Posted 14th March 2018 By: Derpina
Esports News – The largest international esports championship, Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) series, returned this year in Katowice, Poland to bring together a united gaming community for esports players and fans from all over the world. Spectators were in for incomparable entertainment as they eagerly waited for the result of which team will win the biggest prize pools and IEM trophies.
IEM Katowice 2018 ran from February 24-25 to March 2-4. It’s the biggest and most eventful week for gamers as the competition attracted over 100,000 fans worldwide filling up Poland’s indoor stadium. The main competitions revolve around Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, all with a total prize pool of over $950,000. The former, obviously, is the most anticipated game of the week.
The main tournament schedule for each game varies per category. CS:GO’s Group play was on February 27-28 and March 1. The Playoffs round 1 and semifinals were held on March 2-3. The grand finals, the awaited moment, was held on March 4. 16 of the best CS:GO teams competed for 8 spots in the playoffs, in accordance with the following format: (1) 2 GSL groups of 8 teams, (2) group 2nds play group 3rds in the first round of playoffs, and (3) group winners are seeded directly into the semifinals.
Fnatic and FaZe were the two podium finishers in the tournament, with the former winning first place along with the $500,000 grand prize. It was Fnatic’s first time to make it to the grand finals since 2016, while Faze always go home as a runner-up.
IEM’s lasting legacy started in 2009 as a product of Electronic Sports League (ESL) and Intel. The Katowice event was considered as one of the biggest events ever conducted by both sponsors. Moreover, the future of IEM is viewed positively by Michael Blicharz, Vice President of Pro Gaming for ESL. He said: “When I started this job in 2009, we had our global viewership. That was before Twitch, before live streaming. We had to pay for bandwidth, pay for traffic and things like that. Our global record was about ten thousand people watching or whatever. And then five years later we had ten thousand people in the seats in the arena.”
Other than the two major tournaments this season, the event also sponsors other esports like League of Legends, Hearthstone, Quake Live, and Warcraft. Previous events have been held in Hanover, Chengdu, Dubai, and Los Angeles.
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