IEM Sydney with $250,000 prize pool announced
ESL has announced their second Intel Extreme Masters event of 2018, with the $310,000 AUD ($250,000) tournament returning to Sydney, Australia from May 1-6.
After tasting the waters down under last year, the largest esports event in Australia to date returns in May, which witnessed over 7,000 attendees each day at the Qudos Bank Arena. The 2017 edition's grand final showcased SK (with João "felps" Vasconcellos at the time) defeating FaZe (powered by Aleksi "allu" Jalli and Fabien "kioShiMa" Fiey back then) 3-1 in a best-of-five series.
It has not been confirmed if IEM Sydney will use the new format introduced recently, which will kick off its debut at the upcoming IEM Katowice's $500,000 World Championship. The 2018 edition for IEM Sydney will see an increase of $50,000 USD added to the prize pool after $200,000 was offered last year and a total of 16 teams (up from 8) taking part in the Australian event.
The Sydney event will count towards the Intel Grand Slam, a $1 million bonus prize rewarded to the first team that wins four of the last ten CS:GO tournaments in the ESL/DreamHack Masters circuit. Four teams have at least one win under their belt, including G2, FaZe, and NiP on one win each, as SK leads the charge with two wins.
HLTV.org has learned the group stage will take place from May 1-3, while the playoffs will be showcased to the live audience at the Qudos Bank Arena from May 4-6, an extra day for the public to enjoy the matches, compared to last year's two-day experience in the arena.