In what we hope will be a regular section, we bring you a round-up of some of the E-Sports events happening each month. Our resident E-Sportsaholic Paul will take you through what’s been happening as well as some links for you to check out some of the action.
Intel Extreme Masters
For those that don’t know the Intel Extreme Masters is one of the biggest events on the esports calendar. A company like intel isn’t going to hold back with a massive $600,000 up for grabs. The 2013/2014 season 8 World Finals concluded last month. Here’s a round-up of the action and some definitive games for you to feast upon.
March was also home to the Call of Duty World Championships but due to streaming issues I won’t be reviewing it at a later date.
Total Prize Pool: $150,000
Winner’s Prize: $60,000
European team Fnatic lost their first match against Invictus Gaming and dropped down to the loser bracket of group A. Invictus also lost their second match only to face fnatic a second time. Fnatic returned the favour like a force of nature and earned their place in the finals.
Personal favourite of mine and other Europeans is Russian based Gambit Gaming. Also losing their first match against Taipei Assassins and meeting them again in the loser bracket; Gambit switch on their infamous ‘angry mode’ and go on to the quarter finals.
The IEM League of Legends trophy goes to Korean team KT Bullets for consistently destroying the opposition every step of the tournament. A special shout out goes to Gambit’s Genja for looking pretty immortal even in the face of defeat and for bringing out some crazy builds.
1st – KT Bullets
2nd – Fnatic
3rd/4th – Gambit Gaming – Cloud 9
Match to watch:
KT Bullets vs Gambit Gaming match 2, a superb match by both teams but KT steal the win with a brilliant backdoor strategy.
Total Prize Pool: $250,000
Winner’s Prize: $100,000
Team Dignitas looked on top form in the first round against Hellraisers. There were some very close matches and Hellraisers lend their defeat to themselves. Hellraiser player Dosia creates a massive opening for his team by taking out 3 of the 5 Dignitas members leaving the round at a 3 vs 1 situation in favour of Hellraisers. Hellraisers balls up their advantage by allowing Dignitas’ device- to steal the round in that 3 vs 1 situation.
LDLC faced Virtus Pro and join the fail train! I say that so harshly, but bare in mind, on a stage in front of thousands the pressure can get to you… But that’s no excuse for netting 3 team kills in a pro tournament. LDLC buckled under heavy pressure created by Virtus Pro and more than likely lost to their own mind games.
Fnatic and LGB go head to head in one of the best CS:GO matches I have ever seen. These two teams went right to the edge of victory with 3 very close matches. Both teams undoubtedly deserved to win the match but it was LGB who make their way to the semi-finals.
The semi-finals proved to be make or break time for Dignitas and LGB. Dignitas faced NiP and were put in their place by the seasoned veterans in almost the same fashion they took out Hellraisers. LGB on the other hand had a tough time against Virtus Pro but proved they still had what it takes by taking the match toa third map.
Here’s the interesting part. LGB and Fnatic went almost even in their matches. If it were for a few decision changes Fnatic could have been facing Virtus in the semis. Could they have done any better against Virtus? You be the decider let us know your opinion.
First place goes to Virtus Pro with a very dominating win over NiP. A fantastic tournament to watch as a whole and in my personal opinion it was anyone’s championship.
1st – Virtus Pro
2nd – NiP
3rd/4th – Team Dignitas and LGB eSports
Match to Watch:
An absolutely superb quarterfinal series between LGB eSports and Fnatic. There’s a great mixup of tactics and high level of individual skill.
Prize Pool: $100,000
Winner’s Prize: $100,000
When I looked at the Starcraft 2 qualifiers, 9 of the 16 finalists were Protoss players. There’s a lot of talk about Protoss being broken and unbalanced at the moment. That aside the Terran and Zerg players held nothing back and put up an amazing fight. 3 of the 4 Zerg players never made it into the round of 8 including Starcraft veteran Hyun who fell to 2x IEM champion herO, a fantastic match to watch.
Being a Terran player myself I was pleased to see 2 of the 3 Terrans making their way to the semi finals, including my all time favourite SC2 player Polt. To be fair, the Terran path was simple, they only needed to focus on Terran vs Protoss matchups considering there was only 1 Zerg player left. However, Polt’s game sense and Taeja’s micro are virtually unrivalled.
Sadly, Polt’s first game against European favourite NaNiWa was met with a high degree of controversy. NaNiWa claimed the poor sound-proofing on stage allowed Polt to react to the crowd and discover NaNiWa’s early cheese tactic. NaNiWa, in my personal opinion, was unsportsman like and forfeit the tournament with barely 2 minutes of play. He was also heckled off stage by the crowd. Arguably, Polt’s fantastic game sense was just too good, let us hear what you think and you be the decider.
The champion of the Starcraft 2 tournament goes to the newly crowned king of Protoss, sOs who dominated the finals with clever mind games and excellent early game pressure. Much respect goes to his opponent herO who valiantly held on far better than most veteran players.
1st – sOs
2nd – herO
3rd/4th – Polt, Taeja
Match to watch:
jjakji vs Revival, best of 5. Watch the entire series if you can because Starcraft 2 does not get better than this. These are 2 very equally skilled players putting up an amazing fight. There’s an array of tactics being played by both players so if you’re a Terran or Zerg player looking to improve your TvZ gameplay then this is the match to learn from.
Catch you all next time for more E Sport gaming goodness.
JoypadAndMe writer &