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The Esports Highlights of the Week for May 7

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IEM Sydney 2018 was massive!

IEM Sydney was last week, so get ready for a whole bunch of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in these highlights! Also in the mix — the League of Legends Mid Season Invitationals.

Be sure to head over and check out the rest of the esports hub! Remember you can email tips to me esportsau@ign.com or you can just click to send me an email. If you want, you can tweet suggestions at me as well, my twitter is down the bottom of this article.

CSGO - IEM Sydney 2018 Group Stages

Grayhound played wonderfully at IEM Sydney 2018, even if they didn't make the main stage. They dropped to the loser's bracket after a rough performance against Cloud9 in the Best of 1s, and there they managed to defeat Brazilian super team SK Gaming before falling in a heartbreakingly close match against eventual IEM Sydney Champions FaZe Clan. ORDER did really well too, pushing Cloud9 to a third game in a crazily close match — but for a few small errors, both Cloud9 and FaZe might have fallen to local teams, and that's something to take notice of. Watch Gratisfaction show the world why he's one of the best against SK below.

CSGO - IEM Sydney Women's Sydney Open

Team Noot Noot signed with the Sydney Saints, part of the Merlin Collective that owns the Dire Wolves and Overwatch Contenders team the Sydney Drop Bears, and when they weren't signing deals and getting sponsors, they were winning the first even Women's Sydney Open! I remain conflicted about putting the game on the Community Stage — I genuinely think people would enjoy watching the matches on the Main Stage, and scheduling the WSO Finals during the IEM Sydney Grand Finals was limiting in terms of crowd appeal (and annoying if you were, like me, trying to cover both). Anyway, the WSO itself was a fantastic first step and the finals between the Saints and Control Esports were great — they were closer than the 2-0 scoreline indicates. Watch Raizy shred through Control on map two below.

CSGO - IEM Sydney 2018 Finals

The Main Event of IEM Sydney took place at the Qudos Bank Arena in Homebush, and it was chocka block full of excited fans. The games were awesome, as was the setup — massive screens, an epic stage and a boisterous crowd. Aussie team the Renegades were obviously crowd favourites, and they'd beaten FaZe to get to the main stage, but they fell in an epic battle against Mousesports that featured multiple overtimes and the brilliance of honorary Australian, Noah "Nifty" Francis. TyLoo came maddeningly close to beating FaZe in the Semi-Finals, which would have seen an APAC team in the Grand Finals themselves too. The two teams that made it though — FaZe and Astralis — are titans in the CSGO scene, and it was epic seeing them duke it out. FaZe won 3-0, off the back of plays like this one from Rain below.

League of Legends - MSI 2018 Play-Ins

The MSI 2018 Play-Ins sees the best teams from the "Other" regions in League of Legends compete for one of two spots in the Main Event Group Stage. The Dire Wolves were in Group B, alongside the always strong Brazilian team SuperMassive. Still, they had an awesome day one, falling only to SuperMassive and finding themselves in a good space for day two (or day four, technically). Sadly in the second round they lost to KaBuMesports early, and it seemed to me like they tilted from there on out (although in their defence they were mathematically unable to qualify after losing to KBM). Watch them crash into KaBuMesports on day one below — this match in general was a ripper.

Hit us up in the comments or on twitter if you think I missed any of the best highlights, or if you hate twitter videos or whatever!

Joab Gilroy is an Australian-based freelancer that specialises in competitive online games and chicken dinner acquisition. You can tweet at him here.