Australia’s biggest esports event is heading to Melbourne.
The headline act of this year’s Melbourne Esports Open (MEO) will be IEM Melbourne, a $US250,000 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) tournament featuring the world’s best teams.
The event is moving from Sydney’s Olympic Park – where it has run as IEM Sydney for the last three years – to Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena, running on Saturday August 22 and Sunday August 23.
IEM Melbourne adds an international flavour to the MEO, which in the past has primarily featured local tournaments such as the finals of the League of Legends Oceanic Pro League and Overwatch Contenders Australia, as well as the Rainbow Six Masters.
“Australian Counter-Strike fans are second to none, and when we had the opportunity to bring IEM to Melbourne, to headline the Melbourne Esports Open, it was a perfect fit.” ESL Vice President Pro Gaming Michal “CARMAC” Blicharz said.
“Australians have always generated atmospheres that could not be matched by anything else. Coming back for 2020 was a top priority, and the Melbourne Esports Open was a natural match.
“It will open Intel Extreme Masters to a broader audience and provide CS:GO fans a richer event experience.”
The introduction of IEM Melbourne only added to the city’s reputation as the esports capital of Australia, Victorian Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula said.
“We host major events of all shapes and colours in Victoria and it’s fantastic that we can be a leader in esports,” Mr Pakula said.
“More than half of Australia’s digital games companies are based here, so the local jobs story is just as compelling as the on-screen action.”
Tickets will go on sale for both IEM Melbourne and the Melbourne Esports Open at 10AM EDT on Saturday February 14 via Ticketek.
A single day ticket to IEM Melbourne will set you back $69, a weekend pass $139 and premium tickets up to $999; all of those include ground pass access to the MEO as well, which can be purchased separately for $25 (single day) and $39 (weekend).
An MEO ground pass will also give you access to Rod Laver Arena and IEM Melbourne but only to a first-come, first-serve general admission section.