From Aug. 1-6, eight top CS:GO teams will head to the Shanghai New International Expo Center for the first-ever IEM CS:GO tournament to be held in China — the Intel Extreme Masters Season XIII – Shanghai.
The tournament is the second in the current Intel Extreme Masters Season XIII schedule, following the IEM XIII – Sydney in May.
IEM XIII Shanghai and Intel Grand Slam status
Despite the fact that the IEM Season XII Shanghai meets the criteria for inclusion on the Intel Grand Slam series — eight teams and a substantial prize pool ($250,000) — the fact that the tournament is during the designated “player break” from the Intel Grand Slam means that it will not be part of that competition.
IEM XIII Shanghai structure
The group stage will run Aug. 1-3 and will feature two double-elimination GSL groups of four. The groups are determined by the ESL CS:GO World Rankings.
Each match in the group stage will be contested over a best-of-three format. Only the top two teams in each group will qualify for the playoffs. The playoffs will see the winner of one group take on the runner-up of the other (and vice versa) in another best-of-three contest to decide who will contest the final.
- Winner receives – $125,000
- Runner-up receives – $50,000
- 3rd/4th receives – $22,000
- 5th/6th receives – $10,000
- 7th/8th receives – $5,500
- Gambit Esports (Invited)
- HellRaisers (Invited)
- NRG Esports (Invited)
- TyLoo (Invited)
- pro (Invited)
- 5Power Gaming (Chinese Qualifier)
- O.O.T-dream[S]cape (Asian Qualifier)
- Grayhound Gaming (ANZ Qualifier)
Current ESL CS:GO World Rankings
The following are the team performance rankings, not the power rankings (which are based on individual player performance for each of the players in the team).
- 12th – Gambit Esports
- 14th – NRG Esports
- 15th – Virtus.pro
- 20th – HellRaisers
- 23rd – TyLoo
- 35th – Grayhound Gaming
- 41st – B.O.O.T-dream[S]cape
5Power Gaming do not yet have an official spot in the current ESL CS:GO World Rankings.
As you can see, the fact that the IEM XIII Shanghai 2018 has not landed Intel Grand Slam status means many topflight teams are skipping the tournament. They will turn their focus to the next Grand Slam event: the DreamHack Masters Stockholm 2018 at the end of August.
Who do the bookies think will win in Shanghai?
Currently, you can get the following prices with Betway on the Outright Winner market for this tournament.
- HellRaisers – 11/4
- NRG Esports – 13/4
- TyLoo, Virtus.pro – 9/2
- Gambit Esports – 6/1
- Grayhound Gaming – 14/1
- O.O.T-dream[S]cape – 20/1
- 5Power Gaming – 25/1
My personal pick is TyLoo. They have the advantage of playing on home soil and have been in decent form. They won the StarLadder & ImbaTV Invitational earlier this year and tend to find their best form when playing in China.
Where do we stand with the Intel Grand Slam?
The last Intel Grand Slam event took place in Cologne at the start of July. Natus Vincere defeated BIG in the final for their first Intel Grand Slam victory.
The first 11 Intel Grand Slam tournaments have now been completed. We have seen seven different winners — SK Gaming, G2 Esports, FaZe Clan, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Fnatic, Astralis, and Natus Vincere.
Of those seven winners, six teams (not Ninjas) still have active streaks of 10 games since their last win. This means they still stand a chance at the Intel Grand Slam $1,000,000 jackpot prize.
The current active streaks are:
- FaZe Clan – 3 wins – one tournament remaining to clinch the fourth
- Astralis – 2 wins – three tournaments remaining to claim their third and fourth wins
- MIBR – 1 win – three tournaments remaining to claim their second, third and fourth wins
- Fnatic – 1 win – four tournaments remaining to claim their second, third and fourth wins
- Natus Vincere – 1 win – nine tournaments remaining to claim their second, third and fourth wins
Note that MIBR’s chances of winning the prize have all but disappeared after the team failed to secure an invite to the ESL One New York 2018 event. Their only hope is to receive an invitation in place of a team that is forced to withdraw.
Remember, as an added incentive to stop a team from landing the Grand Slam bonus, if a team reaches three victories and then faces another team in the final of a tournament, the opposing team will earn a $100,000 “spoiling bonus.”