Intel Extreme Masters

IEM, also knowns as Intel Extreme Masters is one of the greatest Majors! It's also part of the Intel Grand Slam with a 1,000,000 USD prize pool.


The IEM, also recognized as the Intel Extreme Masters is a product of ESL and is known to have some of the biggest and most prestigious tournaments in Counter-Strike.

Springing in 2007, the IEM established a format of smaller qualifying tournaments that would lead up to big final events – all tournaments went worldwide from that moment, having participants from Europe, North America, and Asia.

The IEM World Championship, the grand final tournament for IEM, is one of the majors that every team aspires to win – Intel Extreme Masters trophy.

Intel Extreme Masters tournaments

IEM Sydney 2019

04 Apr - 05 May

What is special

The Intel Extreme Masters is the longest-running event series in video gaming history – and that is why the Majors they have are some of the most prestigious tournaments to win.

The IEM is also a part of the Intel Grand Slam, a “side running” competition with a prize of 1 million dollars for the first team that wins 4 premier events by either ESL or DreamHack Master within 10 consecutive events duration. The first team who won the Intel Grand Slam Season 1 was Astralis.

Season 2 just concluded its 2nd tournament with Astralis (IEM Katowice Major) and Team Liquid (IEM Sydney) as winners.

Tournament format

In the IEM tournaments, 16 teams play in 2 double-elimination groups.

Each group has 8 teams (based on their ESL World Ranking) where initial matches are BO1 and all other matches are BO3.

The top 3 teams from each group advance to the playoffs where the winners qualify directly to semi-finals, runner-ups qualify for the quarterfinals (High seeds) and 3rd placers qualify for the quarterfinals (Low seeds).

The playoffs are single-elimination brackets and are played BO3 in the quarter and semifinals while the Grand Final is played BO5.

For the Majors (IEM World championships) it runs with the SWISS System format for both the new challenger stage and the new legendary stage.

For the new champions stage, it is a single-elimination bracket where all matches inclusive the grand final is played BO3.

Upcoming tournaments