IEM Dallas 2023 Opening Day Preview | The New Favorites


IEM Dallas 2023 is about to begin, and teams have flown out to the United States to take part in one of the biggest events of the CS:GO calendar. With IEM Rio 2023 and Paris Major 2023 winners Vitality sitting this one out, and NAVI missing too, it represents a great opportunity for a new team to take home a trophy in 2023.

Let’s take a look at the favorites of IEM Dallas 2023, and their odds of winning the latest CS:GO tournament.


IEM Dallas 2023

A quick bounce back for Heroic? Credit: Stephanie Lindgren | © BLAST

Looking at the teams at IEM Dallas 2023, it’s impossible not to see Heroic among the instant favorites. The team fell to GamerLegion in the Semi-Finals of the Paris Major 2023, in arguably the most shocking result of the entire tournament. In Dallas, they’ve been given an opportunity for an instant bounce back.

They’ll need a strong mentality to get it over the line, as it’s not just the ghosts of Paris that will haunt them. Heroic have never won an Intel Extreme Masters event, despite having finished runners-up three times. There have been some painful losses along the way, such as the IEM Rio 2022 final defeat to Outsiders. Only time will tell if cadiaN and his team can finally break this duck. Once they got one over the line, there’s a feeling more will soon follow.


IEM Dallas 2023

A new hope for Astralis. Credit: AstralisCS on Twitter

Astralis? Favorites in 2023? We certainly wouldn’t completely rule them out here. After demoting Xyp9x to the academy, his replacement Altekz has been a slight revelation. He looks right at home in his new role, and dev1ce looks to be back to his very best. Even gla1ve looks to have recaptured some great form. The only lingering concern is Buzz, and if he can perform Astralis can go far at IEM Dallas 2023.

The team have been grinding on the Tier 2 circuit lately, winning CCT South Europe Series 4. It’s a small step in the right direction for Astralis, who with Altekz suddenly don’t look too far away from being real competitors. Winning IEM Dallas 2023 could prove a step too far right now, but keep one eye on how this Astralis roster performs.


Paris Major Legends

HooXi needs a Dallas W. Credit: G2CSGO on Twitter

G2 need something to go their way, because they’re at risk of squandering the momentum they garnered at the beginning of the year. Consecutive tournament wins gave high hopes for G2’s 2023, but it hasn’t come together yet. After being a key underperformer of the Paris Major 2023, NiKo and his team can open a new chapter in Dallas.

It’s an important tournament for HooXi in particular. The individual performances of the IGL have been under intense scrutiny lately, but he can set himself back on the right path with another tournament win at IEM Dallas 2023. Anything less would likely put his position in jeopardy in the post-Major roster swaps.


IEM Dallas 2023

One last dance for nitr0. Credit: TeamLiquidCS on Twitter

We had hometown heroes Vitality win the Paris Major. Could we see the same in Dallas with NA’s Liquid? It would be a hell of a story, after it was announced IEM Dallas 2023 would be nitr0’s final tournament in CS:GO. The team showed some positive signs at the Paris Major, and if they can take some of that momentum into this tournament, they’ll be tough to beat.

No matter how they do, it’s sure to be an emotional farewell for nitr0. The IGL has been a Liquid stalwart in CS:GO (one brief flirtatious dalliance with Valorant aside). We expect to see YEKINDAR continue to learn the IGL role at IEM Dallas 2023, and he could be the ready-made replacement if it all goes to plan.

Opening Matches

The opening matches of IEM Dallas 2023 promise to be a spicy affair. We’ve got a particular eye on Liquid vs Astralis, rekindling the legendary 2019 CS:GO rivalry. Besides that, the opening day should be pretty cut and dry.

Credit: ESL

Credit: ESL

G2 vs Nouns should be a non-contest, and the same could be said for Cloud9 vs Grayhound. Evil Geniuses will likely struggle to put up a fight against FaZe, too. FURIA vs OG will be interesting. Much of FURIA’s roster is playing to remain on the Brazilian team, while OG’s out-of-contract stars are playing to find a new team, which could be a very interesting prospect to see.

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