Earlier this week, we reported on a rumour that IEM Oakland would be replaced by IEM Chicago this November — and now it's official. Not only that, eight of the ten invitees have been announced and it's going to be a tough competition!
This move isn't just a short-term ordeal; Chicago will be the home to an annual IEM event through to 2020 as a three-year deal was made with the United Center and Wintrust Arena. This year's event will be hosted at the Wintrust Arena, whereas 2019 and 2020 will see the tournament take place at the United Center, the home of the Chicago Bulls.
Just like other IEM events, sixteen of the best CS:GO teams will be in attendance in the search of taking the championship and getting one step closer to claiming the Intel Grand Slam.
10 teams will be directly invited to the group stages of IEM Chicago, with the remaining six spots being occupied by teams who make it through European, Asian, and American qualifiers. The first eight confirmed teams that will be in attendance are as follows:
Michal Blicharz, Vice President Pro Gaming at ESL said the following in a statement:
We are very happy to have found a brand-new long-term home for Intel Extreme Masters in North America. Chicago, with its strong worldwide reputation and sports history is a perfect fit for what we are aiming to build with IEM in the years to come.
IEM Chicago will take place on Nov. 6-11 at the Wintrust Arena, with teams battling it out for the lion's share of the $250,000 prize pool.