07.09.2017
Reigning IEM Oakland champions return to defend their title - welcome, Ninjas in Pyjamas!
Last year, it was the Swedes of Ninjas in Pyjamas who lifted the trophy in the Oracle Arena. Will they repeat their success?

We are thrilled to welcome the reigning champions of Intel® Extreme Masters Oakland as the final team invited to the event! The Swedes will join FaZe Clan, G2 Esports, SK Gaming, Astralis, Cloud9, Team Liquid, Gambit Esports, Immortals, and three teams determined through qualifiers, and compete for the coveted trophy, a share of the US$300,000 prize pool and a win counting towards the Intel® Grand Slam.

Ninjas in Pyjamas have been going through a rather rough patch with a couple of roster changes (pyth and Friberg leaving, draken and REZ joining) and, most importantly, completely missing the last two Valve majors; and have been working their way back to the top. Their most recent tournament win was at DreamHack Valencia where they topped their group and defeated Team ENVYUS and Red Reserve in the playoffs. Most recently, they competed at Dreamhack Masters Malmo as the home crowd favorites. They finished first in their group and advanced to the playoffs, where they met Natus Vincere. It was an exciting series that included overtime, and needed to go to all three maps. Ninjas prevailed making the whole arena roar in excitement. Unfortunately for the most of the fans in the arena, NiP ended their run in the semifinals where they lost to later champions, G2 Esports.

Ninjas in Pyjamas are the reigning champions of IEM Oakland returning to defend their title. Last year, they advanced to the playoffs as the third team in their group. They took victories over Immortals and FaZe Clan on their way to the grand final, where they met the favorites of the tournament, SK Gaming. It wasn't an easy matchup for the Swedes, and SK took the first map 16-4. NiP, however, was not about to give up and managed to take the next two maps, and lift the IEM Oakland trophy in the Oracle Arena.

Will they manage to repeat history this November? F0rest had a fantastic showing at the event, helping his team win it all, and we hope to see him play like that again. And although it will be a different team we will see this year, the NiP magic might again take over the Oracle Arena.

Winning IEM Oakland counts towards the Intel Grand Slam: a new system that awards a US$1,000,000 prize to the team that has won four out of the last ten $200,000 events held between DreamHack and ESL. So far, SK Gaming and G2 Esports are in the lead with their wins at the recent ESL One Cologne 2017 and DreamHack Masters Malmo respectively, with the next tournament being ESL One New York. IEM Oakland comes in as the fourth event.

Nothing beats the unforgettable experience of watching the world's best teams compete live in a legendary stadium. Don't miss out on this unique opportunity and join us at the Oracle Arena on November 18-19 - secure yourself a ticket today! And don't forget to follow IEM on both Twitter and Facebook for further tournament updates.