On November 19-20, the Oracle Arena in Oakland, USA, will open it's doors to thousands of passionate fans to witness the world's top CS:GO teams battling it out for a share of the US$300,000 prize pool. Eight out of the 12 available slots have been filled by directly invited teams, while the remaining four will come from iBUYPOWER Masters. With the group draw for both tournaments now completed, it's time to see who will be facing who!
Eight teams will attend the iBUYPOWER Masters, the $100,000 LAN Qualifier for IEM Oakland. These teams will be split into two GSL Groups, with two teams per group advancing to join the competition at the Oracle Arena.
We're in for some very interesting matches! Cloud9 has been dominating the ESL Pro League this season with a first place finish in the online portion, and are favorites to take first seed in their group. However, eyes should also be kept on the Chinese squad of TyLoo as they have surprised us in the past. GODSENT and Echo Fox are two teams that have been held to high expectations, yet haven't hit their stride yet. Will iBUYPOWER Masters be the first LAN where the former Fnatic core can hit their stride? Will Sean Gares' tactical anti-strat style be able to pick up a win against the GODSENT squad with a month of prep time? Tune in to iBUYPOWER Masters' first day to find out!
The Group B draw left a few surprises with a powerhouse matchup between Immortals and FaZe, two of the strongest iBUYPOWER Masters teams. Team SoloMid are a North American team that we haven't seen much, as they were not able to qualify for large leagues. However, when they are able to compete at LAN events, they've seen surprisingly strong showings. Will they be able to perform against Australian powerhouse Renegades and have a fighting chance to make it out of Group B, to face the main field of competition at IEM Oakland?
The 12 competing teams will be divided into two round-robin groups of six, meaning all six teams in the group will play against every opponent. The top three teams from each group will advance to the playoffs, facing off against opponents in best-of-three matches in front of a live audience at the Oracle Arena on Saturday and Sunday.
Ninjas in Pyjamas
IBP Seed B1
IBP Seed B2
IBP Seed A2
IBP Seed A1
With groups like these, IEM Oakland is a tournament you do not want to miss. In Group A, Team Liquid will once again face Natus Vincere and their old teammate, s1mple. While Na'Vi are the likely champions of Group A, this tournament looks like yet another opportunity for Team Liquid to make it out of groups and battle for a tournament win.
Former legends G2 Esports have seen a slump lately, with last place finishes at both ESL One Cologne and ESL One New York -- and Astralis are facing similar struggles, exacerbated by their recent roster issues. Will these fan-favorite teams be able to turn things around by November and return to former glory?
Group A will be played on Wednesday, November 16th.
Moving over to Group B, we will see another ESL One NY semifinal rematch as SK Gaming will get a chance to get back at Virtus.pro for their insanely close 104-round match. SK Gaming have yet to win an IEM trophy, and the strength of Group B will certainly put up a fight. With three slots advancing to playoffs, SK Gaming will still want to push as hard as possible to secure Group B's first seed in playoffs and a bye to the semifinals.
Second-pool team Mousesports have been on a tear online, and will look to Oakland for a chance to showcase their prowess on LAN. Ninjas In Pyjamas have also been putting up impressive results with stand-in Maikalele in place of Pyth. Will Pyth's recovery from a wrist injury put the team in winning form by Oakland to see them grace the Intel Extreme Masters playoffs playoffs for the first time?
Group B will be played on Thursday, November 17th.
All matches will be streamed live over here.
We cannot wait to see which teams will complete the CS:GO team lineup for IEM Oakland. All of the participants will put on a great show at the Oracle Arena so be sure not to miss any of the action and get your ticket here!