Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Sydney 2019: The story so far

This morning 16 teams entered The Bankstown Sports Club set on claiming $100,000 in prize money and the coveted trophy of the Sydney Premier. The teams were drawn into two groups of 8, playing a double elimination bracket after which the top 3 teams of each group will face off in the playoffs. About 9 hours in, the number of teams is down to 14 as Day 1 competition concludes.



Group A open matches at IEM Sydney 2019

We kick things off with Group A (Liquid, BOOT-d[S], mousesports, BIG, NiP, eUnited, MVP-PK, Renegades) which offered us the four opening matches:

  • Liquid vs BOOT-d[S]
  • mousesports vs BIG
  • NiP vs eUnited
  • MVP-PK vs Renegades

Liquid vs BOOT-d[S]

The top seed at the event Team Liquid had the easiest opponent out of Group A in their opening match. BOOT-d[S] tried their best to hamper the advance of Liquid on Nuke, taking the opening rounds and a 3-0 lead as CT. At this point the Liquid machine took over as they took round after round from the T side and locking the half at 9-6. Everything past this point was a showcase of Liquid’s solid defense as BOOT-d[S] barely secured 3 rounds in the second half and lost the match 16-9.

mousesports vs BIG

The second match featured the old and the new of the German CS:GO scene as mousesports took on rivals BIG. The BIG squad had an unlucky week coming into the event as entry-fragger İsmailcan “XANTARES” Dörtkardeş could not secure a visa to attend, resulting with coach Nikola “LEGIJA” Ninić subbing in for the event. On the back of some amazing plays by tabseN and god b, BIG managed to narrowly win the match 14:16 and advanced forward in the bracket.

NiP vs eUnited

NiP went ballistic in the first half against eUnited as CT’s on Nuke. On their best effort the eUnited squad managed to only secure the pistol rounds at the start of the half and one round near the end of the half resulting in a 12:3 halftime score line. The second half was a mirror image of the first as eUnited rallied hard after losing their pistol rounds and brought the game to narrow finish. In the end a heroic clutch by Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund brought NiP to match point as they won the game narrowly 16:13.

MVP-PK vs Renegades

In the last opener of Group A, home squad Renegades took on the Koreans MVP-PK. This was the closest match out of the batch as teams went back and forth on Inferno for the entirety of the match. In the end the Aussies took the match 16:13 sending MVP-PK to the loser bracket.

Group A matches recap

With all the openers in Group A complete the bracket stage saw Liquid and NiP dominate BIG and Renegades respectively and secure their playoffs spots. Nothing much can be said about the Liquid versus BIG matchup as Liquid dominated Dust2 (16:7) and Overpass (16:3) and sailed smoothly into at least the quarterfinals. NiP on the other hand did struggle a bit versus Renegades on the second map, showing the same sort of weaknesses in offense as against eUnited. But they did manage to close out a convincing 2-0 and secure their spot in the bracket final versus Liquid.

In the lower bracket two elimination matches resulted in BOOT-d[S] and eUnited being eliminated from the event and are now forced to book their tickets home early. Their opponents mousesports and MVP-PK are now facing the long path to quarters as they face another elimination match early on tomorrow versus Renegades and BIG respectively.

Group B opening matches at IEM Sydney 2019

Due to the schedule of the event we only saw the opening matches of Group B (FaZe Clan, Chiefs ESC, ViCi, NRG, Fnatic, Heroic, Grayhound, mibr). Unlike Group A, this group featured a lot more convincing matches in the openers as all the top seeds also faced bottom seeds.

  • FaZe Clan vs Chiefs ESC
  • ViCi vs NRG
  • fnatic vs Heroic
  • Grayhound vs mibr

It was smooth sailing for FaZe in the Group B opener as they broke down Chiefs in 21 rounds (16:5). The same pattern followed the ViCi vs NRG matchup where NRG only gave out 4 rounds and closed Mirage 4:16. After their dominating Game 1, Faze and NRG are set to meet in the upper bracket tomorrow morning. The same goes for ViCi and Chiefs down in the lower bracket.

The Swedes versus Danes matchup went the way of Fnatic (16:7), as Heroic did not offer much resistance in this match. And in the last match of Group B, Grayhound managed to rally back into the game while facing a match point against mibr for 8 rounds straight. But the Brazilians secured their match point in the end and won Overpass (11:16).

This means we get to witness a Fnatic vs mibr show match early on in the tournament with the secured playoffs spot on the line. On the other hand, Grayhound and Heroic will have to battle to remain in tournament for yet another day.

The guys at IEM also give us some quick stats for Day 1:

mibr & FaZeClan won 100% of their pistol rounds.
NRGgg leads in round win% with 80%.
VICI only won 20% of total rounds today.

The party kicks off early tomorrow 4:00 am CEST.

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