Preparations for the ninth season of Intel Extreme Masters are well underway as ESL readies itself to take on the Chinese metropolitan city of Shenzhen come July 16th.Season 9’s first event in Shenzhen marks the fifth time that the Intel Extreme Masters visits China, with previous stops having been Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu. As an integral part of the Intel Extreme Masters and a constant since Season III, China was an “obvious” choice, says managing director of pro gaming at ESL Michal Blicharz.
eSports in the region has become a staple of cultural entertainment, and China’s involvement in our community enables us to continually beat industry records. The Intel Extreme Masters World Championship in Katowice, Poland saw over 450,000 concurrent Chinese viewers tune in to watch the League of Legends final alone, with viewership generally high across all eSports events.
“With its tradition in eSports and continuously growing fanbase, China is a sleeping giant in professional gaming. Last season the Intel Extreme Masters recorded its highest Chinese viewership yet, and we want to continue to involve Chinese gamers in global competitions. This is why we come to China every year.”
- Michal “Carmac” Blicharz
A total of over US$270,000 in prize money has been paid out in the region since 2009, with this year’s Shenzhen event set to see this total significantly increased. Participants in Intel Extreme Masters Shenzhen and all following events will also be given a chance to qualify themselves for the Intel Extreme Masters World Championship in 2015. George Woo, event and sponsorship programs marketing manager at Intel, said:
“Eight seasons long we’ve had one goal: to provide the best PC gaming technology to the best players from around the world. I couldn’t be happier to see this goal extending into the ninth season of the Intel Extreme Masters. I'm confident that, with the things we have in store, it'll be the best Intel Extreme Masters season yet!”
More details on the competitions and games will follow in the upcoming weeks. For more information, please visit www.intelextrememasters.com.