After three days of group stage competition, the playoff bracket for the IEM Sydney CS:GO tournament has been set.
IEM Syndey offers a $250,000 prize pool, and now half of the original sixteen teams have been eliminated from the battle to take the lion’s share of it.
While most of the playoff teams are those that would be expected to make deep runs, the tournament hasn’t completely lacked for upsets.
Notably, FaZe Clan were unable to advance to the playoffs, in no small part due to the lack of star player and in-game leader Nikola ‘NiKo’ Kovač, who was unable to compete due to visa issues. The team instead played with coach Janko ‘YNK’ Paunović, and were defeated by NRG Esports and Grayhound to be eliminated in the group stage.
Likewise, Renegades were unable to reach the stadium portion of the event, crashing out early with losses to Ninjas in Pyjamas and Mousesports despite impressive showings at recent tournaments. In fact, of the Australian teams in attendance it was actually Grayhound who came closest to the playoffs, barely missing out following a narrow loss to Fnatic.
The playoffs will take place on May 3-5, with two quarter-finals feeding into the semi-finals where the top team from each group awaits.
|QF1 - MIBR vs Mousesports||10 PM (May 2)||1 AM||6 AM||7 AM||3 PM|
|QF2 - Ninjas in Pyjamas vs Fnatic||1:50 AM||4:50 AM||9:50 AM||10:50 AM||6:50 PM|
|Team Liquid vs Winner of QF1||10 PM (May 3)||1 AM||6 AM||7 AM||3 PM|
|NRG Esports vs Winner of QF2||1:50 AM||4:50 AM||9:50 AM||10:50 AM||6:50 PM|
|Grand Final||10 PM (May 4)||1 AM||6 AM||7 AM||3 PM|
The final placements for IEM Sydney so far:
|9th/12th||Chiefs Esports Club||$5,000|
The prize and prestige offered by victory at IEM Sydney isn’t the only thing on the line for this tournament, as it also counts towards the second season of the Intel Grand Slam.
The Intel Grand Slam offers a $1,000,000 bonus prize to the first team to win four participating major events within a span of 10 attempts. The qualifying events are the premier tournaments under the ESL, IEM, or DreamHack Masters banners.
The Grand Slam also offers a $100,000 “spoiler” prizes to any team that denies the Grand Slam by defeating a team looking for their fourth title in the grand final of a qualifying event, although that won’t come into play here as this is only the second event of the Grand Slam’s second season.
Season One of the Grand Slam was won by Astralis, who are also the first – and currently only – team to pick up a title in Season Two following their win at the IEM Katowice Major. With Astralis not in attendance at IEM Sydney, however, this event will offer another team a chance to match them.