IEM Chicago 2019 Preview And Analysis

IEM Chicago 2019 Preview And Analysis

IEM Chicago 2019 is an upcoming CS:GO event that’s scheduled to take place in the US, between July 18th – 21st. The tournament will bring together eight of the world’s greatest teams and compete for the lion share of $250.000.

IEM Chicago 2019 is the second Intel Extreme Masters event of the 14th season. The first one was held in Sydney and was won by Team Liquid. In this edition, however, the battle for the title will be fierce. The CS:GO scene finally has a competent and competitive top 5 teams. It seems that on an any given day the teams can outlast one another and that makes the competition very interesting.

Team Liquid Take IEM Sydney 2019. Image via

IEM Chicago 2019 Prize Distribution

Just like the other IEM events before it, IEM Chicago offers a quarter of a million dollars in prizes. The money is distributed among the 8 teams in the following format:

  • 1st place: $125.000
  • 2nd place: $50.000
  • 3rd – 4th place: $25.000
  • 5th – 6th place: $8.500
  • 7th – 8th place: $4.000

IEM Chicago 2019 Event Format

Just like events before it, there are two main stages of play.

Group Stage

The Group Stage of IEM Chicago 2019 consists of two double-elimination groups. Every match will be played in a Bo3 affair. The top two teams from each group advance to the next stage.


The Playoffs stage will continue on with bo3’s in the semifinals, but the grand final will consist of a true stamina test – a bo5.

IEM Chicago 2019 Participants

Six of the eight IEM Chicago 2019 participants have already been revealed. The other competitors haven’t been announced, so we can only guess who might receive the call of duty. On the other hand, we already know six competitors and we can see how well they stack up.

Team Liquid

It took them long enough but Liquid have overthrown Astralis and took the number one place in the world. Albeit, it came down to Astralis really underperforming but what else can you expect when a team is skipping tier 1 events.

TL Win ESL Pro League S9 Finals. Image via

As for their performances recently, Liquid has been looking in a good shape. Ever since nitr0 took over IGL’ing a while back the team has been on the up-and-up. And the addition of Stewie2k means the team must no longer contest with the 2nd players, they are able to win competitive Counter-Strike tournaments.

Heading into IEM Chicago 2019, Team Liquid should have a showing at the playoffs at the very least. Whether they can reach the Grand Final or not is still unclear, but if they do reach it, Liquid could begin to cement their era. The North Americans have been climbing the ranks and would be only fair if they could win against an opponent their size on the big stage. Liquid seems to be the best team at the moment so keep an eye on them, especially if you wish to delve into CS:GO betting.


No one was expecting a Finnish team to ever reach such heights in world of Counter-Strike. But here we have ENCE, a team who have managed a grand final appearance in the major and even a victory over Astralis in a full-fledged bo3.

As for their recent accomplishments, in 2019, ENCE finished 2nd at IEM Katowice Major, 3rd at BLAST Pro Series Sao Paulo, 5th – 8th at StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 7, and 1st at BLAST Pro Series Madrid, after defeating Astralis.

It’s safe to say that the betting odds are ENCE’s favor. Based on these results, we can clearly see why ENCE is considered one of the best teams in the world. Going into IEM Chicago 2019, we expect them to reach the playoffs Stage. After that, it will be hard to predict, as it all comes down to the playoffs draw. However, we do not expect anyone to run over this Finnish powerhouse.

Team Vitality

Vitality has been on a huge upward trend from November last year. After their recent victory in ECS Season 7, Vitality put French Counter-Strike on the map. As of the time of writing, the Frenchmen are considered the number 4 team in the world.

Team Vitality come out on top against FURIA at the ECS Season 7 Finals

In 2019, Vitality came close to qualifying for the Playoffs of IEM Katowice Major but ultimately got defeated in the decider match of the second stage by NiP and had to exit the tournament in 9th – 11th place. However, their performance showed incredible determination and a sheer desire to become one of the world’s best.

In terms of individual talent, the players have had a great run of form. Apex, NBK, and RPK are just some of the names who found a resurgence in the form, ever since Alex took over IGL’ing duties. Of course, there’s one ace up their sleeve and that’s obviously Zywoo. Just in ECS Season 7 Zywoo acquired a ridiculous 1.41 rating and an MVP title to boot. This may not be the most tactical team out there, but such a roster of talents might surprise a few teams in the event.


Another known competitor for IEM Chicago 2019 is MIBR, a team with enormous potential but have been really underwhelming since their inception. Keep in mind however that the MIBR roster used to be the absolute best in the world less than two years ago. Maybe, all it takes for this team is just the one tournament to click and they’ll be back on track. For now, there aren’t signs of evidence that it will be the case. However, as ESL Pro League Finals are still on-going, maybe that will be the event to sway the momentum back in their favor.

Even though this roster is looking the weakest they’ve been in a while, they are still scary. Even in the ECS Season 7 Finals, we saw a vintage coldzera performance which almost won them the game. Before heading into the event, MiBR could really use to fix their map pool. Right now, their maps are relying too much on Fallen to have a good series. This is also a team that has that unknown “X” factor, that could help them makes some upsets. Who knows, maybe even a grand final appearance.


The Australians have surprised the world in their performance in IEM Katowice. The team was able to claw their way to the top 8 and won against some significant opposition along the way.

But it’s been over 3 months since their achievement and not much has been accomplished since. One of the biggest problems for the Aussies, were visa issues. Their player Gratisfaction couldn’t acquire a visa to the states and the team had to play with smooya in the mix.

Now that Gratisfaction can finally play with his fellow teammates maybe the team can follow up from their initial hype from the major.

G2 Esports

The Frenchmen of G2 couldn’t have received an invite at a better time. After their star-studded performance in the ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals everyone wants to see more of what this team is capable.

It was very surprising to witness the players having a great run of form. KennyS has been looking superb rolling-back the years from 2015. Even though many seems to be excited about shox, his performance wasn’t too amazing. He did get some great clutches but his overall rating was 1.04 which very average by a player of his stature.

It’s possible that this French roster will pop-off again and show us another amazing performance. One of the main parts of success is the fragging capability. Not only must we see shox and KennyS step up to the play but AmaNEk will have to contribute.

Comments (1)

  1. Avatar
    Rohan Samal

    Great Preview, personally I hold Vitality > ENCE right now. And while Liquid is No. 1, they just don’t seem untouchable.

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