Everything You Need to Know Ahead of Intel Extreme Masters Sydney 2023: The First Live Counter-Strike 2 Event

Reading Time: 3 minutes


Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) returns down under to Sydney, Australia, on October 16 to 22 and will be the first ever live international tournament to be played on Counter-Strike (CS) 2. The final three days of the competition will be held in front of a live audience as fans are invited to enter the Aware Super Theatre to witness history being made.

  • Intel Extreme Masters returns to Sydney as 16 of the world’s best Counter-Strike teams face off on October 16 to 22 to battle it out for a share of the US$250,000 prize pool.
  • During the final three days, the top six teams will compete in front of a live crowd at the iconic Aware Super Theatre.
  • The winning team will cement their spot in eSports history as the first Champions in Counter-Strike 2 and take a step forward in the race to secure Intel Grand Slam V.
  • Amongst others, local heroes Grayhound.Rivalry and VERTEX Esports Club will be attending, fighting for the crown.
  • The competition will be streamed live from Sydney on ESL Counter-Strike Twitch and YouTube channels and via dedicated broadcast partners.

Here is all you need to know about IEM Sydney 2023

IEM Sydney 2023 will see 16 top CS 2 teams compete for a total prize pool of US$250,000, a win in the race to secure Intel Grand Slam V and a spot in the Group Stage of IEM Katowice 2024, the first ESL Pro Tour Championship event next year. Commencing October 16, contenders from around the globe will compete in Sydney with the six best teams facing off live in front of a packed-out audience at the Aware Super Theatre between October 20 to 22.

The Caches IV show-match

Powered by Intel and Acer, The Caches is a legendary fan-favourite show-match that will be making its return to IEM Sydney for a fourth time. As a lead-in to the IEM Sydney Grand Final, Team Australia will battle it out against Team UK at 16:30 local time on Sunday, October 22, with Chad ‘SPUNJ’ Burchill and Henry ‘HenryG’ Greer returning to the stage and continuing their epic rivalry.

Schedule and format

Group Stage (October 16 to 18):

  • Featuring 16 teams of which the top six advance to the playoffs.
    * The group stage will be a double-elimination bracket.
    * Opening matches are best-of-one.
    * All following matches are best-of-three.
    * Group stage winners advance to the semi-finals.
    * The group stage runners-up advance to the quarterfinals as the high seeds.
    * The group stage third-place teams advance to the quarter-finals as the low seeds.

Playoffs (October 20 to 22):

  • Played in a single elimination format.
  • The quarter-finals, semi-finals and grand final will all be best-of-three.

Teams attending

  • ENCE (ESL Partner Team)
  •  FaZe Clan (ESL Partner Team)
  • G2 Esports (ESL Partner Team)
  • MOUZ (ESL Partner Team)
  • Natus Vincere (ESL Partner Team)
  • Team Vitality (ESL Partner Team)
  • Cloud9 (ESL World Ranking)
  • Fnatic (ESL World Ranking)
  • GamerLegion (ESL World Ranking)
  • Monte (ESL World Ranking)
  • Grayhound.Rivalry (Local Hero Invite)
  • Apeks (European Qualifier)
  • BetBoom Team (European Qualifier)
  • Complexity Gaming (North American Qualifier)
  • Lynn Vision Gaming (Asian Qualifier)
  • VERTEX Esports Club (Oceanic Qualifier)

Prize money (USD)

TOTAL $250,000
1st $100,000
2nd $42,000
3rd-4th $20,000
5th-6th $10,000
7th – 8th $6,000
9th – 12th $5,000
13th-16th $4,000

Broadcast talent

  • Tres ‘stunna’ Saranthus (Desk Host)
  • Freya ‘Freya’ Spiers (Desk Host)
  • Janko ‘YNk’ Paunovic (Analyst)
  • Sudhen ‘Bleh’ Wahengbam (Analyst)
  • Aleksandar ‘kassad’ Trifunovic (Analyst)
  • Anastasija ‘Heccu’ Tolmaceva (Sideline Reporter)
  • Alex ‘Machine’ Richardson (Caster)
  • Chad ‘SPUNJ’ Burchill (Caster)
  • James Bardolph (Caster)
  • Alex ‘Hawka’ Hawkins (Caster)
  • Mitch ‘Conky’ Concanen (Stage Host)
  • Jordan ‘Elfishguy’ Mays (Caster)
  • Mitchell ‘pilski’ Pilipowski (Caster)
  • Geordie ‘Mac’ McAleer (Caster)
  • James ‘jimNeso’ Cowan (Caster)

On-site side activities

Held in conjunction with IEM Sydney, the SXSW Sydney Innovation and Technology expo takes place on October 18 to 21, giving fans attending the event in person the opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of on-site activities:

  • At the Intel Booth, fans are invited to try out the latest games and hardware, participate in activities and get their idols’ signatures.
  • At the ESL Shop, attendees can pick up official eSports merch including exclusive drops, Kolex Cards and their favourite team’s jersey. Local teams Vertex and Grayhound.Rivalry will also be stocked.
  • The Monster Energy Booth features a sampling bar where fans can grab their prefered flavor, meet Monster streamers, get a fresh haircut and more.
  • Stay tuned as additional details and activities will be revealed.

Where to watch

Fans tuning in online and watching the matches from around the globe can look forward to an exciting broadcast filled with extra content.

The live broadcast will be available on the ESL Counter-Strike Twitch and YouTube channels. For those unable to tune in live, all matches will also be available to watch for free on-demand via YouTube.

Assets for IEM Sydney 2023 can be found in the press kit.

For more information about IEM Sydney 2023 and the latest updates, please visit the official website and follow ESL Counter-Strike on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Details of the mentioned activities are still subject to change.

Get involved!

Get Connected!
Connect with like-minded people, start groups, share files and documents, create group video meetings, attend conferences, and more.


No comments yet