It’s time for another huge Counter-Strike event with Intel Extreme Masters Summer taking place from June 3 to June 13. This event is part of the ESL Pro Tour, which means there’s quite a lot on the line for every single team and each match is crucial.
Players will not only be fighting over a $250,000 prize pool but also ESL Pro Tour circuit points, which lead directly to qualifying for the world championship, and BLAST Premier points, which lead to another world final tournament.
This means every single game has quite a lot riding on it and each team will be battling that much harder to win it. With such a high level of competition expected, just about every match will be worth wagering on.
Make sure to check out our guide on all things CS:GO betting and let’s take a look at the event in more detail.
Who’s Playing at IEM Summer?
There will be 16 teams battling it out at IEM Summer, which features many of the world’s best. We’ll of course see current world No. 1 Gambit, as well as highly ranked teams like Heroic, G2 Esports and Astralis. There’ll also be some up-and-coming teams like FunPlus Phoenix and OG, representation from North America in Evil Geniuses and Extra Salt, and even a wild card from the national championship playoffs.
With 16 teams attending, it’s set to be quite a lengthy event. It will be played out over 10 days and will feature two extended groups, followed by a single-elimination playoff.
Teams will first start in a group of eight, which will be played essentially as a mini double-elimination playoff. This means teams are eliminated after two losses, while the Sportsbook of each group advances straight to the semifinals, and second and third place advance to the quarterfinals.
When it comes to the playoffs, it’ll be a simple single-elimination bracket. This means teams are eliminated after one loss, and the last team left standing takes home the trophy.
|Ninjas in Pyjamas
|ENC Playoff Sportsbook
Odds as of May 25 at [Sportsbook not available for your region]
Gambit Looks to Continue Hot Form
Gambit is still the team to watch in CS:GO and has not slowed down much since its explosion into the top of the game at IEM Katowice.
The team has continued to dominate, finishing first or second in four of five events they’ve played since. They’re clearly consistent and realistically should be able to find another top-end finish here at IEM Summer.
They have, however, also shown they can be beaten. Gambit has lost two finals, once to Heroic and once to Natus Vincere, so it’s very possible someone can take them down again here. Heroic will no doubt be their biggest rival, although there are many strong teams here and it will be a very competitive tournament.
Can Heroic Take Down the Favorites Once Again?
Heroic is another big team to watch. Like Gambit, they come into the event in strong form and will be looking for a solid performance, if not even the trophy itself.
The Danish squad recently took home the ESL Pro League trophy, toppling none other than Gambit, and has since performed fairly well, placing third at both BLAST Premier Spring and DreamHack Masters.
This team is definitely capable of winning trophies and it’ll be interesting to see if they can do it again here.
Is Astralis Still a Top Team?
There are still a lot of question marks surrounding Astralis. Once considered the best in the world, the team has had a turbulent few months. They won a trophy back in December and kicked off the year with a second-place finish, before seemingly falling off a cliff.
They’ve absolutely failed at their last few events, not managing any significant placings and even dropping out dead last at BLAST Premier Spring. Since then, their longtime superstar device departed the roster in a shocking move, and the future of Astralis has been somewhat in doubt.
IEM Summer will be the first real “big” event for their new roster, featuring previously benched youngster Bubzkji. This will no doubt give us some insight into what we can expect from Astralis, be it another era of success or perhaps even more changes.