After three years of epic moments, and playing host to some of the best Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams of all time, IEM is leaving Sydney, swapping Qudos Bank Arena and the Harbour City for Melbourne Park and a southern switch according to sources.
A new teaser from ESL Australia features host Danny Kim, resplendent in a Renegades jersey and an Australian flag, waltzing up to Qudos Bank Arena. He appears ready to claim his seat, but is soon told there will be no IEM in Sydney for the first time in three years.
The first question raised by the announcement is where the Oceanic IEM event will take place this year, and a clear frontrunner has emerged.
We normally send @DannyKimHD out just before our big events, but for #IEM this year, he wanted to queue up early.— ESL Australia (@ESLAustralia) February 3, 2020
Things didn’t go to plan, however… pic.twitter.com/xCdpZYcRU2
Fans have been clamouring for ‘IEM Melbourne’ for years, especially following the success of the Melbourne Esports Open. According to sources close to Snowball Esports, they may finally get their wish, with Australia’s premier CS:GO event heading south.
For those already pulling out their esports calendar, keep in mind there have been no dates confirmed by ESL yet, but sources have suggested IEM’s move to the Victorian capital will likely coincide with the ever-expanding MEO.
MEO has traditionally taken place towards the end of August to coincide with the Oceanic Pro League grand final. If IEM locks in its arrival to Melbourne Park, fans may be treated to a doubleheader with the best CS:GO and League of Legends on offer.
As well as the two headlining events, it’s expected Rainbow Six’s Oceanic Cup will still be played on Margaret Court Arena in the opening days. However, there has been no confirmation the Overwatch Contenders finals will be hosted this year.
While it looks like Melbourne esports fans may have less travel to contend with in 2020, there has been no confirmation the premiere CS:GO event will be permanently moving to Melbourne, or if this is a one-off switch for the calendar year.
There is one thing that’s certain though — with the Melbourne Esports Open, the upcoming debut of Fortress Melbourne, and now IEM Melbourne, it’s a great time to be an Australian esports fan, and there’s sure to be plenty more on the horizon.
Follow ESL Australia on Twitter to keep up with the latest IEM news.