ESL and Intel have revealed that the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) competition series is returning to Chicago between July 20 and 21, with the United Center hosting four of the best CS:GO teams fighting for a $250,000 USD prize pool and an Intel Grand Slam point (an incentive where the first team to win four premier events organised by ESL or DreamHack Masters gets a prize of $1 million).
Six of the eight overall teams will be directly invited to the group stages, taking place on July 18 and 19, with the other spots filled by winners of competitions in the Americas and Europe. After this concludes, four of the teams will then show their skills at the playoffs.
"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."
"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," added John Bonini, Vice President of the VR, Gaming and Esports Group at Intel Corporation.
Of course there will be other things to do at IEM Chicago aside from watching esports, as there is an Intel Showcase for the latest products, ESL merchandise, meet and greet sessions, and more.
Tickets will be on sale on May 3 at this link. Will you be going?