What just happened at IEM Sydney?
Last weekend saw the largest gathering of just about everybody who "totally banged your mom bro" in Sydney. Australia's largest city hosted IEM Sydney, one of the most anticipated CounterStrike Global Offensive tournaments around.
The event brings 16 squads from across the World to compete for the ultimate $250 000 first place prize between May 1st and 6th. only 8 teams were expected to survive the first round of games, to later be split equally between "Group A" and "Group B" for the remainder of the tournament. Each group's first place winner would then be put against each-other for the final round.
This year's tournament proved to be quite exciting, with a number of upsets rocking the teams early on. Faze and C9, two of the World's top teams had a tougher start than expected, while SK Gaming was eliminated. Much of these victories were attributed to the unexpectedly high performance by TyLoo, as well a strong showing by the up-and-coming Renegades team. SK, which had just recently acquired a new player, seemed totally unbalanced, causing their early elimination.
The American FaZe Clan, which quickly recovered from their setback against Renegades early on, went on to beat Grayhound, Cloud 9, Fnatic, and Tyloo in a dramatic come back to face Astralis on the May 6th finals. Each team was allowed to pick two maps (Cache and Train for FaZE, Overpass and Inferno for Astralis) while Dust II was reserved for the 5th deciding match.
Despite an initially strong performance from Astralis, the American FaZe managed three victories in a row taking home the $250 000 prize; with a final score of 19 22 16 to 17 20 14. Much of the credit for their astounding success goes to players NiKo and Xizt who performed exceptionally well. Xizt, originally a stand-in for Olofmeister, now actually holds the title for most wins by any CS:GO player ever. Guardian still managed to win hearts and minds, however, going home with the MVP title.
One thing's for sure: fans were in for a real treat, with these two great teams going head to head on Sunday.