What kind of Major will this Intel® Extreme Masters be?
We are very happy to announce today that a CS:GO Major Championship will return to Katowice after three years. What does it mean for the world’s oldest stadium event?
A lot has changed since the 2015 Major in Katowice. Intel Extreme Masters has re-adopted Counter-Strike and crowned a champion in Katowice three times since (two victories for Fnatic and one for astralis). The event has become one of the most important ones in the global esports calendar.
For years we at ESL have been working tirelessly on making Katowice a beacon for esports, and an elite competition around the globe. We believe that Katowice 2018 was one of our greatest Counter-Strike events ever held and will continue to increase the quality of production, event and competition for our fans, players and partners.
Majors have always been about introducing meaningful improvements to CS:GO events in general. The EMS One Katowice event has showed that you can be successful in a stadium environment. The Major in Cluj has made integrating game elements to the show a standard. Majors by different tournament organizers were about healthy competition where good standards started being employed in future Majors. With time, Majors have gotten better and better within the boundaries of the format, to a point where introducing meaningful, game changing improvements became harder.
So we decided to move the boundaries. The one area that has not been explored and where a big difference to the overall quality of the Major can be made is the number of matches that is played behind closed doors. Our Major will have a stage and a live audience for both the Legends and Champions Stage.
Legends matches are among one of the most meaningful games all year. We wanted them to be played in a setting more fitting of the gravity of those games. We are saving the biggest caliber of matches for CS:GO’s largest stage in Spodek, but the Legends stage will have the same integrated scoreboard features as the one in Spodek and we will put 1,000 seats in front of it.
If the demand is above a thousand, we are ready to extend the number. Eight days of CS:GO in front of a live audience. The best environment to compete.
I believe the last go round in March 2018, the Intel® Extreme Masters in Katowice was equal to a Major. Thousands of fans, a dedicated CS:GO stage with advanced game integration and years of heritage dating back to when today’s top players were in their early teens.
When this kind of heritage meets the boom™ that a Major brings, the end product may well be the best Major ever. It’s in our hands to make it so.
So we are pulling up our sleeves and getting to work. See you next Winter!