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"{"en_GB":"Intel Extreme Masters Season XI — World Championship Review","ru":"Intel Extreme Masters Season XI — World Championship Review"}"

Lord Matus

The long-awaited ESL tournament is over. Astralis team won the championship.

After the failure on DreamHack Masters Las Vegas 2017, Astralis analyzed their mistakes, fixed them and won the second big tournament this year. In grand-final match, European mix FaZe Clan became the last opponent standing on their way to victory.

Intel Extreme Masters Season XI — World Championship was full of unexpected turns of events, but the disappointing moments also had place. Some teams managed to join the play-off and demonstrate quite a good game although no one expected such results from them. At the same time, some favorites demonstrated scandalously bad game and even did not passed the group stage. We will everything about this championship in our review.

Teams that disappointed with their performance

The undeniable leader of the teams that disappointed with the result is a Polish team Virtus.pro. In the previous tournament, DreamHack Masters Las Vegas 2017, Virtus.pro played against Astralis in the semi-final and took a revenge with 16-4 and 16-3 score. After that, the Polish team met SK Gaming in the final match, and won it with 2-1 score.

In Intel Extreme Masters Season XI World Championship Virtus.pro demonstrated an awful game taking the 5th place in their group and did not even pass to the play-off. Most of the analysts and commentators though that Virtus.pro are the main candidate for the winning of IEM Katowice 2017. The following factors played for their benefits: they won the previous tournament and were in a good moral state, and the final stage of this event took place on their motherland – in Poland. However, Virtus.pro disappointed everyone, fans, analysts and commentators.

The next team that disappointed the community was the Brazilian team SK Gaming. In the previous tournament, SK Gaming played in Grand Final, and in this championship everyone expected a perfect game for them. However, just before the tournament started, one of the players complained on the backpain. Fer told in his Twitter that he visited hospital before the tournament. Someone thought that the player should have been replaced but that would not happen. Despite all the attempts, SK Gaming as well as Virtus.Pro ended their participation in this tournament in the group stage of Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2017 and did not manage to pass to the play-off.

The last the most disappointing team is Swedish players from Fnatic. Many fans had many expectations for this team and anticipated that the roster will demonstrate the power of the legendary roster. However, the team did not manage to show good results and ended tournament on the group stage winning $7,000.

Teams that demonstrated surprisingly good game

The list of teams which managed to surprise the community is headed by FaZe Clan. After the organization has bought NiKo for more than $500,000, the team started to demonstrate a better game. Previously, the team took 3-4 places only in 3 tournaments, and in all other competitions, it took 7-8 place. After signing NiKo, a team became one of the gran finalists of the debut tournament with Nikola Kovac in starting roster. Faze Clan is definitely the team that demonstrated many surprising results on the event. In the group stage, it took the first place in the group beating such teams as Astralis, Immortals and others.

The second team to surprise the community was Immortals. After signing Lincoln «fnx» Lau who was dismissed from SK Gaming, the team became stronger and got a fresh energy. It’s not a secret that fnx tried to show his best game in this tournament to prove that SK Gaming made a mistake. In result, SK Gaming did not even manage to pass the group stage while Immortals joined the semi-final where they lost a match against FaZe Clan.

A Danish team Heroic also demonstrated a good game. They brilliantly played in the group stage and took the first place there. When gla1ve left the team, the roster has some problems. However, Heroic managed to pass to the grand final of Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2017 where gla1ve and his new team defeated them and became a champion.

We should also mention North team which managed to move through the group stage leaving behind such teams as Virtus.pro, Cloud9 and SK Gaming. However, they left the tournament in quarterfinals after losing a match against Immortals.

Other teams did not surprise the community.

Natus Vincere demonstrated their classic unsteady game, Astralis showed that they are a strong team. No one expected good results from Ninjas in Pyjamas, OpTic Gaming and Cloud9. None of these teams managed to pass the group stage, but it was not something unexpected.

It should be mentioned that StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3 will take place on April 4 – 9, and it can bring some surprises to the community.