ESL FACEIT Group (EFG) announced Monday that the company would host the Counter-Strike 2 (CS2) tournament the Intel Extreme Masters 2024 in Chengdu from April 8-14. The tournament features $250K USD total prize pool and 16 international teams, including FaZe Clan, G2 Esports, Astralis, Mouz, Virtus.Pro, and Cloud9. The winner of the tournament will qualify for IEM 2024 Cologne, often called the “Cathedral of Counter-Strike.”
The venue of this tournament will be Chengdu’s Financial City Art Centre, which has 12,000 seats. On Dec. 16-17, NetEase hosted its $1.17M Naraka Bladepoint World Championship (J Cup 2023) in Chengdu at this venue. In addition, this would be ESL’s first arena tournament in China in more than four years. The last IEM event in China was in 2019—IEM Beijing-Haidian. Back in 2019, ESL was owned by Sweden-based media giant Modern Times Group and signed a partnership deal with the Beijing Haidian government to host more esports competitions in Beijing and China, but the plan was not carried out due to a global pandemic in 2020.
Sources close to Chinese tournament organizer VSPO told The Esports Advocate that the company will also be involved in hosting IEM 2024 Chengdu. In 2023, EFG’s parent company Savvy Games Group invested $265M in VSPO.
It should be noted that the Chinese city of Chengdu has become one of the core esports-hosting cities since December 2023. Apart from J Cup 2023, it also hosted global esports competitions the $9.63M Honor of Kings World Championship and $1.42M CrossFire Stars. On Jan. 4, Riot Games announced that the 2024 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational will also be held in Chengdu, from May 1-19.