After a massive milestone for Australian esports, The Intel Extreme Masters or IEM returns to Sydney, Australia this May for three days of world-class Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) competition. IEM Sydney 2018 will feature a total prize pool of USD$250,000 (AUD$310,000) and will expand to a 16-team competition – up from the 8 teams that attended Australia’s largest esports event last year.

“What happened at last year’s Intel Extreme Masters Sydney event completely blew us away,” said Michal Blicharz, VP Pro Gaming at ESL. “The Australian esports audience was extremely engaged in the event and became a part of the show.  That type of atmosphere is very rare.  They left us no choice but to come back and do it again.”

IEM Sydney 2017 Champions, SK Gaming ‘Coldzera’

Nick Vanzetti, the Managing Director at ESL Australia has also said:

“Last year’s IEM Sydney event marked a watershed moment for the landscape of Australian esports, proving that this region has a huge appetite for the best esports content. “Fans turned up in droves to experience the magic of the arena spectacle; the competition on stage was fierce and the crowd was electric. In Australia, the esports audience is growing exponentially year on year, and IEM Sydney 2018 hopes to raise the bar once again for fans and spectators the world over.”

The event will be held back at the Qudos Bank Arena from May 4th-6th, 2018. Tickets will go on sale to the general public from 10am AEDT, Friday 2nd February 2018 through Ticketek. ESL Australia will announce teams attending later on.

Check out the announcement trailer below: