Original article by: Dexerto
As the playoffs of IEM Beijing-Haidian get underway, Dexerto explores the most important storylines developing in the tournament, such as Astralis’ return to the original lineup and NiKo vs FaZe.
Complexity has turned a new page since the departure of Owen ‘oBo’ Schlatter. The signature of Justin ‘jks’ Savage and the Juggernaut is the first step in establishing the Dallas-based organisation as a top European contender. Facing against Big, however, will not be an easy challenge as the Germans have become one of the most successful teams of the Online Era.
Astralis, meanwhile, sees the return of Andreas ‘Xyp9x’ Højsleth, completing the lineup which conquered three majors in a row. Xyp9x’s performance against ENCE showed that the Clutch Minister is not one that rusts quickly and is looking to make an impact against NaVi.
Arguably the most important storyline of the tournament is the growing rivalry between Nikola ‘NiKo’ Kovač and his former team, FaZe Clan.
The former IGL recently left the organization that hosted him for three and a half years, joining his cousin Nemanja ‘huNter-‘ Kovač on G2 Esports. Since then, NiKo has returned to his incredible star form, displaying some ridiculous numbers at BLAST Premier Fall Series.
Against all predictions, FaZe Clan has also shown an improvement in form since the departure of their best player and IGL. The return of Olof ‘olofmeister’ Kajbjer and the leadership of Marcelo ‘coldzera’ David propelled the original superteam to victories against OG and Vitality, two top-6 teams.