Intel® Extreme Masters returns to Katowice, Poland, for the fifth year in a row with the 2017 World Championship, bringing the 11th season of the longest running esports circuit in the world to its conclusion. The elite gaming competitions will span two consecutive weekends for the first time, February 25 - 26 and March 3 - 5, 2017, with more than $600,000 in prizing.
The League of Legends finals will take place February 25-26 in the Spodek Arena. The culmination of Counter-Strike:Global Offensive and StarCraft II competitions will be held the following weekend, March 3-5, in both the Spodek Arena and the adjacent International Convention Center (ICC). During the weekend of March 3-5, the ICC also will be home to the IEM Expo where visitors can experience additional activities, including Free To Play zones, Meet & Greet with well-known influencers, concerts, raffles with prizes from event sponsors, and more. Additional activities and tournaments on dedicated stages will be announced in the coming weeks.
In March 2016, IEM Katowice shattered ESL records as one of the most watched esports events in history, attracting over 34 million unique viewers with peak concurrent viewership online reaching 2 million. For 2017, both weekends will be broadcast live across the globe on Twitch, Yahoo, Hitbox, and HuoMaoTV in China. The IEM Season 11 World Championship will be sponsored by INTEL, HyperX, Gillette, GFUEL, Kinguin, Acer.
"This event is growing every year. We will have the highest prize money in IEM history and will host more gamers than ever before," said Michal Blicharz, VP of Pro Gaming at ESL. "Last March we thought we needed two arenas to really satisfy the number of people that wanted to the world's best gamers compete at Intel Extreme Masters. We were obviously unable to construct a second indoor arena, so we've expanded the World Championship to take place over two major esports weekends."
"For 11 seasons, Intel Extreme Masters has been the premier tournament series for esports and a perfect showcase for Intel technology," said George Woo, esports marketing manager at Intel. "Intel's commitment to providing the best computing and gaming products goes hand in hand with ESL's commitment to bringing the best in esports competitions to gamers everywhere. We're looking forward to creating more legendary esports moments together at the 2017 IEM World Championship at Katowice."
General admission to the event is free of charge and early admission tickets will go on sale on December 15, 2016. The available ticket types include one-day tickets, weekend passes, premium tickets, and God Mode, which features a stay in a 5-star hotel room, access to the VIP area, catering, and other benefits.