Intel Extreme Masters is going to the Outback.
IEM Season 12 will kick off its two-day event in Sydney, Australia on May 6 and run through May 7. The event will take place in the 18,000 seat Qudos Bank Arena and feature a prize pool of AUD$260,000, the largest Austalian and New Zealand to date.
IEM is one of the biggest esports series in the world and its Katowice event alone brings in over 1 million concurrent viewers to the broadcast platform Twitch.tv.
The Sydney event will see the world's best Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams compete as six invited teams compete against locals with big dreams.
ESL revealed the first two invited teams in a press release, WWG CSGO Team Rankings No. 3 SK Gaming and home-crowd favorites, No. 21 Renegades.
"The line-up of top CS:GO teams invited to compete at Intel Extreme Masters Sydney is headed by SK Gaming, the best team of 2016 and winners of two $1,000,000 CS:GO Majors, including the ESL One Cologne Major in August, and runners up at the ESL Pro League Finals in Sao Paulo in November and Intel Extreme Masters Oakland in November. Local heroes Renegades, who are widely considered to be Australia and New Zealand’s most successful team, will return to the region to compete in front of a home crowd."
Statements from the press release from ESL and Intel:
"Having been to five different continents is a badge of honor for our historic competition," said Michal Blicharz, VP Pro Gaming at ESL. "Australia has been an attractive market for us as part of our global expansion of the Intel Extreme Masters brand. We look forward to bringing Intel Extreme Masters to new global audiences and making history for esports in Australia.”
“Bringing an industry-leading event to Australia is an exciting opportunity as we have some of the most passionate esports enthusiasts in the world,” said Nick Vanzetti, Managing Director of ESL Australia. “The prestige and legacy the Intel Extreme Masters brand brings mixed with the world's best players is the perfect recipe for a historic weekend in esports.”
“Intel has a long history with the esports community and we’re always looking for ways to give gamers the first opportunities with amazing new gaming experiences,” said Frank Soqui, general manager of the Virtual Reality and Gaming Group at Intel. “Intel Extreme Masters is the perfect venue for Intel to bring our gaming and VR products directly to the gaming community around the world. We are proud, honored and can’t wait to kick off Intel