IEM Sydney: No. 1 Astralis Joins List of Teams in Attendance

by Steven Cropley

The No. 1 team in the world according to the WWG CSGO Team Rankings will be joining No. 3 and 21 SK Gaming and Renegades at Intel Extreme Masters Sydney to kick off season 12. No. 1 Astralis is the best team in the world currently after winning three of its last five events including the ELEAGUE Major, with the other two being a second place and top four finish.

The Danish squad has shown dominance since its rise back to the top at the end of 2016 and through the start of 2017. Along with Astralis, two other Danish teams made it to the playoffs at Katowice, showcasing the countries level of Counter-Strike currently.

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

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 along with announcing the start of season 12 and gave the following statement.

"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."

SK Gaming had an unexpected performance at IEM Katowice where the Brazilian squad went out in the group stages with a 2-3 record. Renegades has been struggling to find wins as of late, dropping eight of its last ten matches prior to this week's ranking.

Check back with as more teams are revealed.