ESL will be organising a Premier CSGO tournament, the IEM Sydney for the third year running. The event will start on the 30th April until 5th May, an entire week of Counter-Strike action at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney’s Olympic Park. Sixteen esports teams will battle it out to win a share from the prize pool of $250K.
The IEM Sydney 2018 saw over 7,500 gaming fans that attended the esports event every day. On top of this, over 13 million online viewers were watching live streams of the CS tournament, the highest viewership of a gaming event in Australia.
For all those who will be in Sydney, you will have the opportunity to meet and greet your favourite esports players at the signing sessions. Aside from watching esports teams compete, you will get the chance to try out new gaming technology as well as receive giveaways from partners and sponsors of IEM Sydney. The IEM Sydney will be a gaming festival at its best to celebrate all that is Counter-Strike.
The IEM Sydney 2019 Tournament Format
Sixteen professional gaming teams will be in attendance at the IEM Sydney CSGO event. Five of eight teams have confirmed their invitation to participate, and these include Faze Clan, Team Liquid, MIBR, Ninjas in Pyjamas and Renegades. Three more squads are yet to receive an invite while another eight will need to secure their spot through regional qualifiers. BIG will be in attendance after winning the European qualifying matches, while EUnited proved to be the best in the North American qualifiers. On top of this, there will be three teams from Asia and another three from Oceania.
The Group Stage will see sixteen CSGO teams divided into two groups, A and B with eight teams each, based on the ESL CSGO rankings. The tournament will kick off on the 30th April until 2nd May with the first matches in a best-of-1 while the Upper and Lower Brackets will be in best-of-3 matches. The top three teams from Group A and Group B will advance to the Playoffs to battle in the hopes of reaching the finals.
The IEM Sydney Playoffs will start on the 3rd until 5th May in a single elimination bracket. The second and third runner-up teams will get to face off each other in the quarterfinals. The top two teams that win the games will proceed to the Semifinals against the Group A and B winners in best-of-3 matches. The best of the best two units will go head to head in a best-of-5 CSGO battle Grand Final in the hopes of winning the first prize of $100K.
CSGO Teams participating at IEM Sydney 2019
At the moment of writing this piece, BIG is among the top 20 CSGO teams in the world. Being among the best teams encourages the CS squad to play better, and they have what it takes. The past results have shown they finished third in CS Summit 3, ESL Pro League Season 8 – Europe, Supernova Malta 2018 and the Eleague CSGO Invitational 2019. Big’s incredible accomplishment so far was placing second at ESL One Cologne 2018 in the finals against Navi. Their participation in several esports events has instinctively improved their strategies, but some luck does play a part in the teams that they play against in tournaments. Will BIG surprise the CS community at the IEM Sydney?
Ninjas in Pyjamas
The eighth best CS team at the moment is Ninjas in Pyjamas, a CSGO squad that compete for the European region. On the 11th March, Dennis decided to take a break from competitive play, and Draken stepped in to form part of the active lineup. NiP kicked off their Counter-Strike Season with their attendance at the IEM Katowice 2019. At the premier event, the Ninjas managed to reach The New Champions Stage, Quarterfinals, only to be eliminated by Astralis. Although the squad ranked in eighth, they secured their place at the StarLadder Berlin Major 2019. Overall, NiP has the potential to be among the top esports teams and therefore a favourite in the upcoming IEM Sydney event.
The Australian team, Renegades, is the seventh best Counter-Strike squad that have strived to be among the top. They still have some struggles along the way to success, but they have the potential to be one of the favourite esports team attending IEM Sydney. Their competitive journey at IEM Katowice was cut short after advancing to the New Champion Stage, where MIBR eliminated Renegades. A significant esports win in 2019 for Renegades was the Major Asia Minor Championship in Katowice 2019 where the squad qualified for the IEM Challenger status outplayed by Grayhound. Will Renegades step up their game as the home team at Intel Extreme Masters Sydney?
Representing the European region, Faze Clan is the sixth best CSGO team in the world according to HLTV.org, for having shown excellent performance in several gaming events. The best result achieved in 2018 has to be the EPICENTER 2018 when Faze beat Navi in the Grand Finals taking the championship title. Their incredible win worth noting is the Eleague CSGO Invitational 2019 in the Grand Finals, the CS squad defeated Cloud 9 with an unbeatable score of 2-1. Last February, Karrigan returned to Faze Clan as an inactive player after his terminated contract with Team Envy. What will happen to Karrigan? Will he form part of the active roster again to fight another day at IEM Sydney 2019?
Competing for the North American region, Made in Brazil, are the fifth top CSGO team in the world. The Brazilian squad acquired felps from INTZ Esports team, benching Tarik in the process. At the latest Counter-Strike tournament, the IEM Katowice 2018, MIBR managed to reach the Semifinals, facing Astralis to whom they lost, finishing fourth. A recent achievement was at ESL Pro League Season 8 – Finals where MIBR managed to go through to the finals, however, they were defeated by Team Liquid. After ZOTAC Cup Masters 2018 event, MIBR accomplished their highest record at the Esports Championship Series Season 6 – Finals, progressing through to the Grand Final, placing second place after their loss to Astralis. Due to the changes in the active roster, all the Brazilian players have had some past gaming experience playing together. Will the switch be the secret to their future success?
The North American CSGO gamers of Team Liquid will be attending the IEM Sydney 2019. This Counter-Strike squad have defended their ranking for quite some time showing the esports scene their capabilities. At the IEM Katowice 2019, Liquid managed to reach the quarterfinals; however, Ence defeated them. Despite ranking in sixth place, an excellent accomplishment for Liquid was at the iBuypower Masters V. The CS squad took the esports title winning the final against Astralis with an incredible score 2-1. At the moment, Team Liquid is the second best CS team in the world, so no doubt that they will be the favourites at the IEM Sydney 2019.