IEM Katowice

Alex Lawson


On January 27th, 2019, Valve Corp. began the group stage events for the 2019 Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Major for Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). The Major is a massive tournament held biannually in different countries and hosted by different organizations. This years first major is being held by IEM and happening in Katowice, Poland and the next major–in the fall will be hosted by Starladder and will take place in Berlin, Germany. CS:GO is a staple game in the world of ESports and has been for twenty years. ESports is essentially the professional play of different video games specifically First Person Shooter (FPS) games. ESports has been criticized quite a bit by the media for quite some time, but with viewership and prize pools increasing at a ridiculous rate not even the media can deny the validity of the scene of pro gaming. The aforementioned game, CS:GO has been around for a little over six years and the competitive scene is only a few months younger than the game itself. As of January 27th, the game has seen a total of fourteen Major tournaments, the most recent was hosted in London by the matchmaking server company, FACEIT. The current major in Katowice is about to begin the playoff rounds for the remaining eight teams in the tournament who are all competing for the million dollar grand prize.