2012 was a year of eSports, games, developments, players, technology and a turn for the best. Without a doubt 2013 has a lot to live up to and the first organisation to take that challenge is Intel Extreme Masters Cup. IEM is a season of multiple events and in fact started late 2012. IEM hosts multiple nationals which lead up to the World Finals. To grab an understanding of 2013 we break the information down.
In 2012 we saw the launch of the seventh season of Intel Extreme Masters, the premier league of the Electronic Sports League, take off with its first event at gamescom 2012, IEM Cologne (August 15 - 19). $31,800 was be awarded to the 24 players SC2 players who qualified from all over the globe.
Check out the League of Legends highlight reel from IEM Cologne:
Following that the next event was scheduled to return to Guangzhou, China sadly due to conflicts between Japan and China the event was cancelled. Following that the next in the line was IEM Singapore and was held at SITEX 2012 at the Singapore EXPO which offered $29,000 spread among all SC2 players.
Check out the Starcraft 2 highlight reel at IEM Singapore featuring the man who got me into gamin, Jarret Cale:
2013, January blasts off with two events: The first is IEM Katowice, which is taking place from January 18th until January 20th in Katowice, Poland and will both feature League of Legends ($50,000) and StarCraft II ($29,000) tournaments. Teams and players have spent December qualifying for with the final qualifiers of Korea that finished today.
The second event is IEM Sao Paulo that will take place two weeks after (January 28th until February 3rd) in Brazil and has a local StarCraft II tournament and a $50,000 League of Legends tournament as part of the Campus Party show. Teams are still qualifying for that event.
The winner of each tournament at each different Global Challenge gets an automatic seed into the World Finals which will take place the first weekend of March as part of the CeBIT 2013.
Teams invited into the World Finals will be determined on the amount of ranking points they gathered across the season. Players of League of Legends will need to secure a spot in the top 12 and Starcraft 2 players will need to get a spot in the top 24. To check out the rankings check out the ESL World Ranking page.
Next up is IEM Katowice, Poland, January 18th until January 20th.
With the qualifiers still taking place over this weekend the groups are not yet complete.
League of Legends:
The League of Legends groups for Intel Extreme Masters Katowice have been drawn, despite the two Asian teams still left to be determined. With the Chinese team Royal dropping out of the tournament, two spots for Asia are now left to be filled again. ex-Moscow 5 will still be attending. One of these will be determined in the Korean qualifier taking place on Saturday, January 12th.
To finalize the groups, the Korean qualifiers going on right now will be confirmed. Two slots per group stay open for the Open Bracket winners - each group will be assigned one first place and one second place from each of the four brackets in the Open Bracket.
The IEM Katowice Schedule
No matter whether you plan to attend the event live (which, by the way, free of charge!) or at home on stream, here is the schedule!
17th of January from 12:00 CET
18th of January from 12:00 CET
19th of January from 12:00 CET
20th of January from 12:30 CET
League of Legends
18th of January from 13:00 CET
19th of January from 13:00 CET
20th of January from 12:00 CET
The Open Bracket will be played out on January 17th starting at 12:00 CET and ending at approximately 22:00 CET - this is not open to the public.
The actual event starts on January 18th: StarCraft II starts at 12:00 CET and ends at approximately 22:00 CET; League of Legends starts at 13:00 CET and ends at approximately 20:30 CET.