Intel Extreme Masters has announced its 4 invites for the Global Challenge starting on 15th December. A total of 8 teams will compete, 4 of whom earnt their place fighting through previous competitions and the other 4 are invites based upon their current ESL ranking.
The four invites are Astralis, Natus Vincere, Evil Geniuses & Complexity. With Vitality, Chaos & FURIA winning places at the the recent IEM Beijing-Haidian tournament, and Heroic who won the DreamHack Open Fall event. The event promises some matches to not miss, with ESL's ranking for all teams being 15 or under. Vitality, Heroic & Na'Vi are the current top 3 in the leaderboards, swiftly followed by Astralis & Complexity. The only outlier being Chaos, the lowest ranked at 15, however their recent run ins and wins over Evil Geniuses, FURIA & 100 Thieves show the team isn't just here to make up numbers, and should be able to pull as many punches as they need to secure the highest they can. But with a prize pool as high as $500,000, all teams will be eager for their slice of the winnings, which is marked down as $200,000 for the winners, $100,000 for runners up, then the next 3 & 4 getting a still impressive $50,000, the worst possible result of 8th, will still net the team $20,000 just for managing to qualify for the Global Challenge to start with and bothering to show up on the server.
The Global Challenge is unfortunately another event that has fallen victim to the ongoing pandemic, rendering it another online event, rather than the hoped for return to LAN. The tournament will last through 15th to 20th December, featuring double-elimination best of 3 matches group stage, progressing to a single elimination best of 3 playoffs, with the grand final being another long haul best of 5, which all these teams are familiar with, so there'll be no excuses and nothing held back in that grand final match, whoever gets there!