From 18th to 20th of January, Katowice is a world’s capital of cyber gaming. The “Spodek” arena is currently gathering best gamers and thousands of fans within Intel Extreme Masters (IEM). The number of spectators is already over the expectations reaching even 10 000 people at one time.
Intel Extreme Masters is the global and most important league of video game champions since 2006. In Katowice, players from Europe, Asia and America struggle for USD 82 000 in prize money. The event is sponsored by Intel, Benq and Patriot Memory.
Live tournaments at the world’s largest IT and gaming conventions feature the top performers of the season – global stars in e-sports. Previously, series of the gaming tournaments were organized in, among others, New York, Sao Paolo, Shanghai, Kiev, Cologne and Guangzhou. In November, the IEM will be held in Singapore.
Intel Extreme Masters is for the very first time in Poland.
“There were concerns that we would not be able to attract enough people, so we did not want to sell tickets. […] We never predicted or even dared to dream that so many people would come flocking to the event” – Michał Blicharz, director of pro gaming at ESL – an organizer of the event, said in a statement.
There were a few moments when organizers had to stop entering people as the venue was full. Despite “Spodek” can house much more visitors, the capacity for this event is 10 000 people at one time. “The seating was completely full with people sitting on chairs, standing next to railings and sitting on aisles between chairs” – Blicharz added.
The tournament is also broadcast in the Internet. The organizer expects the IEM in “Spodek” will be watched on-line by approximately 4 million people from 170 countries.
„I am very pleased that this most prestigious gaming tournament in the globe is taking place in Katowice. Players from around the world have arrived in our City. I hope it will accelerate the expansion of e-sports in Poland and we will have more chances soon to take part in this type of events, of course, in Katowice. This is a huge privilege for Katowice from a promotional point of view as now we are mentioned among such cities as Hanover or Singapore” – commented Waldemar Bojarun, head of information and promotion department at the Katowice City Hall.