IEM Sydney 2023: Australia’s premier Counter-Strike event to return in October

IEM Sydney is back for the first time since 2019.

The Intel Extreme Masters circuit is returning to Sydney this October 16-22. 16 squads will get a crack at a $250,000 prize pool and a notch toward the Intel Grand Slam.

2019 was the last time we saw the Intel Extreme Masters head down under, but Aussies can rejoice as the event returns this year in October.

Running from October 16 to 22, domestic audiences will be able to enjoy world-class Counter-Strike on home soil with tickets for the playoffs of the event going on sale Thursday, June 22.

The playoffs on October 20-22 will be held in the Aware Super Theatre at ICC Sydney—in the heart of Sydney.

The Team Liquid squad that won the last IEM Sydney looks very different today and might look even more different when October rolls around.
Photo: Helena Kristiansson, ESL

IEM Sydney is hailed as one of the country’s most decorated esports events and its return signals our part of the international Counter-Strike community and is a badge of honour for all fans of esports in Australia.

Despite the change in venue from the Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney locals will be excited to have the baton passed back from Melbourne where two Counter-Strike events have been since the last IEM Sydney was held.

In years prior, the likes of FaZe Clan, SK Gaming and Team Liquid have all claimed trophies down-under in Sydney, while in 2022 as well as earlier this year, ESL Challenger Melbourne saw PaiN Gaming and Movistar Riders pick up titles respectively.

With four months between the announcement and the event, the landscape of Counter-Strike in Australia and internationally could shift drastically, making it difficult to predict a favourite and how well the different regions will perform at the event.

CS2’s immanent release suggests there is a reasonable chance this event could be among the first batch of large events to be played with the new version of Counter-Strike.

Ash Whyte
Ash Whyte
Ash 'Shhlee' Whyte is all about Counter-Strike and its stories. While he did look at playing League of Legends at some point, he soon opted to specailise in CS after being told Shyvana top was apparently not 'viable' and that Bronze was not a 'good' rank.



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