The big feature in this week’s eSports Weekend Calendar is ESL’s first standalone IEM event in North America. Usually, IEM events are run at big comic or gaming conventions but IEM San Jose breaks that mould by running at San Jose’s SAP Center, home to the NHL’s San Jose Sharks. IEM San Jose has both a League of Legends tournaments with some big North American and European teams and an SC2 tournament that will hand out the first WCS points for 2015.
The first visit of ESL’s StarCraft II flagship series to Canada looks to have nothing short of an all-star lineup. We already looked at the twelve qualifiers and invitees to IEM Toronto which includes seven of the top ten players in the World Championship Series points standings.
With a week until the tournament starts, IEM and ESL announced the group drawings for the tournament and the sixteen participants in the Dual Tournaments for the last four spots in the Round of 16. The lineup is one of the most stacked tournaments of the year outside of the WCS and a must-watch for SC2 fans.
It was just speculation when IEM Canada first announced but the folks behind Fan Expo have made it official. This August’s stop on ESL’s Intel Extreme Masters tour will be coming to Toronto as part of Fan Expo Canada.
After the massive success of the 2013 StarCraft II World Championship Series Season 3 World Finals in Toronto, it was only a matter of time before the highest level of competitive SC2 returned to Canada. It won’t ESL bringing WCS Americas to Canada but ESL’s premiere competition series, Intel Extreme Masters, that will be coming to Canada for a stop in August.
With a peak of over 600,000 concurrent viewers on Twitch and over 1,000,000 concurrent viewers when adding in other sources, the Intel Extreme Masters World Championship from Katowice, Poland, was an absolute success. It was the ESL’s most-watched tournament and the most-watched event based in Europe in eSports history with 5.7 million hours more content watched than the previous record holder, the 2013 Dreamhack Winter Championship.
For this and more stats about IEM Katowice, we have a handy infographic for your perusal.
The old sports cliche of big players make big plays in big games applies to eSports as well. Just five months after being crowned the StarCraft II World Champion at BlizzCon, Korean Protoss player sOs staked his claim to being the closest thing that SC2 has to an undisputed world champion by winning the $100,000 winner-takes-all Intel Extreme Masters World Championship.