ESL has revealed that Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Sydney is finally making a return this year for some intense Counter-Strike competition, with the last event having been held back in early 2019.
The fourth ever IEM Sydney will be held in conjunction with the first-ever run of the gaming, media and tech expo, SXSW Sydney in October this year. IEM Sydney has locked in dates from October 16th to October 22nd for the ESL Pro Tour Masters competition, with playoffs taking place at the Aware Super Theatre from October 20-22.
Competition begins on October 16th with 16 top-tier Counter-Strike teams from across the globe all vying for one of six available spots in the playoffs and a share in the enormous $250,000 USD (approx $360,000 AUD) prize pool. The teams will consist of six Partner Teams, a Local Hero invite, four teams qualified via the ESL World Ranking and a further five teams entering via regional qualifiers.
Tickets for the playoffs will go on sale this week on June 22nd at 4.30PM AEST, with 3-day general admission starting at $159 AUD and going all the way up to $1,399 for a ‘God Mode’ ticket type. SXSW Platinum or Games badge holders will also have access to all three days of this year’s IEM Sydney. More ticketing information will be available here.
“Since our last IEM Sydney tournament in 2019, we’ve heard the growing chorus of Australian esports fans who have expressed their desire for a return of this iconic event,” said Head of Sales & Marketing Australia at ESL FACEIT Group, Graeme Du Toit in an accompanying press release. “So, when we were presented with a special opportunity to host IEM in Sydney again this year, we leapt at it. We’ll be counting on our fans to once again show why they’re the best esports crowd in the world this October.”
When it comes to SWSW, Sydney, here’s what else you can expect:
· Indie Games Showcase: a curated showcase of 150 independent games from ANZ and around the world, with sessions for both industry and general audiences. Submissions for the Games Festival showcase are open HERE and close on 16 August, and all accepted work will have exhibition space, booth build and hardware provided for free.
· Games Industry Conference Track: inspirational panels and presentations focused on current trends, convergence with other creative fields, solutions to issues facing the games industry and visions for the future.
· Tabletop Festival: an-expo-within-an-expo, dedicated solely to the tabletop games community, including exhibitors, demos, seminars and stage sessions and freeplay areas.
· XR Showcase: hands-on demos of astounding augmented and virtual reality pieces.
· Games Festival Stage: a stage packed with performances, presentations and live gameplay for the wider games audience.
· Investment Summit: matchmade meetings, stage pitch sessions, casual networking events and a full docket of other events for developers to connect with scouts, publishers and investors.
· Social Hub: a dedicated venue for parties, mixers, playtesting and networking events.
· “Midnighters” Games Edition: following in the footsteps of SXSW Austin’s “Midnighters” horror film program, a one-night selection of horror games and stage content.
· Student Showcase: featuring award-winning tertiary students’ works from around Australia.
The first of over 150 indie titles that will be playable at SXSW Sydney’s inaugural Games Festival will also be unveiled, chosen from the showcase applications process HERE. These include: