Intel Extreme Masters Oakland will be played later this year, from November 18th to November 19th in Oracle Arena, Oakland, Washington. At this tournament, teams will be competing for their share of the prize pool that the organizers have set to $300,000. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive eSports competition has become of the most popular eSports competition in the world, and it is no wonder that this competition is getting more attention than some other bigger titles in the world of eSports.
Even though they are almost five months before the start of this tournament, the organizers have already begun to announce the teams that will be participating in the competition. Looking at the list of those teams, this tournament will be one huge clash. The clash is expected between CS:GO powerhouses from North American and European regions.
North American Invitees
The latest teams that were revealed as those who received the direct invites for this tournament are two teams from North America. Those two teams are Cloud9 and Team Liquid. With the announcement of these two teams, we are now familiar with six teams that will be participating in the IEM Oakland in November of this year.
Cloud9 is having a very good season this year. Even though they were not able to win any major CS:GO tournament this season. Their latest result came at the Season Three of the Esports Championship Series or ECS. Here they managed to finish in the third place. Cloud9 has been the best North America CS:GO team lately. However they were just not able to deal with the European or Brazilian CS:GO teams.
On the other hand, Team Liquid did not have a good season at all – at least for now. The most recent tournament in which they participated was ECS. However they did not have a good tournament because they were eliminated from the competition. They left the competition in the group stage. However, before ECS, Team Liquid played at the ESL Pro League where they had a very good period because they managed to finish in the 3rd-4th place at that tournament.
Besides Cloud9, Team Liquid is currently the best CS:GO team that North American region can currently offer. It will be interesting to see how they will be handling the matches against other teams.
Before announcing Cloud9 and Team Liquid as two teams from NA that received direct invites, IEM announced four other teams that will be participating in this tournament as well. Those four teams are G2 eSports, FaZe Clan, SK Gaming, as well as Astralis. The last three teams are currently by far the best CS:GO teams in the world.
SK Gaming took the trophy at the ECS. The competition was played this past weekend which was their fifth title this year. Besides them, G2 eSports is also in good form. They managed to win the trophy at the ESL Pro League Season 5. At the time FaZe Clan defeated Astralis for the title at the StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3. This took place not that long ago.
Even though Astralis might not have been in the best form since they won the last CS:GO Major tournament, they must be taken into account when talking about the favorites of any competition in which they are performing. Besides that, they took down Virtus.pro couple of weeks ago in the Clash for Cash. Because of that, IEM Oakland already looks like one of the most interesting tournaments this season.