It's been in the works for years, but finally world class esports is coming to Australia - and not in the form of an exhibition or a one-off event. The Intel Extreme Masters circuit is coming to Sydney in May, and it's bringing the world stage with it.
Announced earlier this morning, IEM Sydney will takeover the Qudos Bank Arena on May 6-7, one of the venues originally built for the 2000 Sydney Olympics. It won't be a multi-game affair, focusing exclusively on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with a $260,000 prize pool.
Brazilian team SK Gaming has been announced, along with Renegades, the North American team whose roster is made up of five Australians. No North American or European teams have been confirmed at this stage, and it remains to be seen what local teams will join SK and Renegades through the qualifiers.
"I think that’s what will make this event special — all teams will have some backing and it’s a great opportunity for teams to extend their reach into an enriched fan base of Australian esports," Chris Orfanellis, a team manager for Renegades, told FOX Sports.
Tickets for the event will go on sale to the general public from next Monday, although as always the event will be livestreamed through multiple channels.