Over 7,000 people per day and 8 million unique viewers online watched the season opening Intel Extreme Masters Sydney.
The inaugural Intel Extreme Masters marked the start of IEM’s 12th season on May 6 -7, when the world’s best teams in Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) took to the stage at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney’s Olympic Park. Over 7,000 fans on each of the event days filled the stadium, and nearly 8 million unique viewers tuned into the online broadcast.
An exciting group stage series featured eight international CS:GO teams and two winners of the local qualifier, Vici Gaming from China and Chiefs Esports Club from Australia. Some thrilling upsets included a valiant performance by Chiefs in defeating number five team in the world, Denmark’s North. Finally, four teams made their way to the IEM Sydney’s main stage, and the leading Brazilian team SK Gaming took home the lion’s share of USD $200,000 (AUS $260,000), the trophy, and the IEM Sydney champion title.
Nick Vanzetti, Managing Director at ESL Australia said, “15 years ago I dreamed along with my peers of massive crowds filling an arena to watch esports and this year we made that a reality.”
“IEM Sydney is the result of years crafting that vision and supporting the market, while building on opportunities. This is a new beginning for esports in Australia: we have set the standard and need to keep raising the bar.”
“The support from the esports community in Australia was incredible to see and we’re thrilled IEM Sydney became an immediate success, thanks to all the fans,” said George Woo, esports marketing manager at Intel Corporation. “As IEM and esports continue to expand, we look forward to bringing Intel’s leading technology to gamers around the world.”