One of the organization’s high points in recent years, MOUZ’s remarkable march to the IEM Rio Major semifinals last year concluded a successful autumn for a team that relied on its academy potential. Despite their impressive performance in Brazil, sycrone’s men truly did not have much to cheer about in 2022 and failed to take home a trophy for the first time in five years.
The international team’s performance at IEM Katowice earlier this winter was far from stellar; they lost to OG and Complexity consecutively in the group stage before going home. The team’s top performers were XxertioN and frozen, although Dexter, the team’s in-game leader, came in dead last with an average rating of 0.82, providing little assistance.
Torzsi’s inability to deliver his best work since being promoted from MOUZ NXT, though, is more concerning. After an impressive tenure on the academy roster, the Hungarian marksman was heralded as the missing piece in the MOUZ puzzle. However, he has only averaged a 1.04 rating over the past year, which is not a stellar performance when wielding the most expensive pistol in the game. If MOUZ wants to advance and establish a regular playoff presence, Dexter must find a means to make his AWPer more effective in the server.
In their opening encounter, the Europeans will take the field against SAW, who entered this competition with an outstanding start to the year. The Portuguese team achieved its highest-ever HLTV ranking of No. 20 after winning the ESL Challenger League Season 43 Europe, the ESL Premier League Season 17 Conference Europe, the CCT South Europe Series 2, and the OMEN WGR Challenge 2023 semifinals.
Meanwhile, as BIG was eliminated from IEM Katowice 2023 in a disappointing 13th–16th place, syrsoN made the decision to sideline himself. The German squad breezed through the play-in before their unfortunate last-place exit, but they were unable to maintain that pace during the group stage, losing back-to-back games to G2 and Spirit, which punched their ticket home.
Throughout the course of his three years with BIG, the 26-year-old marksman, who averaged 1.13 points on roughly 700 maps played, was BIG’s best player. His 1.19 impact rating demonstrated that he contributed more to the squad than just sheer fragging performance, frequently going above and beyond what the scoreline indicated. With a staggering return of 22.4% of all opening duels won and a 62.5% success rate, syrsoN was also BIG’s most significant opener, earning him a 1.25 score in opening kills metrics.
With just a 1.02 offline rating versus the top 10 teams, syrsoN’s greatest flaw was his inability to deliver to his potential against elite competition on LAN.
In his first game at EPL, hyped will make his LAN debut with the senior team against Complexity and a hot hallzerk. With victories over ENCE, MOUZ, and fnatic, the Norwegian made an impression at IEM Katowice with a rating of 1.18. He also helped the American team have their best offline run since his arrival. While the 21-year-old will face a challenging opponent, a low-stakes group-stage match at Pro League can serve as the ideal stepping stone for a rookie player to ease into tier-one Counter-Strike.
BIG should still be considered among the clubs that can advance from Group B despite their recent alteration. They might not be vying for the top two slots in the group with Heroic or MOUZ, but they ought to be in a close race with FURIA and Complexity for the third and fourth spots.
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