ESL has announced its return to Australian soli with a US $250,000 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Intel Extreme Masters tournament, which will be held in Melbourne and will culminate on August 22-23. IEM Melbourne will mark ESL's first venture into the Victorian capital city and its fourth venture into the Australian soil. Previously, we had three Intel Extreme Masters stops in Sydney, from 2017-2019.
ESL is set to host an S-Tier CS:GO tournament in Melbourne later in August as a replacement event for IEM Sydney, which is usually hosted sometime in May. Instead of the usual IEM Sydney event, we will have an ESL Rio Major in Brazil, which will be the first CS:GO Major event in South America.
As of today, the details about the CS:GO tournament are very scarce, as ESL did not unveil anything besides the venue, date and the prize pool. As announced, the IEM Melbourne finals will be played at Rod Laver Arena, which is the same venue that hosted the Australian Open and has the capacity of almost 15,000. The event will feature 16 CS:GO teams, who will duke it out for $250,000 prize pool - as it was the case with all previous IEM Sydney events.
The tournament timing also compiles with Valve's requirements for the two competitions which will be used to determine which teams will receive a direct invite for the 2020 Fall Major. As stated by ESL VP of Pro Gaming, Michal Bilcharz, ESL will propose two events to Valve for that purpose, while neither being ESL One: Cologne, meaning IEM Melbourne could be one of the two mentioned events.
ESL's announcement of the event read:
"Intel Extreme Masters is returning to Australia, and for the first time, we're heading to Australia's capital of sport - Melbourne! Across two action-packed days from August 22nd to 23rd, a nation unites as the best fans join forces with the best teams to experience the #1 CS:GO tournament live in Australia."
As revealed by ESL, the ticket for the IEM Melbourne will go on sale on February 14, 2020, at 10 AM AEDT. The CS:GO fans will have an option to buy either weekend tickets or separate tickets for Saturday and Sunday's matches.
GA Weekend pass (AUD $139) will include access to both days of the event and access to the open signing sessions.
Premium Weekend pass (AUD $229) will include everything the Normal pass does in addition to a Goodie Bag, which will hold souvenirs and items from IEM Melbourne 2020.
Global Elite Weekend pass (AUD $999) will include everything Premium Weekend pass does, in addition to a Food and Drink package and unique backstage tour and other exclusives. With the Food and Drink package, CS:GO fans will get to enjoy a six-hour alcoholic beverage package alongside complimentary soft drinks, juice and water throughout each day. They will also receive afternoon tea and a dunner buffet each day.
For individuals who will look to attend only one day of CS:GO action, they will get a chance to buy separate tickets for either Saturday or Sunday matches. GA Saturday pass (AUD $68) and GA Sunday pass (AUD $99) will provide the same benefits as the basic GA Weekend pass, however, for only one of the weekend matches.