SK replaces AL.mTw after troubles between AbsoluteLegends and mTw. Furthermore Curse will replace APictureOfAGoose who have two members that could not come to Kiev. Chinese team iG had to be replaced by French Sypher due to no other Chinese team being available.
AbsoluteLegends and mTw break-up leads to SK replacment
After winning the European qualifier for Kiev under their tag and announcing that the players joined the clan, Absolute Legend EU's license to participate in the Intel Extreme Masters went to mTw, a recognized organization within ESL tournaments.
Soon three of their players left the clan again, leaving mTw without the majority of players that is necessary to keep the gained slot. mTw and the newly formed CLG.eu came to a mutual agreement to make sure that the slot would not go to waste: CLG.eu would be playing with their new lineup and receive all the prize money but all ranking points would go to mTw. Soon after both parties called the agreement off.
This left the ESL with no other choice but to disqualify both parties from the tournament and give the spot in the tournament to the runner up from the EU qualifier: SK Gaming.
Since then both parties and also SK member CandyPanda have released statements regarding the incident:
The American participant APictureOfAGoose had to cancel their participation in early January. A statement released on reddit named family problems for members Mandatorycloud and Lemongod as the reason not to go. The replacement was decided in a match between Counter-Logic Gaming and Curse with the latter taking win and the spot.
China slot not fillable after iG cancels
The Chinese top team iG was unable to get visas in time for their trip to the Ukraine. No other team from China was able to fill in for them so the spot went to the French team Sypher who will participate in their second Global Challenge, having already been in New York.
With all these changes the groups for the $32,000 tournament in Kiev look like this: