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IEM Oakland PUBG Invitational Preview - Esportsranks
IEM Oakland PUBG Invitational Preview

Schedule & Venue

Intel® Extreme Masters (IEM) Oakland PUBG Invitational is slated to take place over the course of two days, November 18-19, 2017, in Oracle Arena, Oakland, California. It’s an arena with a rich history, dating back to 1966. It’s a home turf of NBA Golden State Warriors, also hosting numerous musical and other art manifestations, as well as NHL.

It marks the first time a live, international PUBG tournament will be played out in a stadium arena. It’s an important milestone in the history of PUBG Esports, one that will definitely set the standard for all future premier and major PUBG tournaments and events.

The casting talent includes:

  • Desk Host: James “Kaelaris” Carrol
  • Interviewer: Richard Simms
  • Analysts: Martin “Avnqr” Gøth, Josh “Steel” Nissan
  • Commentators: Leigh “Deman” Smith, Steve “Toffees” Pierce, Lauren “Pansy” Scott, Matt “Matrym” Oates
  • Observers: Heather Garazzo, Luke Bodenheimer, Frank Fields, Mark Torrez, Brandon Richards, Carey Kertenian, Alex Maxwell

Doors will open at 10am on both days. The rounds will commence at 1pm and will last until around 5pm, with the winners ceremony scheduled to take place on Sunday, after all the rounds have been played out.

With an action-packed schedule like this, spectators and live-stream viewers are guaranteed to enjoy a slew of high-level play and advanced PUBG squad tactics! Hopefully, we’ll all get to learn something new and improve our own PUBG skills in the process.

There are still some tickets available, so if you’ve just made up your mind and want to attend the event life, head over to IEM Tickets page before it’s all gone!

IEM Oakland PUBG Invitational Oakland Arena

Credit: ESL

Format & Prize Pool

Format of the tournament involves 20 squads, so 80 players, engaged in a total of 8 rounds. All 8 rounds will be played from the first person perspective. Teams will receive points based on placements and the number of kills after each and every round.

The killing and surviving will be well worth it though, as a lucrative prize pool of $200,000 is on the line:

Place Prize
1 $60,000
2 $45,000
3 $30,000
4 $20,000
5 $15,000
6 $12,000
7 $10,000
8 $8,000

This is undoubtedly one of the largest PUBG prize pools to date, so expect teams to be extra ready, but also nervous when the first chutes start landing on the map! For many of these players, this will be the first time participating live in front of the crowds, so prior on-stage experience will definitely play a role in how well the players and teams will perform.

Teams & Rosters

IEM Oakland PUBG Invitational won’t be entirely based on fame and celebrity status. There were actually extensive qualifiers prior to the main spectacle. This is why there will be  teams from both North America and Europe that will get to participate based on merit as well.

Twelve teams have received direct invitations:

  1. Team SoloMid – Viss, aimPR, SmaK, BreaK
  2. Team Liquid – Hayz, Scoom, MOLNMAN, ollywoodz
  3. Noble – dnboom, edakulous, TheChosenZygote, Interrogate
  4. Luminosity – Ninja, TheJP2, DrasseL, chipzyy
  5. Alliance – Ciggzy, OdinThorPUBG, romztv, veazyxyz
  6. Cloud9 – MoodyIRL, Frolicer, Iam_chappie, SOLIDFPS
  7. FaZe Clan – fuzzface49, mxey, Jembty, Haxete
  8. Ninjas in Pyjamas – Sweaterr, Crunch, OfficialBorg, ekkz_tv
  9. PENTA Sports – FroszTV, simsyofdoom, jeemzz, ultraztaR
  10. Evil Geniuses – GOUL, Pandaego, zwattz, gnomey13
  11. Tempo Storm – Valliate, YaBoiDrePUBG, meluke, Sambtyy
  12. Method – AndyPyro, lay7on, EnergeticTurtlePUBG, Aitzy

Eight additional EU & NA teams have earned their spot through qualifiers:

  1. Crimson Esports – Jazza, TeaBone, MiracU, TEXQS
  2. Wind and Rain – stabcs, GustavQQ, Tryffeli, Wookiebookie
  3. *aAa* Gaming – m0nKeY_LeSinge, oraxe, Shadow1K, shivGAME
  4. Digital Chaos – Awien, EvanHC, FaustoCoppii, jokkizz
  5. Ghost Gaming – MICCOY, Definelegit, AustinPUBG, Pr0phie
  6. Ronin Esports – Duckk_TV, callmekraqen, minifridgejr, notadeveloper
  7. Miami Flamingos – TonyV, ZeNTTRiiX, DatKoko, 1HunnaRounds
  8. Corn Shuckers – zanpah, EnV, PaaaRADOX, eLus1veGG

Esportsranks Predictions

Based on the most recent results of Alienware’s Curse Trials November, the team to look out for is definitely the French squad *aAa* Gaming. They’ve won the whole thing, through a combination of great placements and merciless killing when necessary.

Then there’s Luminosity, the highly talented and experienced squad who won Gamescom Invitational, the first ever major PUBG squad tournament. However, they’ll face two problems. First, they’re not nearly as active in the online events, and this time around, they won’t be able to rely on often frowned upon third person perspective. We’ll get to see how well they adapt.

IEM Oakland PUBG Invitational Luminosity

Credit: ESL

We also mustn’t forget about Cloud9, who played very well at Curse Trials November. Despite having noticeably less points than *aAa* Gaming thanks to two 15th placements, they actually dominated the rest of the games, winning all 3 of them.

Team SoloMid is certainly in the mix too. They are ranked 5th overall in Auzom Premier League, with 1 win and twelve finishes in the top 10. With such a revered Esports organization backing them up, this squad certainly has all the necessary logistics and support to make it far, potentially even taking the fact check awaiting at the top.

Last, but not least, the underdogs that could potentially stage a major upset here is Method. They’ve won The Golden Chicken recently. While not nearly as high-profile, the fun community event showcased Method’s avid skills and teamplay. Obviously, a bunch of other names are in the contention too, but only 1 team will emerge victorious in the end.

Betting Picks

For betting, Bet365 offers a myriad of great markets to choose from. Due to high volatility of individual games and the uncertainty of the final outcome, the most prudent options are the Top 3 Finish market and Team – Most Kills in the Match.

In both markets, FaZe Clan (Gorilla Core eSports up until very recently) is kind of a no-brainer, as they’re among the most dominant and consistent rosters in the Auzom Premier League momentarily. The problematic part with them is their recent Curse Trials November outing, where they had a streak of early exits in games 2, 3 and 4.

IEM Oakland PUBG Invitational FaZe Clan

Credit: ESL

With that in mind, definitely go with *aAa* Gaming, as they looked marvelous during the same event. Cloud9 are bankable as well. PENTA Sports were amazing in the Qualifiers, but completely faded in the Finals, so there’s a question mark above their heads. Everything else looks too shakey and up in the air at the moment. Good luck!

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