Day one of IEM Sydney is officially in the bag! Around 10,000 gamers gathered at the Qudos Bank Arena to celebrate the largest competitive gaming tournament in Australasian history. Every single person I spoke to agreed – esports has officially arrived Down Under, and it’s SO exciting to be here!
Day one started with a panel – we sat down with Ralf Reichert CEO of ESL, and Frank Soqui & George Woo of Intel to discuss the future of esports and technology. The topics ranged from diversity, to community, to what it actually takes to go pro. I was pretty excited to hear Reichert say he “wants to create an annual event that Australasian gamers can look forward to, as well as grow the local community.” (IEM Sydney 2017 confirmed! Kappa)
Then it was off to the main event. And the tournament is not all that’s on display! There’s an epic experience built around IEM, and it’s not all about the CS:GO. Fans were enjoying the community stage for some League of Legends, Rocket League, Smite and Paladins action in between matches. There’s also a bunch of gaming tech on show to play with, and some epic competitions going on and deals to be had. The wider event experience is one of my favourite things about esports vs flesh sports, the whole venue is buzzing with players who are passionate about the gaming, the tech, and each other. It’s an awesome thing to be part of.
After the official opening ceremony today, we saw SK and OpTik face off in the first of the semi-final matches, with SK absolutely dominating OpTik 16-1 in the first round. Already the clear crowd favourites for this match, SK then went on to win in a clean 2:0 sweep.
The second and final semi of day one was the world’s number one ranked team Astralis v multi-national up and comers, FaZe. It was a close match, with FaZe coming out on top 2:1. Bring on the FaZe v SK grand finals!
Stay tuned to Letsplay.live for updates. This report is powered by PlayTech, Intel ANZ, Gigabyte and Aorus – massive thanks!