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The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive esports scene has often been characterized rather monotonously since the tournaments struggled to differentiate between one another. In turn, one accolade title stands out, which is attributed to the Intel Grand Slam that was launched in 2017. So, let’s find out what is the importance, aim, and the origin of the award in our report.
The Landscape is Full
CS: GO is one of the most recognized and celebrated games in the entire history of the esports, whereas the entire Counter-Strike franchise is celebrating its 20thanniversary this June. The popularity of Valve’s game has allowed the external infrastructure to proliferate, so that the third-party organizers may be free to set their own prize pools and sizes, unlike some game creators who regulate these features, including Nintendo and Respawn Entertainment.
In some sense, this model also caused the overwhelmed calendars of events, which made the differentiation between tournaments a real challenge for the players.
Basically, a recap of the current CS: GO esports scene indicates that a limited number of events, including Valve’s Majors present at least something different with each time they’re held.
The typical examples of such tournaments include the infamous ESL One: Cologne, which hosted dozens of Counter-Strike events at the Lanxess Arena hall. The same iconic title is held by IEM Katowice that was the first professional event in the Counter-Strike esports timeline. Of course, Valve’s Majors with their large $1 million prize pools are the most tensely competed championships throughout the year.
Michal Blicharz aka CARMAC, a Vice President of Pro Gaming at ESL revealed that ESL realized that they should work in the direction of the prestigious accolade, which would appeal to players more than a single week’s performance, both in terms of prize pool and status.
Through the course of dozens of championships held throughout the year, the emerging accolade in the CS: GO industry emerged, which is the CS: GO’s prestigious Intel Grand Slam.
In 2017, ESL announced Intel Grand Slam while securing a partnership with Intel. The series was designed to crown a single team, which could win four designated ESL and DreamHack Masters Championships through 10 consecutive events. The winning team would be awarded a $1 million prize money split among the players.
The intentions of this initiative were simple: to make each event special and noteworthy, at the same time, creating a broader chronicle of the CS: GO esports competition. The first recorded Intel Grand Slam accolade was won by Danish organization Astralis, which first met the requirements by finishing a year of the in-game dominance and superiority.
The mentioned triumph of Astralis was performed throughout the year of fierce competitions and victories achieved by tooth and nails. This achievement caused the perception of the Intel Grand Slam as something impossible in the nearest time. However, Team Liquid emerged, which secured the Season 2 prize in just a bit more than two months, which was the time unrivaled result of the CS: GO esports scene, which lasted for some time after that.
After Team Liquid made something unimaginable, there were numerous doubts that Intel Grand Slam would ever return because of obvious financial implications of such a decision. However, CARMAC confirmed that the capital was not the case for backpedaling with the third season.
According to his words, ESL aimed to create memories and emotions, which was achieved by the created environment for them to happen. He underlined that the money was completely secondary, meaning that the moment of triumph of both Astralis and Team Liquid was groundbreaking for ESL members, who were true esports fan.
The rapidity in which Team Liquid managed to achieve the necessary requirements was obviously outstanding, yet this speed had partially reduced the significance of Intel Grand Slam accolade. During the following weeks of their victory, ESL announced Season 3 with an updated set of rules.
The newest changes were focused on the shift in the number of needed victories, which increased to six from four of the consecutive tournaments. What is more, teams could still achieve it by winning four championships, although one of them must be either IEM Katowice or ESL One: Cologne.
As CARMAC pointed out, these events from the Masters series are iconic for the entire CS: GO scene. So, if a team is unable to validate its status on that stage, should it really be perceived as the best team in the world?
It was also revealed that Intel Grand Slam would develop simultaneously with the progression of the entire CS: GO scene in order to match with the ongoing competitive demands.
CARMAC emphasized that he wouldn’t make the entire concept of requirements to easy to omit three victories annually, at the same time, avoiding the addition of obsessive rules that are impossible to complete.
What best describes the real significance of Intel Grand Slam is the status of the accolade. The members of a Team Liquid were asked to shed light on how they associate their title after IEM Chicago. For instance, adreN replied that it was hard to say because of such a speed of their triumph.
It doesn’t truly matter what the perception of the Intel Grand Slam is, since the accolade functions as the ultimate prize for highlighting the best teams in the CS: GO scene. CARMAC expressed his concerns that the design of Intel Grand Slam was accurate to omit subjective assessment criteria for the CS: GO teams.
Even though the award will be further associated with subjectivity, ESL and Intel would also pursue the maintenance of the accolade.
The Intel Grand Slam, as suggested by cs go betting sites, will further be a metric for conceptualizing the narrative over each ESL or DreamHack Masters tournament.
At last, CARMAC once again mentions that the entire Intel Grand Slam idea revolves around memory, so esports fans will always keep those heroic Astralis and Liquid squads. Let’s hope that more teams will re-create these fantastic experiences in the following seasons.