IEM Chicago 2018

Intel Extreme Masters XIII Chicago – Preview & What to Expect

By: EsportsOnly.Com
Nov 05, 2018

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Intel Extreme Masters XIII Chicago – Preview & What to Expect

Intel Extreme Masters XIII Chicago is a premier CS:GO event scheduled to take place between November 6th – 11th. The tournament brings together 16 of the world’s best teams, has a prize pool of $250.000 and will offer plenty of exciting matches, both for viewers and CS:GO bettors alike.


Intel Extreme Masters XIII Chicago participants

Intel Extreme Masters XIII Chicago is attended by 16 teams from all over the world:

IEM XIII Chicago Event Format

Intel Extreme Masters XIII Chicago takes place in 2 stages. For the Group Stage, the teams will be divided into 2 groups of 8. Both of these groups will be played in a GSL format (double elimination bracket), with all 8 teams starting in the Upper Bracket.

The top 3 teams from each group advance to the Playoffs Stage. The winner of each group qualifies directly to the Semifinals while the other 2 teams qualify for the Quarterfinals.

The Playoffs Stage is played in a single elimination bracket format and has 3 rounds of matches: Quarterfinals (2 matches), Semifinals (2 matches) and a Grand Final.

Apart from the first round of Group Stage matches (Bo1) and the Grand Final (Bo5), every match is a Bo3 series.

The groups at IEM XIII

Group A

  • Astralis
  • MVP PK
  • North
  • NRG Esports
  • MIBR
  • Renegades
  • Team
  • FaZe Clan

The teams with the highest qualification chances in this group are Astralis, FaZe Clan and MIBR.


Intel Extreme Masters Chicago – Group A

Group B

  • Natus Vincere
  • eUnited
  • Fnatic
  • BIG
  • mousesports
  • Luminosity Gaming
  • Team Liquid

The teams with the highest qualification chances in this group are Natus Vincere, Team Liquid and mousesports.


Intel Extreme Masters Chicago – Group B

IEM Chicago Prize Pool Distribution

Intel Extreme Masters XIII Chicago offers a $250.000 prize pool, which will be divided among the 16 participants in the following way:

  • 1st place: $100K
  • 2nd place: $42K
  • 3rd – 4th place: $20K
  • 5th – 6th place: $10K
  • 7th – 8th place: $6K
  • 9th – 12th place: $5K
  • 13th – 16th place: $4K

Team analysis

Here’s a quick analysis of the main contenders at Intel Extreme Masters XIII Chicago.


Overall, Astralis is probably still the strongest team in the world, even though at its last CS:GO tournament, Blast Pro Series: Copenhagen 2018, device and his squad finished 3rd, losing to Natus Vincere and Ninjas in Pyjamas in the Round-Robin.

Astralis Roster

Going into Intel Extreme Masters XIII Chicago, Astralis should win Group A with ease and get at least a top 4 placement as a result. It is not yet clear whether Astralis is still the same team that won the title at FACEIT Major: London 2018 just 5-6 weeks ago, but in Bo3 series the Danes are probably still a very difficult challenge for anyone.

Natus Vincere

Na’Vi is still the number 2 team in CS:GO in spite of winning at Blast Pro Series: Copenhagen 2018. The entire roster has been performing well recently, with one exception: s1mple. And that’s because he’s been delivering god tier results for his team, which is one of the reasons why Na’Vi is still one of the best competitors in the world.

Going into Intel Extreme Masters XIII Chicago, Na’Vi is expected to place 1st – 2nd in Group B and 1st – 4th overall.

Team Liquid

Over the last few months, Team Liquid has been a top contender at every single event it attended. TACO and his teammates placed 2nd at ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier 2018, 3rd – 4th at FACEIT Major: London 2018, 2nd at ESL One: New York 2018 and 3rd – 4th at EPICENTER 2018.

Liquid’s main opponents in Group B are Natus Vincere and mousesports. Almost for certain, it will be one of these 3 teams who will win the group. Based on who wins the race, Liquid could get a top 4 or a top 6 at this event.

FaZe Clan

Although it had a few months of average results, finishing 5th – 8th or even 7th – 8th in 4 consecutive tournaments, FaZe Clan has been showing signs of strength again in recent weeks, winning EPICENTER 2018 after 2 formidable 2 – 0 victories against Team Liquid (in the Semifinals) and Natus Vincere (in the Grand Final).

Faze Clan csgo 19

At the latest CS:GO event it attended, Blast Pro Series: Copenhagen 2018, FaZe Clan struggled a bit against the world’s best teams and finished 4th out of 6 competitors. However, every one of those competitors was top tier and the matches were Bo1s. So I can’t really draw a clear conclusion from this result.

In principle, FaZe Clan is back to its former strength and while it may still have consistency issues, the team should be regarded as a top contender at Intel Extreme Masters XIII Chicago


This is another fairly strong team but I do expect it to struggle against most of the other top opponents. And that’s because it recently went through a roster change, benching Snax and bringing back STYKO from Cloud9.

mousesports did win a tournament recently, namely ESL One: New York 2018, by defeating Team Liquid in the Grand Final. However, after that success the team immediately went to the other extreme, finishing 9th – 11th at StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 6.

It is not clear at all what the new floor and the ceiling are for mousesports in its new formation but this tournament will certainly give us important clues on that. Personally, I expect this team to get a top 3 result in Group B and then a 5th – 6th place finish overall.


MIBR is still a great team in spite of its disastrous result at Blast Pro Series: Copenhagen 2018, where it crashed and burned against every single opponent, going 0 W – 5 L in the Round-Robin. Based on specific map scores and the fact that every match was a Bo1, I’m convinced that this poor result was a fluke.

Going into Intel Extreme Masters XIII Chicago, I expect MIBR to finish 2nd or 3rd in Group A and then place 5th – 6th overall.

Other teams to keep an eye on

Apart from the 6 teams mentioned above, you should also pay attention to NRG Esports in Group and BIG in Group B. Both of these competitors have a lot of potential and if their key players perform at maximum capacity, they could potentially cause some upsets. If that happens, the most likely teams to get replaced in the Playoffs are MIBR (by NRG Esports, in Group A) and mousesports (by BIG in Group B).

In principle, the 6 teams previously analyzed should still prevail, but make sure you follow the tournament closely and assess the strength of each team based not as much on past results, but on its current form.

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