IEM Sydney 2023 Announced | What To Expect From The Aussie Return

After four years since the last Australian event, ESL has announced the long-awaited return of IEM Sydney. The newly-announced Intel Extreme Masters event will take place later this year, as one of the premiere CS:GO events of the season ahead.

IEM Sydney 2019

Liquid won last time out in Sydney. Credit: Sarah Cooper | © ESL

The Aussie IEM event is long time coming

The return of IEM CS:GO events to Australia has been some time coming. IEM Sydney 2019 was the last outing, and the scene has changed so much since then, including an entire online era in between. For context, IEM Syden 2019 was won by a Liquid roster led by Stewie2K and Twistzz, which seems unfathomable now. It has always been a high-quality addition to the CS:GO tournament schedule, so it’s a welcome return. It’s always nice to see the tournament schedule be shaken up, as it ensures each event is different year-on-year.

IEM Sydney 2023 will be the fourth-ever Intel Extreme Masters event held in the city, with the champions before Liquid being FaZe Clan and SK Gaming. The upcoming tournament represents an opportunity for a new team to write their own chapter, especially given the ongoing craziness of the CS:GO roster changes right now.

IEM Sydney 2023 Details

IEM Sydney

The Aussies certainly know how to put on a show. Credit: ESLCS on Twitter

With the tournament just announced, details about team involvement are understandably scarce. However, we can tell you what we do know about the upcoming IEM CS:GO event. IEM Sydney 2023 will be part of SXSW Sydney, a five-day gaming festival where players can experience hands-on play with many upcoming titles. With an IEM CS:GO tournament jammed in the middle, it promises to be an extremely exciting affair. Head of Gaming at SXSW Sydney Luke Lancaster had this to say on the upcoming event:

“I’m incredibly humbled to work with a team that shares the vision of presenting an event designed to showcase the power, creativity and possibility of games in 2023. From the biggest, most accessible showcase of independent games in Australia, to the sheer spectacle of Intel® Extreme Masters, we cannot wait to put Sydney on the map as an unmissable date in the international games calendar.”

IEM Sydney 2023 will be held between 16th-22nd October, with the Playoffs taking place in the Aware Super Theatre at ICC Sydney. A total of 16 teams will qualify to play for a $250,000 prize pool, following the standard double-elimination Group Stage format. Also up for grabs is the Intel Grand Slam point, with Vitality and ENCE the only two teams on the board so far. These teams will qualify through a variety of means. Six slots are reserved for ESL Partner Teams, with another four reserved for ESL World Ranking. One team will receive a Local Hero Invite (presumably Grayhound Gaming). The last five teams will qualify in a series of worldwide Qualifiers the dates for which can be seen below:

EU Open Qualifier #1: August 9-10
EU Open Qualifier #2: August 11-12
EU Closed Qualifier: August 23-25

NA Open Qualifier #1: August 9-10
NA Open Qualifier #2: August 11-12
NA Closed Qualifier: August 24-25

Oceania Open Qualifier #1: August 9-10
Oceania Open Qualifier #2: August 11-12
Oceania Closed Qualifier: August 22-23

Asia Open Qualifier #1: August 9-10
Asia Open Qualifier #2: August 11-12
Asia Closed Qualifier: August 24-25

IEM Sydney 2023 begins with the Group Stage on October 16th, and concludes on October 22nd. Before we can get there, IEM Cologne 2023 awaits.

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