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DeKay: IEM Sydney to use Swiss format, best-of-five final

The upcoming eight-team IEM Sydney Counter-Strike event will utilize the Swiss format, and the final will be a best-of-five series, according to sources with knowledge of the tournament structure.

The ESL announced the $200,000 tournament, which will take place May 6-7 at the Qudos Bank Arena, earlier this month. ESL used the Swiss format at ESL One New York and IEM Oakland last year, and the format was also utilized at the ELEAGUE Major in January. In the Swiss format, the field of teams plays best-of-one matches, and a team advances if it wins three matches before losing three. Teams are always matched up with teams that have the same win/loss record, and no team will play the same team twice (except for possible tiebreakers).

Four teams will advance to the playoffs, which will be best-of-three semifinals and a best-of-five final. Most Counter-Strike finals are a best-of-three, though this month’s IEM Katowice was a best-of-five, in which Astralis beat Faze Clan 3-1.

The Swiss format is a change from what was used at IEM Katowice, in which 12 teams were divided into two groups and played a round robin, with the winner of each group advancing directly to the semifinals and the second and third place teams also reaching a six-team playoff.

Seven teams are confirmed in attendance, including Renegades, Astralis, OpTic, SK Gaming, North, FaZe Clan and Vici Gaming, which won the Chinese qualifier this week. The eighth team will be decided in the Australia/New Zealand closed qualifier, which starts Saturday. This will be ESL’s first event in Australia.

ESL did not respond to request for comment.

Cover photo by Patrick Strack/ESL, eslgaming.com

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