ESL and Intel announce massive partnership and $1 million prize

In a move unexpected by many, Intel and ESL have come together to announce a $1,000,000 (£790,201.51) CS:GO prize dubbed the “Intel Grand Slam.”

According to the press release, this massive partnership will have Intel “power[ing] all of ESL’s activities in amateur and professional gaming, including online competition platforms ESL Play and ESEA, National Championships in multiple countries and major events such as the Intel® Extreme Masters, ESL One and ESL Pro League.”

This means that all tournament PCs will be running the latest Intel Core i7 processors and production computers will be on a combination of Intel Core and Xeon CPUs. The press release further states that “ESL’s studios in North America and Europe will be renamed to The Intel Esports Arenas.”

Intel ESL
Image courtesy of ASUS ROG

The team that will win this magnificent prize will be the first one to win four of the ten remaining $200,000+ tournaments hosted in tandem by DreamHack and ESL. Such events include Intel Extreme Masters, ESL One, ESL Pro League and the DreamHack Masters series. The first event to count towards the Grand Slam prize will be the upcoming $250,000 ESL One Cologne, which will take place at the Lanxess Arena from July 7-9.

According to the HLTV article, $100,000 will be offered to the team which defeats another team about to win the Grand Slam. For example, should a team have three wins under their belt and are defeated on their final tournament, the team which defeated them will get $100,000.

Intel’s Senior Vice President and General Manager Gregory Bryant commented: “Intel’s involvement in esports and the gaming community has spanned more than 15 years, and we’re always looking for ways to take the player and fan experience to the next level.

“In this next phase of our long-time partnership with ESL, we’re investing in the development of future esports stars, further expanding our global footprint with the Intel®Extreme Masters circuit, and exploring fresh formats like the Intel®Grand Slam that we announced today.”

Intel ESL
Image courtesy of IEM

“Intel has been a key partner for us since 2001, and the partnership was extended globally with the launch of the Intel® Extreme Masters in 2006,” said Ralf Reichert, CEO at ESL.

He continued: “We’ve been building the esports industry together with Intel for the last 15 years, and now look forward to building the future with Intel integrated into almost every ESL product globally.”

Esports Insider says: Such partnerships are extremely beneficial to the esports community. Not only do they offer increased prize pools to winning teams, but also attract other big investors to take esports to new heights. This isn’t the first time the two companies have worked together as they also host the Intel Extreme Masters CS:GO tournament, but this is a sizable step up in how they’ll work together going forward.