Debut IEM event in Oz “an unqualified success”
The inaugural Australian edition of esports competition Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) was viewed by eight million people worldwide, event co-promoter TEG Live has revealed.
Electronic Sports League (ESL), the company behind IEM, signed a strategic partnership with Ticketek parent TEG in March, promising to launch “a new era in esports in Australia”. ESL, the world’s leading esports promoter, also has similar agreements with music-industry giants AEG and Vivendi.
IEM Sydney, which saw eight teams do battle on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, took place at the TEG-owned, AEG-operated Qudos Bank Arena (21,000-cap.) on 6–7 May, attracting a live audience of 15,000 and 8m unique viewers online. Brazilian organisation SK Gaming were the victors, taking home the lion’s share of the US$200,000 prize money.
“IEM Sydney was an amazing event with a highly engaged audience, a great live atmosphere and a huge global viewership online,” comments TEG CEO Geoff Jones.
“”In time we will see the star players of Counter-Strike build profiles like the top athletes in other sports”
“In time we will see the star players of CS:GO build profiles like the top athletes in other sports. It is a really exciting time for esports in Australia and TEG is delighted to be a part of the developments with ESL Australia.”
ESL Australian MD Nick Vanzetti adds: “Fifteen years ago I dreamed along with my peers of massive crowds filling an arena to watch esports and this year we made that a reality. […]
“This is a new beginning for esports in Australia. We have set the standard and need to keep raising the bar.”
Global esports revenues are expected to reach US$1.1 billion by 2019.