Team Spirit have become the sixth team to step into contention for Intel Grand Slam Season 5 glory following their IEM Katowice 2024 triumph
Team Spirit's win at IEM Katowice 2024 means they're now in the running for the Intel Grand Slam Season 5 title. They have emerged as the sixth team to win an IEM Grand Slam-eligible competition since the season began in April with IEM Rio 2023. Leonid “chopper” Vishnyakov and his men now join Vitality, Falcons, G2, MOUZ, and FaZe in pursuit of the highly prestigious trophy. What does each of these teams have to do to become the Intel Grand Slam Season 5 champions and secure a million-dollar payday? We will explain, but first, let’s break down how the Intel Grand Slam works.
What Is the Intel Grand Slam? How Does It Work?
The Intel Grand Slam is a coveted $1 million prize awarded to the first team who conquers four elite ESL-organized tournaments within a ten-event window. To claim this victory, they must conquer at least one of the prestigious IEM Katowice, IEM Cologne, or an official ESL Counter-Strike Major. The Grand Slam dangles a juicy $1 million prize for the first team to achieve the feat, but that's not all! A team can make $100,000 by dealing a lethal blow to the lofty expectations of an Intel Grand Slam-chasing team. The latter prize remains unclaimed so far.
Winning the Intel Grand Slam is the ultimate challenge in competitive Counter-Strike. It's not as simple as winning one lucky tournament. The champions need to maintain high-level performance over several events, and with just ten shots at it, only the cream of the crop can make it.
Intel Grand Slam Season 5 Title Race: How Does It Look after Team Spirit’s IEM Katowice 2024 Success?
Team Vitality became the first team to enter the Intel Grand Slam Season 5 title race after winning the IEM Rio 2023. ENCE became the next contender when they won the IEM Dallas 2023. The Finnish organization, however, dropped out of the equation when they lost three of their players to Falcons. The Saudi Arabian side did not only get fantastic players for their heavy investment, but also inherited ENCE’s spot in the Intel Grand Slam Season 5 title race. G2 and MOUZ followed next with their wins at IEM Cologne 2023 and ESL Pro League 2018, respectively.
FaZe Clan, the current IEM Grand Slam champions, started their title defense by winning the first ESL event of the CS2 era; the IEM Sydney 2023. Team Spirit became the latest challenger to FaZe’s throne as they demolished them in the IEM Katowice 2024 Grand Final. The crushing defeat to Spirit also denied FaZe the opportunity to take the lead in the IEM Grand Slam title race.
Vitality face the toughest path to the IEM Grand Slam Season 5 trophy, needing to win three out of the next four ESL tournaments they participate in. On the other hand, Spirit, the latest contenders, have the most favorable journey, requiring three victories out of their next nine ESL appearances. Meanwhile, FaZe Clan needs to secure three wins out of eight to retain their title, while MOUZ, G2, and Falcons must achieve the same feat in 7, 6, and 5 attempts, respectively.
The next battleground in the IEM Grand Slam calendar is IEM Chengdu, which will take place in April. Among the title chasers, only three will fly to China, however, while the rest will be on the sidelines. FaZe, G2, and MOUZ will try to move closer to the coveted prize on Chinese soil, while Vitality, Spirit, and Falcons will wait for their next opportunity.