This popular event is now in its 12th season and will take place at Oakland’s Oracle Arena. From a total prize pool of $300,000 up for grabs, $125,000 will go to the winner and $50,000 to the runners-up.
The first stage of the tournament is a round-robin. The teams have been drawn into two groups for this stage of the tournament; they’re outlined below:
- Group A – SK Gaming, Cloud 9, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Astralis, The MongolZ, Team EnVyUs
- Group B – FaZe Clan, G2 Esports, Gambit Esports, Team Liquid, OpTic Gaming, Renegades
There are three points to be won in each game. If a team wins during regulation, they will receive all three points. If a match is forced into overtime, the winner receives two points, with the loser receiving one. There is a special incentive for winning these games. On top of the standard prize money, each time a team wins a group game, they receive an additional $1,000 on top of tournament winnings.
The bottom three teams in each group after all the best-of-one group matches are eliminated from the event. The two second- and third-place teams qualify for the quarterfinals. The top team in each group earns a bye through to the semifinals.
The playoffs constitute best-of-three series, and the grand final moves to a best-of-five format.
The games will be streamed on Twitch TV for punters who wish to catch the action live.
This year’s tournament is the first time a defending champion, Ninjas in Pyjamas, has returned to IEM Oakland to defend a title.
In other news, just prior to the event, Immortals made several roster changes, which led to their invitation being withdrawn. Renegades took their place.
Who do the bookies fancy to win?
Betway is offering odds on a massive number of markets for IEM Oakland this year. The latest odds for Outright Winner are as follows:
- FaZe Clan – 7/4
- SK Gaming – 13/4
- Astralis – 17/4
- G2 Esports – 11/2
- Cloud9 – 11/1
- Team Liquid – 12/1
- OpTic Gaming – 14/1
- Ninjas in Pyjamas – 15/1
- Team EnVyUs – 20/1
- Gambit Esports – 20/1
- TheMongolz – 100/1
Betway is also offering extensive match betting throughout the group stage and playoffs. Other markets include which team will win each of the two groups and the odds on whether any game will finish in a 16-0 whitewash for one team. Lastly, Ninjas in Pyjamas have merited a number of specials for those particularly interested in how last year’s winners will do.
Betway clearly feels FaZe Clan are the pack-leaders. While I think they are a solid call, the 17/4 on Astralis, perhaps as an each-way bet, is the more tempting option.
What other CS:GO events are on the horizon?
It’s a very busy time for CS:GO enthusiasts. While this week’s focus is Oakland, there are still the finishing touches to the ESEA Premier Season 26 in Europe, North America, and Australia, as well as the continuing ECS Season 4 in North America and Europe.
Starting Nov. 22 and running through Nov. 26, Barcelona hosts the World Electronic Sports Games Europe Finals. This will feature a number of top and emerging teams from across Europe, including the likes of Team EnVyUs, BIG, Virtus.pro, Space Soldiers, GODSENT, and Fnatic.
From Dec. 1-3, the DreamHack Winter 2017 tournament takes over Jonkoping, Sweden. One hundred thousands dollars are on the line for teams including BIG, Gambit Esports, Heroic, mousesports, and Natus Vincere.
A couple of days later, the ESL Pro League Season 6 Finals will begin in the Danish city of Odense. From Dec. 5-10, the tournament boast a huge $750,000 prize pool.
Running almost concurrently, the ROG Masters in Kuala Lumpur will see a number of top Asian teams competing: Gambit Esports, mousesports, TyLoo, and Splyce.
Finally, once the ECS Season 4 qualifiers conclude later this month, the advancing teams convene in Cancun, Mexico for the $750,000 ECS Championship Series Finals to round the year out in style.