CS:GO action is in full swing this month will multiple major events taking place. Up next is the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Beijing 2019 event which has 8 teams attending. The teams will battle it out for their share of the $250,000 prize pool at the Beijing University Students’ Stadium.
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IEM Beijing 2019 Format
- Group Stage: November 7th – 8th, 2019
- Two double-elimination format (GSL) Groups
- Each group has 4 teams
- Seeded using the ESL CS:GO World Rankings
- All matches are Bo3
- The top two teams from each group advance to the Playoffs
- Two double-elimination format (GSL) Groups
- Playoffs: November 9th – 10th, 2019
- Single-Elimination bracket
- The Semifinals are Bo3
- The Grand Final is Bo5
Teams Attending & The Groups
- 100 Thieves (formally Renegades)
- ViCi Gaming
- Evil Geniuses
- FaZe Clan
- Team Vitality
IEM Beijing Outright Odds
- Astralis at 2.00 odds
- Evil Genisues at 3.00 odds
- FaZe Clan at 7.00 odds
- Team Vitality at 7.50 odds
- ENCE at 13.00 odds
- 100 Thieves at 15.00 odds
- Tyloo at 151.00 odds
- ViCi Gaming at 251.00 odds
IEM and the Grand Slam?
The Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) is a product of the ESL group. It stems from when Intel initially sponsored a Counter-Strike back in 2006 and there has been a successful partnership ever since.
The Intel Grand Slam is offered as an additional incentive and prize for those teams participating in all ESL/IEM or DreamHack Masters events. The prize is $1,000,000 to the first team that wins four of these tournaments during a window of 10 consecutive events. There is also a spoil bonus for team that denies another team their final victory towards the Grand Slam by defeating them in a grand final. The spoiling team will be awarded $100,000.
Currently Team Liquid, Evil Geniuses and Fnatic are all working towards the Grand Slam.
The Danish roster are back as favourites for this event. This is despite their truly horrific showing at Blast Pro Series Copenhagen on their home soil. Blast Pro Series took place this weekend past and Astralis were eliminated in Group Stage with a 2-1-2 record and some embarrassing losses.
Odds will still be in their favour due to the large amount of success they have seen in the past, especially at ESL and IEM events. The roster will filled with raw talent that has collected several Championships together. In the current CS:GO scene, you can never rule this team out. However, with this being said, they wouldn’t be my favourites to win the event.
They had been making their climb to the top under NRG and since signing with Evil Geniuses have taken home two Championships; ESL One New York and StarSeries & i-League Season 8. Both of these successes have come recently which is why I think they would have the edge over growing rivals Astralis.
No group is easy at this level of competition, but they do have a particularly tricky group that is full of hit and miss teams. They have FaZe who will probably be the biggest threat after their recent changes and victory at Blast Pro Series Copenhagen. Vitality is also in the group and they have the potential to beat everyone and anyone on their day which could end up throwing this group into disarray early on.
I normally only like to pick out three favourites and it was between FaZe and Vitality for this spot. I think FaZe have the edge on Vitality because they’re coming directly off the success in Copenhagen and their morale and motivation should be at an all-time high.
The addition of Coldzera from MiBR and bringing Broky on for a trial period has been finding the team success. They will be hoping this isn’t just a honeymoon period and they can keep up the high-level performances. If the history of the core of FaZe is anything to go by, they will either win this event or completely flop.
I think we have two teams screaming out as underdogs at IEM Beijing, both for very different reasons.
First of all we have ENCE. The all Finnish roster that were finding so much success in the early stages of 2019. In the run up to the player break and thereafter, they have most definitely been on that struggle bus. Prior to their success they were always seen as an underdog team, maybe sliding back into this role will make them more comfortable.
This roster was previously under Renegades until this past week. Nothing has changed in the team dynamic, just the organisation they play for and they will be moving out to LA. They’ve always been underdogs but have made impressive runs at multiple events so far this year. With being under the prestigious 100 Thieves brand, they should be primed to cause upsets and bring home some Championships in the future.
With all matches in group stage being a best of three, I think this event has the potential to be one of the best this year. With the amount of storylines that are being built for the teams in attendance, a fantastic showing here is what they’ll all be hoping for in order to finish 2019 off on a strong note.