For the first time in the history of the Intel® Grand Slam (IGS), we’ve reached the point where a team can complete the $1,000,000 obstacle course. None other than FaZe Clan are currently one tournament victory away from winning four out of ten IGS-eligible events, which would make them the first ever winners of the massive bonus payout. While they are in the pole position, Astralis are hot on their heels and will be looking to disrupt karrigan & Co.’s run.
The current front runners with three trophies out of their last eight IGS tournaments now have two more chances remaining to complete their Grand Slam run. Thanks to their most recent victories at Intel Extreme Masters Sydney and ESL One Belo Horizonte, a first place finish at either ESL One Cologne 2018 or DreamHack Masters Stockholm 2018 could earn them the huge pay raise.
But let’s not forget that ALL other teams are incentivised to do their utmost to stop FaZe from completing their run. Should FaZe go all the way at ESL One Cologne, their Grand Final opponents would receive $100,000 for stopping their IGS attempt, if they manage to foil them at the last hurdle. It’s now or never for FaZe who need to cash in on their chances before their ESL One New York 2017 victory become ineligible, which would set them back to 2/4 IGS trophies.
Things will get even spicier if Astralis out of all teams end up claiming the ESL One Cologne trophy. The Danes are currently FaZe’s biggest rival for the IGS title, sitting on two tournament victories out of the last four attempts - DreamHack Masters Marseille and ESL Pro League Season 7. A win at ESL One Cologne would not only put them on equal footing with FaZe, it would also grant a total of FIVE chances to complete their IGS run. Not to mention that Astralis could also cash in on the $100,000 that are on the table for defeating FaZe Clan in the Grand Finals. If things end up playing out this way, we’ll have two teams sitting at three wins, which would be truly unprecedented.
Of course the likes of Fnatic, MIBR and Ninjas in Pyjamas also have a chance to propel themselves into IGS contention with a great performance at ESL One Cologne, which raises the stakes even more. Who’s gonna make the most of their chances?