From Underdogs to Semi Finals - Team BIG's IEM Dallas Journey

BIG (Berlin International Gaming), a team that can be called the true underdog of DreamHack IEM Dallas 2022. They were an unexpected visitor at first, alongside Movistar Riders they took the vacated places of NAVI and Entropiq. Now they are in the semi-finals, and who wouldn’t root for the underdog?

Let’s take a look at the BIG’s journey throughout IEM Dallas.

After Natus Vincere and Entropiq were forced to withdraw from IEM Dallas owing to visa issues, Movistar Riders and BIG were surprised with invitations. The team worked hard for their own redemption, as Johannes "⁠tabseN⁠" Wodarz’s roster finished 12-14th at the PGL Major following a strong 3-0 RMR run with rookie Karim "⁠Krimbo⁠" Moussa, whose talent they harnessed and put up a nice display at Dallas.

BIG in IEM Dallas Group Stage

BIG challenged NIP on Ancient in the last BO1 of the first day. The Germans took control of the A site early on, thanks to a Josef "faveN" Baumann 2k with the USP-S. The Swedes took a little to get going, but a string of good shots on the B site midway through the game allowed them to capture a few rounds on their route to a 6-9 halftime lead.

After switching to the T side, Johannes "tabseN" Wodarz's team soon increased their advantage to 14-6. In a brief revival, NIP would win four rounds until Karim "Krimbo." Moussa struck the final shot on the Bombsite A.

The third set of matches on day 2 of IEM Dallas saw BIG upset MIBR 2-0 in Group B's upper bracket semi-final, a comeback triumph on Mirage 22-18, and a comfortable Nuke victory.

MIBR began Mirage with a good pistol round, ultimately gaining a 3-0 lead thanks to Raphael "exit" Lacerda's five kills in the first three rounds. BIG, who struggled against the Brazilian defence for the whole of the first half and trailed 5-10 at the intermission.

BIG took the opening two rounds of the second half, which included back-to-back triple kills from the in-game leader himself, tabseN. The Brazilians overpowered BIG's resistance as soon as MIBR received their guns.

BIG battled back and convincingly forced overtime, coming back from a seven-round deficit thanks to an incredible AWPing effort from Florian "syrsoN" Rische. BIG came out roaring on Nuke, taking an 8-1 lead thanks to spectacular fragging from Karim "Krimbo" Moussa, Josef "faveN" Baumann, and tabseN as the Germans rode the momentum of their comeback.

BIG then played a faultless T side and finally rounded off a dominant Nuke performance 16-4, earning their playoff position and setting up a spot decider vs FURIA.

BIG proceeded to  defeat FURIA in their spot-deciding match to advance to the IEM Dallas semi-finals as Group B's first-place finishers. The Germans defeated Andrei "arT" Piovezan's team in three maps, winning Nuke 16-8, Vertigo 10-16, and Mirage 16-10.

The German team once again appeared to be the scourge of the Brazilians in the tournament.

Onwards to the playoffs…

BIG makes it to the IEM Dallas Playoffs

BIG, who was accepted as a last-minute substitute, advances to the tournament's semi-finals after beating FURIA. In about a couple of hours the ENCE defeated FaZe will clash with Cloud9. That match will go one way since Faze is already on fire.

What awaits Faze is a team that just found its momentum. Organised and high in spirits, Germans will prove an obstacle for the tournament favourite FaZe Clan. Faze finally got their taste of defeat after their unstoppable streak by ENCE. Now that they’ve come back to reality, they have to be much much more careful against BIG, if they still wanna have their shot at the championship title since ENCE’s matches are a guaranteed win.

On the other hand BIG, having already been redeemed themselves will play a much more calm and coordinated game against Faze. Whether this will be an advantage or a disadvantage we’ll see in the semi-finals on June 4th 21:30 CEST.

Many believed that BIG didn’t deserve their spot, and would serve as cannon fodder after NAVI’s inability to attend. They were called in as a last minute replacement after all, but in CS:GO Esports it’s never certain where surprises might arise. It is an incredible spectacle and a redemption on part of BIG to reach where they are right now.