Intel Extreme Masters to no longer feature League of Legends

One of the only international League of Legends events on the circuit will not be run this season, the organisers of the Intel Extreme Masters (“IEM”) have revealed. 

Credit: ESL/IEM

Michal Blicharz, the VP of Pro Gaming at ESL (and man behind IEM) took to the League of Legends subreddit to post a letter from the IEM team to the wider community. Although his first attempt was deleted by moderators for “breaking the subreddit’s rules”, his message has now been successfully portrayed. 

The bulk of the post reads as follows:

“We have taken a decision not to schedule IEM events around Riot’s LCS calendar. In the current LoL landscape during the off season Western players are being traded or are on vacation while Korea and China are running tournaments with their teams locked in. Working around those limitations didn’t seem like the right way to move forward.

Our 2017 events won’t happen to be in a period where pro LCS teams are free to compete. In discussions with Riot it was also determined that LCS wouldn’t pause for Katowice. This means that for the first time since 2011 LoL won’t be there. I am sad I won’t see some of you there next year.”

A lack of guarantee over the top teams and top talent’s availability has led to IEM now no longer hosting League of Legends. It’s one of very few events outside of Riot’s Mid Season Invitational and World Championships that has previously hosted the biggest League of Legends teams on a global stage. 

Whilst the post initially implies that League of Legends may eventually return, Carmac added: “As I write this, I am not sure if we will or will not run LoL events in IEM in the future. Should scheduling events around LCS become easier, I would certainly like us to. ESL will continue to support LoL overall with national championship events around the world.” 

The post also mentions a donation to charity on his behalf due to the fact that IEM Katowice, at least from a League of Legends perspective was dogged with delays. 

Esports Insider says: It’s a real shame for League fans and IEM in general. Heroes of the Storm and CS:GO now remain – but will it open up space for another game? IEM Katowice with Dota 2? Why not…