Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
League of Legends
ESL, the world’s largest esports company, and Intel today announced the tenth season of the longest running global esports tournament series, the Intel Extreme Masters. The elite pro gaming tour is set to bring together professional computer game players in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, StarCraft® II and League of Legends for several events across three different continents.
A decade of the Intel Extreme Masters elite pro gaming tour marks the return of Counter-Strike, which was a staple of the global competition series up until its sixth season. Michal Blicharz, Managing Director of Pro Gaming at ESL, said the following of the game’s return: “The success and the legacy of the Intel Extreme Masters was partly built on Counter-Strike and it’s a great feeling to go into the tenth season of the circuit with CS:GO back in it. Adding a third game makes this IEM season the largest in years!”
This year’s Intel Extreme Masters will also feature Blizzard Entertainment’s StarCraft II, returning for the sixth year. Blizzard’s games have been a part of the Intel Extreme Masters tournament series for all 10 seasons, beginning with Warcraft® III competition during its inaugural season. Publisher and developer Riot Games' MOBA League of Legends will also feature in season ten of the elite pro gaming tour. A vital component of the action since its debut in August 2011, the game celebrates its fifth year as part of the Intel Extreme Masters.
This year’s Intel Extreme Masters stops will include:
IEM Shenzhen, China (July 16-20) at the Shenzhen Cartoon and Animation Festival
IEM Cologne, Germany (August 5-9) at gamescom
IEM San Jose, USA (November 21-22) at the SAP Center
IEM Cologne, Germany (December 2015) at the ESL Arena
IEM Asia stop, event details to be announced at a later date
IEM Katowice World Championship in Poland (March 2016) at Spodek
All of the stops in the tenth Intel Extreme Masters season will take place in familiar territories. The season will open in China for the third consecutive year at the Shenzhen and Cartoon Animation Festival (July 16-20). Following that, the IEM will come back to gamescom in Cologne (August 5-9) for the third IEM event ever at the world’s largest gaming show. November will see the tournament series return to the SAP Center in San Jose (November 21-22), the venue of the most successful North American IEM event ever. The event will be the eighth IEM event in the US since the tour began in 2006, with San Jose to be followed by an event at the ESL Arena at the ESL studios in Cologne (December 2015).
The last two events of the season will take place in 2016. One of them will be held at a still-to-be-announced IEM stop in South East Asia. The final event will be the Intel Extreme Masters World Championship in Katowice, Poland. This will be IEM’s third World Championship and a fourth event overall in Katowice. The 2015 event was the world’s most-watched esports event of all time on Twitch. The final of the tenth season will be expanded even further to make it the largest event in ESL history.
Cartoon and Animation Festival
To be announced
at a later date
IEM has seen a total of 56 events held across the globe. Each event gathered passionate players and viewers alike to deliver the best esports has to offer. With each season, IEM has grown larger and larger and we look forward to an amazing tenths Season as we celebrate a decade of IEM.
From Los Angeles to Taipei, IEM visited 25 different cities across three continents.
Thousands of professional players participated in the IEM events to show off their skills and passion for gaming.
Over the last 9 seasons IEM traveled 379,823 km, that equals going around the world 9,478 times.
Years of competition have brought with them many unforgettable moments and pictures. Below are some of our favorites from the many many galleries of past events!
Partnership between Intel and ESL is the longest standing global sponsorship agreement in the history of esports, and the Intel Extreme Masters has seen many of the greatest esports players build legacies in their respective titles. Here some of the greatest records:
The Fnatic Counter-Strike teams have participated in every IEM season that featured Counter-Strike.
The Fnatic Counter-Strike teams have secured first spot at seven IEM events across six seasons, making them the team to have won the most events. In terms of lifting the IEM World Championship trophy, however, the most successful team is the Natus Vincere Counter-Strike squad, which won the World Championship twice in a row in Seasons 4 and 5 and secured second place in Season 6.
StarCraft II star sOs won $100,000 in prize money at the IEM World Championship in Katowice in Season 8, making him the single biggest winning player, while Fnatic’s Counter-Strike teams have won over $200,000 in prize money over the course of six IEM seasons making them the biggest earning team.
With the highest participation, most won stops and highest prize money earned, Fnatic’s Counter-Strike teams have undoubtedly been the most consistent across the six IEM seasons in which they participated. Arguably just as impressive, though, is Moscow5/Gambit Gaming, who won six of the nine events in which they played, reaching the semifinals in three consecutive World Championships and participating in all four.
The Intel Extreme Masters is a story that's going to be a decade old by the time the new season ends. In esports terms it's an eternity. We would be honored to have you with us on this journey.Michal 'Carmac' Blicharz
It is fantastic to see that over the years we have turned esports from being a part of a larger exhibition into something that defines an entire convention where the best pro gamers are celebrated like superstars. How far Intel Extreme Masters has come is amazing.George Woo, Global Sponsorships Manager at Intel