Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know what Counter-Strike is.
Maybe you haven’t played it before.
But everyone has heard of the fiercely competitive team-based shooter that started as a Half-Life 1 mod. But maybe you haven’t heard of the Intel Extreme Masters series, or IEM for short.
IEM comes to Sydney on May 3-5 for the third time, but the most exciting news is which teams are will be headed to Sydney to duke it out.
Here Comes a New Challenger
Two titans of Counter-Strike have announced their debut at IEM Sydney 2019. Ninjas In Pyjamas, commonly known as NiP, and Team Liquid.
Both are heading down under for the first time in their long successful careers and I couldn’t be more excited. The best teams in the world gather in our humble little esports community and it means amazing things for Australian esports.
Senior Vice President of ESL Asia Pacific, Nick Vanzetti, has heralded this as an amazing opportunity for both global and local teams to compete and grow. With the Aussie scene lagging behind the rest of the world, more fantastic events like IEM Sydney are needed if we are to ever catch up.
NiP and Liquid will be joining other previously announced international teams Made in Brazil or ‘MiBR’ as well as Faze Clan. Both have fought on our shores before; MiBR choosing to do battle under their previous organisation brand of SK esports.
And of course, we are stoked to see Faze Clan return to defend their title as IEM Sydney Champions of 2018. The crowd favourite and local champions, Renegades, are poised to dominate the competition.
Vigorous boot camping and practising have been the Renegades focus over the last couple months. They will be looking to redeem themselves as they just felt short of a top-four position at IEM Sydney 2018.
How Can You Watch it?
Tickets for IEM Sydney 2019 are on sale via www.ticketek.com.au.
Ticket options are Single Day (starting at $45 AUD), Weekend ($149 AUD), Weekend Premium ($259 AUD, sold out) and Global Elite tickets ($1,299 AUD). In addition, all ticket types will offer an Early Entrance option which will allow fans to enter the venue thirty minutes prior to the official doors open time.
If you can’t make it to Sydney for the event live, then be sure to tune in to the official ESL Counter-Strike Twitch. The best thing about the ESL Twitch channel is they play reruns 24 hours a day, so you can always catch up and enjoy some top tier Counter-Strike games.
If you’re new to the scene, catch up on the rivalries and narrative as well as some of the lingo. I almost always have Counter-Strike games on in the background. Even at the time of writing, I’m watching an IEM Katowice replay.