ESL Gaming announced that Intel Extreme Masters action is returning to Australia with its first-ever event set for Aug. 22-23 in Melbourne at the iconic 15,000-seat Rod Laver Arena, home to the Australian Open.
ESL made the announcement on social media Monday, noting that IEM Melbourne 2020 boasts a $250,000 prize purse and is part of Australia’s biggest esports festival, the Melbourne Esports Open (MEO), which will be staged at Melbourne & Olympics Parks over the same weekend.
The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive event will feature 16 teams from around the world in this Australian Masters stop on the ESL Pro Tour. Participants will also be vying for a chance at an additional $1 million as part of the Intel Grand Slam, the prize awarded to the first team to win four ESL and DreamHack Masters-level events within the span of 10 events.
However, vpesports.com reports that the 16-team field does not qualify IEM Melbourne as a qualifier for the 2020 Fall Major, the CS:GO Major Championship Autumn 2020, despite falling during the specified July-September time period. Tournament organizer Valve requires that an event must host a minimum of 24 teams for it to qualify teams for the Major tournament, which is set for Nov. 2-15.
—Field Level Media