THE INTEL EXTREME MASTERS

Here at esportsbetting.com we believe that offering you odds on all the major events is part and parcel of being a great esports bookmaker. On this page you’ll find odds for the Intel Extreme Masters. One of the largest tournaments of the year, you’ll find a great range of markets available for CSGO, LoL and StarCraft 2.

10 YEARS OF AMAZING TOURNAMENT PLAY

The Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) has been hosting some of the greatest esports play for the last 10 years, bringing together the most skilled gamers for a momentous rumble in aid of finding the very best of the best.

This makes it the longest-running major esports event in history, and ensures that their global tournaments always attract the cream of the crop when it comes to joystick jockeys.

Their competitions regularly include the most popular online video games around: StarCraft II, Counter Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends are just three of the video games the Inter Extreme Masters esports tournament host.

FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS TO GAMING GIANTS

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.

WORLDWIDE SUCCESS FOR THE IEM

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.

IT'S TIME TO PLAY THE GAME

Over the course of its lifetime, the Intel Extreme Masters hasn’t feature too many titles. Every year it refines the video games they cater to, and whether this is to make sure that only the very best gaming talent attends the event or to boost their popularity on streaming sites, we couldn’t tell you.

The Counter Strike series has always been a staple of the IEM from its inception, so it’ll come as no surprise that the latest edition of Valve’s historic shooter (Global Offensive) was covered at the Intel Extreme Masters 2017. Fans of the tournament will expect to see a Counter Strike game on the program every single year. At esportsbetting.com you’ll find odds for all of the major CS:GO games throughout the IEM, from the preliminaries all the way to the finals.

MOBA EXPERIENCE AT THE IEM

StarCraft II is also regularly covered at the IEM, and as such you’ll find markets for various events at esportsbetting.com. This has become one of its most popular competitions since it was first included all the way back in Season 5 of the tournament. Popular MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) games are massive in professional esports, and the IEM has held League of Legends (LoL) grand finals in the past.

Despite the success of the program last year though, LoL was not featured at the 2017 IEM, to the disappointment of many fans we’re sure. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and StarCraft II remain the competition’s greatest assets, and regularly produce enough thrills to entertain fans of any and all video games. 

STAGE ONE: OFFLINE QUALIFIERS

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.

IT'S AN OPPORTUNITY TO GET A HEAD START

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.

STAGE TWO: THE GROUPS (DAY 1-2)

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.

ONE OF THE MOST UNPREDICTABLE TOURNAMENTS ON THE CIRCUIT

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.

STAGE THREE: THE SEMI-FINAL

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.

SEPARATING MEN FROM THE BOYS

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.

HALL OF FAME - THE BEST TALENT TO BET ON

STAGE FOUR: THE GRAND FINAL

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.

AN OPPORTUNITY TO WIN BIG BECKONS

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.

TAKE ON THE CHALLENGE WITH ESPORTSBETTING.COM

A massive win for the professional gamers, and it could have easily been a massive win for you too. At esportsbetting.com, we give you the opportunity to make handicap bets, so if it looks like the favourites are bound to run away with the match, keep one eye on those ever-fluctuating odds.

Slamming down a clever wager on the in-form team who have foolishly thrown away a single game could be a clever decision if, like Astralis, they pull out all the stops and successfully demolish the opposition.

This is where all of your Counter Strike knowledge will be put to the test, but if you’ve been playing close attention to the competition’s early rounds and you take all of our handy tips into account, you should have no problem making smart investments and coming away with the goods.

Live stream your wins with us, and remember to never underestimate the underdogs – sometimes the qualifying rounds produce some of the best esports teams to ever grace a keyboard.