IEM Sydney to take place during SXSW

IEM Sydney
Image credit: ESL Gaming

Intel Extreme Masters, the ESL-organised CS:GO tournament series, will make its return to Australia after a four-year pause.

IEM Sydney will take place during the SXSW Sydney Games Festival in October at the Aware Super Theatre.

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The last time an IEM event took place in Australia was before the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2019. The event took place over the course of a week in April and May. The Sydney event was a popular stop for IEM, which took place there in 2017, 2018 and 2019. The last champions of IEM Sydney were Team Liquid.

This year’s edition, which will last for three days, is not a standalone event, but a part of the SXSW festival, which includes music, art, technology and gaming.

The SXSW Sydney Games Festival 2023 will feature a large-scale indie games showcase, along with a games industry conference and investment summit. There will also be a tabletop games festival and an XR showcase, open for all visitors of the Games Festival.

As for the IEM event, it will consist of a selection of partner teams, teams invited due to their global ranking by ESL, and winners of four open qualifiers for the EU, NA, Asia and Oceania regions.

Luke Lancaster, Head of Games, SXSW Sydney, commented: “I’m incredibly humbled to work with a team that shares the vision of presenting an event designed to showcase the power, creativity and possibility of games in 2023. From the biggest, most accessible showcase of independent games in Australia, to the sheer spectacle of Intel® Extreme Masters, we cannot wait to put Sydney on the map as an unmissable date in the international games calendar.”

2023 has already seen two IEM events, in Katowice and Rio de Janeiro. IEM Cologne 2023 is set to take place in July and early August.

Ivan Šimić
Ivan comes from Croatia, loves weird simulator games, and is terrible at playing anything else. Spent 5 years writing about tech and esports in Croatia, and is now doing it here.