Over the weekend, a group of professional Counter-Strike: GO teams from around the world competed in the finals of the Intel Extreme Masters
Olympic Park Sydney tournament at Qudos Bank Arena.
Four of the eight invited teams made it past the group stage played earlier on in the week; Australia’s Chiefs and Renegades were knocked out, thus not getting the opportunity to play a competitive match on the main stage in front of the home crowd. That didn’t stop the thousands of spectators piling into the arena to see SK Gaming, FaZe Clan, OpTic Gaming and Astralis battle it out in what was the country’s biggest Esports tournament to date, offering a prize pool of $200,000 USD.
Saturday’s first semi-final match saw SK Gaming take on OpTic Gaming. SK Gaming took the series with a convincing 2-0 win, dominating OpTic Gaming on Train 16-1, and then following it up 16-7 on Overpass. Over in the second semi-final match of the day, FaZe Clan went up against Astralis, with the former coming out on top 2-1. FaZe Clan scrapped through on the classic Cobblestone map 16-13, but Astralis fought back the next round on Nuke taking that round 16-11. With the series tied up, FaZe pushed through on train where they managed 16-9, securing a spot in the grand final up against SK Gaming.
After a few days of fantastic Counter-Strike: GO matches, Sunday’s grand final continued the trend. Although the final series’ score might seem a bit one-sided overall, the matches were exciting and quite close. In the end, SK Gaming came out as the champions with a series win 3-1.
SK Gaming vs FaZe Clan 3-1
16 – 12 (Train)
16 – 7 (Cache)
13 – 16 (Inferno)
16 – 11 (Overpass)
Here are some highlight plays from the finals:
While there were some great Counter-Strike: GO games on display from the top teams from all around the world, Intel Extreme Masters Sydney was also an important event for Esports in Australia. Hopefully it shows that we can draw in the crowds when given the opportunity.