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Intel Grand Slam Season 3 Tweaks the Rules

a small touch to make certain events more important

Team Liquid were the victors of the second season of ESL’s Intel Grand Slam; CS:GO‘s greatest award, arguably, thanks to their victory at ESL One Cologne. The aim of the Grand Slam is to reward top-tier teams for multiple victories across the season, yet, due to the quick nature of both seasons so far, many doubted the sustainability of the award given the $1,000,000 prize involved. A recent announcement has the third season starting this week, with a few minor changes in the criteria worth explaining.

For the past two seasons, it’s been rather straightforward; should a team win 4 out of the ten selected Masters level tournaments before anyone else, they’ve won the Intel Grand Slam. It’s relatively unchanged except for the following fact there are now two specified routes a team may take to claim the Grand Slam:

  1. Winning four Masters level CS:GO tournaments which must include at least one Designated Masters-level tournament within a span of ten consecutive tournaments
  2. Winning six Masters level CS:GO tournaments inside a span of ten consecutive events
Above is a diagrammatic portrayal of how Season 3 will play out

It’s a tad more complicated than just winning 4 events. Now, this time, the criteria only involves 6 wins should one of the event wins involve a Designated Masters tournament – this year’s being ESL One: Cologne and IEM Katowice. This puts added pressure to these events because otherwise, 6 event wins will be needed! This could lead to tension and lead-changes in the build-up of the season – in order for an actual ‘season’ to occur instead of one team simply easing their way in with 4 wins. It has also been stated that any future CS:GO Major event organised by ESL or DreamHack as sanctioned by Valve carries Masters status.

So there we have it; Intel Grand Slam is back, and it’ll hopefully stick around for longer. It kicks off as soon as this weekend, with IEM Chicago – will this season simply be easy pickings for reigning champions Team Liquid? We’ll have to wait and see.

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