Intel Extreme Masters Shanghai will make history as the first IEM CS:GO event to be held in China. And let's be clear, this is no meek effort to test the waters: this is a full-fledged CS:GO invitational with a huge $250,000 prize pool. The event takes place from August 1-6 at the China Digital Entertainment Expo & Conference, perhaps better known as ChinaJoy, which is a digital entertainment expo held in Shanghai. Considered the biggest gaming and digital entertainment exhibition in all of Asia, it's a fitting home for a tournament with this level of prestige. It's amazing to think just how long IEM events have been going on for, this event being the 72nd hosted under their banner. This makes IEM the longest running global gaming circuit, and it's showing no signs of going anywhere anytime soon. Five instantly recognisable teams have been invited to the event: Gambit Esports, HellRaisers, NRG Esports, TyLoo and Virtus.Pro. They will be joined by three yet-to-be established qualifiers, from the Chinese Qualifier, Asian Qualifier and ANZ Qualifier. Expect Chinese outfit TyLoo to be cheered on by the home crowd – they will be hoping to replicate the form that helped them to their victory at the StarLadder & ImbaTV Invitational back in March.
The eight teams will be split into two groups of four, which will be seeded according the ESL CS:GO World Rankings and then played out in the GSL format. All group games will be best-of-three. The top two teams from each group will advance to the playoffs, where they will compete in a single-elimination bracket. Semi-finals will be best-of-three, with the format shifting to best-of-five for the grand final.
How to watch
You'll be able to watch the tournament on the ESL_CSGO Twitch stream, which we've embedded below.