ESL confirms move away from Sydney, reveals IEM Melbourne

The Intel Extreme Masters event will headline the Melbourne Esports Open.

Sarah Cooper via ESL Australia
Sarah Cooper via ESL Australia

After months of speculation, Intel Extreme Masters revealed today via Twitter it is moving its Australian event from Sydney to Melbourne this year to coincide with the Melbourne Esports Open.

Moving the longest-running professional circuit in the world to Melbourne cements the city as the home of Australian Esports. Other than location, not many other details of the event have changed. Like years prior, IEM Melbourne will boast a $250,000 USD prize pool and feature a lineup of the best CS:GO teams in the world.

ESL Vice President of Pro Gaming, Michal ‘Carmac’ Blicharz believes moving IEM to Melbourne is the perfect fit.

“Australians have always generated atmospheres that could not be matched by anything else,” Blicharz said. “Coming back for 2020 was a top priority, and the Melbourne Esports Open was a natural match. It will open Intel Extreme Masters to a broader audience and provide CS:GO fans a richer event experience.”

For the Melbourne Esports Open, this will be the first year it will host a global headline tournament. Taking over Rod Laver Arena, IEM Melbourne is the Australian Masters stop within the ESL Pro Tour—a tour that connects all ESL and Dreamhack events globally.

Participating teams have a chance to win an additional $1,000,000 USD if they win the Intel Grand Slam. This feat has been achieved by two teams, Astralis in 2018 and Team Liquid in 2019.

The IEM event won’t be the only esports event on display that weekend. Previously, the Melbourne Esports Open has hosted the Oceanic Pro League finals and Contenders Finals. Further details about the Melbourne Esports Open, including their other events, are expected to be revealed in the coming months.

IEM Melbourne will take place from Aug. 22 to 23.