The run-up to the Quarter Finals of Intel Extreme Masters is done, and out of the twelve teams that met in the Group matches, four will meet in the Quarter Finals. However, the top teams from each group will each move directly into the Semi Finals. Those teams that survive the Quarter Finals will meet the top teams in the Semi Finals. So let’s take a look at how things stand for now.
Ninjas in Pyjamas have done very well at this event, dominating the league, and powering up through the ranks to be one of the teams to push through into the Semi Finals. The other team to do so is of course the redoubtable FaZe Clan. They had a bad patch at EPICENTER, being eliminated in the group matches, but that seems to be behind them, and this team is now back in top form.
The teams that will fight each other in the Quarter Finals for the honor of facing the top two are Cloud9, SK Gaming, OpTic Gaming and Gambit Esports.These are the battles we’ll be examining today, so let’s take a look at what chance each of these teams has of reaching the Semi Finals. The first match will be between OpTic Gaming and SK Gaming, so let’s take a look at the run-up to this face-off.
SK Gaming’s bitter path to the Quarter Finals.
All the teams played 5 matches in their groups, and SK Gaming won three of them, scoring nine points. They first went up against Team EnVyUs in Cobblestone. It was SK Gaming’s first bitter battle at this event, and the match was pushed into overtime, not once but twice. SK Gaming finally took the match in the second overtime, thus scoring just two points instead of three.
They then had to face Ninjas in Pyjamas, again in Cobblestone, and this time SK Gaming actually won against the dominating team. Yes, the Ninjas didn’t go down easily, but SK Gaming dominated as terrorists, and took the match. This match was a combined win, and could not have been won without some great team plays.
Next SK Gaming went up against The MongolZ. The MongolZ are interesting, because they were the only team to qualify from the East. They were the underdogs, and proved it by being plowed under in match after match. SK Gaming took the opportunity for a free win, and decimated The MongolZ in Mirage.
Then came Astralis, never a good team to face in any tournament. The two teams made a bitter fight of it, with the match going into overtime three times. Astralis won in the end, but SK Gaming still took a point. SK Gaming then lost disastrously to Cloud9 in Train, going down to a crushing defeat. So this season of Intel Extreme Masters has hardly been the best on that SK Gaming ever played.
OpTic Gaming reach the Quarter Finals on a roller coaster…
The green wall took all at this event, putting paid to the oft-quoted theory that European teams usually outclass American teams. OpTic Gaming went up against Gambit Esports in Train, and broke them, winning by a large margin. That indeed went well, but a half hour later, the green wall was facing FaZe Clan. FaZe have, of course, been smarting from their recent losses, and they went all-out for the win here, smashing OpTic’s offense and defense, and giving them only three rounds in the entire match.
Things weren’t looking good for Optic Gaming, because their next opponent were Team Liquid. OpTic gaming hit back hard here, coming back from their crushing defeat to take Liquid Gaming, though there were parts where the match could have swung either way. This was a stunning victory, but the next match OpTic played was against Renegades, and Renegades put them down hard, effortlessly winning the match. So you see what we meant when we said that OpTic have reached the Quarter Finals on a roller coaster, winning some and losing some.
OpTic Gaming’s last match was against G2 Esports, and most pundits thought that this was the end for OpTic gaming. However, it was not to be so. OpTic Gaming took the lead at once, and while G2 did fight back hard in the second half, OpTic put out some brilliant team plays and took the match. This was the match that did the most to push the green wall into the Quarter Finals of this season of Intel Extreme Masters.
This brings us to the first match of the day, which is OpTic Gaming Vs SK Gaming.
The redoubtable boltz plays for SK Gaming in this event, and he has proved in the past that he perfects this team’s in-game mechanics. This is the first time this particular SK Gaming roster will face OpTic Gaming, but it has done brilliantly elsewhere. This roster has participated in fifteen matches, and won ten of them, which gives them a win-rate of sixty six percent per match, and fifty three percent per round. That’s not bad, but not overwhelming either.
OpTic Gaming, on the other hand, have played eighty three matches with their current roster, winning fifty two of those. This gives them a win-rate of sixty two percent, which is really very close to that if SK Gaming. This is going to be a close one, boys and girls.
These teams are virtually equal in every way, at least at this event. OpTic are also playing in top form, blasting away top teams like G2 Esports and Liquid. However, SK Gaming can be unreliable, even with boltz on their side. OpTic Gaming and SK face each other on equal terms in this match, and it could go either way. If you’d like to risk a trifle, the odds are 1.22 on SK Gaming.
Cloud9’s road to the Quarter Finals of Intel Extreme Masters…
Cloud9 first match was against The MongolZ in Mirage, and The MongolZ were obviously decimated. Next Cloud9 went up against Astralis in Train, defeating the big red star against all odds. After dominating Astralis in the first half by three rounds, Cloud9 still needed seven rounds to win the match.They went on to take the match in the second half, playing as Counter-Terrorists, and not ceding a single round to Astralis. It was a match worth watching!
Ninjas in Pyjamas were the next team to face Cloud9, and the Ninjas completely dominated them, giving Cloud9 just four rounds in the match. Things really have not been going well for Cloud9 at this event, with Team EnVyUs then crushing them in Cobblestone, winning twice the number of rounds in that match as they did. If the always-unreliable SK Gaming had not done Cloud9 the favor of losing to them, it is unlikely that they would have reached the Quarter Finals of this season of Intel Extreme Masters, but SK Gaming did, and so here we are today.
Gambit Esports managed to return from the edge of extinction.
Zeus leaving Gambit Esports was a big hit for the team, and they took some time to recover. They first lost to OpTic Gaming, and then to Team Liquid, and things were looking very bad for this team. However, they did manage to push the match with Liquid into overtime, which made all the difference, ceding them one point.
They did the same in their match with G2 Esports, again pushing the match into overtime, and taking one point despite their loss to that team. They now had a total of three points despite two losses. It is an interesting way to pave a path into the Quarter Finals of an event, if nothing else.
That brings us to one of the reverses that are so infuriating in CS:GO. Gambit had already lost hard to two teams, and then went on to face FaZe Clan. They were playing badly, and should have had no chance at all. You can imagine everyone’s surprise, when, against the odds, they actually won. FaZe only managed to take three rounds in the entire match, which makes one think that we’d better not give them that ‘superteam’ status any more. It seems the ‘gods’ are mortal after all.
Gambit were flush from this victory when they went on to take on Renegades in Inferno. Renegades made a tough fight of the match, but Gambit still one, eventually. They now had eight points, and had qualified for the Quarter Finals of this season of Intel Extreme Masters. This just goes to show that even a single point won in overtime can alter the course of an event.
The second match of the day is Cloud9 Vs Gambit Esports.
It’s been a hard road to the top for both these teams, as you’ve just seen. These teams have never faced each other with their current rosters. It’s a very interesting fact that both these teams last changed their rosters on the same day. Gambit Esports have played seventy eight matches with their present team, and were only able to win forty two of those. This gives them a win-rate of fifty four percent per match, and fifty two percent per round.
On the other hand, Cloud9 took part in one hundred and seven matches in the same period, winning seventy one matches. This gives them an above average win-rate of sixty six percent per match, and fifty six percent per round.
Cloud9 have hardly been playing in top form, and Gambit have done extremely well in their last two matches. Nevertheless, Cloud9 do have a better chance of winning this next face-off. Each team will get their chance to ban a map, and if Cloud9 have the good sense to ban Nuke, they have a very good chance against Gambit Esports. Mirage is the only other map in which Gambit have a better chance of winning than Cloud9. With odds running to 1.83 on Cloud9, they’d make for reasonable earnings.
These are the most carefully formulated betting and match predictions, by analysts who thoroughly study team histories and playing styles. Stay tuned for more match-by-match betting analyses for this event. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest on your favorite Esports titles.