Intel and ESL, the world’s largest esports company, will once again bring the Intel® Extreme Masters (IEM) World Championship to Katowice, Poland. IEM’s 13 year history makes it the longest running global pro-gaming circuit, and with the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) tournament being awarded Major Championship status by Valve Corporation, IEM Katowice 2019 will become the most lucrative IEM competition in its history.
The best 24 teams from around the world will compete over three weeks between Feb. 14 and March 3, 2019, for a lion’s share of the $1 million USD prize pool and an IEM World Championship:
February 14 – 20
The Challengers Stage will pit the top 16 teams against each other with competition held at the ESL Studios in Katowice.
February 21 – 24
The Legends Stage will take place at the International Congress Center (ICC) as the best eight teams of the Challengers Stage and the top eight teams of the previous Major are battling for a spot in the playoffs in front of a live audience, ready to welcome over 1,000 fans.
February 28 – March 3
The Champions Stage will be a four-day playoff taking place inside the legendary Spodek Arena, to crown a new world champion. This site has been the host of renowned sporting events and world cups.
IEM Expo, the leading esports-centric tradeshow, will also return to the ICC in 2019. The expo will once again welcome top industry brands and attendees to immerse themselves in the latest PC gaming technology as well as various esports competitions. The marquee showcase of the expo is the Intel® Experience Area, featuring the latest 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 and Intel® Core™ i9 processors for gaming, VR and content creation, as well as Intel’s leading gaming technology.
“IEM Katowice has grown to become one of the most iconic esports tournaments in the world,” said Michal Blicharz, Vice President of Pro Gaming at ESL. “I expect that coupling the heritage of IEM with the gravity of a Valve Major Championship will elevate the tournament to what will be the most incredible IEM event in history.”
“Intel Extreme Masters Katowice brings together the top gamers, fans and technology like no other esports competition can and continues to surpass expectations year after year,” said John Bonini, Vice President and General Manager of the VR, Gaming and Esports Group at Intel Corporation. “With the 2019 tournament featuring a Valve Major Championship for CS:GO, we look forward to delivering even more, from the elite competition to the best gaming technology for fans in the arena and those tuning in around the world.”
This year’s event was visited by over 169,000 live attendees across two weekends and was streamed on 17 linear and digital channels in 10 different languages, over 2 billion minutes of competition were watched, showing a 232% increase from the 2017 event.
The event marks the 7th consecutive IEM in Katowice. The IEM Expo has previously played host to two Valve Major Championships: in 2014 (EMS One Katowice) and 2015 (ESL One Katowice).
More details on tournaments and game titles will be announced in the coming weeks.
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(Image) Source: Press release