Hello there fellow Counter Strike: Global Offensive fans! I have some mighty good news for all of you! The Intel Extreme Masters tournament will be visiting the wonderful Land Down Under. Yes, you heard me right you bogans. Intel’s sponsored major esports tournament will be held in the wonderful city of Sydney, Australia. The venue for the event will be on the beautiful Qudos Bank Arena, which is located in Sydney’s Olympic Park.
In this article, you will find more information about this competition and also our IEM Sydney 2018 betting predictions.
The tournament will feature a whopping $250,000 prize pool, which $100,000 will be going to the event winners. It will feature 16 of the best teams in CS:GO currently and the seeding will be taken from the ESL CS:GO World Rankings. The event will run from May 1 up until May 6, 2018.
The format will be just like any other CS:GO tournament, with group stages on the first 3 days and the remaining days will be the playoffs. Only the first round of games are Bo1 while the remaining games will be Bo3 in the Group Stages. It will have a double elimination format with the three crews topping the group stages advancing to the playoffs. There will only be 2 groups and each will have 8 teams on it.
The group stage winners will automatically advance to the semifinals. The remaining 2 winners will be seeded in the quarterfinals accordingly depending on their standings. This will also be the time that we see Dust II back in the competitive scene as it replaced Cobblestone in the current Competitive Map roster.
The playoffs will start on May 4th and will run until May 6th. It will have a single elimination bracket with the quarter-finals and semi-finals will be in a Bo3 format. The Grand Final for the event will be played in a Bo5 format.
Who will be playing?
Now, we are all excited about who will be playing in this prestigious tournament. We will be seeing a lot of the teams that are mainstays in the CS:GO scene and we will also be seeing a lot of new squads who were qualified to the tournament from the regional qualifiers.
For the invited crews, we will be seeing Cloud 9 from North America, FaZe Clan, Fnatic, mousesports, and G2 from the EU, Legacy Esports and Renegades from Oceania and SK Gaming from South America. We will not be seeing Natus Vincere and Space Soldiers even though they were invited initially due to visa issues. G2 and Legacy were their replacements.
The teams who qualified for the tournament are Astralis from the EU, NRG from North America, the Korean force MVP PK, the Singaporean team B.O.O.T-dream[S]cape and the Chinese powerhouse crew TyLoo from the Asian Qualifiers. Joining them will be the three teams from the Oceania Qualifiers which is Grayhound Gaming, Chiefs Esports Club, and Order, which all are based in Australia.
I have to say, the local crowd will have 4 teams to root for as Legacy Esports, the invited squad is also based in Australia.
Group A will have FaZe Clan, ORDER, Legacy, Renegades, Cloud 9, Grayhound Gaming, TyLoo and SK Gaming. Group B will feature mousesports, B.O.O.T-d[S], NRG, Astralis, G2, MVP PK, Chiefs Esports Club and Fnatic.
Intel Extreme Masters Sydney 2018 Betting Predictions
Now for the most exciting part! Predictions! This is what we all came to see here, how these teams stack up. Judging from the way Astralis was playing in Dreamhack Marseilles, I would place them in the pole position of winning this tournament or getting into the finals again.
They were the scariest force during Dreamhack Marseilles, demolishing every opponent they play against. The only game they dropped a map against is Team Liquid in the Winner’s Match during the opening day.
When they went to the Playoffs, they first demolished FaZe Clan, who was coming off strong 2-0. They repeated that feat in the semis when they played Fnatic and also against Natus Vincere in the Grand Finals where they put on a clinic on how to defeat a seasoned crew. Magisk and Xyp9x were just unstoppable, and that led them to that very impressive run in France.
They will most likely top Group B and head on to the semifinals right away. The other two teams I see advancing will be G2 Esports and Fnatic. They will be the three most dominant squads in that group.
Group A will be a different story as there are a lot more seasoned crews in that group compared to Group B. It will be a race between SK Gaming, FaZe Clan, Renegades, Cloud 9 and TyLoo. Most likely, I predict FaZe Clan, SK Gaming and Cloud 9 on the top 3.
It will be between those three squads as they have the most experience on the big stage. Skadoodle made the right decision in getting FNS as FNS was doing all the right things for Cloud 9 when they played in Marseilles. Xizt was also very good when he played with FaZe Clan, but they are lacking what Olofmeister brings to the team. I think FaZe Clan will be taking the 3rd spot.
The first place will be a toss-up between Cloud 9 and SK gaming in my opinion as Stewie2k is just getting adapted to his crew. If he gels with SK comfortably, and when that happens, SK Gaming will be a squad to watch out in the future just like how Astralis is right now.
I have already called out Astralis as having a place in the Grand Finals because of how they played during DreamHack Marseilles. That is not set in stone however as they will be playing very tough squads whoever they may that’s going to win in the quarterfinals. They will be securing a Semi-Final slot right away, however, just because they will have less competition in their group since it is less stacked than the other.
Overall, we will be seeing new emerging talent and squads from this tournament. Who knows, maybe an Asian or Oceania force breaks out into the Playoffs and surprise a lot of us. I for one would like some variety in the high level as it will make these tournaments in the future much more exciting. Those will be good matches to watch. With Cobblestone out and Dust II back in, we are going back to something similar to Counter Strike 1.6. So let’s enjoy the show and just support the teams.