Intel Extreme Masters returned to the Bay Area for the third year in a row. After two significant events in San Jose, IEM returns to the Oracle Arena in Oakland.
The format was round robin group stage with two groups of six teams each. First placed teams in both groups advanced to the semi-finals of the playoffs. Second and third placed teams in both groups advanced to the quarterfinals of the playoffs. Quarter and Semi-finals were best-of-three. Finals were also best-of-three.
The first leg of semi-finals – SK vs Astralis
Map 1 was played de_train which was SK’s home ground as they are the strongest team on de_train. SK won the pistol round on Terrorist side and managed to secure four more rounds after that, but Astralis managed a comeback and managed to secure eight straight shots by locking down SK on the map of their choice. The first half ended with a scoreline of 8-7 for Astralis. Astralis further managed five rounds on Terrorist side. Astralis seemed in control of the game, but SK managed to secure the match with a solid comeback and secure the match 16-14 to win the map.
Map 2 was played on de_mirage SK won the pistol round and won 4 rounds till Astralis managed to get round on scoreboard and then managed to level the score. SK then secured a total of 11 shots with the help of some impressive flank kills by Fer and great clutch by Coldzera and Taco both of who were top of their form as the destroyed Astralis. Astralis managed to win eight rounds after losing the pistol round, and the game seems to be going back and forth between 2 teams, but SK secured the map with the score of 16-12 with a game ending with an unbelievable clutch from Taco.
The second semi-final FaZe vs NiP
Map 1 was played on de_train where FaZe managed to secure the pistol round, and the rounds seem to go back and forth between 2 teams where the first round closed with the score with a 10-5 score for NiP. The match was extremely close with the map going to overtime where NiP managed to secure four straight rounds to ensure the Map. Karrigan, teamAllu from FaZe and GeT_RighT and Xizt from NiP were top performers for teams.
Map 2 was played on de _train where FaZe managed to secure the pistol round on Counter Terrorist side and five more rounds to secure the first half 10-5 finally. But Frieberg and Forest FaZe dominated the map, and as they shut down the NiP aggression, FaZe obtained the map 16-6.
Map 3 was played on de_overpass where the both the teams traded rounds to and fro and NiP managed to ensure the first half with the score of 9-6. The second half was also full of excitement as both teams won and lost rounds, but finally, Nip managed to secure the map 16-13.
The final battle – NiP vs SK
Map 1: Map 1 of IEM were played on de_train which SK dominated after winning the Pistol round and dominated the first half to secure 11-4 with the 15th round had hearts pounding as it would go either way. But ‘Coldzera’ got a frag on the ‘f0rest’ who was defusing the bomb and NiP lost the round because they couldn’t defuse the Bomb on time. The Map ended with SK winning the map as NiP could only secure only one round in second half and SK won 16-5.
Map 2: NiP caused chaos in SK defense on Cache and managed to secure ten rounds on the Terrorist side but SK managed to level up the score to 14-14, and the map could have gone either way. But Nip managed to secure the round 16-14 to win the map.
Map 3: Map 3 was played on de_cbble by NiP and SK was a close affair, and NiP obtains the map 16-14 on a close match where the score was tired 11-11 and 14-14. But NiP held their positions and managed to secure the map thanks to ‘GeT_RighT’ and ‘f0rest.’
NiP were the winners of the Intel Extreme Master: Oakland after the defeated SK 2-1 in Best of 3. The prize pool was massive, 300,000 USD for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive wherein NiP were able to grab the lion’s share – $125,000.
The final standings were as follows:
- NiP – $125.000
- SK – $50.000
- Astralis / FaZe – $25.000
- Immortals / G2 – $12.000
- Liquid / Cloud9 – $5.000
- Natus Vincere / Heroic 9-10 – $3.500
- mousesports / TyLoo – $2.000