-able, gifted, and intelligent. You wouldn’t bet against them winning, but you probably wouldn’t bet on it, either.
That game should be mental.
Dallas has been a strange event, but these playoffs should go OFF.
What’s harder, qualifying for the Major or getting a player out of Sprout?
Neither are easy, especially if your name is Astralis. But, they look to have finally managed to achieve the latter, at least according to Striker of HLTV.org.
It was in October of 2022 that good old Jaxon first reported the Danish behemoth’s interest in the 18-year-old, but the two sides have STILL not reached an agreement on a buyout.
With no transfer forthcoming, Astralis have apparently got Staehr on a free transfer for the beginning of 2024 when his contract expires (just like the deal they struck with blameF and k0nfig).
It’s a deal that makes sense. Sign the brightest young Danish talent early while Heroic are comfortably a top-two team in the world, learning from their mistake with the likes of jabbi and stavn.
What isn’t clear yet is who Staehr might replace. The obvious answer is Buzz, who has been given nearly every role under the sun in his short time in black-and-red and has rarely convinced in any of them, or Altekz, who was named as a “temporary” addition in place of Xyp9x.
But there are rumours on the Twitter-sphere of “internal issues” that might result in blameF departing, which would make much more sense if Astralis are after a 1:1 swap role-wise.
There’s also the possibility of gla1ve hanging up his mouse and keyboard and letting blameF IGL, as was the long-term plan when he joined the org in 2021.
Considering there’s another 6 months of 2023 before Staehr will join — unless Sprout somehow budge on a deal — we doubt even Astralis know who he’ll sign for. Which is either bad planning (it’s this one) or an amazing Machiavellian game of “fight for your spot”.
It’s funny that this news has come out now, too, just as Astralis arrived back on LAN at IEM Dallas with a bit of a spring in their step. device is the highest-rated player of the event, Altekz has got 25% T side opening attempts from Xyp9x’s old lurk spots (how and why, we do not know), and blameF is still fragging away.
For the first time in a while, you can see the method behind the madness at Astralis. Adding Staehr for 2024 is another logical step in the right direction — we’re just not too confident it’ll be good for team chemistry in the meantime…
🧑🔬 I’m with the science team!
♠️♣️ Shuffling the deck
👶👴 (Not so) fresh faces