The beginning of 2019 has marked what can be described as a real celebration for the esports fans. Intel Extreme Masters Katowice season 13 finals saw an esports festival being organized by ESL. We will provide a summary of this event in today's special article.
While usually focusing on a single discipline for the competitions hosted, the Electronic Sports League guys actually managed to hold tournaments for a number of interesting disciplines at IEM. Additionally, just like the season before, female part of esports audience got its own competition. Completing the list of achievements was the computer technology exhibition by Intel.
It's likely worth starting from the CS:GO championship. This year it has received the status of a Major along with developer's support, which meant the extra revenue from the in-game content, as well as all the media power provided by Valve. The final extras would be increased amount of time for event to be hosted (as compared to a typical ESL event), and a prize fund of one million dollars.
What about the figures? Everything went pretty much as expected, with statistics having almost doubled in comparison to the last year. This applies both to the average and peak figures.
For example, on average the matches of the 12th season were spectated by 480 thousand viewers. A year later, this mark has reached 835 thousand viewers. The same comparison is true for the peak figures – being equal to 515 thousand for the past year, and to 1 million 119 thousand in 2019. This is largely due to the event reaching the Major class and obtaining the developer's support.
During the finals of Intel Extreme Masters season, a CS:GO women's tournament was held in addition to the base championship. The results shown were not the best compared to the previous one, with loss of viewers being equal, on average, to 8 thousand viewers (almost 45% of the total audience). At the same time, the peak figures have reached 22 thousand viewers, exceeding the mark of 18 thousand viewers achieved a year earlier.
The next thing to note would be the Fortnite championship. The creation of Epic Games could not possibly miss an event of such class, allowing the fans of the game to see yet another competition during the ESL festival – one with a prize fund of 500 thousand dollars.
Overall, a comparison to the last event of such magnitude reveals an improvement in statistics. We have paired the Katowice event with the recently concluded Secret Skirmish. It should be noted that the Polish championship relied on different hosting format than the Epic Games' event. The amount of viewers of ESL Katowice Royal matches has exceeded that of its competitor by 115 thousand, while the peak figures lacking much of a difference: 314,090 for the former versus 252,931 for the latter.
One of highlights of IEM Katowice was a Dota 2 event. Many fans of this discipline have disregarded the list of participants as "unworthy", especially when compared to that of MDL Macau (conducted at the same time). We don't know whether they were right or not, but in the end, the Polish championship still managed to provide the community with a number of intense and interesting matches.
Statistics-wise, the broadcasts of the “Battle of Katowice” were watched by 144 thousand viewers, on average – while the peak figures have reached 186 thousand viewers. Compared to the last year, this situation looks somewhat bleak.
This is due to the tournament having a strong rival in face of MDL's event. This, along with an extremely low prize fund and the lack of presence in the DPC list, deprived the event from any chance to reach the new heights.
We would like to finish our overview of the 13th season of Intel Extreme Masters finals with Starcraft 2. Unlike many other event organizers, ESL do not forget about this "senior" esports discipline. As a result, it was possible to spectate a large event for this real-time strategy in Katowice.
Despite its age, SC2 showed excellent results. Compared to last season, the broadcast's average online presence has increased by 8 thousand viewers: from 62 to 70 thousand viewers total. There is also an improvement in peak figures, with the season 13's finals having 78 thousand viewers – as opposed to 65 thousand viewers present at IEM season 12.
Our concluding statement is that the popularity of Intel Extreme Masters Katowice continues to grow. Aside of the Dota 2 event, the entire festival has managed to show good results. Due to the Major status of the event, the developers of CS:GO have contributed to these stats greatly.