Preview of Intel Extreme Masters XII — Oakland

Lord Matus

Preview of Intel Extreme Masters XII — Oakland

IEM XII — Oakland starts today. We will make an analysis of participants and suppose who can win the tournament.

The general information

Intel Extreme Masters XII — Oakland will be carried out on November 14-19. The general prize pool amounts $300,000. Unlike the majority of championships, the prize pool was divided into two parts: $270,000 and $30,000. $270,000 will be distributed among all participants due to their place, while $30,000 will be up for grabs only in the group stage.

The championship will be hosted in two stages: the group one and the playoffs. In the first part of the tournament, 12 teams will be divided into two groups with six participants in each. Teams will play bo1 matches by a Round Robin system. Participants will earn 3 points and $1,000 for each victory in the group stage. If a match between teams gets to an overtime, 3 points will be distributed among opponents. The winner of overtimes earns 2 points and the loser earns only one point.

With regard to the final stage, the playoffs will be run in a Single Elimination bracket. Matches of the quarterfinals and the semi-finals will be carried out in a bo3 format and the grand final will be hosted in a bo5 format.

The main prize pool ($270,000) will be distributed among participants in the following way:

Place Prize
1st $125,000
2nd $50,000
3th-4th $25,000
5th-6th $12,000
7th-8th $5,000
9th-10th $3,500
11th-12th $2,000

Participants and groups

12 teams will take part in the tournament, they will represent Denmark, North America, Sweden, Canada, Kazakhstan, Brazil, Finland and other countries.

Organizers have already informed about the seeding of teams by groups:

The seeding of participants:

Group A Group B
SK Gaming
Ninjas in Pyjamas
Team EnVyUs
FaZe Clan
G2 Esports
Gambit eSports
Team Liquid
OpTic Gaming

According to results of the group stage, top two teams that hold the first places in their groups will go right to the semi-final in the playoffs. Teams to hold the 2nd-3rd places in their groups also will get to the final stage, however, they will start their participation in the quarterfinal. The rest participants that hold the 4th-6th places in their groups will leave the tournament, having received a consolation prize in the sum of $2,000-$5,000 (according to their place).

The analysis of participants

Group A

SK Gaming

The Brazilian titans of the CS:GO world, FalleN and his team is one of the most obvious favorites to get to the playoffs and to win the tournament. At the moment, SK Gaming holds the second place in the rate of the best CS:GO teams in the world by Recently, the Brazilians triumphed at one of the largest tournaments of the season 2017/2018 — EPICENTER 2017, having beaten in the final.

SK rented such player as Ricardo «boltz» Prass from Immortals on October 31. Ricardo has an experience of playing with FalleN. Gabriel Toledo and Ricardo Prass were teammates from July to November in 2015, when they were playing under the tag Luminosity Gaming.

With regard to the recent matches of SK Gaming, the winning rate is 55% over the last two weeks. This rate is low for the world level team, but this might happen due to boltz has not adapted to his team. Despite this, SK proved at various times that they know how to prepare for large tournaments and achieve good results. Considering the level of the opponents of the Brazilians in Group A, we can state for sure that SK will have to get to the playoffs and to struggle for the main prize in the sum of $125,000.

The SK Gaming roster and the players’ rate:

Gabriel «FalleN» Toledo — 1.17
Fernando «fer» Alvarenga — 1.21
Marcelo «coldzera» David — 1.22
Epitacio «TACO» de Melo — 1.00
Ricardo «boltz» Prass — 1.19


Cloud9 became the champion of iBUYPOWER 2017 at night yesterday. This says about a good shape of the American team. The winning rate of the team over the last two weeks proves this too, it amounts 72%. Over the last 18 matches, Cloud9 prevailed at 13 of them. Besides other things, it is worth to notice that C9 holds the 7th place in the top of the best CS:GO teams by

Since Cloud9 had made radical replacements on the roster during the summer season of reshuffles, the team has not been able to gain a shape and to achieve any results for a long time. Now, autimatic, RUSH and tarik have adapted to the new environment and are ready to show a good play and joy their fans.

Considering the level of other opponents in Group A, we can state for sure that Cloud9 has great chances to go to the playoffs.

The Cloud9 roster and the players’ rate:

Tyler «Skadoodle» Latham — 1.06
Jacky «Stewie2K» Yip — 1.18
Timothy «autimatic» Ta — 1.12
Will «RUSH» Wierzba — 1.14
Tarik «tarik» Celik — 1.16

Ninjas in Pyjamas

Ninjas in Pyjamas, as the major part of representatives of the CS:GO scene, made replacements on their roster in summer. NiP signed Fredrik «REZ» Sterner on June 12 and refused from the services of Adam «friberg» Friberg a bit later, who continued his career in OpTic Gaming.

Results didn’t take long to happen. Ninjas in Pyjamas raised the first trophy over the head on July 15 that was earned with the renewed roster. However, after the victory at DreamHack Valencia 2017, NiP didn’t achieve any hights. Perhaps, the Swedes will be able to surprise the public at IEM XII - Oakland but its possibility is not so big as they would like it to be.

The Ninjas in Pyjamas roster and the players’ rate:

Patrik «f0rest» Lindberg — 1.09
Christopher «GeT_RiGhT» Alesund — 1.10
Richard «Xizt» Landstrom — 0.99
William «draken» Sundin — 1.11
Fredrik «REZ» Sterner — 1.08

Bjorn «THREAT» Pers (coach)


The brightest representatives of the Danish CS:GO scene also have big chances to get to the playoffs as SK Gaming. The team has not been making replacements on the roster for a long time. At the moment, Astralis is in a good shape. Gla1ve together with his teammates could hold the second place at the last large tournament, ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2017, having given the victory to the Europeans from FaZe Clan.

The winning rate of Astralis is not so high and amounts 55%. The Danes won 9 of 16 matches that were played at ECS Season 4 and ESL Pro League #6.

Considering the other participants of Group A, we can state for sure that Astralis will get to the playoff stage and fight for the main prize.

The Astralis roster and the players’ rate:

Nicolai «dev1ce» Reedtz — 1.14
Peter «dupreeh» Rothmann — 1.15
Andreas «Xyp9x» Hojsleth — 1.08
Markus «Kjaerbye» Kjaerbye — 0.99
Lukas «gla1ve» Rossander — 1.03


ASUS ROG Masters 2016 was the last tournament, where TheMongolz achieved a victory. Since then, the roster has changed at various times. The Mongolian roster is the most obvious outsider in Group A. There is a lot of other teams, which chances to reach the playoffs are much bigger than chances of TheMongolz.

The roster of TheMongolz and the players’ rate:

Tsog «Tsogoo» Mashbat — 1.02
Bold «ncl» Batsuh — 1.05
Enkhtaivan «Machinegun» Lkhagv — 1.20
Temuulen «Zilkenberg» Battulga — 1.11
Erdenedalai «maaRaa» Bayanbat — 0.88 (sub)

Team EnVyUs

The championship at DreamHack Atlanta 2017 is the last serious achievement of Team EnVyUs. Since then, the players headed by Happy have not been able to gain their shape. The team held the 2nd place at Europe Minor Championship - Boston 2018 and Team EnVyUs held the 8th place at ESL Pro League Season 6 - Europe. This says that EnVyUs, as TheMongolz, have very low chances to get to the playoffs.

The roster of Team EnVyUs and the players’ rate:

Vincent «Happy» Cervoni — 1.11
Christophe «SIXER» Xia — 0.96
Cedric «RpK» Guipouy — 1.09
Alexandre «xms» Forte — 1.02
Adil «ScreaM» Benrlitom — 1.12

Damien «maLeK» Marcel (coach)

Group B

FaZe Clan

FaZe Clan is the most obvious favorite to get to the final stage and to win the tournament for few reasons:

  • The team is on the first place in the world top by at the moment
  • There are the world level players and the experienced cyber-sportsmen on the FaZe roster
  • The team is in a good gaming shape

Last month, FaZe Clan became the winners of the largest tournament of the season 2017/2018 - ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2017. Due to the first place, FaZe earned the main monetary prize in the sum of $500,000. All fans of the European mix and interesting CS:GO matches are looking forward to seeing the match between FaZe and G2 that will take place today.

The FaZe Clan roster and the players’ rate:

Havard «rain» Nygaard — 1.22
Finn «karrigan» Andersen — 0.98
Nikola «NiKo» Kovac — 1.25
Ladislav «GuardiaN» Kovacs — 1.20
Olof «olofmeister» Kajbjer — 1.14

Robert «RobbaN» Dahlstrom (coach)

G2 Esports

The French team is not in a very good shape right now. G2 held the 5th-8th place at ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2017, having earned $35,000. G2 held the 3rd place at the last championship, EPICENTER 2017. Having become the bronze medalist, G2 earned $60,000.

Now, G2 enters the top 3 of the strongest CS:GO teams by If considering all above-mentioned facts, the French can be called one of the favorites to reach the playoffs.

The G2 Esports roster and the players’ rate:

Richard «shox» Papillon — 1.07
Alexandre «bodyy» Pianaro — 1.02
Nathan «NBK-» Schmitt — 1.08
Kenny «kennyS» Schrub — 1.13
Dan «apEX» Madsclaire — 1.09

Edouard «SmithZz» Dubourdeaux (coach)
Niclas «enkay J» Krumhorn (analyst)

Gambit eSports

After Gambit eSports had won the Minor tournament and made a replacement on the roster, the team began going through a rough patch. The 3rd-4th place at DreamHack Masters Malmo 2017, that was run in September, was the only good result for Gambit over the last 4 months. Since then, the team has not found its play and not been able to win any tournament with the renewed roster.

Gambit eSports has a chance to go to the playoffs, but Group B will not be an easy way for the Kazakhs. Almost all teams will be able to make problems to their opponents in this group.

The Gambit eSports roster and the players’ rate:

Mikhail «Dosia» Stolyarov — 0.98
Dauren «AdreN» Kystaubayev — 1.08
Rustem «mou» Telepov — 1.10
Abay «HObbit» Khassenov — 1.10
Bektiyar «fitch» Bahytov — 1.07 (trial)

Andrey «Andi» Prokhorov (coach)

Team Liquid

Team Liquid is in a good shape at the moment. They have recently earned an invitation to the close qualification to ELEAGUE Major: Boston 2018 due to their victory at Americas Minor Championship - Boston 2018.

According to many viewers, Team Liquid has very good chances to get to the playoffs. Renegades look enough weak compared to their opponents, OpTic Gaming has not started playing well and Gambit eSports has not been able to find their play for three months. With regard to Team Liquid, the Americans have been playing together for 7 months and proved at the Minor tournament that they were able to compete with world level teams.

The Team Liquid roster and the players’ rate:

Nachilas «nitr0» Cannella — 0.99
Jonathan «EliGE» Jablonowski — 1.18
Joshua «jdm64» Marzano — 1.00
Peter «stanislaw» Jarguz — 1.06
Russel «Twistzz» Van Dulken — 1.20

Wilton «zews» Prado (coach)

OpTic Gaming

OpTic Gaming is the team that has not so many chances to win the tournament or to reach the playoff stage, compared to other teams in Group B, according to many viewers. The OpTic roster was assembled again in August. The players were not able to start playing well over this time. Despite this, OpTic could hold the first place in the American division of ESL Pro League Season 6. Perhaps, friberg has already found points of connection with his teammates and prepared something special for his opponents. In any case, it will be interesting to follow OpTic at Intel Extreme Masters XII — Oakland.

The OpTic Gaming roster and the players’ rate:

Oscar «mixwell» Canellas — 1.16
Adam «friberg» Friberg — 0.98
Aleksi «allu» Jalli — 1.13
Emil «Magisk» Reif — 1.18
Kevin «HS» Tarn — 1.02

Chet «ImAPet» Singh (coach)


Renegades has the best shape in the history of the existence of the CS:GO roster. Recently, they have earned the first trophy at the large tournament. Previously, they prevailed at Minor tournaments but the triumph at StarLadder i-League Invitational #2 is a serious achievement for Nifty and his team. Renegades became the vice-champions of iBUYPOWER Masters 2017 after that.

An interesting fact: initially, Immortals should take part in the tournament instead of Renegades, however, the Brazilians pulled out from the tournament and organizers invited Renegades instead of them. You can read more about this in our material.

Now, the players have the new test in the face of IEM XII — Oakland.

The Renegades roster and the players’ rate:

Aaron «AZR» Ward — 1.05
Justin «jks» Savage — 1.05
Karlo «USTILO» Pivac — 1.04
Noah «Nifty» Francis — 1.05
Keith «NAF» Markovic — 1.25

Aleksandar «kassad» Trifunovic (coach)

Questions that will be answered during the tournament:

  • SK Gaming and Cloud9 have won previous championships. Will any of these two teams be able to continue its winning streak?
  • How will the kings of the world rate FaZe Clan show themselves?
  • Will Astralis be able to break a bad streak and win the tournament?
  • What will we have to expect from Team EnVyUs, Ninjas in Pyjamas and TheMongolz?
  • What is the shape of Team Liquid? Will they get to the playoffs?
  • Is the victory in the American division of EPL Season 6 a set of circumstances for OpTic Gaming or the team has found its play?
  • Will the players of Renegades continue their raise on the top of the eSports Olympus?


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