Thu February 28 2019
Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) moves to Katowice in Poland today, kicking off one of the biggest esports Majors of the year.
While the Challengers and Legends stages already started earlier in February, the crowning on a new world champion will take place from 28 February, culminating in the grand final on 3 March.
The total prize pool for this year’s IEM Katowice is just under $2-million, being split between Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, StarCraft 2 and other titles. This will be the first time that Katowice includes a mobile gaming tournament as part of the official proceedings.
“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,” explained Michal Blicharz, Vice President of Pro Gaming at ESL, in a press statement.
Guns of Boom, an FPS shooter with more than 60 million downloads, will makes its Katowice debut in March and carry a $500 000 prize pool. The winner will also be invited to play in the next Gods of Boom event later this year.
Plenty video games have included Battle Royale modes, and Katowice is also riding that train. Before the Major champions get crowed, eight teams of two players will drop onto the main stage in Counter-Strike’s Battle Royale game mode. The winners will be immortalized in the Danger Zone map.
The prize pool for the SC2 portion is $400 000, with the winning team taking home $150 000. That pales in comparison to the CS:GO prize pool, which is a staggering $1-million.
“We are excited to bring this new format to the biggest stage in competitive CS:GO and showcase the game mode’s latest updates. Valve’s recent announcement of new squad autofill matchmaking options and, most relevant to us, improvements to the spectating system will surely push Danger Zone to new heights,” IEM explained.
In terms of talent, OJ Borg will be the stage host, with Tres Saranthius and Chad Burchill serving as desk hosts, while Jason O’Toole, Vince Hill and Matt Trivett will be the casters.
Some of the big teams to keep an eye out for include Astralis, Team Liquid, Cloud 9 and Ninjas in Pyjamas.
“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,” said John Bonini, Vice President and General Manager of the VR, Gaming and Esports Group at Intel Corporation.
A variety of esports action can be streaming on the Kwese Play device, through Kwese iflix and Netflix. If you don’t have your device yet, just head on over to the website to order yours today.