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 the inaugural season. The MOBA from publisher and developer Riot Games, 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 Animation Festival
- IEM Cologne, Germany (August 5-9) at gamescom
- IEM San Jose, U.S.A. (November 21-22) in 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) in 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 Cartoon Animation Festival (July 16-20). Following that, the IEM will come back to Cologne’s gamescom in Cologne (August 5-9) for the third IEM event ever at the world’s largest gaming show. November will mark the return to the SAP Center in San Jose (November 21-22), the venue of the most successful ever IEM event in North America. The event will be the eighth IEM event in the US since the tour began in 2006. San Jose will be followed by an event at the ESL Arena inside 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 the 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 be ESL’s largest event in history.