Although it’s one of the biggest worldwide esports events in history, the Intel Extreme Masters started as an attempt to unite the globe’s gamers with fierce competition. It was 2006 when the then Electronic Sports League (ESL) dreamt of sending esports tournaments into the mainstream, and sponsors Intel chose to make their dream a reality.
Funds were provided for the creation of a brand new tournament, and the Intel Extreme Masters was born – specifically to capture the imaginations of gamers from all over the world and, of course, pit their skills against each other. A format was quickly established, whereby Intel would host many of qualifying events around the world over the course of the year, bringing together the winners of each qualifier for one massive epic clash at the end.
The Intel Extreme Masters brings together fan and players from over 180 different countries, all for the love of esports and competitive gaming. Although they started off with a big dream, the tournament has progressed to become one of the most impressive and far-reaching events the world of esports has ever seen.
The finale of the annual circuit regularly subjects the pro-gamers to an audience of 10,000 fans of varied nationalities, breaking viewership records every single time the event takes place. This proves beyond doubt that at this stage, although the competition is fierce, the Intel Extreme Masters is one of the most respected and impressive esports competitions to date.
The World IEM Championship has been held in Katowice, Poland for many years now, and has become something of an icon in the professional gaming community. The crowds that gather for the Extreme Master finale are said to be up there with the very best, and very loudest, crowds in the world – but in order for players to bask in this glory, they must first conquer the qualifying stages. The organisers of the tournament always ensure that the very best talent is at the event by hand picking the best performing teams of the year based on previous ranks, so while anyone is able to qualify for the finals, there are limited places available.
These qualifiers are mainly held in Europe and North America, and the outright winners of the competitions will not only receive a spot at the finals of the IEM, but also have their accommodation and flights to Intel Extreme Masters Katowice completely covered.
While we might not offer odds on the offline qualifiers, if you’re planning on placing a few bets on the Intel Extreme Masters groups and/or finals, this is your chance to get a head start on us.
In the offline qualifying stages, you can learn the basics of the game you’re planning to wager on while also carefully scouting unknown players that could turn out to be dark horses of the competition. This part of the tournament is often seen as less important that the later stages, but if it could easily provide you with the valuable information and know-how that’ll set you apart from other chancers later on in the competition.
Once the professionals have been invited, and the new guys have been plucked out of the qualifiers, the Intel Extreme Masters can get properly underway. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) teams are divided into two groups of six, with seeded and new teams mixed together in order to make the matches slightly more balanced.
Fortunately for players that suffer from nerves, the first two stages of the IEM Katowice finals are completely audience free, meaning players get a valuable chance to adjust to their play-space.
Each team plays each other once, and are scored on the results of the match as well as the score they managed to attain during it. Once everyone has had a crack at everyone else, the final tables are drawn up and the winners of each group progress to the semi-final of the competition.
Teams that finish in the second and third place of each group are put into a quarter final mashup, and forced to battle it out for the last semi-final places. Obviously, this isn’t a position that any of the top teams want to find themselves in, but this kind of structure gives lower ranked teams a great opportunity to get themselves into the final rounds of the competition.
If you watched the offline qualifiers of the Intel Extreme Masters closely, you’ll have just started to reap the rewards of your extensive research by this point.
While the lower tears of the IEM events (IEM Sydney, IEM Oakland) are fairly easy to predict, at the final World Championships in Katowice, things are a little bit less predictable.
The once legendary OpTic Gaming proved that at the 2016 competition, by finishing dead last after their five Group A matches. And few could have predicted the ultimate outcome of the tournament, which saw Astralis – who had replaced a key member of their team only days before the first match – claim victory over the pedigree FaZe Clan.
While esportbetting.com offer plenty of chances for outright betting on these games, it may be wise to opt for a Frist Blood bet considering the unpredictability of the stage.
Here’s where the roar of the crowd comes into play. From the semi-finals onwards, the Intel Extreme Masters Championships in Katowice invites esports fans from around the world to watch the very best live in action.
The pressure is raised to serious levels for the players, not only because they’re just one step away from the final, but also because now they have to replicate their impressive play under the watchful eyes of thousands of people.
The two winners of the quarter finals play each of the group stage winners in a best of three matches to determine the ultimate finalists, and more often than not, these matches are fairly easy to predict.
The two semi-finals at the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2017 resulted in two worthy winners. First and second place finishers from Group A, FaZe Clan and Astralis Gaming, decimated their opponents.
Two 2-0 victories let the teams to their ultimate goal: the grand final of the Katowice Counter-Strike: Global Offensive World Championships. Although Danish outfit Astralis looked to have a difficult match on their hands against fellow Danes Heroic Gaming, any CS:GO fan who’d paid attention to the tournament could have told you Astralis were on particularly good form.
They only finished second to FaZe themselves, who they ended up meeting in the grand final for a unbelievable rematch.
Don’t worry if you’re not a CS:GO expert though, because one of the key factors to these highly skill-based matches is the map choice, and while live streaming the Katowice finals you’re sure to hear the commentators mention a few times which team (if any) favours a particular map.
Combine this with esportsbetting.com’s live betting function to bet on teams winning on certain maps, and you’re on to a winner.
After a much deserved nights rest, the teams come back to the arena to face off in the IEM Katowice Final, an event that attracts the attention on avid fans and news networks all around the world. As everything is on the line, this is a best of five competition, meaning the players will have to be even more alert and battle hardened than ever before. After a massive celebration for the final day of the event, the games begin.
Of course, these teams have a lot of pride on the line. This is where the best gamers in the world prove that they are in fact the top dogs, so win or lose, the players in the final always give it their all – it’s their last chance before next year after all. Not to mention the money. The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive leg of the tournament usually yields about $250,000 in prize pool money, and three games of CS:GO is all that separates these teams from the bulk of that pot.
While this is the player’s final opportunity to prove their worth, it’s also your final opportunity to win big on the Intel Extreme Masters’ esports. Whether it’s StarCraft II or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the grand final is the last chance to get your wagers in and put all this research to good use.
In the 2017 final, it looked certain that favourites FaZe would take the crown after they equalised Astralis’ lead. This was not the case however. The Danes managed to overcome the odds and completely wipe FaZe out in the later games, finally claiming the crown by three games to one.