Intel Extreme Masters

Intel Extreme Masters is one of the biggest series of esport tournaments in the world. It's a global phenomenon that's sponsored by Intel and held in many different countries across the world. It's owned by Electronic Sports League (ESL), a Germany-based esports organizer that's known for having multiple gaming tournaments under its belt.

The idea for it was conceived in 2006 after ESL realized the potential of a worldwide esports event. It received funds from Intel and was named Intel Extreme Masters. The competition has small events throughout the year that lead to the "Grand Final" event, held at CeBIT in Hanover, Germany.

Everything you need to know about the Intel Extreme Masters

Everything you need to know about the Intel Extreme Masters

In the beginning, it only had tournaments for Counterstrike 1.6, but as of now, it's held tournaments for a total of 11 games, two of them being Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and StarCraft II.

Intel Extreme Masters tournaments have been held in cities such as Katowice, Toronto, Guangzhou, New York City, and Dubai. Intel Extreme Masters's most recent tournament for Counterstrike: Global Offensive had a grand prize of $100,000.

Everything you need to know about the Intel Extreme Masters
All about CS: GO

All about CS: GO

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, or CS:GO, is one of the most viewed and played Intel Extreme Masters esport tournaments. In 2020, it got over 1 million views. CS:GO is a free first-person shooter (FPS) game that was released in 2012.

The original Counter-Strike game was a mod of Valve's popular game Half-life. Today, there are four games in the CS series.

Developed by Valve and Hidden Path Entertainment, the game involves two teams, Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists, fighting against each other in different game modes. The game is still hugely popular in the gaming community and it receives regular updates by Valve.

In 2018, Valve introduced a battle royale mode called "Danger Zone." There are 9 other game modes, with the most popular one being "Bomb Defusal." The game has received several awards in the esports industry, including the Game Awards for 2017, 2019, and 2020.

The game is the fourth game in the CS series and it's available on WIndows, macOS, Xbox 360, and PS3. Since its release, Valve has introduced loads of new features, including new maps, weapons, game modes, and skins. Skins helped form a "virtual economy" in the game which ultimately resulted in esports betting and gambling.

CS:GO Esports Betting and Tournaments

CS:GO tournaments that have the largest prize pools are called Major Championships. They started with a prize pool of $250,000 USD and have gone up to $1,000,000 USD. Intel Extreme Masters has held one of the Counter Strike Majors from 2008 to 2012 but it was for CS 1.6.

Before the release of CS:GO, the series' future in the esports industry was uncertain due to many players around the world not wanting to play CS 1.6 in a competitive environment. When CS:GO launched in 2012, it revived the esports spirit in the CS community.

While the initial version of the game still had its shortcomings, Valve continuously put out patches to improve it. The first CS:GO Major Championship was funded by Valve and took place in Sweden at DreamHack Winter 2013.

The game has had it fair share of controversy, though. Many players have been found to be cheating but they're banned by "Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC)" as soon as they're discovered. Players who are found to be cheating at tournaments are permanently banned and sometimes removed from their teams.

When weapon skins were introduced, online esport betting sites were created for the purpose of wagering skins. This soon devolved into underage gambling because of which Valve and gambling sites received two lawsuits.

All about CS: GO
Intel Extreme Masters Betting Odds

Intel Extreme Masters Betting Odds

There are three types of betting odds:

  • Fractional odds
  • Decimal odds
  • Moneyline odds

Intel Extreme Masters offers a variety of options for those who want to bet on their favorite or the underdog. The most common type of betting odds that Intel Extreme Masters has are decimal odds and moneyline odds. The difference between the two is that the former is used in Europe and the latter in America.

At the IEM Dallas tournament, "Looking for Org" turned out to be the underdog, having odds of 301.00. Team Vitality and Astralis both had odds of 18.00 which made them the safest bet of the tournament.

In the ongoing Intel Extreme Masters Season XVII, Astralis has odds of 3.82 and Natus Vincere has odds of 1.26.

Chances of success are high when you know what odds to bet on. Betting on the most likely outcome and your favorite team may seem like the best option, but the more sensible thing to do is to bet for value.

There are different online esport betting sites where you can look for the best odds. There's not a big difference between the values across these sites, but the small differences can accumulate to give significant returns.

Intel Extreme Masters Betting Odds
Intel Extreme Master's Best Teams

Intel Extreme Master's Best Teams

Astralis and Natus Vincere are regular players of the tournament. In the 2020 tournament that took place in Katowice, Natus Vincere bagged the first prize of $250,000 while Astralis got the 3rd prize of $40,000.

Team WE (World Elite) is another regular that has won a total of 3 tournaments since 2011. The team is a China-based esports organization.

In the 2017 Intel Extreme Masters tournament that took place in Australia, SK Gaming took the trophy after four days of CS:GO. The team fought against FaZe Clan and won 3 out of 4 matches.

Flash Wolves, or FW, a Taiwanese esports team that was created in April 2013. Its original name was “yoe IRONMEN” and wasn’t changed to Flash Wolves until August 2013. They’re considered one of the best teams in League of Legends and won the Intel Extreme Masters Season XI World Championship.

Gambit Esports is another esports organization that’s known to be one of the top teams in League of Legends. It’s a Russian team that’s based in the United Kingdom. They won several titles in the Intel Extreme Masters from 2013 to 2014. They haven’t announced any plans to participate in future Intel Extreme Masters tournaments.

Intel Extreme Master's Best Teams
Intel Extreme Masters’ Biggest Moments

Intel Extreme Masters’ Biggest Moments

It would be a disservice to the esports industry to not mention the very first Intel Extreme Masters tournament when teams from 24 different countries played Counter-Strike and World of Warcraft III. The prize pool was €160,000.

The Poland-based Team Pentagram and H2K Gaming fought for the final prize and the former took home €40,000. It was a fierce competition that also had Fnatic and SK Gaming participate in it, two teams that would go on to compete in future tournaments as well.

With each season, Intel Extreme Masters expanded not just in terms of games, but also countries and cities. Starcraft 2 was introduced in Season V and it also had a League of Legends invitational tournaments which got fans excited about the next season.

After the invitational tournament, League of Legends was finally introduced in Season VI. In Season XI, for the first time in the tournament’s history, the final event took place in Katowice over the span of two weekends.

Intel Extreme Masters’ Biggest Moments
Where to Bet and the Best Strategy to Bet on IEM

Where to Bet and the Best Strategy to Bet on IEM

There are many different esport betting sites where you can bet on Intel Extreme Masters’ tournaments. Here are a few sites that you can use:

  • Cyber.bet
  • Betaway Sports
  • 1xBet
  • 20 Bet

Betting on esports Is a very simple process. You pick the site you want to use, look at the odds and place a wager on the team you’re siding with, deposit your money, and then wait to see who wins.

The best strategy to follow is to analyze the odds. Remember that the higher the odds, the lower the chance that the team will win. A team with higher odds would give greater returns, but it would have a low chance of winning.

Another thing to keep an eye on is the team’s history. How have they been performing in the past matches? These are a few factors that you should include in your betting strategy to increase your chances of winning.

Where to Bet and the Best Strategy to Bet on IEM