What’s up boys and girls! We are almost nearing the end of April and with that, the string of tournaments for a lot of us CS:GO fans. Although we did not see as much action as possible unlike last month, there will be one more tournament that will actually start on the end of April to send the month off with a bang.
I am happy to tell you guys that the IEM Series will be back at it again and in this edition, it will be visiting the wonderful city of Sydney in the Land Down Under. The venue of the event will be the Qudos Bank Arena, which was the same arena that the tournament was played in last year.
This is more like an anniversary of sorts as last year’s edition was also around this time of the year. The prize pool for the tournament will be $250,000, with $100,000 going to the tournament winners. This will also be a part of the running Intel Grand Slam Season 2, where the eventual winners will be receiving $1,000,000 in cold hard cash. It was Faze Clan who won the tournament last year, and we will see if they will be able to defend their title this year. The tournament will start on April 30th and will end on May 5th.
Today we shall check the teams participating in the event and also give our CS:GO Sydney IEM 2019 betting tips.
There will be a total of 16 teams that will be participating in the Sydney Leg of the IEM Grand Slam. Half of those will be from direct invites while the remaining 8 will secure their spots from qualifiers from all the regions. The invited teams are Faze Clan, Fnatic, Team Liquid, MiBR, Mouz, Ninjas in Pyjamas, NRG Esports and Australia’s own, Renegades.
Heroic secured their spot from the Sydney Invitational by GG Bet. BIG secured theirs from the EU qualifiers. E United was granted the spot from the North American qualifiers. Vici Gaming from the Chinese qualifiers. MVP PK from Korea got theirs during the East Asian qualifiers. BOOT Dreamscape from the SEA qualifying tournament. Another Aussie squad, Grayhound Gaming from the Oceanic qualifiers and lastly, Chief Esports Club from the Sydney Derby.
Notable Roster Changes
Lots of changes that happened to some of the teams that will be participating in this event. First off, and the most notable in my opinion is the player shuffle that happened in eUnited. After Dapre, Dazzle, and Ace went to free agency, they picked up Marke, Food and Vanity from Swole Patrol and because of this, was granted the NA slot since majority of the qualified squad transferred to them. They also signed the Canadian player A2Z, who had recent stints in Dignitas and Torqued as a coach.
The next big roster change happened within Mouz. Sunny has been benched a month ago, same time as when Oskar was signed by Hell Raisers. Hell Raisers also snagged LMBT as their coach. To remedy the blank spots in their roster, the Mouz organization signed Karrigan from Faze as the new in-game leader. They also added Frozen from NoChance and then signed Reijen from Tricked Esport as their coach.
The format for the event will be similar to the format that was used last year. To recap it, the 16 squads will be split into 2 groups depending on their team rankings in ESL. The group stages will be in a double elimination GSL format, with the Round 1 games being best of 1 while the rest is best of 3.
Only 6 teams will be advancing to the playoffs. The group stage winners will have an automatic seed in the semi-finals. The second and third placed teams from each group will earn high and low seeds in the quarterfinals respectively. All of the matches in the playoffs will be best of 3 except for the Grand Finals which will be in a best of 5 format.
CS:GO IEM Sydney 2019 Predictions
Now for me, this will be the most exciting part of the series. Since there are only 6 teams that will advance in the playoffs, I will be picking out 4 out of those 6 teams that will probably reach the semi-finals. There is another factor that makes these predictions much more exciting though, both for me and the readers out there.
The top 2 teams in the world right now are NOT INCLUDED in this tournament. That means, there is no Astralis and there is not Natus Vincere in the fight to the top. This is somewhat exciting as currently, Astralis has one upped every CS:GO squad out there in the running for the Intel Grand Slam pot of $1,000,000 by winning IEM Katowice. With them and Na’Vi out of the picture, I see this as a scramble of the other teams to get that win on their tally to be on the level of Astralis for that big prize money.
So first off, I am thinking of Renegades as my first pick. One, they are the home town team. I mean, this is Australia we are talking about. Renegades will be bringing in the crowds of supporters through the gates when the matches will be played in the live audience. Aside from that, they have been really good lately in their recent runs this year. They even managed to steal a game from Astralis during Katowice in that Mirage map, and actually threatened them on Nuke.
Liazz has been a very good addition to them after they signed him from ORDER and AZR is more and more acting as an excellent in-game leader in each match they play. If they continue this current form that they have, I will see them as an eventual top 8 team in the world and even tally up a win or 2 for the Grand Slam.
The second squad I am partial about is Team Liquid. They have been very impressive during the start of 2019. I mean coming in second in two Blast Pros is a good accomplishment, considering that they have recently restructured the whole roster. Considering that though, Naf and Elige are still their top guys that they can rely on.
However, Stewie is getting the flak for a lot of the mishaps in the entire lineup. Although he is a very big name in the team, he needs to pick up the slack and start showing his superstar material. If he manages to pull out performances just like when they won the Boston Major when he was still in C9, I would see them as an eventual top contender in this tourney and also in the future.
The third squad I have in mind is the defending champions, Faze Clan. Sure they had a very rough start during 2019, and also even during the latter part of last year. However, since they signed Adren recently, their fortunes have been somewhat on an upward direction. Many people have doubted Adren before BPS Miami, however, he actually showed his brilliance during the finals of that event. He was actually tied with NiKo in a lot of their stats, with his ADR and K/D even a little bit higher. For sure that has silenced some of the people who are still doubting him.
However, I credit most of the performance of Faze to the leadership that NiKo brings in to the table. Their rotations have been very good lately and even their retakes and executions have been flawless recently. If they continue the form that they showed during BPS Miami, I think that they will be able to defend their title as defending champs.
The last squad that I am thinking about that will most likely get to the semi-finals is MiBR. Just like Faze Clan, they have been abysmal for the better part of 2019. However, we cannot and will not ignore their most recent performance, notably in BPS Miami when they 16 – 2’d Astralis, the best squad in the world in Overpass. Coldzera was incredible in that game, tallying in 132 ADR and joining in or assisting in 100% of the kills for the team. He is slowly reverting back to the glory days when they were still in SK Gaming and him being the best player in the world.
I mean with their current lineup, which was similar to what they ran when they were in SK. Now, how long they can keep this up, that is up to them. However, I am very impressed with how they are currently doing things now, and if they continue this form, i can see them challenging the throne of the Danish squad and probably oust them in the future.
Now, this would not be a proper predictions list without picking up a dark horse competitor. For that, I will be picking NRG Esports. Tarik has finally found a squad that he will be playing in after being dropped by MiBR. Tarik is actually a good player, and seeing him inactive was harsh. However, now he is in a squad where they have other quality players such as Brehze and even Ethan. They had a good run recently too, placing in the top 4 during the Star Ladder event in Shanghai last month.
Although a majority of the competitors there are also in this event, I still see them probably winning and even displacing one of the top 4 picks that I have made. After all, this is CS:GO, where everyone can have a good day and just wreck face, just like how they did when Brehze and Ethan did that against Vitality in Star Ladder.
Hope that our betting predictions for the IEM 2019 Sydney tournament are correct and if you have your own thoughts on who is going to win this tournament then feel free to share in the comment section. Good luck!