Intel Extreme Masters, the longest running global pro gaming tour in the world, came to Australia in 2017 for the first time, taking the historic competition to its fifth continent across the world. For Australia and the region’s esports scene, however, it meant so much more than that. After years of staying up overnight to watch the world’s best compete overseas, it was finally time for Australia to host the elite at home. With some of the most passionate esports enthusiasts in the world, IEM Sydney 2017 gave the region an opportunity to showcase why it deserved an esports mega event.
IEM Sydney 2017 was not an overnight phenomenon. It took years of planning and market research to make a reality. We took the time to make sure we felt Australia was ready for a mega event but it was you who proved it. IEM Sydney 2017 drew crowds of over 7,000 esports fans each day to the Qudos Bank Arena across two main event days, while nearly 8 million viewers watched the tournament online.
It was the largest esports event ever held in Australia. A nation rallied and united as one, creating an event which no fan or player would ever forget. Such was the success, that IEM Sydney 2017 won “Best New Show” in the Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia Awards for Excellence 2017. The industry loved it, the fans loved it, the players loved it. How could we not come back?
READY FOR A RECAP?
IEM SYDNEY 2019
The Intel Extreme Masters returned to the glistening shores of Sydney, Australia for the third installment of IEM Sydney during 2019. Bombarding the ranks of professional teams was a turbulent Team Liquid clean sweeping their path to the Grand Finals without dropping a single map. IEM Sydney 2019 wrote history as the Swedish Derby between the Ninjas in Pyjamas versus Fnatic raged across 115 total rounds with two maps going to both triple and double overtime respectively, however, Fnatic forced their hands to the Grand Final against the Ninjas 2:1. In what was the closest Grand Final an IEM Sydney had ever seen, Team Liquid edged their victory over the Swedes in a 3:2 series lifting the silver plate title of IEM Sydney 2019 and thus initiating their future Intel Grand Slam Championship sequence of 7 consecutive premier titles on Australian soil.
IEM SYDNEY 2018
In 2018, FaZe Clan returned to the harbor city aiming for revenge. With the signings of GuardiaN and olofmeister sealed a few months earlier, they found the missing pieces of the puzzle to create a squad capable of turning up to any event in the world and be counted among the favorites. Although local heroes Renegades beat them in the Group Stage bracket, they managed to come back in style to deliver a huge performance in the playoffs. Danish titans Astralis awaited them in the Grand Final, but they managed to FaZe it up and take a clean-sweep victory with a final score of 3-0 to lift the IEM trophy.
IEM SYDNEY 2017
The Brazilian roster of SK Gaming dominated the CS:GO scene throughout 2017 with various important wins across the pro circuit, with the inaugural IEM Sydney crown as one of their biggest achievements that year. Their performance at the event was so dominant that they only lost one map in the entire tournament. This loss came at the hands of FaZe Clan, who made it to the Grand Final in great part thanks to the exploits of a then-recently-signed NiKo, who had an immediate impact on a squad that defeated Astralis in the semifinals and would go on to reach new heights in the following months and years.