ESL had just announced their tournament circuits for Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Season 11, and that their event, which boasts a million dollar prize-pool will travel to Shanghai, China; Oakland, the United States; Goyang, South Korea; and will conclude in Katowice, Poland.
The number of cities toured this time around is one short as IEM toured four cities before likewise concluding in Katowice. Then, they had toured Cologne, San Jose, Shenzhen, and Taipei; but ESL believes that IEM will be more exciting this year.
“It’s a big deal for us to be doing a three-stadium IEM season,” said Michal Blicharz, VP of Pro Gaming at ESL, in a press release. “Adding one in Korea of all places is historic and will make Season 11 more special than any other before.”
Last year’s World Championships drew in over 34 million viewers, making it ESL’s largest event ever. The company will be hoping for an even more successful season this year as it aims to sell out three stadiums and return to Korea.
“Season 11 will provide fans and players new and larger locations to become a part of the experience,” The press release had added.
“IEM will return to the birthplace of eSports for the first time in eight years as the hype train rolls into a stadium event in Goyang, Korea, as well as a boat ride up the San Francisco Bay when it moves from San Jose to Oakland and a larger venue.”
Most definitely, questions will be raised regarding the lack of a Cologne event. But given that the ESL One Major will be held in the city next month, it is possible that ESL intends to keep things fresh by holding different events at different locales to cater to the ever-growing number of eSport audiences around the world.
The main disciplines announced for the circuits thus far are League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Starcraft 2. The prize pool, when added up totals to over $1 million.
IEM Season 11 will begin in Shanghai in July at the ChinaJoy entertainment expo and conference, before heading to Oakland’s Oracle Arena in November, subsequently moving to Goyang in December, and concludes at Katowice in 2017.