It’s been a busy couple of weeks in the esports community while your author has been enjoying a summer break. Now, it’s time to go back and review some of the big tournaments we missed.
We begin with CS:GO and the Intel Extreme Masters XIII event in Shanghai. This event was not part of the Intel Grand Slam due to it being scheduled during the official player break for that tournament.
However, with $250,000 up for grabs and eight high-quality teams competing, there was plenty worth paying attention to. In the end, US-based NRG Esports took full advantage to claim an impressive victory and the top prize of $100,000.
The current NRG Esports team features a quartet of American players: FugLy (Jacob Medina), Brehze (Vincent Cayonte), nahtE (Ethan Arnold) and coach ImAPet (Chet Singh) alongside Canadian captain daps (Damian Steele) and Bulgarian CeRq (Cvetelin Dimitrov). Overall, the team produced a masterful display throughout the IEM Shanghai to claim the victory. Let’s recap.
Starting in Group A, NRG qualified as the top seeds despite two close matches. In their opener, the team defeated 5Power Gaming 16-10. Then, in the Winner’s Match, they lost their opening game 16-9 to HellRaisers but bounced back to win the next two matches 16-10 and 16-11.
Russian team Virtus.pro claimed the second qualification spot, coming back well after losing to HellRaisers in their opening match. They then defeated 5 Power Gaming and then HellRaisers in the final Decider Match to reach the semifinals.
Group B went very much to form. TyLoo came through as the clear group winners. Gambit Esports joined them over the lesser-fancied B.O.O.T-dream[S]cape and Grayhound Gaming.
In the first semifinal, NRG Esports continued their fine form with a comprehensive 2-0 victory over Gambit Esports.
Then, they met TyLoo, who had produced something of a shock in an epic contest with Virtus.pro, which saw two of the three matches head into overtime. In that opener, TyLoo required overtime to win the match 22-20, but Virtus.pro came straight back to win the second map 16-9. The deciding map also went to overtime where TyLoo came away with a 22-18 win.
The final was a much more straightforward game. NRG Esports dominated from the start, taking the first map 16-9 and then pressing home that advantage with a superb display on Mirage to claim the 16-2 win.
The tourney win was the team’s biggest payday to date and their first Major Finals victory. The team will next be in action alongside the cream of the CS:GO esports talent at the next big Intel Grand Slam event — the DreamHack Masters Stockholm 2018 starting Aug 28.
MSdossary nabs $250,000 FIFA eWorld Cup 2018 title
After 20 million players competed to qualify, 32 convened for the FIFA eWorld Cup Grand Final in London earlier this month. At the end of an exciting tournament, it was 18-year-old “MSdossary,” from Saudi Arabia who claimed the title. He took a 4-0 aggregate win off Belgium’s “StefanoPinna.”
If the winner’s name is a little familiar to FIFA esports fans, it is because the same player was the winner of the FUT Champions Cup Manchester event in April. However, his win at the FIFA eWorld Cup was his biggest to date. It earned him the ultimate accolade in FIFA esports gaming, not to mention a winner’s cheque for $250,000.
Speaking to FIFA.com following the tournament, MSdossary stated:
“I’ve made my country proud by bringing home the trophy. This is my second event in the UK and it’s my second win, so I think this is my second home. I’m strong on both consoles, and I defended very well on both games. I deserved to get two clean sheets in both legs.”
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FIFA will also be delighted with the viewing figures for the event. It was once again covered live by Sky Sports in the UK and by national broadcasters in 18 other countries. This extra coverage and exposure, as well as the growing popularity of the event, led to a 400 percent increase in viewing figures from last year, with 29 million views across the three days in August.
DOTA Summit 9 was a warm-up for The International
Six Dota 2 teams entered The Summit 9 in Los Angeles at the end of July. In the end, North America’s Evil Geniuses claimed the lion’s share of the $100,000 prize pool with a solid victory.
The event was the final warm-up to the richest esports tournament of the year, The International 2018. Over five days of action, Evil Geniuses proved their quality in the group stage, earning top spot with a 7-3 record.
In the Winner’s Final, they faced VGJ.Storm, who finished with the same 7-3 record. In that Winner’s Final, Evil Geniuses proved too strong, claiming a spot in the Grand Final with a 2-0 victory.
That left paiN Gaming, Let’s Do It, Optic Gaming, and Fnatic battling through the Losers Round. In this crew, Fnatic came through in style, winning all three of their games by 2-0 scorelines to reach the final.
However, they then ran into Evil Genius in uncompromising form. The eventual champs produced a superb performance to claim a 3-0 victory. Five of the six teams in this event (minus Let’s Do It) will now move on to The International 2018 and a shot at earning a share of a prize pool already worth $24,273,231.