ESL has revealed the first two invitees to IEM Chicago 2019, with North America’s Team Liquid and Europe’s ENCE confirmed for the tournament. They now await the four other teams that will be invited, plus the two teams that will enter via qualifiers.
This tournament will feature four teams from North America and four teams from Europe, in a battle between the two Counter-Strike giants. IEM Chicago will begin on Thursday, July 18 and will end on Sunday, July 21. Teams will be battling it out for a share of a $250,000 prize pool, with first place taking home a cool $125,000.
This year has been looking good for Team Liquid so far, as the team comes off of a first place win at IEM Sydney a couple of weeks ago on Sunday, May 5. Liquid was also able to finally get the monkey off their back in January when they took down Astralis at iBUYPOWER Masters IV. Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken and company look to add another trophy in their case for the year.
ENCE, on the other hand, will try to push themselves into the discussion of top-two team in the world at IEM Chicago 2019. The Finnish supersquad recently won BLAST Pro Series Madrid 2019, where they took down Astralis in the Grand Finals for the title. In-game leader Aleksi “allu” Jalli will try to lead his side to victory once again.
Last year, IEM Chicago featured double the amount of teams at the tournament. With only eight teams participating in this year’s series, we should expect plenty of high-quality games from some of the best teams North America and Europe has to offer.