The atmosphere in the arena? is tense; all eyes are directed towards the two huge screens on which the matches can be watched. In between the screens two eSport teams are seated. They give everything in order to win. Cheers can be heard everywhere in the arena. Fans are enthusiastically joining in and want their favourite team to win the main prize. This is how the last match of the IEM 2017 in Katowice began, and it ended with an absolutely exciting CS:GO tournament.
In Katowice for the fifth time
Over two consecutive weekends, high-level eSports players participated in the top-level Intel® Extreme Masters. For the fifth time in a row, the tournament took place in the Spodek Arena in Katowice, Poland. Apart from Counterstrike, League of Legends and Starcraft II were played. This year, the prize pool consisted of USD 650,000, out of this amount USD 250,000 were awarded to Starcraft II, and USD 250,000 were awarded to Counter-Strike. A prize money of USD 150,000 was offered for League of Legends. League of Legends was played from 25 to 26 February whereas CS:GO was played a week later, from 3 to 5 March.
League of Legends Champions
On the first day of the tournament, eight teams competed against each other. After a few tight and nerve-racking matches it was announced which teams would compete in the play-offs on the following day. ROX Tigers, H2k-Gaming, Flash Wolves and G2 Esports faced each other on the second day of the tournament. In the first match of the day it was G2 Esports against ROX Tigers. Although the Tigers showed their claws and managed to decide one match for themselves, they did not stand a chance against G2. The European team gave everything and managed to secure themselves a place in the finals. In the second semifinals, the Flash Wolves, who dominated their group stage, competed against H2k-Gaming. The first match between the teams was very strategic and lasted more than one hour. Following the first victory of H2k it looked as if they would manage to defeat the wolves. But then the Flash Wolves fought back and secured themselves a place in the finals. So the big League of Legends finals was a contest between G2 Esports and Flash Wolves. G2 fought hard to win the title, but in the end Flash Wolves were stronger and therefore won the IEM World Championship for the first time.
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The CS:GO Masters at the IEM
Eight teams gave their very best, in order to end the last weekend with a bang. On 3 March the first CS:GO day started with an exciting match between North and the Immortals. The Norther team suffered a defeat by the Immortals although they had fought until the very end. Shortly after, Natus Vincere was taken by surprise by Astralis and missed their chance to get into the finals. With a victory in sight, Immortals wanted to prove themselves against FaZe Clan in the tournament. They underestimated their competitors and had to throw in the towel in the end. Immortals then competed against FaZe, but this time the team had underestimated their competitor and lost against FaZe. FaZe and Astralis both moved into the finals. The Danish team quickly finished off their opponent Heroic in the Play-Offs. The two stringest CS:GO Teams at the IEM, FAZe und Astralis, faced each other in the finals. During the last match of the evening, the arena was on fire. The two teams battled it out until the last minute. The suspense continued until the very end, when Astralis defeated FaZe.
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The Starcraft 2 match was equally exciting. With five out of eight players, the Terran members proved their dominance in the play-offs. In the finals TY and Stats competed against each other. Following a tough match TY managed to defeat the Stats. And this is how the IEM 2017 in Katowice ended: with a lot of cheers and excitement. We look forward to what 2017 will bring us in terms of eSport - the year has only just begun!