The IEM events are one of the more prestigious LAN tournaments in Counter-Strike, and this outing remains one to watch even though three of the top five teams in the world are absent. On the plus side, not having Astralis, Natus Vincere or ENCE around will give some of the other teams a chance for a deep run in a tournament, and the many slots are given out to regional competitors also provides up-an-coming sides with an opportunity to put themselves on the map at the most prestigious LAN event since the Katowice major.
What Is The Intel Extreme Masters Season XIV Sydney?
Sixteen teams are fighting for their share of a $250 000 prize pool in Sydney, Australia as part of the latest Intel Extreme Masters-branded event after IEM Katowice. Eight participants are directly invited while two qualified through small closed qualifiers specifically catered towards Oceanic teams. The remaining slots were handed out via regional qualifiers, with one spot up for grabs for each of Europe, North America, China, East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Oceania, forming a unique blend of experienced and green competitors.
The event uses IEM’s unique format. The teams are divided into two groups of eight and proceed to play out two double-elimination brackets. The opening games are best-of-one while the rest of the matches in the tournament are all best-of-three, except for the grand final, which is a best-of-five. Three teams qualify from each group: the winner of the upper bracket final goes straight to the semis and the loser has to play a quarterfinal against the team that made it through the lower bracket in the other group. This rewards the sides who don’t lose in the groups but still force them to fight for a finals spot in the arena.
Intel Extreme Masters Season XIV Sydney is part of the Intel Grand Slam’s second season, an overarching competition which links ESL’s and DreamHack’s events into one big circuit. Win four out of any ten consecutive tournaments and your team gets $1 000 000 as a bonus, awarded straight to the winner. The inaugural season of the Intel Grand Slam was won by Astralis, who already has one win on the board with the Katowice major. They are not participating in this tournament this time around – they finished second in 2018, losing to FaZe Clan in the grand final. FaZe is back, though with a different roster, but world #2 Team Liquid are the big favorites for this one.
Key Storylines At Intel Extreme Masters 2019 Season XIV Sydney
Can Liquid Handle Being The Favorites?
There’s no question about the excellence of the North American side, but Team Liquid has historically struggled to close things off in the grand finals, collecting numerous silver medals over the course of 2018 and often losing against underdogs in the most important matches. Since Astralis and Na’Vi are out of the picture in Sydney, not accepting their invites to focus on other commitments, they are runaway favorites for this event with ___. It remains to be seen whether they can finally break the curse.
Did FaZe Find A New Gear In Miami?
After floundering at the major and StarSeries i-League Season 7, the international roster surprised the audience by winning BLAST Pro Series Miami. While it was a much less rigorous event, a title is a title, at least where FaZe fans are concerned. Questions remain about NiKo’s effectiveness as an in-game leader and the team’s ability to go up against top sides on a consistent basis, but if they were to defend their IEM Sydney title this time around, many of the doubters would gave to go quiet. They’re ___ to make it all the way.
Is This The Beginning Of The End For MiBR?
The Brazilian squad’s reunion began with an impressive semi-final run at the Katowice major but was followed by embarrassing early exits in two different BLAST Pro events and StarSeries i-League Season 7. They’ve also failed to impress in the ESL Pro League Season 9 group stage either, losing to Luminosity in the opening round and therefore failing to directly qualify for the June finals. Another poor result would mean massive scrutiny and a potential split, especially with rumors of renewed disagreements between legendary in-game leader FalleN and star player coldzera. The same core, playing under the SK Gaming banner at the time, was one of the first teams to be eliminated at IEM Sydney the last time around.
Swedish Counter-strike Hangs In The Balance
After a shock elimination from ESL Pro League, real questions are being asked from Ninjas in Pyjamas who, despite reaching the playoffs stage twice in a row at big LAN events, failed to beat any top ten team in recent events apart from North. Similarly, Fnatic’s second-place finish at Shanghai was more of an exception rather than the rule considering their recent performances, losing to both G2 and Natus Vincere in the Pro League, which means they could also use a standout performance.
A Status Report On The Mousesports Project
The “budget FaZe Clan” completely blew up its roster after successive disappointments at the Valve-sponsored majors, bringing in FaZe’s renowned ex-IGL karrigan to establish a new side with two very young players in the form of ropz and fr0zen. They’ve only had limited opportunities to compete so far but their performances were fairly positive, even if they haven’t had a chance to compete against the best CS:GO teams just yet.
Can Renegades Do It All Over Again?
After a succession of great LAN showings, the Australian side gets to compete in front of a home crowd at a venue where they managed a quarterfinal finish last year. They’re ___ to go all the way in the 2019 edition of the same tournament, and it’s not out of the question that they’ll do better than they did in 2018 when they took down FaZe Clan on their way to the playoffs.
Intel Extreme Masters Season XIV 2019 Betting Odds
Ninjas In Pyjamas seems to be favored alongside Mouseposrts by the online sportsbook. It makes sense taking into account their performance these last matches. Remember that bookies are always on the lookout for statistic trends, so if you perhaps have an insight into a potential upside, then take that chance! Because sports betting sites can’t predict updsides.
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