IEM Chicago returns to the Windy City in 2019 to celebrate one of the longest rivalries in esports: North America vs. Europe. The United Center will host eight of the best Counter-Strike teams in the world playing for a $250,000 prize pool on July 20 & 21.
The same ground that saw Michael Jordan lead the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles and sporting immortality throughout the nineties will play host to this epic Transatlantic Showdown. Four teams from each region will face off with intercontinental bragging rights and a win counting towards the $1,000,000 Intel® Grand Slam Season 2 on the line.
The lead-up to IEM Chicago will also feature a barrage of content celebrating the rivalry between North America and Europe across Counter-Strike’s twenty-year history since it first debuted in 1999. A special NA vs. EU showmatch prior to the tournament’s Grand Final will also serve to quench the fans’ thirst for a hand-to-hand contest between the eternal rival regions.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING:
Michal Blicharz, Vice President Pro Gaming at ESL: “After a successful inaugural IEM Chicago last year, we are so excited to bring esports back to the Midwest. The United Center is one of the most esteemed arenas in North America and with the transition to a new stadium, we hope to accommodate an even larger competition overall, drawing from the historic prestige of the venue.”
John Bonini, Vice President of the VR, Gaming and Esports Group at Intel Corporation: “We know esports fans are the most passionate PC enthusiasts in the world, and we were excited to see the great turnout at the inaugural IEM Chicago. We can’t wait to bring our latest technology to power Intel Extreme Masters Chicago as it moves to the United Center where world class athletes have been playing for decades."
Joe Myhra, Sr. Vice President, United Center: “The United Center has been home to some of the greatest sporting events in history. We look forward to expanding into the esports realm this year with Intel Extreme Masters in July.”
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
-TEAMS: The event will consist of eight teams. Europe and North America will receive three invites and one qualifier each. Qualifier sign ups and precise dates will be announced shortly on our official channels.
-FORMAT: Before tackling the United Center main stage, teams need to survive the group stage, which will take place on July 18-19. Two groups of four teams will face off in a double-elimination format. The top two teams from each group will face off in the bo3 semifinals, leading into the bo5 Grand Final.
-TICKETS: Tickets for IEM Chicago will go on sale on Friday, May 3. Make sure to grab yours as soon as possible to take advantage of our Early Bird discounted pricing, the best deal in esports.