IEM Katowice will return in February 2020 as the first Masters-level Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament as part of the new ESL Pro Tour.
The event will be held from February 28th to March 1st in the Spodek Arena in Katowice, Poland – where the tournament series has congregated since 2014.
Unlike last year’s IEM Katowice, the tournament will not be a Valve-sponsored Major event, however, it will feature a $500,000 (£399,100) prize pool and count towards the third season of Intel Grand Slam.
As a designated Masters-level event, a win in Katowice will be weighted more towards the Intel Grand Slam Season 3 and the $1,000,000 (£798,200) prize that accompanies it. The next designated Masters-level tournament in the ESL Pro Tour will be ESL One: Cologne, held in July at the Lanxess Arena.
Michal Blicharz, Vice President of Pro Gaming at ESL discussed the announcement in a release: “Here in Katowice we do not only remember but also make esports history. This Intel® Extreme Masters will be very special in that respect. When it first took place in 2013 it started the era of esports mega tournaments. Now, a new era starts for us with the first ever Masters Championship of the ESL Pro Tour.”
In tandem with the action brought by the premier CS:GO competition, ESL & Intel will host its IEM Expo, an esports and gaming trade show, at the International Congress Center. Additionally, the IEM Expo will bring forth twenty-four of the world’s best Quake players for the Quake Pro League Stage 2 Finals over two days.
Esports Insider says: Much like ESI London is to us at Esports Insider, IEM Katowice is a flagship event in the Intel Extreme Masters tournament series. Despite missing its CS:GO Major status this year, the IEM Expo and enhanced activations for attendees should turn out well for all those involved.