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Prize Money Overview
Counter-Strike ($30,000)
1. Team EG - $15,000
2. compLexity - $7,000
3. Blight Gaming - $3,000
4. Sway Gaming - $1,500
5-6. Berserk - $1,000
5-6. Team Exigent - $1,000
7-8. Kindred - $750
7-8. Facepalm - $750

World of WarCraft ($15,000)
1. CheckSix - $7,500
2. SK Gaming - $3,500
3. fnatic - $1,500
4. Team EG - $800
5-6. Loaded - $500
5-6. compLexity - $500
7. From Quitters... - $350

Quake Live ( $8,000)
1. DaHang - $3,500
2. rapha - $1,500
3. chance - $1,000
4. Vo0 - $700
5-6. griffin - $400
5-6. gellehsak - $400
7-8. dkt - $250
7-8. sparks - $250
West Edmonton Mall
Edmonton, Canada
11th - 13th of December 2009

WoW finished - It's over now
14.12.2009 01:56
CheckSix is World of Warcraft Champion of America

The last match of the American Championship Finals have been played and finally the last die has been cast. CheckSix won the World of Warcraft tournament although SK Gaming was in lead with two maps and SK already managed to beat them during the groupstage.

American Championship Final Standings

Team EG is American Champion in CS
14.12.2009 00:48
Second title for Team EG in Edmonton

After DaHang winning the Quake Live competition there are five more Evil Geniuses holding a first place check in their hands. Again it was an easy move for Team EG. compLexity could only win 12 rounds, slightly more than Team EG lost averaged during their five games and seven maps at the American Championship Finals.

American Championship Final Standings

Quake Live playoffs finished
13.12.2009 23:08
DaHang is he American Champion

Finally it turned out that rapha actually can lose. This clash of the two best American Quake Live player was an absolutely worthy ending of this Quake Live tournament. Even though it didn't look so after the first two maps, which rapha won clearly. But after this the DaHang got started.

American Championship Final Standings

Since the WoW Arena server problems still occur, we will now start the Counter-Strike 1.6 grand final betweet compLexity and Team EG. The game for third place was won by Blight Gaming in an extremly close match.

Quake Live treasure trove
13.12.2009 22:06
Last news about our beloved duel shooter

The first Quake Live match of the day just ended and the second and final one is live now. Chance won the game for third place vs. Vo0, we will upload the demos as soon as possible (dm13 demo kicks ass).

Want to know what the attending Quake Live players think about the possible outcomes of Quake Live's final matches? Carmac asked them who's going to win the game for third place and of course the grand final between DaHang and rapha. Visit our video section at the Edmonton event page or head over to to see more videos of the Intel Extreme Masters.

Since rapha had frame drops with his old config during the groupstage, he had to make a new one for the playoffs. Want it? Here you go: Download. Get all other configs in this this news.

Tournament updates
13.12.2009 20:58
Quake Live live, WoW final delayed, fnatic is third

The World of Warcraft game for third place just ended with fnatic beating Team EG in a close match 4 to 3. Since there was (and is) a bug with the Arena servers we will delay the grand final until it is fixed hopefully. Over and over again Ring of Valor appeared as random chosen Arena map. According to the Intel Extreme Masters rules each map may only played three times during a best of seven.

So we will now start the Quake Live matches, beginning with Vo0 facing chance. Meanwhile the Counter-Strike game for third place started, which you can follow via HLTV.

It's cold in Edmonton, isn't it?
13.12.2009 20:49
When making warm thoughts isn't enough anymore

Although the American Championship Finals are held inside a huge mall, some of the players still have problems with the Canadian winter due to an outside temperature of 36 degree beneath 0 and playing over an indoor ice skating field. While most of the players using common methods to get warm hands such as gloves pookz from Team EG becomes creative and uses a har dryer. To bad it doesn't help, his team just lost the game for third place.

American Champions, where are you?
13.12.2009 18:43
Today is the last day of the American Championship Finals.

All American participants of the World Championships are already determined, so we can focus on who's winning the grand finals. The World of Warcraft teams will open the final day followed by Quake Live and last but not least Counter-Strike 1.6.

American Championship Finals World of Warcraft
Game for 3rd Place: 13/12/09 13:00 EDT - Evil Geniuses vs. Fnatic.WoW
Grand Final: 13/12/09 13:40 EDT - SK Gaming USA vs. CheckSix Gaming

American Championship Finals Quake Live
Game for 3rd Place: 13/12/09 14:20 EDT - Chance vs. Vo0
Grand Final: 13/12/09 15:20 EDT - rapha vs. DaHanG

American Championship Finals Counter-Strike 1.6
Game for 3rd Place: 13/12/09 14:20 EDT - Blight Gaming vs. Sway Gaming
Grand Final: 13/12/09 16:20 EDT - Team EG vs. compLexity

All semi finals finished
13.12.2009 04:17
compLexity wins last match of today

The last Canadian participants dropped out of the tournament. Just like their fellow countrymen from Sway they didn't had a chance against their US-American opponent. So compLexity advances to the grand final and also receives a slot for the World Championship.

Team EG moves to final
13.12.2009 02:59
Evil Genius, here is your ticket for CeBIT

Team EG just won the semi final versus Sway Gaming. Tomorrow they will face the winner of compLexity vs. Blight and compete for $15,000 for the first place. The Canadians of Sway weren't a big challenge for the international well experienced team. Two slots for the World Championship CS tournament are available here in Edmonton. Team EG is the first team to get one of these American slots. The second one will be determined in the second semi final, starting now.

WoW semi finals over
13.12.2009 01:41
SK Gaming and CheckSix winning their games

Another final is determined with over one hour of delay due to some problems with our ESL TV spectator account. But finally it was solved and almost all maps were broadcasted. SK Gaming and CheckSix won their matches 4:1 each, therefore they will compete for the American Championship title while fnatic and Team EG battle for the third place.

Pictures, pictures, pictures
13.12.2009 00:23
Look for more impressions of Edmontons Ice Palace turning into a NIce Palace

American Championship Finals Gallery

Quake Live final determined
13.12.2009 00:11
rapha and DaHang to compete for American Championship title

The first finalist for tomorrow's day of decision are found. rapha just won versus chance after five exciting maps. It seemed that chance run out of steam on the fifth map ztn1, since he lost it 0:16. So the final match will be played between rapha and DaHang, which he lost to during yesterday's groupstage.

Chance 2-3 rapha
    3:6 (dm13)
    3:2 (t7)
    5:6 (dm6)
    14:5 (t9)
    0:16 (ztn1)

rapha wins first map
12.12.2009 23:12
Real champs don't complain, they just play

After we saw three pretty clear maps when DaHang destroyed Vo0 the first map of rapha vs. chance was just awesome. Impressive kills, shots and intensive four overtimes result in a close win for rapha. And guess what: he played with mono sound. Second map is live now and it seems that the sound problem is fixed.

Quake Live semi final about to start
12.12.2009 21:27
Tune in ESL TV and pray for two five map'ers

During the upcoming two hours the American Quake Live finalists will be determined. We will start with chance versus rapha followed by DaHang versus Vo0. There are some technical problems with rapha's PC, that's why we have to change his PC. At the moment we expect the match to start at 13:45 MST.

Update: There seems to be a problem with rapha's config, since the same frame drops occured on two other PC's. So he is now testing dkt's config and adjusts the settings to his needs. So we will switch the playoff matches and start with Vo0 vs. DaHang in a few minutes.

Quake Live Semi Finals
12/12/09 15:50 EDT - Vo0 [0:3] DaHang
12/12/09 16:45 EDT - Chance vs. rapha

CS groupstage finished
12.12.2009 21:16
All groups done, now it's getting tough

Only moments ago the last two matches of the CS1.6 groupstage ended. compLexity won the groupstage and advances to the playoffs joined by runner-up Sway Gaming. ighlight of this group was the clash of compLexity and Sway. The old US-team lost the first half on de_nuke with only winning three rounds. But they made a great comeback and put up a very strong defense, which leads to a 17:13 victory. Now they will meet Blight Gaming in the playoffs, Sway has to face Team EG. The CS playoffs will start in approximately three hours. For now we are beginning with the Quake Live semi finals.

Counter-Strike 1.6 Semi Finals
12/12/09 18:20 EDT - Team EG vs. Sway Gaming
12/12/09 20:35 EDT - Blight Gaming vs. compLexity

Impressions of Saturday in Edmonton
12.12.2009 18:58
Day 2 has pictures too!

American Championship Finals Gallery

Quake Live configs made in America
12.12.2009 18:37
Eight players give their settings to you

As a small side snack beside the live matches and the replays, you can get the players configs now. We catched up the latest settings the players really used during their matches so far here in Edmonton. So get the configs now:

Quake Live Configs - American Championship Finals

All configs are up to date and supply you with the real feeling of the American Championship Final participants. Enjoy!

All video interviews of Edmonton day 1
12.12.2009 18:13
Did you miss one? We got them for you!

Yesterday our lovely Intel Extreme Masters officer-in-charge Carmac stopped giving instructions and yelling at us (hm...) and did what he is known (and sometimes loved) for: doing interviews with the players. Here are nine videos he made so far, more to come during this day. Visit our video section at the Edmonton event page or head over to to see more videos of the Intel Extreme Masters.

All video interviews of day 1

It's semi final day at American Championship Finals
12.12.2009 17:42
Today we are going into the playoffs

World of Warcraft and Quake Live is ready to hit the playoffs. But first of all we have to finish the groupstage. So we will start with six CS1.6 matches of group B determining the last two playoff participants. Don't miss a game and tune in on ESL TV!

Quake Live Semi Finals
12/12/09 15:00 EDT - Chance vs. rapha
12/12/09 16:00 EDT - Vo0 vs. DaHang

World of Warcraft Semi Finals
12/12/09 17:00 EDT - SK Gaming vs. fnatic
12/12/09 17:40 EDT - CheckSix Gaming vs. Evil Geniuses

Counter-Strike 1.6 Semi Finals
12/12/09 18:20 EDT - Team EG vs. Runner-up of Group B
12/12/09 20:35 EDT - Blight Gaming vs. Winner of Group B

Day 1 ends with CS group A
12.12.2009 05:22
Team EG and Blight going into playoffs

The first group of the Counter-Strike tournament just ended. Team EG didn't had any problems winning their games, even the top Canadian team Blight coulnd't win more than nine rounds. Tomorrow the second group will be played followed by the semifinals of Quake Live, World of Warcraft and Counter-Strike 1.6.

Pictures of the CS players
12.12.2009 04:07
More impressions of day 1 in Edmonton

American Championship Finals Gallery

CS groupstage
12.12.2009 02:51
CS tournament to begin any minute

While the groupstage of World of Warcraft and Quake Live has already finished the CS tournament will just began with two matches of group A. Group B will be played tomorrow. All teams selected de_inferno for their first match.

Quake Live groupstage finished
12.12.2009 02:43
One map saves Vo0's day (and rapha lost!)

All matches of the Quake Live groupstage have been played. Vo0 only needed one map against griffin to advance to the playoffs. While chance didn't had a big problem beating dkt Vo0 get into trouble against griffin and lost the first map. Good for him he won the second one, since the third map was again in favor of the Canadian. During this exciting match DaHang somehow managed to beat rapha. Let's if he can repeat this in the grand final.

Semi Finals
Chance vs. rapha
Vo0 vs. DaHang

Since rapha is already qualified for the World Championship by winning the Global Challenge Dubai and Americas has three more slots to award all other semi final participants are qualified for the World Championships taking place at CeBIT in March 2010.

WoW groupstage over
12.12.2009 02:21
fnatic won, so they lost (need an explanation?)

SK Gaming placed first in group A of the World of Warcraft tournament, followed by CheckSix Gaming. This means the winner of group B had to play CheckSix Gaming and the loser SK Gaming. After the first two matches of group B it turns out that fnatic and Evil Geniuses are already qualified for the playoffs and will only determine the first and second place of group B. Since both teams didn't want to meet CheckSix in the playoffs they would have tried to lose the last game. To avoid an unnatural (and boring) match we've decided together with the teams that the winner of this game will lose and so has not to face the dreaded CheckSix in the semifinals. Finally fnatic won.

Semi Finals
SK Gaming vs. fnatic
CheckSix Gaming vs. Evil Geniuses

Last playround at Quake Live groupstage
12.12.2009 01:37
rapha and DaHang in the playoffs

The last four games of the Quake Live groupstage will be played simultaneously and will start any minute. Since rapha and DaHang won their previous two matches each they advance to the playoffs, which also means DaHang will attend the World Championship - rapha was already qualified anyway. Although Vo0 has also won his two matches he isn't qualified for the playoffs yet. Both chance and griffin can still also get two wins, whereby the won maps would be valued or it would result in a three way tie.

Carmac interviews EG's Azael and coL|dkt
12.12.2009 01:10
Seven video interviews so far

We've just uploaded two new interviews featuring compLexity's Quake Live player dkt and the Evil Genius from World of Warcraft Azael. Head over to our video and interview section and watch more talks with the players.

More pictures from Edmonton
12.12.2009 00:10
52 pictures (and counting) for your pleasure

American Championship Finals Gallery

SK and CheckSix advance to Wow playoffs
11.12.2009 23:31
Welcome to the World Championship SK and CheckSix

In the last match of group A SK Gaming USA needed at least two rounds to win the group stage, even if they would lose. They managed to get them and are the first particpant of the World of Warcraft playoffs joined by runner-up compLexity.Black. Since there are four World Championship slots for American teams both are already qualified for the event at CeBIT in March 2010, where they will compete with the European and Asian top teams.

Quake Live players pass on new setting
11.12.2009 21:46
Edmonton sets cg_drawItemPickups to 0

The recent Quake Live update was one of the most important ones during the last months. But besides the hitbox adjustments and changes on some maps also a new setting was added, which could have a major impact on item timing. cg_drawItemPickups can draw a timestamp when the player picks it up. So we started a poll among the players. They decided almost unanimously to not using the new setting. Therefore the American Championship Finals will use cg_drawItemPickups 0.

First set of pictures
11.12.2009 20:39
Look, we're in an Ice Palace!

American Championship Finals in Edmonton

Quake Live is ready to start
11.12.2009 20:36
No QL delay to expect

While we had over one hour delay by getting the World of Warcraft tournament started, it seems that all Quake Live fans can expect all matches to start in time. There are more that two hours until beginning and all players are already here, setting up and testing the Quake Live servers. At 14:00 MST dkt and Vo0 will play the first match of the American Championship Finals in Quake Live.

Emergency Landing causes delay
11.12.2009 19:23
Changes in the World of Warcraft groupstage

We had do adjust the schedule for the WoW groupstage matches, since the EG player tenderloinqt's plane had an emergency landing due to a crack in the windshield. He's fine but unfortunately not here yet. His teammates Azael and pookz are and have to wait until he arrives at West Edmonton Mall. Therefore all matches of group A will be played first, while the matches of group B are going to take place during the QL groupstage and will not be shown on ESL TV, except fnatic vs. compLexity.

rapha attends, but he's ill
11.12.2009 18:46
Finally rapha's got a weak point

Good news for all other Quake Live players taking part in the American Championship Finals tournament. Shane 'rapha' Hendrixson, champion of the Global Challenge Dubai, is not feeling too well and almost canceled his participation. Nevertheless he will travel to Edmonton and hopefully play in the tournament. Fortunately he is already qualified for the World Championship due to his triumph in Dubai. So even if he would lose his games and miss becoming the American Champion he will be at CeBIT in March 2010. So good luck in the tournament and get well soon.

*Update* rapha just arrived and told our admin Rondrian that he is feeling fine now. Let's hope that everyone else will be fine, too.

Day 1 of the American Championship Finals
11.12.2009 18:29
Today the American CHampionship Finals are starting.

In Counter-Strike 1.6, World of Warcraft and Quake Live the top 8 of the American Continent will compete for the Champion title and $53,000. Additionally the top four of WoW, top three of QL as well as the top two of CS1.6 will qualify for the World Championship taking place at CeBIT 2010 in Hannover, Germany, March 2010.

World of Warcraft will open the tournament in Edmonton. During the upcoming four hours the whole groupstage will be played followed by the QUake Live groupstage and the first bunch of CS 1.6 matches. Due to some slight problems the first matches will have a little delay.

WoW groups for Edmonton
09.12.2009 17:31
North American World of Warcraft

The World of Warcraft groups of the American Championship Finals are drawn. It consists of two groups of four with the top two teams each qualify for the playoffs. Watch the competition for the American Champion title and additional prize purse of $15,000 live at West Edmonton Hall or at ESL TV December 11th to 13th.

American Championship Finals Groups

EG|fRoD: Winning this is definitely our goal
09.12.2009 17:01
After interviewing two Quake Live players and one World of Warcraft players Carmac sat down with Danny 'fRoD' Montaner from Evil Geniuses.

Are you the number one favourites to win the Intel Extreme Masters American Championship?

Danny 'fRoD' Montaner: I would think so, I mean we are definitely in my opinion going to get top 3, but winning this is definitely our goal. We had a few good showings in the past international events and have made a lot of ground with Ediz despite him only being in the team for less than a month. We are practicing a lot and working on things and should definitely be improving a lot the more we play.

Can anyone else than coL challenge you for the position of the number one team on the continent?

I think most of the teams there can give us a challenge if they are hitting there shots. I know most of the american players really wanna beat us so we gotta try to focus and treat any game as if its the hardest one yet and stay calm and focused and we should do just fine against anyone.

How has traveling to events overseas make you better as a team?

It has mainly helped is get Ediz to know all of our strats and setups, as well as give us a lot of great practice in a small period to get things imprinted in our minds. Obvioulsy its clear, playing in Europe with the great ping and great teams is a huge clear advantage, but the main one for me would be everyone practicing hard and getting all things thought and re learned to try our best to win.

Is it possible that the improvement came from getting gfn for warden?

It can be, but ultimately, our team has always been about teamwork, our main strategies, and our work ethic. Matt and Ediz both have their own strengths so its hard to compare, but the main thing they both share is the drive to win and dedication to the team. Ediz adds a great variety to the team because he can also frag like Matt, but he brings a unique playstyle in certain defensive setups and what not, and especially if tomi gets picked early.

How different is gfn compared to warden in terms of the qualities that he delivered to the team?

As I mainly mentioned above, the whole strat caller aspect that Ediz always had is a huge plus for us because it makes us more versatile. Matt also had a great mind and helped us worlds in difficult situations breaking down teams, but Ediz has made this something apart of his game always that is helps a lot since now he can focus on fragging and assiting Tomi, which ultimately helps Tomi out.

When lurppis was added to EG, the word was that he was supposed to help you bridge the gap between the American and European style. What kind of incluence has he had on the way you play and would you call your style today more American, European or Mid-Atlantic?

I think our playstyle has always been somewhat of an organized chaos with a lot of good strats and setups that we all go over as a team. Tomi has helped us bring a few things in, but for the most part, he has mainly called the same strats we all go over and bring up, and most of the time he adds a twist to them but not always. Tomi's main strength is that he knows most of the international teams as well as is learning all the american teams. This helps because he can figure out and disect each team before or during the game, and make the calls he wants for us to do. He has obviously added a great style since hes a good fragger too, but his main strength comes from his decisions in calling strats or setups to present a certain playstyle which we all work really hard to preserve.

You have reached a high international level but you're still not a consistent top 3 contender. What needs to happen for you to peak as a team?

I think we just need to keep practicing more and continue to keep positive.
This December would begin our 11 months back into the official scene after being out for quite some time. People may not know how hard it is to make all the switches, but we have practiced really hard and simply wont give up until we can compete at a high level consistently. Something that no one can deny us is our dedication and passion, and thats something that we have and wanna prove to everyone. We just need to stay calm and focused and know that we are improving and things will come our way, and there is no need to force things. As long as we all stay motivated and dedicated we are going to continue to improve either individually or as a team, but we are certainly going to try to get better some way to help each other and the team out.

What needs to happen for more than just two North American teams in general to be competitive against the top teams?

I think the economy has to get fixed firstly, because there needs to be other organizations or sponsors that can send certain teams to these types of events. Some local events can help a team grow, but international tournaments is where teams can really show their skill. Obviously teams have to stay dedicated and try to make as least roster changes as possible which helps teams build chemistry

//Interview by Michal 'Carmac' Blicharz

The Intel Extreme Masters American Championship will take place in Edmonton, Canada on December 11-13. Visit this page for more interviews, video coverage, live streaming, up to date scores and more.

Interview with gellehsak
Interview with Vo0
Interview with Azael

Isaac 'Azael' Cummings-Bentley speaks
09.12.2009 11:28
An Evil Genius from the World of Warcraft

How well prepared are you for the American Championship? Should we consider your team as the favourites of the competition?

Isaac '2868114' Cummings-Bentley: We've prepared quite well for the tournament, although we've had some issues with getting in practice due to the tournament realms being unavailable. Pookz has also been quite busy so there are some things we would like to have more time to prepare for as we're a very new team and there's still a ton of room for us to improve.

As for us being the favourite's, it's hard to predict simply because there will be a new patch which hurts Destruction Warlocks a fair bit, and that's mainly what I play for our setup. The patch also will mix things up with the will of the forsaken change, and you also have to keep in mind that our setup (Mage / Lock / Shaman) is very different in Season 5 gear than it is on live. That said, we're confident going into the tournament and know if we play our best we can win but I wouldn't say we're the favourite.

What are your team's main strengths?

I think that as far as players go, we all are able to keep very open minded and overall have a positive outlook on things while practicing which makes it far easier to come up with new strategies and ways around tough matchups. I have always kind of been my teams leader ingame as far as calling targets, making strategies etc, and now we have the addition of Pookz who is also a great ingame leader which has really helped our game. We both have a unique perspective on the game and are able to see opportunities for swaps that the other player may not notice, and we both trust each other enough to know that any swap we might make will be a good one. Tenderloin as our healer really just has the best attitude of anyone I have played with in competitive gaming, and is always seeking ways to improve his play through specs, gear changes, position or any other slight tweaks and that has really helped to make us a strong team.

As far as the setup of our teams setup although many would argue that it's the really high burst we're able to achieve, I would say that our biggest strength is the amount of control and interrupts our team posseses. Damage is really toned down in tournament gear, and the Conflagrate nerf just continues that trend, so in the tournament we'll be relying far more on chaining interrupts / silences and crowd control to get our kills.

Which comps and which teams are the most dangerous for your team in Edmonton?

Well there will be some great teams competing and the changes will make things very unpredictable so we would be foolish to underestimate any teams. However if I were to choose one team that everyone has to look out for it would have to be Check 6 simply because they have been doing very well at the last few tournaments and run one of the strongest / easiest setups to play. It's a comp which is very forgiving of mistakes and one against which you cannot afford to make any if you want to have any hope of winning - a very tough combination to play against on LAN.

Who do you expect to qualify to the World Championship in 2010?

If I were to guess I would say EG, Check 6, Fnatic, Complexity. Although Complexity may be unable to attend with their original roster, and SK US has a strong team as well so they could easily be in the top 4.

Considering the history of American Intel Extreme Masters events, we can expect some raging. If you were to place money on someone to nerd rage in Canada, who would you bet on?

Well, there is some serious hate between a few of the teams so it wouldn't shock me to see something happen. If I had to bet on there being raging in one match it would be the one between Loaded.WoW and our team. There is some history between Tenderloin and their priest Rgostic as they were teammates for the Blizzard Regional Tournament where Rgostic decided to not show up without any warning to his team. They arrived in Germany for the North American Regionals and he was nowhere to be found, something that definitely warrants some anger from Tenderloin as far as I'm concerned.

While your new comp is quite popular on live-servers we haven't seen it so far in a tournament. Why do you think you can make it work and why has no one done it before?

I think that the reason you're seeing so many Wizard Cleave teams on live realms is simply because of gear scaling and set bonuses. There's the 10% Immolate damage bonus, 20% Lava Burst bonus as well as insane PvE Trinkets which really push burst over the top and can lead to instant kills with crits.

No one has brought Wizard Cleave to a tournament simply because the relative strength of it is so much lower in Season 5 gear, and many of the setups really would not work in that environment. I think the difference between most Wizard Cleave setups and ours is that we have so much control that we don't need to kill someone instantly in order to win a match. That's not to say that gear scaling doesn't help our setup, because it definitely does and we'll be in tough against the setups and teams we're going to face in Edmonton.

We believe that we can make it work though because we have an exceptional combination of players, what we believe to the be the strongest variation of double caster teams for tournaments and the desire to win.

Are you prepared to dish out something else if your comp doesn't work?

We have no need for other setups, and are confident in our ability to win with what we have as long as we play up to potential.

You seem to prefer to spec Affliction instead of Destruction - why?

Affliction is simply a more fluid playstyle, which really makes it fun for me. Your mobility is very high and you're able to be more in control of the match as an Affliction Warlock because of that as long as you're playing the right setups. It's also a very consistent spec which I enjoy because you're not depending on crits, procs or anything else to win the match. I also just enjoy playing things differently than other players and that's the same reason that I was playing Destruction before any of the buffs when everyone was still playing UA, and it's the same reason I was playing UA now while most people were playing Destruction. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of all your specs is really an advantage and being able to seemlessly swap between them is of great benefit to your team.

Asian teams were in the final at the last Intel Extreme Masters World Championship. Do you think they will be the strongest opponents again?

It's hard to say as the strongest Asian teams have traditionally been RMP and that setup will likely be in tough against many teams with the Will of the Forsaken nerf in 3.3. I think that all of the continents have very strong teams and I really am hoping to see a much more even representation of that than what we saw last year. It'd be cool to have one North American, one European, and one Asian team in the top 3 this year for sure.

How do you think the continents stack up against each other in WoW?

This is something which is endlessly debated, and to be honest I think it's a pointless discussion. There are great teams, and great players everywhere and I see no reason to attempt to quantify who is better than who as it's largely a matter of opinion. At every regional tournament there are some very strong teams and there are also teams which are clearly of a lower calibre than those at the top. Each continent can only hope that their best players are playing the the right setups with the right teammates so that they can be properly represented at the Global Finals.

//Interview by Michal 'Carmac' Blicharz

The Intel Extreme Masters American Championship will take place in Edmonton, Canada on December 11-13. Visit this page for more interviews, video coverage, live streaming, up to date scores and more.

Interview with gellehsak
Interview with Vo0

Interview with Sander "Vo0" Kaasjager
08.12.2009 13:20
One of the brightest starts of esports in 2005

Sander "Vo0" Kaasjager has resurfaced in the Intel Extreme Masters North American Championship for QuakeLive. The record holding winner of $238,000 in one year in PainKiller currently lives in Dallas and is looking to qualify for the World Championship in 2010 from a group with DKT, griffin and chance.

How did a Dutch man end up playing in the American Championsihp?

Sander '4433967' Kaasjager: I moved to Texas in January this year to attend university and to be closer to my girlfriend. When the Intel Extreme Masters were announced I asked if I was allowed to participate and since I was, I started playing Quake Live.

So it's the competition, not the game?

Yes, it always has been.

Even in PainKiller?

Well I started PK the day it came out pretty much, because I wanted to get ahead, hoping the game would become big. The competition is what drives any player to become better. Yes, as soon as there is no competition, there is not much reason to play for, especially after you have played these types of games for over 10 years.

How is America treating you?

America is treating me well, I attend college full time, continuing (or rather, starting over) mechanical engineering, the course that I dropped in 2004 to play PK. I live together with my fiancee Rebecca (Iris), who is also a full time student. It's been a very good year.

How does being a competitive gamer in Europe compare to being one in America?

I prefered playing over in Europe. There's a larger player base over there. Many more tournaments are being played every week. Over here we just have the ESL American Championship qualifiers, while over there there are tournaments popping up left and right. America is bigger too, so usually I'm playing on a higher ping than I would like to; in The Netherlands I could find many players who were closer to me so I could find lower pinged games. I'm not really complaining, I just wish more people organized online tourneys over here, they are fun.

Is the general level of play lower in the US?

I have not played Quake Live in Europe so I can not comment on that. It seems to be pretty equal, maybe Europe having a little edge (larger playerbase), even though the current world champ is American.

How can it be explained? Europe delivers almost the entire top 8, but America delivers the winners? It has often been like this.

I have no idea, I don't think there is any logic behind it, it just happens to be this way.

How have you prepared yourself for Edmonton?

The preparations aren't done yet. I am trying to squeeze some hours in every day which seems to be working out alright. I will be very busy the week before Edmonton as I will have 4 final exams to take.

How big are the chances that the American Championship's winner will not be an American?

About 12.5%.

What's the math behind that?

I am one of 8 competitors. 7 are North Americans, 1 is not. :-) Seriously though, obviously rapha is the big favorite to add another title to his name. But on a good day it might be anyone's game right now, I feel the general skill level of most of the players is very balanced.

Do you feel in shape to find yourself in the final?

Yes, on a good day I believe I can beat any of these players. Hopefully I will have good days next weekend.

What advantages do you have over your opponents in Canada?

Being Dutch! I know I wouldn't like losing to someone not from my country if I were to play a national qualifier. :)

Honestly now, do you expect to qualify for the Intel Extreme Masters World Championship

Yes that is my goal, and I expect to achieve it.

This would mean that you have to go through your group, which is a very even one. Who's going to go through with you?

Probably destrukt.

How would you compare rapha do DaHanG as a player?

rapha is more laid back, does not make many mistakes, but forces mistakes on you. When in control can be very dangerous, when out of control is hard to kill. DaHang plays more agressively and executes his attacks very well. They are both top notch players and can beat each other on any given day.

Do you get in trouble at home if you lose?

I will probably have to sleep on the couch for a few nights :(

How much will the transfer to compLexity change in your gaming life?

This will allow me to better prepare for events because I know I have an organization backing me up. They add bits of positive pressure to my matches; I'm not only playing for myself anymore, I am representing a team. I like to thank compLexity and their sponsors Creative, XFX, Puretrak, and g8 Clothing for getting me on the team.

Does having a fiance who's also a gamer influence your competitive gaming at all?

Sometimes for the good, sometimes for the bad. Women like to shop.

That doesn't sound good... The American Championship will be played in the biggest shopping mall of North America. As far as I know, Iris is coming with you.

Yeah, I'm sure we'll do some shopping, kinda hard to use excuses like "I don't feel like going there" since we're already there.

Rapha is winning events left and right. Do you see many similarities between you in PainKiller and rapha in QuakeLive? Is such a comparison fair?

Not a fair comparison. Different times, different events, different prize purses. A World Tour like the one I had can not be compared to the current state of tournaments.

The big question, I guess, is: do you have the fire inside to dominate everyone that stands in your way? What needs to happen for us to see that kind of Vo0?

Another World Tour pretty much. Large amounts of tournaments with large prize purses. :)

//Interview by Michal 'Carmac' Blicharz

The Intel Extreme Masters American Championship will take place in Edmonton, Canada on December 11-13. Visit this page for more interviews, video coverage, live streaming, up to date scores and more.

Interview with gellehsak

The WoW participants - Apply for 2 slots now!
08.12.2009 00:49
fnatic, SK Gaming, Team EG and more!

Today we are proud to present our participants for the American Championship Finals this weekend in Edmonton. The American Championship Finals consist of two groups of four. To keep the tournament as fair as possible, we will draw the groups as soon as all eight participants confirm.

American Championship Finals - Participants:

SK Gaming USA
Evil Geniuses

Make your way to the top: Apply for the remaining slots!

Right now we have 6 teams who have confirmed their participation so we have 2 additional slots still open. If you can manage to be in Edmonton this weekend, mail to the Intel Extreme Masters WoW Adminstaff with all important information about your team. If you are accepted your team will get $750 travel-support and win at least $350 prize money! Additionally you will have the chance to grab even more of the $15,000 prize money as well as a slot for the World Championship in early 2010 in Germany!

Masters: Andrew "gellehsak" Ryder
07.12.2009 10:46
gellehsak talking about Edmonton and his chances there

Ahead of the Intel Extreme Masters American Championship, Andrew "gellehsak" Ryder is one of Canada's biggest hopes at having one of their representatives in the World Championship. In this interview, he talks about his chances at progressing to the playoffs, his team mate Tim "DaHanG" Fogarty and the tournament in general.

ESL: How well prepared are you for the American Championship?

As well prepared as I can be! I'm trying to get as much practice in as possible in order to have a decent showing in Edmonton, but usually that's limited to staying up late at night just to get a few games in. 

ESL: What does a "decent showing" mean for you?

Well, looking at the groups I'm obviously not a favorite to win, or even place second. Anyone will tell you that in a heartbeat because I have only started playing seriously again since after QuakeCon [in August]. I feel that a decent showing for me would be along the lines of keeping the games close, maybe even taking a map from DaHanG or rapha. I do feel that I surprised a few people with my play against DKT. I expect to finish no lower than third in the group, but won't be upset if I don't advance given the talent I have to face.

ESL: Who do you consider the number one player on the continent?

You could ask that question plenty of ways. If you were to ask me the number one proven player, I'd easily say rapha. However, I truly feel, putting aside any bias, that DaHanG will eventually be the player to beat on the continent. The way I see it is that it is inevitable for the game to retain maps like DM6 and DM13 forever, assuming id Software is in development or at least has plans for new maps.

DaHanG is the type of player that can adjust to a situation or scenario without breaking a sweat, whether it be a new map or a new gameplay change. He has probably the least QL duel experience as opposed to players like rapha, Cooller, Cypher, and other top players, yet is able to compete with them on their terms. I feel that his biggest downfall is just the vast experience that players have vs his inexperience on the older maps and unfortunately that trumps his ability to adapt to a situation quickly.

ESL: When will DaHanG be the player to beat, then? Will it be in Edmonton already?

He could beat rapha in his current form, there is no doubt in my mind. However, I feel DaHanG will really shine when we start porting over to newer maps.

ESL: Are you saying that you can't make up with intelligence what you lack in experience?

Not necessarily. Those skills both go hand-in-hand in a way. You can have experience and intelligence, but what really matters (and this is what most of the players that have been playing for years have that newer players lack) is being able to apply that intelligence to experienced play. DaHanG is a smart player, but having lesser experience on older maps hurts him when it comes to applying his knowledge of the game against his opponent

ESL: Spart1e started very late in Quake 3 but had no problem placing highly in major international events. Isn't complaining about old maps more like feeling sorry for yourself, then?

Spart1e definitely has the talent to win a tournament, just like plenty of other players do. In general, the intelligence vs/+ experience "formula" is right, however there are dozens of other factors, such as nerves, physical well-being, mental state-of-mind, confidence, raw aim, etc. that all come into play to form a player and basically dictate how well they will play against their opponent.

Spart1e could have played the tournament of his life in Athens [at the ESWC Masters in 2008), and we may never see him place on the podium ever again, just because everything fell in to place in EVERY column that builds a player and how well they will perform. I even believe eating habits can positively or negatively effect a player. The fact of the matter is, though, is that we can't take the intelligence and experience argument as the be-all end-all for how players will perform.

We also can't disregard the fact that these are tournaments; anything that can happen, will happen somewhere down the timeline. No matter how a player feels or how inexperienced they are, they can still hit that magical factor - luck - and unexpectedly beat someone they were never intended to even match up against... I'll point to the recent Cooller vs zsx Intel Extreme Masters European Championship match.

ESL: How do you find QuakeLive yourself?

Quake Live is probably not my first choice for a competitive game, but so far I am enjoying my time with it. In fact, I'm not really sure if I enjoy Quake Live more, or if I just enjoy the chance for some competition again. I've pretty much missed going to tournaments or playing matches, and the opportunity just rolled around and I decided to stick with it and give it a shot. So far it is proving to be a good choice in my eyes, having played well enough to qualify and compete on the level of the best in the continent.

ESL: So what have you got to offer that would make you believe that you can beat rapha or DaHanG?

I don't believe I have anything really on the table that compares to them if you were to look at "assumed" skill vs skill. I'm just going to go in, play confident and cool, and hope I don't let their names get in the way of playing well. As long as I play a smart game, and maybe rely on a bit of luck, I could possibly win. But again, they are way above me on paper.

ESL: Do you see any chinks in their respective armors, though?

Nobody is perfect. I know I can win maps versus them, however the real test is being able to translate that into a tournament win. Who knows, I may feel like I can play the tournament of my life and hit all of the shots that the best players need to hit to win, maybe I won't. But I will go in confident and attempt to play the best to my abilities.

ESL: Who do you think is going to do well in the other group?

All four players are so close in skill that it is really hard to tell. But if I had to pick who would go on, I would have to say both Chance and DKT will be advancing. Not for any specific reason other than the fact that I think both of them have something to prove after the last few tournaments, and they will be wanting these wins a lot more than griffin and Vo0.

ESL: How do you think North American representatives will do at the Intel Extreme Masters World Championship at CeBIT?

Anyone who advances will do well. The top players over here are really close to each other, that is including rapha. And the fact remains that he has won the past few tournaments he has attended. It would be foolish to think that anyone who advances from this event to the finals at CeBIT wouldn't be a threat to win, or place very high.

ESL: Where have you been hiding since PainKiller?

As far as where I have been since PainKiller, I did try to play some Quake 4, but I just couldn't put in the time or effort to make an impact. So I've been going to school full time, working full time, dealing with a two and a half year old full time, doing some freelance work, and basically just keeping very busy. So you're probably wondering how I find time to play Quake Live? Let's just say I don't exactly sleep the recommended eight hours a night anymore, and that coffee is now the primary fluid occupying the blood stream.

More interviews to come!

This was the first interview in a series leading up to the Intel Extreme Masters American Championship in Edmonton, Canada on December 11-13. Visit this page for more interviews, video coverage, live streaming, up to date scores and more.

Counter-Strike groups for Edmonton
04.12.2009 13:46
Who will make it to the semi finals?

The Couter-Strike groups of the American Championship Finals are drawn. These eight teams survived the regular season and will now face each other in Edmonton. Watch the competition for the American Champion title and additional prize purse of $30.000 live at West Edmonton Hall or at ESL TV December 11th to 13th.

High Rollers Gaming fill the empty spot; MoB Gaming cancelled their participation

American Championship Finals Groups

The American Championship Finals consist of two groups of four. The top two of each group advance to the semi finals.

Quake Live groups for Edmonton
02.12.2009 22:41
Who will make it to the semi finals?

The Quake Live groups of the American Championship Finals are drawn. These eight players survived the regular season and will now face each other in Edmonton. Watch the competition for the American Champion title and additional prize purse of $8,000 live at West Edmonton Hall or at ESL TV December 11th to 13th.

American Championship Finals Groups

The American Championship Finals consist of two groups of four. The top two of each group advance to the semi finals. If rapha is one of the four semi final contenders, then all other three participants are qualified for the World Championship, taking place at CeBIT, Germany, in March 2010.

American Championship Finals location
20.11.2009 17:47
Welcome to West Edmonton Mall

We proudly announce that the American Championship Finals of the fourth Intel Extreme Masters Season will be held in the West Edmonton Mall, in Edmonton, Alberta! The best American teams and players in Counter-Strike 1.6, World of Warcraft and Quake Live will compete from 11th until 13th of December in Edmonton, Canada. We welcome you to the hottest eSports action in America!

The prizes, games and players!

From 11th until 13th of December the American Championship Finals of the Intel Extreme Masters IV will be held in Edmonton, Canada. The best American teams will compete for 72,800 USD prize money this season. 30,000 USD alone will be given out in Counter-Strike 1.6 at the final, 15,000 USD in World of Warcraft and 8,000 USD in Quake Live at the finals event. In CS 1.6 there will be top-class teams such as Turmoil, compLexity, Team EG, FragD and MoB fighting for the check. In Quake Live, action will be guaranteed by rapha, DaHanG, Chance and many more!

West Edmonton Mall - A luxurious location beyond belief

The West Edmonton Mall is the largest mall in North America and the fifth largest in the world. It features the world's largest indoor waterpark, an indoor skatepark, a rollercoaster amusement park, clubs, restaurants, internet cafés, movie theatres (including IMAX), malls and many other attractions.

Get ready for the eSports action!

This mall is an awesome background for the American Championship finals! Come and join us in Edmonton, have a fun weekend full of brilliant eSports action topped with some clubbing, swimming, skating and partying. Meet Americas best players in person and have a last unforgettable trip before the Christmas Holidays. We heartily welcome you to be watching the matches live on location!

Intel Extreme Masters IV
20.11.2009 17:47
American Championship Finals

We proudly announce the American Championship Finals of the fourth Intel Extreme Masters Season! The best American teams and players in Counter-Strike 1.6, World of Warcraft and Quake Live will compete from 11th until 13th of December in Edmonton, Canada. 53,000 USD prize money. The hottest eSports action in America!

From 11th until 13th of December the American Championship Finals of the Intel Extreme Masters IV will be held in Edmonton, Canada. The best American teams will compete for 53,000 USD prize money overall. 30,000USD will be given out in CS 1.6, 15,000 USD in WoW and 8,000USD in QL.

Key Facts:
Date: 11th until 13th of December 2009
City: Edmonton, Canada
Prize Money: 53,000 USD
Games: Counter-Strike 1.6, World of Warcraft and Quake Live
Teams & Players: 8 CS 1.6 teams, 8 WoW teams and 8 QL players