IEM Katowice to return as first Valve Major of 2019

Intel Extreme Masters (IEM), the tournament series from ESL and Intel, is returning to Katowice in 2019 for a Valve Major with $1,000,000 (£756,040) up for grabs.

The tournament will see competitors face off in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and has been awarded ‘Major Championship’ status by Valve – the developer of the game.

IEM Katowice 2019 will see 24 teams, from all over the globe, compete for three weeks from February 14th. The Challengers Stage will span from February 14-20th with 16 teams competing at the ESL Studio in Katowice. The Legends Stage will be hosted on February 21st-24th at the International Congress Center (ICC), the best eight teams from the previous stage will face off against the top eight teams from the previous Major. The Champions Stage comes next from February 28th-March 3rd at the Spodek Arena, with a new world champion being crowned at the end.

Michal Blicharz, Vice President of Pro Gaming at ESL touched on the tournament in a statement: “IEM Katowice has grown to become one of the most iconic esports tournaments in the world. 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.”

The IEM Expo will also return next year at the ICC, with top brands from the industry flocking to show off their new products and latest technology – alongside numerous competitions. This will be the seventh consecutive IEM in Katowice, and it will be the third Valve Major to be held at the IEM Expo.

John Bonini, Vice President and General Manager of the VR, Gaming and Esports Group at Intel Corporation also commented: “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. 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.”

Esports Insider says: It’s safe to say that nearly everybody involved with IEM Katowice – whether it’s in a hands-on capacity or as a spectator – enjoys it so we’re not surprised to see it return. The fact it’s the third Valve Major at an IEM Expo – following 2014’s EMS One Katowice and 2015’s ESL One Katowice – is just another reason to get excited for the action that’s set to unfold.