ESL announces IEM Beijing 2019; Liquid & Astralis receive direct invites

Aditya Singh Rawat
23/Aug/2019 07:46 am

Cover Image Courtesy: Alphacoders | Thumbnail Image Courtesy: Intel Extreme Masters

ESL has gone ahead and announced the return of IEM Beijing, but this time the tournament is going to be a lot bigger than last time around. The $250,000 event will be taking place at the Beijing University Students’ Stadium in Beijing, China from 7-10 Nov.

While the group stages will not be played in front of a live audience the semi-final matches on 9 Nov and the grand finals on 10 Nov will be in front of a crowd. Those interested in attending the event can click HERE to book their tickets when they go on sale at the end of September.

Along with announcing the tournament, ESL has also revealed the first two direct invites. Both Liquid & Astralis will be part of the event, which according to the organizers is going to the ‘full ESL event experience’.

Image Credit: Intel Extreme Masters

Event Format

A total of 8 teams will be competing in possibly the biggest Counter-Strike tournament that China has witnessed till date. Out of the 8 competing teams, 5 teams will be directly invited for the event while the remaining 3 teams will be making their way through their respective regional qualifiers.

These 8 teams will go up against each other in the group stage taking place from 7-8 Nov. These eight teams will be split into two groups of 4 teams each and both these groups will follow a double-elimination GSL format, with the top two teams from each group making its way through to the playoffs.

The playoffs taking place from 9-10 Nov, will follow a single-elimination format with the grand finals being a five-match series.

Image Credit: Intel Extreme Masters

Note: According to Liquipedia there might be a separate qualifier tournament, GG.Bet Beijing Invitational for the European Slot. No further information about the tournament is revealed at the moment.

Image Credit: Liquipedia

This is the first event by ESL being hosted in China which will be a part of the third season of the Intel Grand Slam circuit, which was announced before the IEM Chicago 2019.

This tournament is a big step up for the entire region as top-tier teams are making their way to Asia. Compared to last year’s IEM Shanghai where NRG was the only notable team apart from a fading VP and two tier-two teams, Gambit & HellRaisers, this year the first two invites are itself of such high calibre that the event has gone up in terms of both competition and hype.

Let’s see how such a high-level Counter-Strike event does in China, which has been a host to a multitude of high-quality Dota 2 events. Stay tuned as more teams are announced along with the qualifier details.


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Aditya Singh Rawat is the in-house CS:GO editor at AFK Gaming. While his understanding of the esports space is not restricted by geographical borders, his current focus lies in the Asian region. Understands and follows almost all major esport titles.