IEM Beijing 2019 will be the best CS:GO event to come to mainland China to date. Boasting several top teams, a large prize pool, and a chance to add a trophy to your ESL Pro Tour cabinet, IEM Beijing will be a pivotal end of the year tournament. IEM Beijing will feature eight teams looking to hoist the trophy and secure their spot at IEM Katowice 2020, but only half of the field look to have a chance at first place.
- Group A Match #1: Astralis vs VG (4am GMT)
- Group A Match #2: 100 Thieves vs ENCE (4am GMT)
- Group B Match #1: Vitality vs TYLOO (7.50am GMT)
- Group B Match #2: Faze Clan vs Evil Geniuses (7.50am GMT)
- Astralis (invited)
- Evil Geniuses (invited)
- FaZe Clan (invited)
- ENCE (invited)
- Team Vitality (invited)
- Mousesports (qualified)
- ViCi Gaming (qualified)
- TyLoo (qualified)
The team list is missing Team Liquid as the North Americans decided to skip the Chinese event to focus on ESL Pro League finals. Their replacement came in the form of Finnish ENCE, but this is the weakest iteration of ENCE to date. This will be Richard "shox" Papillon's second tournament with Team Vitality as the French veteran placed second to Fnatic at DreamHack Masters Malmo 2019 on his new team. EG are coming off of a big win at StarLadder Series 8, but teams such as FaZe and Mouz have little going in the way of positive news recently.
Much like ESL One NYC 2019, IEM Beijing will feature two groups of four teams that feed into a single-elimination playoff stage. Only the playoff stage will be played in front of a live crowd, but this allows for a much more substantial group stage (all matches are best of threes) and a best of five grand final.
Thursday will see one winner advance to the playoffs and one team eliminated from each group, and Friday will see the last two teams qualify for the main event. Saturday will feature both semi-finals and Sunday will the best of five grand final.
The event will be held in the Beijing University Students Stadium, but unfortunately, tickets are sold out at the moment.
1st - $125,000 IEM Katowice 2020 invite
2nd - $50,000
While IEM Beijing features the usual $200,000 prize pool, it also features a guaranteed invite for first place. While all teams in attendance would prefer to win, this frees up any doubts about attending one of the staple events on the calendar.
Intel Grand Slam Season 3
Intel and ESL have worked to make the Intel Grand Slam even harder to win by requiring winners to win at least one designated master's level tournament along with three other wins, or six master's level tournaments in a ten tournament span. Currently, Team Liquid, Fnatic, and Evil Geniuses are all tied with one master's level win apiece, but EG has the current best chance because they are the most recent winners (ESL One NYC) and will be the only out of the trio to play at Beijing.
This will be an important storyline to follow as ESL and Intel have seemed to put a lot of investment into improving the prestige of the Grand Slam.