— Intel®ExtremeMasters (@IEM) May 2, 2018
Sydney’s Olympic Park has welcomed the second annual Intel Extreme Masters Counter-Strike eSports tournament.
The game – Counter Strike: Global Offensive (or CS:GO), consists of two five-player teams in which one team plays as terrorists who must plant a bomb and the other as counter-terrorists who must stop them.
The tournament, consisting of four Australian teams and 12 international teams, has a cash prize of USD$250,000 up for grabs – as well as championship points for the year-long season.
Although a relatively new phenomenon in Australia, the eSports industry has been growing internationally for well over a decade, culminating an audience estimated at over 380 million viewers worldwide.
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) May 3, 2018
With an estimated USD$906 million market revenue worldwide in 2017, the eSports market is set to surpass USD$1.2 billion before 2020.
In-fact, eSports have become so popular that professional sports clubs such as football’s Paris-Saint Germain and the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers have funded their own teams as well as Australia’s own Adelaide Crows.
The second annual IEM Sydney tournament has enabled event organisers to capitalise on the support from 2017, securing a move from Qudos Bank Arena to Sydney Olympic Park.