Goodbye Oakland, Hello Chicago
Oakland is no longer the home of IEM in North America, as ESL have signed a three year commitment with two venues to host the tournament in Chicago. Starting with the Wintrust Arena, 2018's edition will take place at the venue on November 10th-11th.
The move of venue was previously reported by VP Esports and DBLTAP earlier this week. After this year the tournament will move to the United Centre, home of NBA's Chicago Bulls, for the 2019 and 2020 editions, also in November. The tournament is also set to be a stop on the Intel Grand Slam, who's $1,000,000 prize is yet to be claimed.
#IEM selects Chicago as its new North American home for 2018, 2019 & 2020!— Intel®ExtremeMasters (@IEM) August 9, 2018
Later this year in November, 16 of the best CS:GO teams battle it out for $250,000!https://t.co/N94LZ4ZHT8 pic.twitter.com/pag6Ek3W4m
This year's edition will feature 16 teams, ten of which are to be invited, with the group stage being held between November 6th-9th. The first eight teams invited were announced just after the venue was revealed through the tournament's Twitter account, of which four are North American-based teams.
What was also revealed was how the remaining six slots would be shared out, in a set of qualifiers. Two of these slots have been reserved for North American teams, and one for South America. The open qualifier for North America is set to take place starting August 20th on ESEA, where the top two teams from the open qualifier will filter into a closed qualifier event set to take place between August 23rd-25th. Full qualifier information can be found on the IEM website.
The current team list for IEM Chicago 2018 is:
|North America||North America|
The announcement for the event in November also included the talent set to be attending the event. An ensemble cast, similar to other events ESL have put on, sees a familiar set of names headed for the largest city in Illinois. The event will be commentated by the two duos of Henry "HenryG" Greer alongside Matthew "Sadokist" Trivett, and Jason "moses" O'Toole with Anders Blume. Tres "stunna" Saranthus once again returns as the on-screen reporter for the event.
The full talent line-up for IEM Chicago 2018 is:
- O. J. Borg - Stage Host
- Tres "stunna" Saranthus - Reporter
- Alex "Machine" Richardson - Desk Host
- Chad "SPUNJ" Burchill - Analyst
- Jacob "Pimp" Winneche - Analyst
- Henry "HenryG" Greer - Commentator
- Matthew "Sadokist" Trivett - Commentator
- Jason "moses" O'Toole - Commentator
- Anders Blume - Commentator