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Intel Extreme Masters adds stadium stop at San Jose SAP Center

Ella McConnell's picture
Ella McConnell
Senior Editor
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ESL is pleased to announce that the next Intel Extreme Masters tournament will be being held at the largest sports venue in the event’s history. From December the 6th to December the 7th 2014, Intel Extreme Masters will be at the SAP Center, home to the NHL’s San Jose Sharks, where it will hosting competitions for massive eSports titles League of Legends and StarCraft II.

This is Intel Extreme Masters’ seventh US event and its first ever standalone one in North America, making it something of a milestone. With all the action to be streamed live via Twitch, you won’t miss a thing wherever you are.

Michal Blicharz, Managing Director of Pro Gaming at ESL, said of the upcoming event:

“It is a massive challenge and a massive opportunity for us. This is the new frontier. We are the first independent eSports content creators to run an event of this scale inside a US sports stadium. It’s a chance for gaming fans to prove that their hobby belongs in the spotlight.”

The SAP Center holds over 150 events a year and has played host to everyone from Olympic athletes to Grammy award-winners, but it has never seen an event quite like Intel Extreme Masters San Jose. With a capacity of over 18,000, it will be one of the largest eSports events in North America. Jim Goddard, executive vice president of business and building operations at the SAP Center, is especially looking forward to the event:

“SAP Center at San Jose continually looks to add new and exciting entertainment options to our event schedule that appeal to a variety of fans both locally and on a national and international level. We are pleased to be working with ESL and Intel to bring Intel Extreme Masters to the Bay Area, an area known for its contributions to the gaming industry and an area that is home to many top gamers and video game enthusiasts. We look forward to hosting a successful and entertaining event in December.”

The tournament is also a milestone for Intel, who have been a title sponsor of the event for a record-breaking nine years. Having helped build the title sponsorship into what it is today, it’s not surprising to see George Woo, event and sponsorships programs manager at Intel, so excited at having an event take place in Intel HQ’s backyard:

“When we started this sponsorship in 2006 it was an investment with the hope that gaming would some day reach the size it is today. It feels fantastic to see it pay off and to be able to showcase Intel Extreme Masters on this scale so close to our headquarters in Santa Clara.”

With a global audience assured and an estimated 4.5 million viewers to tune in to the event’s Twitch broadcast, there is a lot to look forward to, with Kevin Lin, COO of Twitch, saying of eSports’ growth:.

“There is no greater example of the rise of eSports in the US than the proliferation of stadium-hosted events. With the Intel Extreme Masters at SAP Center being one of many for ESL this year, esports have officially arrived, with Twitch providing a window into this phenomenon on a worldwide scale.”

For more information, be sure to check out the official Intel Extreme Masters website and keep an eye on @IEM.

See you in December!