Intel Grand Slam race heats up as Gambit secure second title
Gambit have become a genuine contender to win Intel Grand Slam Season 3 after a flawless performance in the playoffs of IEM Summer, where they brushed aside Evil Geniuses, G2, and OG without losing a map in order to be crowned champions.
With their second ESL Pro Tour trophy from the last four events held by ESL and DreamHack, Gambit have equalled the tally of Natus Vincere and Astralis and need just two more titles to grab the grand prize.
Abay "Hobbit" Khasenov and co. are in a more favorable position than their rivals, though, as they have six events left to complete their Grand Slam, in comparison to four for Natus Vincere and just two for Astralis. Both CIS sides have already won a Masters Championship event (IEM Katowice, IEM Cologne), which allows them to complete the "short" Intel Grand Slam with four titles. The $1,000,000 prize can also be won without a Master Championship, but it requires winning six "regular" Pro Tour events.
Astralis needs to win the upcoming Masters Champions event, IEM Cologne, as well as the first event after the tournament break, ESL Pro League S14, in order to complete their Intel Grand Slam before the IEM Beijing victory will be removed from contention - as only the last 10 tournaments played are taken into account.
Heroic is the fourth team in the running, having won ESL Pro League Season 13, while mousesports' addition to the list is only technical, as the international squad would have to bring back one of Finn "karrigan" Andersen, Chris "chrisJ" de Jong, or Özgür "woxic" Eker and win the next three ESL Pro Tour events in a row in order to build on their ESL Pro League S10 success and win the Grand Slam.
The Intel Grand Slam Season 3 running currently looks as follows:
Gambit - 2 wins (1 Masters), 6 remaining chances
Natus Vincere - 2 wins (1 Masters), 4 remaining chances
Astralis - 2 wins (0 Masters), 2 remaining chances
Heroic - 1 win (0 Masters), 7 remaining chances
mousesports * - 1 win (0 Masters), 3 remaining chances
* mousesports no longer have the 3-man core from the EPL S10 win
Intel Grand Slam Season 3 was put on hold in May of 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic fragmented the CS:GO circuit into regionalized tournaments, but restarted at the end of the year with IEM Global Challenge being the first online event to be considered for the competition.
Below, you can find all of the events that are a part of the current season, including those whose results already expired and those set to take place before the end of the year:
IEM Chicago 2019 - Liquid
ESL One New York 2019 - Evil Geniuses
DreamHack Masters Malmö 2019 - fnatic
IEM Beijing 2019 - Astralis
ESL Pro League S10 Finals - mousesports
IEM Katowice 2020 * - Natus Vincere
IEM Global Challenge 2020 - Astralis
IEM Katowice 2021 * - Gambit
ESL Pro League S13 - Heroic
DreamHack Masters Spring 2021 - Natus Vincere
IEM Summer 2021 - Gambit
IEM Cologne 2021 - July 6-18
ESL Pro League Season 14 - August 16 - September 12
IEM Fall - September 28 - October 10
IEM Winter - Dec 2 - 12
* Represents a Masters Championship Event