ESL announces $100,000 Intel Extreme Masters StarCraft II World Championship

The Quest for the world’s best StarCraft II professional gamer is on.   The Electronics Sports League has announced that the $100,000 Intel Extreme Masters World Championship in StarCraft II will be a winner takes all tournament.  Unprecedented for an event of this caliber, this format will see the winner taking home the largest cash prize in the history of the ESL.

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From March 13 to the 16 of this year, Katowice, Poland will host the conclusion of the 8th season of the elite global pro gaming tour, the Intel Masters.  Through competitions in Shanghai, New York City, Sao Paulo and Cologne, sixteen of the world’s best StarCraft II players will be determined through intense competition.  These sixteen players will then be invited with all expenses paid to compete in a single elimination bracket.

Managing Director of Pro Gaming at ESL, Michael Blicharz, stated that, “Every season of the IEM was one of the hardest tournaments to win all year.  In 2014, we would like to take it to a new level of extreme.  True champions are born when they express their talent in the most extreme situation.”  He went on to say that, “We wanted to create the most high-pressure tournament this audience has ever seen”.

There are two events yet to be played in the IEM season with six players already qualifying to compete for the $100,000, leaving ten spots left to be claimed.  The six qualifiers so far are:

  • Kim “Revival” Dong Hyun (winner IEM Shanghai)
  • Kim “Oz” Hak Soo (runner up IEM Shanghai)
  • Lee “Life” Seung Hyun (winner IEM New York City)
  • Johan “naniwa” Lucchesi (runner up IEM New York City)
  • Kim “herO” Joon Ho (winner IEM Singapore)
  • Kang “san” Cho Won (runner up IEM Singapore)

Of the final ten spots, four will be awarded to the winners of tournaments taking place in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Jan 29th to Feb 1 and in Cologne, Germany from Feb 13th to the 16th.  The top two players from each of those events will also qualify for the Intel Extreme Masters World Championship. The remaining six slots will be awarded via invitations and open qualifiers.

Spodek, an 11,500 seat indoor arena located in Katowice, Poland that is usually employed for sporting and music events, will host the IEM World Championship.  It is expected that 50,000 eSports fans will attend the event over the weekend to experience eSports at its finest while having hands on experiences with the latest gaming technology at exhibits of companies like Intel, Kingston HyperX and BenQ.  This event will be the 50th IEM event that to date has given out over $3,500,000 in prize money.

For more information on both previous and upcoming tournaments, please visit the tournament’s official webpage: