IEM may be this weekend, but the CS:GO action has already begun

Intel Extreme Masters, the longest running global pro gaming tour in the world, is coming to Oakland, California this weekend.  The 18th and 19th are days that are already marked on every esports’ fans calendar since the main events for Counter Strike: Global Offensive and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds will be held those days, but the bomb planting has already begun. 

Tuesday and Wednesday this week saw the group stages where 12 different, talented teams battled it out.  Not only were these teams planting bombs for a good seating in the tournament but to advance at all.  Only 6 teams would advance to the bracket and of those only found will play at IEM this weekend. 

The competition was fierce with all 12 teams fighting hard for one of the six slots.  After two days however clear leaders in both groups emerged.  In Group A Ninjas in Pyjamas finished at the top of their group 4-1.  In Group B the Faze Clan emerged with the same record.  Both teams earned themselves a first-round bye and will start at the semi-final round on Saturday.  

Thursday saw the first round of the bracket as the 2nd and 3rd place teams, SK Gaming, Optic Gaming, Gambit Esports, and Cloud9, playoff in the quarterfinals.  SK Gaming advanced with a score of 2-0 and Cloud9 moved up with a 2-1 result.  All the action this week was at the Intel Esports Arena.  

Saturday will see the start of the CS:GO semifinals.  Ninjas in Pyjamas will face off against SK Gaming while Faze Clan will be playing against Cloud9.  The first match will begin at 1:00 PM PST.  Both matchups will be a best of three.  Sunday the grand final will start at 1:15.  This last competition will be a best of five.    The winners of the grand final will be taking home both bragging rights and a $125,000 prize.  All of these matches will take place at the Oracle Arena. 

Catch all the action at: https://live.intelextrememasters.com/ and do yourself a favor and watch the group stage matches on the on the ESL_CSGO twitch channel.   

About The Author

James Verzuh

James 'CorporalV' Verzuh was a real corporal once. Now he plays too much Overwatch and writes about esports.