StarCraft II is back at IEM Katowice for its 10th anniversary

StarCraft II is one of Blizzard’s oldest and still most popular esports. Even after years and years it’s going strong and boasts plenty of dedicated fans. Proof of this can be found at the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) circuit – next year, SCII is coming back to IEM Katowice.

StarCraft II is back at IEM Katowice

© ESL

StarCraft II at IEM Katowice

On February 24th, the popular event is back in the Polish town of Katowice. From the 24th until the 1st of March, 76 players can compete for a $400.000 prize pool. The game’s inclusion in the 2020 event marks the 10th anniversary of the game being featured as one of the leading titles in the event.

Coincidentally, it’ll also mark the 33rd ESL-organised StarCraft II event – that’s quite the history! The Vice President of Pro Gaming, Michal Blicharz, spoke about the ten-year anniversary:

“For ten years, StarCraft II has delivered some of the most legendary moments on our stages. Blizzard titles have always been a part of the Intel® Extreme Masters DNA, and legacy is something that’s incredibly important to us to maintain and develop. SC2 helps us cultivate a living thread back to the very first years of Intel Extreme Masters.”

One of the earlier games that adopted competitive gaming at a tournament-scale, StarCraft has a long history of engaging fans and players from around the world. It has long since been a fan-favourite, especially in Korea, where, in addition to the overall worldwide league, Blizzard maintains its own separate competitive circuit.

As for the upcoming IEM event – 12 qualification slots are and will be available for players from around the world. Those who earn those slots will be seeded into the Ro24 (the main tournament group stage) directly, and they will also get free accommodation and travel to the event itself.

All of the 76 participants will be split up into 4 groups of six players each. Of those, the top 3 players of each group will move on to the Ro12 single elimination play-off bracket. At that point in the competition, the winners move on, while the losers are directly eliminated from the tournament.

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All you need to know about Tickets

If rather than participate, you are thinking of attending the event – tickets are already live, and you can pick them up on the official website. Although the event itself lasts longer, you can only attend three of the days – February 28th, 29th and March 1st.

Expect a ticket for all three days to set you back around a hundred and fifty quid – you get a fair few things for that amount though. Obviously you get to attend, but you also get a goodie bag, free non-alcoholic drinks during the matches, and guaranteed infield seating.

If you only want to go on one day and don’t care about the other incentives, a day ticket is actually quite cheap; you can attend any one-day event for about 20 quid. That’s pretty affordable compared to similar events, but even if you can’t attend, don’t worry – all days, both public-access and otherwise, will be live-streamed on the relevant Twitch channels, so be sure to catch your favourite events there!

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