The march of eSports continues stronger in 2018 than ever before. Intel’s Extreme Masters competition is returning to Australia this May, inviting the best players in the world to compete for serious money. This year things are expanding to sixteen world-class Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams where a live crowd will watch the teams compete in Sydney at the Qudos Bank Arena from May 4th to 6th. This year players will compete for a prize pool, the biggest ever, a mega A$310,000.
To play at the event, you have to be invited, and along with the prize money, the top teams at IEM Sydney will also fight for their place towards the Intel Grand Slam. That tournament will reward $1,000,000 to the first team that wins four of the last ten Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competitions hosted by ESL and DreamHack. Four teams already have at least one or more wins under their belt that count toward the Intel Grand Slam, with SK Gaming leading in the challenge with two wins that bring them closer to being the first Intel Grand Slam Champions.
IEM Sydney 2017 drew crowds of over 7,000 esports fans each day to the Arena across two main event days, while nearly 8 million viewers watched the tournament online. It was the largest esports event ever held in Australia. Don’t be surprised if 2018 sets another record as online gaming continues to grow in popularity.
VP Pro Gaming at ESL, Michal Blicharz said,
“What happened at last year’s Intel Extreme Masters Sydney event completely blew us away,” “The Australian esports audience was extremely engaged in the event and became a part of the show. That type of atmosphere is very rare. They left us no choice but to come back and do it again.”
Managing Director at ESL Australia, Nick Vanzetti said,
“Last year’s IEM Sydney event marked a watershed moment for the landscape of Australian esports, proving that this region has a huge appetite for the best esports content,”
“Fans turned up in droves to experience the magic of the arena spectacle; the competition on stage was fierce and the crowd was electric. In Australia, the esports audience is growing exponentially year on year, and IEM Sydney 2018 hopes to raise the bar once again for fans and spectators the world over.”
Vice President/GM of the VR, Gaming and Esports Group at Intel Corporation, John Bonini said,
“The most rewarding part of last year’s Intel Extreme Masters event in Sydney was seeing the way the fans interacted with the tournament and also with the games, community and technology at the Intel Experience Area. Intel is proud to continue building on IEM Sydney and we can’t wait to see what we’ll achieve together this year,”
If you choose to attend, you’ll need to purchase tickets to the Intel Extreme Masters Sydney, which go on sale this Friday 2nd February at 10am AEDT. This year fans will have the chance to experience a wider range of side-events and other attractions at the Expo, as the event expands to three days. Fans will have the chance to meet their esports idols face-to-face at signing sessions, and participate in giveaways from partners and sponsors. Lets go ahead and assume most attendees will be gaming fans themselves, so you’ll not want to miss an Intel showcase featuring the latest 8th Gen Core i7 and Intel i9 processors, featuring the latest PC games, VR games, and Intel’s gaming technology.