Nick Vanzetti is a familiar face in Australian esports. I spoke with him ahead of the Melbourne Esports Open in 2018 and he told me how special it was to be putting on the event. Now, in 2019, I’ve had another chat with him about the Intel Extreme Masters 2019.
“In 2019, we’re coming back with a focus on the fans,” Vanzetti tells me. He believes the fans are what makes Sydney “so special.” With fans in mind, Intel Extreme Masters 2019 is going to have a lot more hands-on activities and a lot more for people to get involved with.
“Overall,” he says, “it’s going to be an even better weekend for you if you’re an Aussie CS:GO fan.”
Intel Extreme Masters 2019
And that’s exactly what fans will want to hear. Esports continues to grow, evolve and enter the mainstream in Australia and with IEM 2019, ESL is pulling out all the stops. As IEM 2019 is the third year for the event, it’s clearly established, however, still needs to cement itself as part of the esports calendar.
Vanzetti thinks that IEM 2019 is hugely important to esports in Australia and its growth overall.
Absolutely – as Intel Extreme Masters Sydney grows, and we introduce more mega-events to the market (like the Melbourne Esports Open, which debuted last year at Melbourne & Olympic Parks), there’s tremendous growth still yet to be seen here in Australia.
Not too long ago, the idea of 7,000 esports fans attending Qudos Bank Arena would have been ludicrous and Vanzetti tells me so himself. However, Intel Extreme Masters has shown that in Australia, esports has a lot of support and a passionate, growing fanbase. Intel Extreme Masters is THE landmark event in Vanzetti’s eyes and he tells me, “IEM Sydney has reached a stage of legitimacy that the wider public wouldn’t have believed.
“We’ve had the chance to bring a world-class CS:GO event to Australian fans, and we see a fantastic response because of that each year. The community is what makes this event so special.”
As for the future of esports, Vanzetti is confident that in Australia, more global opportunities are on the way. Not only does he believe in these opportunities, at ESL he is actively working to create them.
“At ESL, we want to create a platform where everyone can be someone. We want to create more clear paths from grassroots right to the world stage.”
The Intel Extreme Masters 2019 will be held at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney from May 3 through 5. Sixteen of the world’s best CS:GO teams will play live and compete for a share of the $250,000 USD prize pool.