The Intel Extreme Masters World Championship will once again return to Katowice Poland for 2017, but the event will be split over two weekends.
The IEM League of Legends World Championship will take place, providing they can actually get teams to attend, on February 25th and 26th 2017 in the now iconic Spodek Arena. This presumably means that the LCS will be taking an off week during this time.
Then the big IEM event will take place the next weekend, with the CS:GO and StarCraft II competitions taking place between March 3rd and 5th. This second weekend will also feature the IEM Expo, which features retailers, meet and greets and even concerts. This second weekend will be split across the Spodek Arena and the adjacent International Convention Center.
“This event is growing every year. We will have the highest prize money in IEM history and will host more gamers than ever before,” said Michal Blicharz, VP of Pro Gaming at ESL. “Last March we thought we needed two arenas to really satisfy the number of people that wanted to the world’s best gamers compete at Intel Extreme Masters. We were obviously unable to construct a second indoor arena, so we’ve expanded the World Championship to take place over two major esports weekends.”
“For 11 seasons, Intel Extreme Masters has been the premier tournament series for esports and a perfect showcase for Intel technology,” said George Woo, esports marketing manager at Intel. "Intel’s commitment to providing the best computing and gaming products goes hand in hand with ESL’s commitment to bringing the best in esports competitions to gamers everywhere. We’re looking forward to creating more legendary esports moments together at the 2017 IEM World Championship at Katowice.”
Splitting the LoL event out of the main event seems like a weird choice. IEM Katowice has always been the biggest eSports event for all the top games, with fans being able to watch all of the major eSports across a single day. Taking LoL out of that could have a negative impact for the event, but will probably benefit online viewership.