IEM Sydney Returns After Three-Year Hiatus, Now Part Of SXSW Sydney

IEM Sydney Returns After Three-Year Hiatus, Now Part Of SXSW Sydney

IEM Sydney, the local leg of the Intel Extreme Masters esports tour, will return in 2023. It returns, connected to the inaugural SXSW Sydney festival, in October.

For the unaware, Intel Extreme Masters is a globetrotting esports competition built around Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Starcraft II. 2023 is the show’s 17th year of operation, making it one of the longest-running esports tournaments in the world. Currently in its 18th season, IEM has already visited Rio and Dallas, and is set to hold its next event in Cologne at the end of July. Sydney becomes the fourth stop on the calendar for the year.

This is the first time IEM has returned to Australian shores since 2019. The show had confirmed a move to Melbourne in 2021, but COVID-19 restrictions prevented the event from progressing. IEM Sydney will be show’s fourth time in the NSW capital, and will be held at the Aware Super Theatre at the ICC Sydney.

Being part of SXSW Sydney means that SXSW attendees with a Platinum or Games badge already have access to the show’s three-day lineup.

If I can inject a little editorialising here: If you haven’t been to an IEM event before, it is an insanely good time. You might think watching people play competitive shooty bangs isn’t terribly interesting, but it’s a whole different thing when you’re in a stadium of people screaming along with an electric final round. You can’t beat it.

Speaking of lineups, here’s what’s on:

IEM Sydney 2023 Lineup

When will IEM Sydney be held?

October 16-22, 2023. That puts it a couple of weeks after PAX, and overlaps with Gamescom Asia in Singapore.

What’s on at IEM Sydney?

The ESL Pro Tour Masters competition features 16 of the top CS:GO teams competing for $US250,000 prize pool and a win in the race to the Intel Grand Slam

The Playoffs are held from October 20-22 at the Aware Super Theatre at ICC Sydney

When can I get tickets to IEM Sydney?

Tickets go on sale June 22.

How much are the tickets to IEM Sydney?

Tickets to IEM Sydney go on sale June 22, 2023 at 4:30 PM AEST (that’s 4:00 PM ACST, 2:30 PM AWST, and 6:30 PM NZST).

  • 3-Day General Admission: $159
  • Premium: $279
  • God Mode: $1,399

You can find out more about what each ticket gets you at the official ESL website.

Don’t forget, if you’re going to SXSW Sydney and you have a Platinum or Gaming badge, you’ve already got a pass to IEM Sydney.

  • SXSW Sydney Platinum badge: $1,495
  • SXSW Sydney Games badge: $1,095

Are there any Aussies in the competition?

There will be! A pair of Oceanic region CS:GO open qualifiers will be held on August 9-10 and August 11-12, respectively, with one team from each quali progressing to a final Closed Qualifier. The Closed Qualifier will feature four teams, one of which will go through to the IEM Sydney event. The same qualifying structure will be repeated across Europe, North America and Asia on the same dates.

What if I can’t make it to the show?

The entire event will be streamed live on ESL Counter-Strike Twitch and YouTube channels.

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