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One of Australia’s biggest annual esports events – the Intel Extreme Masters – has been locked in for a third-straight year, after ESL today confirmed the tournament’s return for 2019.
The Counter-Strike tournament, which first visited Sydney in 2017, has quickly become one of the headline events of the Australian esports calendar – with the loose reputation Australian fans have earned overseas no doubt contributing to the international appeal of the event.
The 2019 IEM tournament will again take place at Olympic Park’s Qudos Bank Arena from Friday, May 3 to Sunday, May 5.
The event is just one of several tour stops the IEM makes around the world each calendar year. Last year’s Sydney event kicked off the four-stop CS:GO tour which will culminate in the Katowice Masters next February.
Vice President of Pro Gaming at ESL, Michal Blicharz, said it was “absolutely incredible” what the tournament had built in Australia over just two years.
“IEM Sydney is quickly becoming a staple esports event not just in Australia but globally and it’s something we’re incredibly proud of,” he said.
ESL Asia-Pacific’s Nick Vanzetti concurred, admitting he’d previously “never dreamt” of Australia being able to host three stadium events in consecutive years.
“It’s a true testament to the strength of esports in our country, and we’ll be working hard to ensure it’s another unforgettable experience for every person who attends,” he added.
Last year’s event saw Europe’s FaZe Clan take the top gong and $100,000 (USD) prize after a thrilling three-match sweep over Astralis that went down to the wire each time.
That decider was a re-match of one of the inaugural tournament’s semi-finals, where FaZe Clan again got the better of Astralis, only to fall 3-1 to Brazil’s SK Gaming.
Tickets for the event will go on sale this Friday, November 16.