Here we have two teams that have recently won events. FaZe Clan and Evil Geniuses will face off in the opening round of Group B and IEM Beijing 2019. With Vitality also in the group, a win here is vital to avoid being upset and eliminated in group stage.
2019 has been massively inconsistent for this organisation, however, recent roster changes have been made in an attempt to turn things around. They kicked things off by signing Coldzera from MiBR who replaced Guardian on the team. FaZe have since opted to bring on Broky, although it is currently a trial period.
The change of roster seems to have had a mostly positive impact for the team. This past weekend they attended the Blast Pro Series Copenhagen event. FaZe pulled off an impressive 4-0-1 record, with their only loss being 16-5 to Liquid in the final round of group stage. This record advanced them to the grand final where they defeated NiP 2-0 in a closely contested series.
This is without a doubt a positive start for the new roster, but will they fall into the old habit of inconsistent performances? IEM Beijing is a perfect event to find this out.
The organisations’ long-awaited return to Counter-Strike has come with the success they would have been hoping for. Evil Geniuses recently acquired the former NRG roster who had been climbing their way to the top. Since the acquisition they have attended three events, winning two of them; ESL One New York and StarSeries & i-League Season 8.
Although many still view Astralis and Liquid as being the two best teams in the game, I believe Evil Geniuses deserve a spot up there. The NRG roster had been making strides and just struggled to take the final step. The recent success makes Evil Geniuses a true contender for all events moving forward.
This is probably going to be the toughest matchup throughout the group stage, however, has potential to not live up to the hype due to some inconsistencies from both teams. I think a +1.5 map handicap for FaZe at 1.59 odds is your best betting option in this series.