Counter-Strike is ending 2020 with a bang as the IEM Global Challenge brings us some of the highest-level CS:GO ever from December 15 to December 20.
The event will feature the top five teams on the HLTV world rankings, as well as three additional highly ranked squads, giving fans a rare opportunity to see all of the world’s best at the same tournament.
This of course means we’re going to see some insane games and every match will be one worth keeping an eye on – especially if you’re planning to get some wagers in before the winter break.
Who’s Playing at The IEM Global Challenge?
Eight teams will be battling it out at the IEM Global Challenge, an event that is set to be one of the most competitive in 2020. We’ll see all five of the top-ranked teams: Vitality, Astralis, Heroic, Natus Vincere and Big, as well as three top-level sides in Furia, Complexity and Team Liquid.
The tournament will be an extended one featuring two groups of four, followed by a four-team playoff bracket. Two teams will advance from each group, and just one loss in the playoffs will mean elimination.
This means every match will be vital, and just one bad day could spell disaster for any team. As such, despite some varying odds, you can’t count out any team here.
You can find the full list of teams and their odds to win it below:
Odds to Win IEM Global Challenge
Odds as of December 8 at Sportsbook
Is Astralis Finally Back?
2020 has been a turbulent year for Astralis. The Danish squad entered the year as undeniably the best team in the world, having won three Majors in a row. However, over the course of the year, multiple players were sidelined by injury and all their substitutes failed to recreate the original lineup’s success.
Luckily for the Danes, they’re able to close out the year in style, as all of their stars returned to action in October. Since then, they’ve been slowly building up the results, which finally culminated in a dominant victory at DreamHack Masters Winter Europe.
They’ll now look to repeat that result at the IEM Global Challenge and regain their dominant 2019 form.
Is Heroic Being Underestimated?
Heroic is a bit of a strange team, in the sense that they struggled in the mid-levels of CS:GO for a long time but somehow shot up all the way to No. 1 in the world in mid-2020. How they did this is still quite a mystery, but one thing’s for sure – Heroic knows how to be the best.
The team has won two premier events since August and has developed a pattern of winning an event, looking disappointing, and then winning again. They’ve underperformed in their last three events, so it may be time for the world-beaters Heroic to wake up.
Can North America Shine Again?
It has not been a good year for North American Counter-Strike. The pandemic shut down all international events, leaving the handful of elite-level North American teams to entertain themselves for the majority of 2020.
While this does mean the best consistently found success in their region, they’re now well out of practice against European teams – the teams that are considered the best of the best. This was proved in November, when Furia, Liquid and Evil Geniuses returned to Europe only to be dominated by everyone they faced.
However, they’ve now had around a month of practice and time to readjust, and they’ll definitely want to return home having at least made some noise. Both Furia and Liquid have proved in the past that they can be the best in the world – but can they do it again here?