As eSports continue to break new ground and push the boundaries of what is possible in the world of professional video gaming, many people, particularly in the Oceania region, will be pleased to see the return of IEM for the first time in four years. IEM is, of course, short for Intel Extreme Masters and opens on 16th October, consisting of 16 teams.
The organizers have a lot planned for “The Big Reunion,” a sell-out crowd is expected to take the roof off at the ICC Sydney next month.
The Intel Extreme Masters is the oldest and longest-running global pro gaming tour. Since 2006, it has generated an enormous audience and spotted the explosive trend emerging in the billion-dollar video gaming industry. Many professional video gamers and fans cite it as the best premier eSports competition in the world.
Although online video gaming only started to take hold of the industry in the early 2010s, the original IEMs saw competitors jet in from all over the world to test themselves against each other. Unlike other competitions that existed around the same time, they adjusted to the ever-changing gaming landscape. They could adapt and onboard gamers who had emerged to the top of online games on XBOX and PlayStation.
When a sector can establish itself as a thriving, multi-billion dollar industry over the span of less than two decades, it results in a host of other markets trying to feed off the success. Perhaps feed is a strong word, but one market that professional video game fans follow nearly as closely as the likes of IEM is gambling markets relating to the tournament’s outcome.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO), alongside League Of Legends, is one of the internet’s most prominent and well-established eSports gambling markets. The growth of IEM has helped eSports gambling markets flourish; live betting in CSGO and other markets continues to bring new faces to the industry. As these markets grow, you can bet on additional markets alongside outcomes, such as over/under or which two teams will make it to the final.
The IEM Sydney 2023 will see the best Counter-Strike teams battle it out for supremacy and bragging rights as the best team in the world. As a gripping first-person shooter game, many people simply enjoy sitting back and watching the elite skill level of many of the players involved; you can use the internet to explore tips if you’re a player yourself, or you can stream IEM highlights on YouTube. Unsurprisingly, this year’s tournament at the ICC Sydney has already sold out, even though we’re a month away from the beginning of the proceedings. Still, you can follow the action closely online.
One of the most intriguing aspects of this year’s tournament is that there is such esteemed and close competition. Usually, the bookmakers will have a good idea of how the tournament will go. They will dissect large amounts of historical data and head-to-head information and see how the teams match up on their current form.
Team Vitality, ENCE, and G2 eSports are all identical odds to reach the final, and they’re light years ahead of the rest of the competition. Teams like G2 have grabbed headlines, with their CEO exploring many innovative ways to get them ahead in professional video gaming. Still, the most important thing is to win tournaments, and they’ll be quietly confident of winning this year’s event in Sydney.
Team Vitality is no stranger to high-level events. With the innovative team celebrating a decade in the business, their longevity is commendable and rubberstamps their revered name within professional video gaming. However, it is more or less a neck-and-neck tie between the three, and you could make a strong case for ENCE or G2 to come out on top as well. So, although many gamers are excited by the first IEM Sydney for four years, there is also an added slice of enjoyment given that the final standings are simply too close to call.
Unlike other eSports tournaments, IEM has stuck to the format that has made their event such a bumper hit in Oceania. Two groups of eight teams battle it out before the top three from each advance to the next stage, with the group winners advancing to the semi-finals. The other four teams then battle it out for the final two places before the decider takes place on 22nd October. With the winner being too close to call and IEM 2023 being the first in Sydney for four years, there is so much to look forward to.
The return of the IEM hasn’t just got people excited in Australia and New Zealand. Still, there will be avid gamers in Asia and Europe who will keep up to date with what is happening in Sydney and see which team can use their Counter-Strike prowess to get their hands on the $100,000 prize money.