Intel Extreme Masters, the longest running global pro gaming tour in the world, is coming to Sydney for the first time in May. The elite gaming competition will see world-class Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) teams compete live in the Qudos Bank Arena on May 6 – 7.

The line-up of top CS:GO teams invited to compete at Intel Extreme Masters Sydney is headed by SK Gaming, the best team of 2016 and winners of two $1,000,000 CS:GO Majors, including the ESL One Cologne Major in August, and runners-up at the ESL Pro League Finals in Sao Paulo in November and Intel Extreme Masters Oakland in November. Local heroes Renegades, who are widely considered to be Australia and New Zealand’s most successful team, will return to the region to compete in front of a home crowd.

“Having been to five different continents is a badge of honor for our historic competition,” said Michal Blicharz, VP Pro Gaming at ESL. “Australia has been an attractive market for us as part of our global expansion of the Intel Extreme Masters brand. We look forward to bringing Intel Extreme Masters to new global audiences and making history for eSports in Australia.”

“Bringing an industry-leading event to Australia is an exciting opportunity as we have some of the most passionate eSports enthusiasts in the world,” said Nick Vanzetti, Managing Director of ESL Australia. “The prestige and legacy the Intel Extreme Masters brand brings mixed with the world’s best players is the perfect recipe for a historic weekend in eSports.”

“Intel has a long history with the eSports community and we’re always looking for ways to give gamers the first opportunities with amazing new gaming experiences,” said Frank Soqui, general manager of the Virtual Reality and Gaming Group at Intel. “Intel Extreme Masters is the perfect venue for Intel to bring our gaming and VR products directly to the gaming community around the world. We are proud, honored and can’t wait to kick off Intel Extreme Masters in Australia.”

The addition of Australia as part of the circuit comes in what is IEM’s 12th season, with Sydney being the first stop on the global tour. The event in Sydney will bring the world’s best Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players to the stage, making it the first time that eSports has been elevated to the spectacle synonymous with major European, North American and Asian events.

Attendees of Intel Extreme Masters Sydney will have a unique opportunity to watch the world’s best compete live on stage, paired with on-site fan experiences that will include player signing sessions, giveaways from partners and sponsors, as well as Meet & Greet opportunities for players and fans. The Intel Experience Zone will showcase the latest games and gadgets, along with Intel’s suite of gaming and VR-ready products, including the new 7th Generation Intel® Core™ processors, and an array of free-play machines, for those who want to fully immerse themselves in the gaming and eSports experience.

Source: IEM

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