Chicago’s United Center Will Host Two Days of Premier Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Competition on July 20-21, 2019
ESL, the world’s largest esports company, and Intel, the technology leader in esports, today announced that Intel® Extreme Masters (IEM) will be returning to Chicago on July 20-21, 2019, for the 76th global IEM tournament. For the second time in history, ESL will host an esports competition in the Midwest, this time at the United Center, home of the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks. The event will feature Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) gameplay with eight world-class CS:GO teams from North America and Europe, culminating in a head-to-head battle for the lucrative US $250,000 prize pool and a point towards the Intel® Grand Slam.
The two-day tournament will host some of the best CS:GO teams in the world, all competing for one of the most coveted trophies in esports. Out of the eight participating teams, six will be invited directly to the group stages of the event, which will kick off on July 18-19. The remaining two spots will be filled with the winners of competitions in Europe and the Americas. The top four teams who fought their way through the group stages will then get the chance to show off their skills at the playoffs in front of a live audience.
“After a successful inaugural IEM Chicago last year, we are excited to bring esports back to the Midwest for IEM’s tenth ever Counter-Strike event in the US,” said Michal Blicharz, Vice President Pro Gaming at ESL. “The United Center is one of the most esteemed arenas in North America, and I can’t think of a more fitting place to celebrate such a prestigious and historic milestone for ESL.”
In addition to professional gameplay, IEM will feature a wide array of activities at sponsor booths. Attendees will be able to immerse themselves in the latest PC gaming technology and titles. The Intel® Showcase will feature the latest 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 and Intel® Core™ i9 processors for gaming, VR and content creation. Additionally, attendees will be able to purchase the latest team merchandise at the ESL shop, meet the players from all eight teams at signing sessions, and witness a special North American and European showmatch ahead of Sunday’s Grand Final. IEM Chicago 2019 will also be a part of the Intel® Grand Slam, which will award a $1 million USD bonus prize for the first team to win four of the last ten major CS:GO events organized by ESL and DreamHack.
“We know esports fans are the most passionate PC enthusiasts in the world, and we were excited to see the great turnout at the inaugural IEM Chicago. We can’t wait to bring our latest technology to power Intel Extreme Masters Chicago as it moves to the United Center where world class athletes have been playing for decades,” said John Bonini, Vice President of the VR, Gaming and Esports Group at Intel Corporation.
Intel® Extreme Masters launched the first installment of IEM Chicago in November 2018 to rousing success, touting a near capacity crowd of 6,500 fans per main event day. The event generated over 38 million sessions streamed via distribution channels both online and on linear TV, while online viewers consumed almost 11 million hours of content throughout the event, with over 12 million unique viewers. Additionally, IEM Chicago 2018 featured “Movember” charity initiatives with the on-air talent, supporting men’s mental health, as well as a collegiate showmatch between University of Illinois and Robert Morris University.
“The United Center has been home to some of the greatest sporting events in history,” said Joe Myhra, Sr. Vice President, United Center. “We look forward to expanding into the esports realm this year with Intel Extreme Masters in July.”
Tickets for Intel® Extreme Masters Chicago will be available on May 3 at https://www.intelextrememasters.com/season-14/chicago/tickets/. For more information about Intel® Extreme Masters Chicago, visit the official website, and follow Intel Extreme Masters on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date on IEM Chicago.