All 16 teams are in and the countdown to IEM Sydney begins

There is now less than 2 weeks to go before Counter-Strike tournament, Intel Extreme Masters, heads down under to Sydney.

All competing teams have been confirmed, with the qualifiers concluding just this week. Both returning teams and some fresh faces will be battling it out for the coveted IEM Sydney trophy. Come May the 4th (Star Wars Day) we will be ready to watch it all on the main stage at Qudos Bank Arena. Below are your qualifying teams that will be playing in the Group Stages very soon.

IEM Sydney Teams

Invite #1: SK Gaming

Invite #2: FaZe Clan

Invite #3: Renegades

Invite #4: mousesports

Invite #5: Cloud 9

Invite #6: Natus Vincere

Invite #7: Fnatic

GG Origin Qualifier: Space Soldiers

NA Qualifier: NRG eSports

EU Qualifier: Astralis

OCE Qualifier #1: Chiefs

OCE Qualifier #2: Greyhound

OCE Qualifier #3: ORDER

Asia Qualifier #1: Tyloo

Asia Qualifier #2: MVP PK

Asia Qualifier #3: B.O.O.T-dream[S]cape

Group Stage Brackets have been announced

On Wednesday, IEM posted the confirmed brackets for the upcoming group stages. Brackets A and B will compete on LAN from May 1st to 3rd. The first round will consist of Best of One matches, where winners will stay in the upper bracket and losers will move to the lower bracket. Round two and three will then play Best of Three matches to determine who will be playing on the main stage. Our Aussie qualifying teams will have to fight an uphill battle to get out of the group stages. Newly formed team ORDER will come up against FaZe Clan for their first match. Greyhound Gaming will have to compete with Cloud 9 and Chiefs will face Fnatic. Our other homegrown team, Renegades, who scored one of the invites again this year, will be playing against Space Soldiers. Fingers crossed we get to see some Aussies on that Main Stage this year.

Group Stage Bracket A
Group Stage Bracket A. Source: Twitter
Group Stage Bracket B
Group Stage Bracket B. Source: Twitter

Dust 2 returns to active duty

Yesterday, on 4/20 at Valve headquarters, but April 21st for us in Australia, Dust 2 was readded to the Active Duty map pool. Under the title ‘Smoke Mid Every Day‘ the update removed Cobblestone from the map pool and replaced it with the new Dust 2. Also featured in this update was adding a shortened version of Nuke to the Wingman map pool. The update mentions that Dust 2 would feature at the London FACEIT Major coming in September. It does not, however, mention if the changes will be implemented for IEM Sydney, so we do not know it if it will be played.

The Community Stage at IEM will also be hosting the ESL Women’s Sydney Open where teams will compete for the prize of $10,000. The rest of the event will feature heaps of interactive exhibits, merchandise and prizes as well as the chance to meet your favourite teams and players. The group stages will begin on Tuesday, the 1st of May and will be broadcast from the ESL Studios. Live games on stage will begin on Friday the 4th of May at Qudos Bank Arena. Tickets are still available, for more information read here or buy them here.

See you there!