The countdown to the IEM World Championship's Counter-Strike tournament has begun, so we have prepared a viewer's guide with everything you need to know about the tournament, including the schedule and the casters' lineup.
The 11th edition of the IEM World Championship will come to a close with the Counter-Strike tournament, featuring 12 top teams and a $250,000 prize pool.
The participating sides have been drawn into two groups of six teams, who will face off in best-of-one matches. The group winners will automatically progress to the semi-finals, while the second and the third-placed finishers will play a match to determine the final two teams reaching the last-four stage.
fnatic won the 2016 IEM World Championship
The first round to kick off the event will see the current Major champions Astralis take on OpTiC, and fnatic go up against Ninjas in Pyjamas in an exciting Swedish derby. During the group stage, there will be at least two matches being played simultaneously.
Below you can find the group draw and the schedule in full:
|Group A||Group B|
Wednesday, March 1 11:00 OpTic vs. Astralis BO1 11:00 NiP vs. fnatic BO1 12:15 NiP vs. Astralis BO1 12:15 FaZe vs. Immortals BO1 13:30 OpTic vs. Immortals BO1 13:30 FaZe vs. fnatic BO1 14:45 Astralis vs. Immortals BO1 14:45 OpTic vs. fnatic BO1 16:00 NiP vs. FaZe BO1 16:00 Astralis vs. fnatic BO1 17:15 NiP vs. Immortals BO1 17:15 OpTic vs. FaZe BO1 18:30 Immortals vs. fnatic BO1 18:30 FaZe vs. Astralis BO1 18:30 OpTic vs. NiP BO1 Thursday, March 2nd 11:00 Natus Vincere vs. Virtus.pro BO1 11:00 Cloud9 vs. SK BO1 12:15 Natus Vincere vs. SK BO1 12:15 North vs. Heroic BO1 13:30 North vs. Virtus.pro BO1 13:30 Cloud9 vs. Heroic BO1 14:45 SK vs. Heroic BO1 14:45 Cloud9 vs. Virtus.pro BO1 16:00 Natus Vincere vs. North BO1 16:00 SK vs. Virtus.pro BO1 17:15 Cloud9 vs. North BO1 17:15 Natus Vincere vs. Heroic BO1 18:30 Heroic vs. Virtus.pro BO1 18:30 North vs. SK BO1 18:30 Cloud9 vs. Natus Vincere BO1 Friday, March 3rd 12:45 Quarter-final #1 BO3 16:35 Quarter-final #2 BO3 Saturday, March 4th 12:30 Semi-final #1 BO3 16:20 Semi-final #2 BO3 Sunday, March 5th 18:15 Grand final BO5
The prize distribution for the tournament has yet to be revealed by ESL. The following broadcast crew will be doing play-by-play commentary and will be breaking down the action live from Katowice:
O. J. Borg - Stage Host
Alex "Machine" Richardson - Desk Host
Mitch "Uber" Leslie - Reporter
Pala "Mantrousse" Gilroy Sen - Facebook Live