I am very excited that Intel Extreme Masters season IX – World Championship will start in one week in Katowice, Poland. IEM is one of the biggest Global tournaments sponsored by Intel, HyperX, Benq, GIGABYTE and Roccat, where professional gamers compete against each other to win more than 110.000$ in Starcraft 2, and over 180.000$ in League of Legends. While the played games are changed each year, we’ve seen in past seasons games like Warcraft 3, Counter-Strike, DOTA, but for the last 3 seasons only Starcraft 2 and League of Legends were the games featured. Well, I’m here to tell you my predictions about Starcraft 2, the game we all love and hate at the same time.
The tournament format is based on choosing 16 different players, 8 from previous past IEM events like IEM Shenzhen, Toronto, San Jose and Taipei from where the winners and the runners-up had qualified. The remaining 8 spots were decided through 3 single-elimination qualifiers: Asian, American and European qualifier, each region having 2 spots, but Asia got a bonus spot for being the world champion and Europe received one for being the home region.
As I mentioned before, players compete to win the huge prize-pool but also up to 1.500 World Championship Series (WCS) points. The 16 players, 5 Protosses, 7 Terrans and 4 Zergs will face each other on maps like: Catallena, Deadwing, Expedition Lost, Overgrowth, Inferno Pools, Secret Spring and Vaani Research Station in a single-elimination tournament. All the matches will be played as best of 5 except the Grand Finals which will be played in a best of 7 game.
herO vs Cure
*herO needs to find a Cure*. As long as herO keeps his PvT at a high level, I’ll just say that this will be a 3-1 for herO having his 3 previous Gold Medals back up my prediction. As a Terran player myself, I root for Cure but let’s face it, Cure is some kind of a new player on the Starcraft 2 scene without Major Championship wins.
Bbyong vs Solar
*Bbyong makes the Solar system* or in this case the other way around. Congratulations to Bbyong for reaching his first IEM World Championship Final but the odds are not in his favor, having to play against Solar makes it pretty hard for him to win. Although he reached this far I’ll say it’s gonna be a 3-2 for Solar, just to give him some credit because let’s face it Terran is OP right now, having 7 Terrans in the round of 16.
Zest vs Hydra
*Zest didn’t hail Hydra*. Hydra lost against San last IEM season, so his ZvP is not that strong and he’ll need to have a perfect ZvP to be able to beat Zest, who is currently in the top 3 Protosses in the world. So, I’ll just say it. 3-1 for Zest.
Innovation vs Life
*Innovation needs a Life*. Well, everybody is waiting for this match, it’s probably the most difficult match to predict. Both players are consistent and very well known so if both of them are in good shape, it will be an epic match. With impressive achievements and years of experience I can’t wait to see this match-up but it’s too bad that these 2 guys are facing each other now instead of the Grand Finals. 3-2 for Life.. maybe, I can’t tell for sure. Sorry.
Flash vs Trap
*Flash, it’s a Trap*. God is Flash, Flash is God. Flash, the “God” of Starcraft will indeed need a trap to lose this game but let’s not forget about Trap, whose latest matches were pretty awesome but of course as a Terran player and a fan of “God” this will be a 3-1 for Flash if he doesn’t have a bad day.
FanTaSy vs Rain
*FanTaSy singing in the Rain*. Another PvT which for me is easy to predict. 3-0 for Rain, Rain has a lot of experience with IEM and also Major Tournaments and in this match it will be a matter of experience. Don’t forget that every player in this tournament is a top player in Korea, but not everybody has an international experience like Rain does.
Maru vs Patience
*Maru is not very “Patience”*. This is the match in which I expect to see a lot of cheeses, both players have some good cheeses up their sleeves and maybe Patience will take one game away from Maru just because he will make a good cheese against him and Maru will not pay attention. 3-1 for Maru, the prodigy kid.
Dark vs Taeja
*Welcome to the Dark side, Taeja*. Even though Taeja’s last year games were perfect in many ways, winning a lot of tournaments with mostly 3-0 matches, he even had the perfect tournament with a 1st place win, with the over-all score of 18-0, but ever since he went back to Korea his results were not that conclusive. He’ll have to face Dark who is in the top 3 Zergs at the moment and even if Taeja showed a great TvZ, he might just get rolled over by Dark with a 3-2 for Dark.
This is a bracket full of Koreans and Terrans, too bad we won’t see any European or American players, although Snute almost made it into the bracket this year. He will be at IEM in Katowice as a game analyzer.
PAYDAY 3 Developer Announces D&D Live Service Multiplayer
The Starbreeze cooperative multiplayer game Project Baxter is expected to follow PAYDAY. The official Dungeons & Dragons logo is on Starbreeze. However, we do not expect the studio to revere RPG settings like Larian did with Baldur’s Gate 3.
Starbreeze will develop and publish Project Baxter in 2026 for all major platforms. The company says it “will carry the signature Starbreeze game cornerstones of cooperative multiplayer, lifetime commitment through a Games as a Service model, community engagement, and a larger than life experience.”
Forgive the skepticism, but PAYDAY 3, Starbreeze’s latest release, lagged behind due to server issues that the CEO had to apologize for, taking two months to release the heist shooter’s first patch. It’s a disappointing story that may have gone unnoticed in a year with The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, Kong: Rise of Skull Island, and The Walking Dead: Destinies.
Would you like a Starbreeze multiplayer live service D&D game? Is this to capitalize on the setting’s moment between Baldur’s Gate and the surprising good Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves?
Free Soccer Simulator Finally More Single Player on eFootball, But Not Like League
Konami promised that free-to-play soccer sim eFootball would add PES’ massively popular Master League mode, but while this month’s v3.20 update will add more solo content, you’ll have to wait. My League lets you play full seasons as a single player with changing weather and exclusive rewards to reduce the wait.
You’ll replace a real team from your league, like England or Italy. The gacha system unlocks players that you’ll use to fight the AI and win the table. Play through the mode as many times as you want, with custom cutscenes and other features to track your progress. It all seems like a way to make dream team gameplay appealing to offline players.
Online play is also getting better. A new tier system will match you with players of similar skill levels, and co-op will soon let you join strangers instead of friends. You can use emojis to discuss your matches’ successes and failures or strategize with new allies.
We assume new cards with perks will allow Konami to create “rarer” versions of players when they perform certain real-life feats. A new login feature will include a penalty-taking minigame where you must score a goal to climb a ladder and unlock in-game rewards like virtual currency. For now, that’s it.
The critically panned game improves, but not as fast as former PES fans would like. The gameplay is good, and there are more things to do, but without that meaty single-player mode, old-school franchise fans will always rank it lower. Konami should revive one of the best solo sports game modes soon.
Despite Leak, GTA 6 Trailer Reaches 50 Million Views in 10 Hours
We expected it to be big, but this big? Only ten hours after Rockstar unceremoniously released GTA 6’s trailer after an unexpected leak, it has over 50 million views. This video is the top trending video on YouTube worldwide, ignoring mirrors from IGN and Gamespot.
Instead of waiting until later today, the developer released the first footage of the latest Grand Theft Auto after a watermarked version leaked on Twitter. The team is understandably upset, but the video’s overwhelming response will reassure it. It has 50 million views and 6.5 million likes.
This could reach 100 million by the end of the day as it’s shared worldwide and fans search for Easter eggs and secrets. How many times have you seen the new trailer?
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