Counter-Strike: Global Offensive fans have good reasons to celebrate November, as it brings the popular first-person shooter back into the spotlight. The most important tournament of the month is the Intel Extreme Masters Season XIV Beijing event that starts on November 7 and concludes at the end of the week.
Astralis is crushing opponents in major esports tournaments and the Danish team is expected to triumph in China. They still have strong opposition from fellow Europeans as well as North Americans.
IEM Season XIV Beijing Format and Prizes
This exclusive tournament will be attended by the six invited teams and the Chinese and Asian qualifiers. ViCI Gaming and Tyloo have navigating the treacherous waters of local qualifying rounds to secure a spot in the Intel Extreme Masters Season XIV.
Bookmakers don’t give them much of a chance though and both are given odds of 150/1 to cause a string of major upsets and win the tournament. They are more likely to finish in the 7th and 8th places and settle for consolation prizes of $4000 each.
Speaking of prizes, the IEM Season XIV Beijing has a guaranteed prize pool of $250,000 and the winners will get half of the amount. The teams finishing in the second place will receive $50,000, while those in third and fourth will be compensated with $25,000.
Those who finish in the third place during the group stage will be awarded $8500 for their effort, but won’t have the chance to compete in the playoffs.
Each group has four teams and they will play in a two double elimination format, with winners to be determined at the end of best-of-three series.
The group stage takes place on November 7 and 8, while the top two teams from each group will fight in the playoffs this weekend.
In the semi finals, teams will play in a best-of-three series, while the grand final will require up to seven matches to determine the winner.
Astralis are Head and Shoulders above Competitors
No other team in recent Counter-Strike: Global Offensive history has been as dominant as Astralis and they show no signs of slowing down. They have won the last three main tournaments and the odds offered by Betway (Betway Review) indicate that they will also prevail in China. Astralis are the main favourites with odds of 1/1, while their strongest competitors are Evil Geniuses, with odds of 3/1.
These teams should be able to win their groups, while Team Vitality and Faze Clan will fight the tough battle for second place in Group B.
ENCE and 100 Thieves are the potential dark horses at the Intel Extreme Masters Season XIV Beijing. They have the advantage of both playing in Group A, which means that they will compete for second place and a chance to shine in the playoffs. None of them are strong enough to challenge Astralis for the lead, but they are evenly matched and the direct game looks like a perfect coin flip.