3 year CS:GO IEM Chicago Tournament deal laid out

ESL has confirmed via Twitter that IEM will be choosing Chicago as the home for the next three years of North American IEM events.

Starting in 2018, the events will invite the top CS:GO teams in the world, host the most renowned talent, and feature the same production quality we’ve come to know from other ESL events.

The first tournament will take place later this year. In this article we’ve provided more details about the event and what there is to expect.



ESL IEM Chicago 2018 Tournament – All we know

The first IEM Chicago tournament will be happening in November 2018. The event has room for 16 teams, 10 of which will be invited.

So far, eight of the ten invited teams have already been confirmed. We have provided the list below.

  • Astralis
  • Liquid
  • MIBR
  • Renegades
  • FaZe
  • mousesports
  • NRG
  • BIG

With this list in mind, there are still two invited teams that have not been announced. That also leaves 6 more slots open for qualifiers.

The regional qualifier events for IEM Chicago have already been published. They will all be online events and will have limited participating team slots. Here’s a look at the qualifier details.

Asia qualifier

  • August 22-22
  • Only one team qualifies

North America

  • August 23-25
  • Two teams qualify


  • August 23-25
  • Two teams qualify

South America

  • August 29-31
  • Only one team qualifies

The qualifiers will not have prize pools, but a free ticket to the main event is more than enough reason for teams around the world to sign up.

The main event will be taking place from November 6th until November 11. It’ll start with a three day group stage period from November 6 until November 8.

16 teams will be split into two groups. Each group will have a double elimination format, which means if a team loses, they’ll fall into the lower bracket to have another chance.

The winner of the upper bracket from each group will proceed straight to the semifinals. The four quarterfinal slots will be filled with the loser bracket winner and the winner bracket runner up from each group.



Once the group stage is over, there will be a short one day break before the action continues with the playoffs on the weekend from November 10 until November 11.

The winning team will take a $100,000 cut from the $250,000 prize pool.

The broadcast talent for IEM Chicago has also been confirmed.

We’ll be getting OJ Borg as the stage host and Machine as the Desk host. Stunna will be on the stage floor interviewing players, whilst SPUNJ and Pimp will be on the analyst desk.

Finally, we have the following four commentators:

  • HenryG & Sadokist
  • Anders & Moses

If you’d like to watch the event live, you’ll see the games streamed live on Twitch.tv. Tickets to the Wintrust Arena in Chicago are also available for anybody interested in watching games live.

The prices are $24 for Day Tickets and $139 for Weekend Premium Tickets. We’re not sure whether the group stage will be viewable by the public.

What are your thoughts on the upcoming IEM Chicago 2018 event and ESL’s three year plan for future NA IEM tournaments?