Players to Compete Online from Training Facilities Across Europe
Online Media Events and Press Conferences to Explore Katowice’s Iconic Role in Esports and Give Fans Insight into Player Experiences
Cologne — February 10, 2021: ESL Gaming, the world’s largest esports company, has today announced details of one of the two ESL Pro Tour (EPT) Masters Championships and its flagship tournament, IEM Katowice 2021. Running entirely online February 16-28, IEM Katowice connects all ESL and DreamHack tournaments for the most popular esports titles. The event including a US $1,000,000 prize pool, also acts as a platform for the best players and teams from around the world to compete on an international, top-tier level. Included will be the culmination of the CS:GO and StarCraft® II EPT Championships, while the Warcraft® III EPT Championship will follow as a separate tournament March 4-7.
The CS:GO tournament will feature 24 teams from around the world, all competing on one European server from their respective training facilities. Each team has earned their place by competing and scoring in ESL Pro Tour tournaments in the past months. With a US $1,000,000 prize pool up for grabs, the tournament will play out in three stages:
- Play-in (16-17 Feb)
- Group Stage (18-21 Feb)
- Play Offs (26-28 Feb)
One champion will be crowned, earning themselves an ESL Pro Tour Championship title in the Intel Gram Slam — competition will be fierce with teams such as Astrails, Team Liquid, Evil Geniuses, Natus Vincere, mousesports and Fnatic set to battle it out.
Beginning February 20, the conclusion of StarCraft® II ESL Pro Tour will commence as 36 contenders from across the world fight it out for the $250,000 prize pool and the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to claim the IEM Katowice 2021 trophy.
Having originally been planned to conclude at IEM Katowice, the Warcraft III: Reforged ESL Pro Tour will now play out at the DreamHack WC3 Regional Championship, March 4-7, with players competing for the $100,000 prize.
“IEM Katowice is a stand-out moment for esports fans around the globe and 2021 is set to be huge. The pandemic of course means we will be running the tournaments online, but we have been working hard to ensure fans have the very best viewing experience” said Michal “Carmac” Blicharz, VP Game & Product Design at ESL. “We are also looking forward to telling the iconic Katowice story with dedicated media opportunities that will reveal more insights of our flagship tournament.”
Broadcast and Viewing Upgrades
In preparation for the ESL Pro Tour Championship, ESL Gaming have been working with each of the 24 participating teams to provide equipment that will enhance the broadcast quality. Continued adaptations are also being made to the new virtual studio environment, such as fan cam rooms where fans will be able to cheer on their favourite teams during the action.
Online Media Events and Press Conferences
Media will have the chance to fully capture the IEM Katowice experience through a series of engagement opportunities and online press conferences for both Polish and international media. Broadcast exclusively on Twitch, these will include access to CS:GO teams and Starcraft II players as well as two ESL Gaming panels exploring Katowice’s role and heritage in esports. Further details and schedules will be announced shortly.
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About ESL Gaming
ESL Gaming is the world’s largest esports and gaming lifestyle company. Since 1994, the company has been shaping the industry and leading esports and gaming innovation on a global scale across the most popular video games with numerous online and offline esports competitions, and through premier gaming lifestyle festivals. The company operates high-profile, branded international leagues and tournaments under the ESL Pro Tour, including ESL One, Intel® Extreme Masters, DreamHack Masters, ESL Pro League, and other preeminent, stadium-size tournaments. ESL Gaming also produces and hosts DreamHack Open tournaments, ESL National Championships, grassroots amateur cups, matchmaking systems, and DreamHack’s gaming lifestyle festivals — which feature everything gaming under one roof. ESL Gaming is part of MTG, the leading international digital entertainment group. More information is available at eslfaceitgroup.com.
Intel® Extreme Masters
Intel® Extreme Masters is the longest-running global professional esports tournament circuit in the world. Started in 2006 by Intel and ESL, the competition has now traveled to over 30 cities around the globe and conducted tournaments for 11 different competitive gaming titles. Esports fans from more than 180 countries regularly make IEM events record-breakers in terms of stadium attendance and viewership, with the tournament’s inaugural event in Australia in May 2017 marking the fifth continent for the global competitive circuit. Throughout more than 75 IEM events, over US $11 million in prize money has been awarded to some of the world’s top esports talent (intelextrememasters.com).
ESL Pro Tour
The ESL Pro Tour combines multiple, previously unconnected ESL and DreamHack tournaments from various game titles into dedicated circuits that build toward grand championships each year. The collaboration aims to create a more complete path from “zero to hero” for aspiring players, a more compelling story to follow for existing CS:GO, StarCraft II and Warcraft III fans, and a more transparent structure for new esports fans.
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