Intel Extreme Masters XIV — Sydney Preview

by Valentin Gustafsson on 27th Feb, 2019

Renegades are coming off a great run at IEM Katowice and will be hope to replicate that success at home as the Intel Extreme Masters returns to Sydney, Australia.

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Freelance eSports Writer
Valentin Gustafsson

Renegades are coming off a great run at IEM Katowice and will be hoping to replicate that success at home as the Intel Extreme Masters returns to Sydney, Australia. We should be in for a good one, as many of the world’s best teams will be in attendance. Read on as we break down all you need to know about this year's tournament.


Competition Information

One of the biggest events of the year is soon upon us, as the Intel Extreme Masters returns to Sydney for the third time. Sixteen teams from all over the world will be competing for the coveted trophy and the first place prize of $100,000. The tournament will be kicking off April 30 and the final will be played on May 5.

The group stage will be seeded based on ESL’s World Rankings and the teams will be put in two double-elimination groups, with the first matches being best-of-one. The remainder of the tournament will be best-of-three, with the exception being the final which will be best-of-five. The group winners will advance directly to the semi-finals whereas the runner-up and third-place team will advance to the quarters. The runner-up will advance with the higher seed, and will thus potentially face an easier opponent in the quarter-finals.

FaZe FaZe defeated Astralis to win IEM Sydney 2018.

At last year’s event, we saw FaZe take down Astralis after three closely contested maps. FaZe had a rocky road to the finals, losing to Renegades in groups and dropping maps to the likes of TYLOO and Grayhound, but they stepped it up for the finals against Astralis. FaZe were able to steal wins on both Cache and Mirage in overtime and closed out Train 16–14 in regulation to hoist the trophy in Sydney. The win came off the back of an outstanding performance by Ladislav ‘GuardiaN’ Kovács who was later awarded the MVP of the tournament. FaZe also had success here back in 2017 when this event was played for the first time, making it all the way to the finals where they ended up losing to the Brazilian side SK (now MIBR) in the finals, 3–1.

Both FaZe and MIBR will be participating in this year’s event, as they were among the first teams to be invited. An additional six teams will be invited, and the rest of the spots will be filled through qualifiers.

liazz liazz will return to the tournament where he made his breakthrough.

This was also the tournament in which Jay ‘liazz’ Tregillgas had his great breakthrough on ORDER, which ultimately earned him a place on Australia’s best team, Renegades. The young Aussie had an incredible series against Cloud9 in which he dropped 79 frags in total with a K/D ratio of 1.52 and 21 total assists for a combined rating of 1.46 — best on the server by quite some margin. liazz will hope to replicate that success, this time on the side of Renegades who were among the first teams to be invited to this year’s event. However, on Renegades liazz has had to take a backseat to players such as Justin ‘jks’ Savage and Joakim ‘jkaem’ Myrbostad, so it would be unreasonable to expect the same type of production this time around. The Renegades (often referred to as ‘The Boys’) — are coming off an incredible performance at the Intel Katowice Major, where they breezed through both the major qualifiers and the new legends stage to make it into the top eight. They will hope to build upon that performance going into IEM Sydney on home court. The pressure will be on as Renegades will no longer be underestimated by the top teams, but the boys will undoubtedly have incredible support from the Australian fans and will hope to feed off that adrenaline to make yet another deep run in a premier tournament.


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