Intel® Extreme Masters returns to Katowice, Poland, for the fifth year in a row with the 2017 World Championship, bringing the 11th season of the longest running esports circuit in the world to its conclusion.
For the first time the competition will span two consecutive weekends, specifically February 25 – 26 and March 3 – 5, 2017, with more than $600,000 (£482,526) in prizing.
The League of Legends finals will take place the first weekend in the Spodek Arena. The culmination of Counter-Strike:Global Offensive and StarCraft II competitions will be held the following weekend, March 3-5, in both the Spodek Arena and the adjacent International Convention Center (ICC). The IEM Expo will also be going on at the ICC at the same time meaning visitors will have access to Free To Play zones, Meet & Greet with well-known influencers, concerts, raffles with prizes from event sponsors, and more. Additional activities and tournaments on dedicated stages will be announced in the coming weeks.
Back in March 2016, IEM Katowice shattered ESL records as one of the most watched esports events in history, attracting over 34 million unique viewers with peak concurrent viewership online reaching 2 million. For 2017, both weekends will be broadcast live across the globe on Twitch, Yahoo, Hitbox, and HuoMaoTV in China. The IEM Season 11 World Championship will be sponsored by INTEL, HyperX,Gillette, GFUEL, Kinguin, Acer.
Michal Blicharz, VP of Pro Gaming at ESL commented: “This event is growing every year. We will have the highest prize money in IEM history and will host more gamers than ever before. Last March we thought we needed two arenas to really satisfy the number of people that wanted to the world’s best gamers compete at Intel Extreme Masters. We were obviously unable to construct a second indoor arena, so we’ve expanded the World Championship to take place over two major esports weekends.”
George Woo, Esports Marketing Manager at Intel said: “For 11 seasons, Intel Extreme Masters has been the premier tournament series for esports and a perfect showcase for Intel technology. Intel’s commitment to providing the best computing and gaming products goes hand in hand with ESL’s commitment to bringing the best in esports competitions to gamers everywhere.
“We’re looking forward to creating more legendary esports moments together at the 2017 IEM World Championship at Katowice.”
General admission to the event is free of charge though early admission tickets will go on sale on December 15, 2016. Available ticket types include one-day tickets, weekend passes, premium tickets, and God Mode, which features a stay in a 5-star hotel room, access to the VIP area, catering, and other benefits.
Esports Insider says: There can’t be many left in Katowice that haven’t heard of esports by now. Two weekends for the Intel Extreme Masters is great news, and will particularly please LoL fans with one weekend to themselves.