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IEM brings CS:GO to Melbourne for 2020 Australian Stop

Dustin Steiner  | 

IEM will head an Australian event at the Melbourne Esports Open with a $250,000 CS:GO tournament. (Photo courtesy Australia.com)

Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) will headline the Melbourne Esports Open running August 22nd to 23rd. IEM will bring some of the world’s best CS:GO teams to the land down under. 

The event will be held at Melbourne & Olympic Parks, and will play host to a prize pool of $250,000. The event will also be included in the Intel Grand Slam. This will be the fourth year that IEM has included an Australian stop, and the first time that the event will be held in Melbourne. 

“Australian Counter-Strike fans are second to none, and when we had the opportunity to bring IEM to Melbourne, to headline the Melbourne Esports Open, it was a perfect fit,” ESL Vice President Pro Gaming Michal “CARMAC” Blicharz said in ESL’s press release. “Australians have always generated atmospheres that could not be matched by anything else. Coming back for 2020 was a top priority, and the Melbourne Esports Open was a natural match. It will open Intel Extreme Masters to a broader audience and provide CS:GO fans a richer event experience.”

IEM has traditionally been held in Sydney the past three years that it stopped in Australia. The move to Melboure marks a huge expansion for the Melbourne Esports Open. 

“We’re excited for IEM to headline the Melbourne Esports Open. By bringing these two events together, we’re taking what was already Australia’s biggest esports weekend and making it an even bigger spectacle for fans,” Intel’s Santhosh Viswanathan said. 

The Intel Grand Slam is currently a very heated race. Team Liquid, Evil Geniuses, Fnatic, Astralis, and Mousesports all currently having one win a piece. Teams are required to win three out of a series of five events in order to win the $1,000,000 bonus. The events included in the Intel Grand Slam are select Dreamhack events, the ESL Pro League, and events in the Intel Extreme Masters tour. 

Teams invited to participate have not yet been announced. Traditionally they’ve included at least a few regional favorites through open qualifiers, such as Renegades and Chiefs Esports Club. More traditional invites will come as well.

The Melborne Esports Open has, in the past, played host to OPL games in League of Legends, Overwatch, Rainbow Six Masters, and various fighting game competitions, alongside open events. 

Dustin Steiner
Dustin Steiner
Dustin Steiner is an esports and gaming journalist who has been covering fighting games and their competitive scene since 2011. You can follow his daily musings on the industry on Twitter @GetSteinered.