IEM Chicago will replace ESL’s annual Oakland event in November

The IEM series is moving to the Midwest for the first time.

Photo via ESL

ESL is taking it’s Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) event series to a new location this year—Chicago, Illinois.

IEM Chicago will be the next CS:GO event in the IEM championship series. ESL has finalized a multi-year deal with the United Center and the Wintrust Arena to host IEM Chicago for the next three years.

The event will replace IEM Oakland, which has been part of ESL’s lineup of IEM events for the past two years. The announcement confirms a report by VP Esports on Aug. 7 that the California tournament would be phased out.

Related: IEM Katowice to host the next CS:GO Valve Major

The Wintrust Arena, home of DePaul University’s basketball team, will be the site for IEM Chicago this November. There will be 16 teams fighting for a $250,000 prize pool.

The tournament will also be a part of ESL Intel Grand Slam series, which awards $1 million to the first team to win four out of the last 10 ESL or DreamHack events. Invites will be given to 10 teams, and six teams will be able to qualify from the American, European, and Asian regions.

One team ruing the location change will be legendary Swedish side Ninjas in Pyjamas—NiP won IEM Oakland twice in a row the past two years.

IEM Chicago will move to the United Center in 2019 and 2020, where the NBA’s Chicago Bulls play their games.

“We are honored to be part of this rapidly growing industry and look forward to hosting fans from all over the world as we look to establish the United Center as a destination for live esports events,” United Center’s SVP of operations and admin, Joe Myhra, said in a press release.

IEM Chicago will take place Nov. 6 to 11, with no teams yet announced to be taking part in the event.

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Jamie Villanueva

CS:GO writer and occasional IGL support pugger that thinks he's good but is actually trash.