Intel Extreme Masters XIII — Shanghai ReviewLord Matus
Recently the major CS:GO tournament has been ended up. It was filled with various surprises and unexpected turns. We suggest you to look back at this championship and some moments which can be remembered and also to sum it up.
Overall impression about the tournament
First of all, we should commend the work done by ESL. During the ended tournament, there was no big halts which could be related with the technical factors. Of course, there were some service breaks, but there was no big problem created by ESL. Organisation of the championship was also pretty good, but due to the fact that the event was held in China, many teams had faced visa problems which will be further told about. This time Shanghai was the city where the thirteenth Intel Extreme Masters was held and it is one the major and densely populated city in the world. The holding place was Shanghai New International Expo Center, which is one of the biggest exhibition centers in China.
About the participants
Unlike the previous Intel Extreme Masters, only eight collectives took part in this event five out of them had been invited directly and three out of them were made to pass the region qualifiers. Gambit eSports, HellRaisers, NRG eSports, TyLoo and Virtus.pro got direct invitations to the event. 5PowerGaming, BOOT-d[S] and Grayhound Gaming passed Chinese, Asian and Australian-Pacific qualifiers correspondingly. Several participants faced various problems. For example, as Virtus.pro lost Snax, they were to look for a stand-in and found morelz, and BOOT-d[S] had to play with Bobosaur in the team due to the fact that their regular w1nt3r couldn’t get a visa to China. HellRaisers also had the same problems. One of the player of their roster, the Turkish eSportsman woxic also couldn’t get a visa to China. Instead of him, Estonian free agent FejtZ participated in Intel Extreme Masters XIII — Shanghai. As a result of the circumstances, the results of the tournament were unexpected and many teams surprised the viewers.
The teams that managed to surprise
This American collective haven’t performed in a stable way recently so they didn’t become a favourite of the majority of viewers. After the moment when the representatives of NRG eSports got the 3-4 place at Esports Championship Series Season 5 Finals, the collective managed to qualify twice. They took the first place at the North American closed elimination round at Americas Minor Championship — London 2018, and also could get the win at the North American elimination round at ESL One: New York 2018. At the Minor tournament they managed to get only the fourth position and ended their participation in the championship having received nothing. Due to these circumstances, NRG eSports couldn’t be named as the main favourites of Intel Extreme Masters XIII — Shanghai. So, the roster that was completed on 15 January, got the win at the main championship with the prize pool of $250,000 for the first time. We want to especially emphasize the fact that during the championship NRG eSports lost only one map which was played at the match against HellRaisers. This map was de_mirage, and it resulted in 16-9 for HellRaisers. All the other maps of this tournament were won by the American collective. NRG eSports showed a great performance so their win was deserved.
We want also to mark the fact that NRG eSports got close to the win on 3 June, participating in StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 5. There the win at the final was got by Natus Vincere, and NRG eSports got the second place getting a consolation prize of $50,000. So, it means that the win at Intel Extreme Masters XIII — Shanghai — is NRG eSports’ debut triumph in the CS:GO world.
At this tournament Gambit eSports also managed to surprise the audience. It is not a secret that after Zeus had left the team, they lost their strong leader and the team are still looking for the solution of the problem. This time B1ad3 helped the Kazakh players taking the position of the coach. Recently Gambit have signed ex-player of Vega Squadron, mir. Andrey “B1ad3” Gorodenskiy helped the team to find some crucial mistakes which could be corrected and also helped them with sharing his point of view concerning their playing and improved the teamwork of the players which helped them to achieve good results at Intel Extreme Masters XIII — Shanghai. Gambit got to Group B together with such opponents as TyLoo, BOOT-d[S] and Grayhound Gaming. The first match against BOOT-d[S] was lost, but the next meetings against Grayhound Gaming and BOOT-d[S] were ended with the win of the CIS team. Gambit eSports couldn’t oppose NRG eSports at the semifinal, so they ended their participation in the tournament at the 3-4 position, getting a money prize of $22,000. Even though Gambit eSports didn’t achieve big results in this championship, the majority of the viewers reached the opinion that B1ad3 managed to give something new to the CIS team. Thanks to this achievement, Gambit were able to climb up two positions in the world’s top and now they hold the 18 place.
The Polish team also managed to surprise the viewers with their performance. At the moment Virtus.pro are having difficult time and they hold the 19 position in the list of the best CS:GO rosters in the world according to HLTV.org. When the Polish players were coming to the tournament, some of the viewers were not sure if they would pass the group stage. It was connected with the fact that after Snax left the team, they didn’t have the fifth player and Piotr “morelz” Taterka visited the championship as a stand-in. He is known by the audience with the performance under such tags as tomorrow.gg and PRIDE Gaming. Virtus.pro got to Group A together with such teams as NRG eSports, HellRaisers and 5PowerGaming. Despite their play shape and the current position of the Polish roster, Virtus.pro were able to win over 5PowerGaming and HellRaisers and got to the playoff. We also should mark the fact that both of the matches resulted in no losing map for them. At the semifinal match they played against TyLoo and participated in the longest, most dense and difficult game of Intel Extreme Masters XIII — Shanghai. The map where Virtus.pro got the win ended by the score 16-9, and the maps where TyLoo became the winners were ended by the score of 22-20 and 22-18. The extra rounds at two maps at one match are rare and the match by TyLoo and Virtus.pro, was one of the most interesting and rigorous. After the end of the championship. morelz left the settlement of the Polish organisation and now the place of the fifth regular player has been taken by Michał “snatchie” Rudzki, ex-player of AGO Gaming. Thanks to his striving and help of morelz, Virtus.pro managed to get to Four Best Players, passing over all the outsiders and finishing their participation at the 3-4 position of the tournament bracket, got the consolation money prize of $22,000. Now Virtus.pro, having the fifth player on board, will start full exercising and they are more likely to show good results at the next tournament as well.
The teams that could not surprise
The Chinese team with their captain Mo haven’t been able to win any of the tournaments for a long time. The last trophy seen by the representatives of TyLoo, was the trophy from StarLadder & ImbaTV Invitational Chongqing 2018, where they managed to win over Team Spirit at the final. Since then TyLoo got 3-4 and 2 places at such tournaments as CS:GO Asia Summit 2018, Qi Invitational, Intel Extreme Masters XII — Sydney, CS:GO Asia Championships 2018 and Asia Minor Championship — London 2018. Due to this fact, not a lot of people had been expecting the win from TyLoo at this tournament, even though this roster is considered to be as the strongest in their division. TyLoo performed at the championship badly. In Group B, they won over Grayhound Gaming and BOOT-d[S], and, getting to the playoff, they were able to get the win over Virtus.pro by the score of 2-1. Despite all the efforts made by the Chinese players to succeed at Intel Extreme Masters XIII — Shanghai, they couldn’t see the win. They lost at the final match against NRG eSports, losing at overpass by the score 9-16, and at mirage by the score of 2-16. TyLoo became the vice-champions of the tournament again. Perhaps they can win the next tournament and get the main money prize, but this time they were not so lucky.
HellRaisers became one team with not so good results at the tournament more. One of the players of the roster of HellRaisers, the Turkish eSportsman and sniper of the team Özgür “woxic” Eker could not get a visa to China. Because of that, not to miss the tournament, HellRaisers were obliged to go together with the Estonian AWP player Kristjan “FejtZ” Allsaar. Because of that the results of HellRaisers were not as good as the viewers had expected and as the result of that the team got the 3 place in Group A, having only one win and one defeat. We want to emphasize an interesting fact: HellRaisers became the only team that managed to win over the champion of the tournament at one map. Except for the match against HellRaisers NRG eSports, as it has been already mentioned, didn’t lose any map against their opponents. In total, HellRaisers’ performance could be named “extremely unsuccessful”. This is the way how both teamwork and individual skills of the representatives of HellRaisers could be named. The next major championship HellRaisers will be participating in is DreamHack Masters Stockholm 2018 with the prize pool of $250,000 and sixteen participants. HR were able to get to the list of the participants thanks to their good performance at the group stage. Now we should hope that HellRaisers will perform at the next championship much better than they’ve done it at the tournament in Shanghai and will give us many good emotions and highlights which will be included in the CS:GO history.
This collective was not a favourite of the tournament and not so many people were expecting for the good performance of the Singaporean players. The assumption of their failure was proved by the fact that Alikhan “w1nt3r” Kopzhanov couldn’t receive a visa to China. He was replaced by the Singaporean esportsman Leslie “Bobosaur” Soen, who hadn’t been noticed at the professional CS:GO stage before. BOOT-d[S] got to Group B together with such collectives as Gambit eSports, Grayhound Gaming and TyLoo. There they managed to win over Gambit eSports at the first match by the score of 16-12 at train, and after that they lost against TyLoo by the score of 0-2. At the last and decisive meeting against BOOT-d[S] Gambit eSports performed again and the CIS team managed to win the revenge match over the Singaporean CS:GO roster, and it resulted in BOOT-d[S]’ 3 place in Group B. The Singaporean players ended their participation in the tournament at the 5-6 place and they got the money prize of $10,000.
5PowerGaming and Grayhound Gaming
These collectivew could get to Intel Extreme Masters XIII — Shanghai 2018 thanks to the good results at the Asian qualifiers and the elimination round in Australia. 5PowerGaming and Grayhound Gaming were clear outsiders and performed in the way the audience had expected. Grayhound Gaming got to Group B together with Gambit eSports, TyLoo and BOOT-d[S] and lost at the matches against TyLoo and Gambit eSports. 5PowerGaming got to Group А together with such teams as NRG eSports, Virtus.pro and HellRaisers. At the matches against NRG eSports and Virtus.pro, they couldn’t win and finshed their participation at the last positions of the tournament bracket. 5PowerGaming and Grayhound Gaming got consolation prizes of $5,500 for their efforts.
— Three participants out of eight faced the problems concerning the players’ visas and the rosters of the teams and due to that they were made to perform with the stands-in. Virtus.pro playes together with morelz because they didn’t have the fifth player, HellRaisers participated in the tournament with FejtZ instead of woxic, and BOOT-d[S] performed with Bobosaur instead of w1nt3r, who couldn’t obtain the visa as well woxic.
— Both leaders of the group stage (NRG eSports and TyLoo) got to the Grand final.
— TyLoo became the participants of the longest and the shortest match of holding of Intel Extreme Masters XIII — Shanghai. At the semifinal, playing against Virtus.pro, they won two difficult maps by the score of 22-20 and 22-18. At the Grand final they were defeated by NRG eSports, where TyLoo lost by the score of 2-16.
— Despite the fact that the prize pool of this championship was $250,000, and the number of the participants reached eights, the tournaments wasn’t a part of Intel Grand Slam as it took place during the break between the seasons.
We suggest you to watch the best moment s of the champions of the tournament