It's been a while since the last last chance cups took place. Due to the withdrawal of Magnus 'fox' Olsson we can't do otherwise but hold a new one. The Swedish duel star decided to drop from the current Intel Extreme Masters season, which leads to a missing player in group F of the European Championship. Now six players have the chance to get this slot on Sunday.
Finally the very first StarCraft II matches of the European Championship will take place. It took almost two months to determine Europe's 24 best RTS players via national qualifiers and two long qualification rounds. But tonight is the night. Big stars of StarCraft II's young community such as Socke or Tarson will open the European groupstage.
Almost three weeks ago the American Champions of the fifth season have been found. We saw the top eight American RTS and duel players and CS teams facing eachother to win the American tropies and qualify for the World Championship. Although almost all replays and demos were uploaded, a lot of you asked for the original VoDs, which were commentated by Joe Day, TheGunRun, Joe Miller and more.
European Championship sees two new additions for Counter-Strike and Quake Live. The Spanish CS1.6 team x6tence has dropped out of the current season due to insufficient players to play their matches. In Quake Live it was Balk from Belarus, who left the European Championship. Replacements were found during the weekend.
On Thursday we announced the replacement cup for this season of Intel Extreme Masters. The application process is now finished and we would like to announce the list of participants. This is the last chance for teams wishing to take a place in the European Championship of the Intel Extreme Masters. The tournament bracket will be released on Sunday around 12 CET with the matches taking place from 15:00CET onwards.
Unfortunately we have to disqualify one Quake Live player from the European Championship of the Intel Extreme Masters 5, which starts next week. The Russian Cny has to leave the current season, since his Quake Live account was barred by id Software. A replacement for group F's gap will be determined in as soon as possible.
The Spanish team x6tence has dropped out of IEM due to insufficient players to play their matches. According to the rules of the Intel Extreme Masters they do not have enough free slots anymore to add new members and therefore they are unable to play the rest of their matches. Due to the fact that the third playday has not started yet there will be a replacement to join the Intel Extreme Masters European Championship in Counter-Strike 1.6.
As the qualification rounds in StarCraft II and Quake Live have come to an end, it's time to announce the groups of our two 1on1 disciplines. Next week we are heading into the regular European Championship, when 56 top-notch player compete in their first playday. A good start is necessary to qualify for Europe's finals, where the main part of $114,400 prize money is at stake.
Last night the second last chance cup determined another three Quake Live participants of Europe's upcoming Championship season. After adding six more slots finally 30 players are complete and ready to start into round robin. Group drawing will take place this week, where six groups of five will be made.
As we announced previously two the Quake Live European Championship was expanded by six more players. Two cups were supposed to determine three additional players each. The first one was already held two days ago on Wednesday. On Sunday all Quake Live players of Europe have the last and final chance to get one of the remaining slots.
We are getting excited because the European Championship of Intel Extreme Masters' fifth season has already begun. Tonight ESL TV is going to show you one of the Counter-Strike topmatches of Round 1. StarCraft II isn't ready yet, but only a few matches of Qualification Round 2 remain to be done.
If you have checked the coverage or the ESL TV page for the stream from New York you might have seen that we are testing a new streaming service that brings you the whole show in 720p on the Premium stream. Just like a normal video broadcast this stream does not require any plugin beside Adobe Flash Player to bring all the matches and emotions from New York right to your computer!