24 May 2022

Intel® Extreme Masters

Opening up a world of new frontiers to a new generation of gamers and esports fans. 

Intel® Extreme Masters is the longest running global pro gaming tour in the world. Launched in 2006 by ESL, the world’s largest esports company, and now sponsored by Intel, the competition features the world’s best professional gamers in CS:GO, StarCraft® II and other esports titles. With more than a decade of history, IEM is widely considered as one of the most prestigious and traditional esports events in the world with professional gamers competing in packed-out arenas for the coveted championship titles and a multi-million-dollar prize.  

IEM is synonymous with the city that has hosted its season finale since 2012: Katowice, when the mayor of the Polish city saw an opportunity to host the global esports tournament in his hometown after reading an article in Forbes that IEM had outgrown the arena of its previous host city, Hannover. He posted an open call on his Facebook to ESL, inviting IEM to Katowice, and the rest is esports history. 

To mark the 10-year anniversary of Intel® Extreme Masters in Katowice, ESL invited esports fans from around the world to experience its iconic tournament in a live event in Katowice in winter 2022. It will launch the return of in-person competitions since the pandemic, with teams competing in front of a live audience for their share of the $1 million prize pool.  

To celebrate the unique anniversary within the esports world, ESL Gaming asked Superunion, its global creative partner, to create a campaign and evolve the IEM visual identity. The ambition was to celebrate Intel® Extreme Masters with its millions of fans and, whilst elevating its unique position in the world of esports, to connect it with the ecosystem of ESL products and brands.  

 

We created a strategy for the brand that celebrates its legacy, pioneering spirit, and its role as an ambassador that brings pro-level tournaments to millions of players in all corners of the globe. The final frontier, a destination of which many dream, but few ever reach. Where we defy the impossible and challenge limits, creating spectacles etched in history. Intel® Extreme Masters is the new world of esports. 

The visual language is an ultimate expression of this new world, created by IEM experiences. Reminiscent of times of space exploration and distant planets inhabited by heroes at the top of their game, it tells the story of the final frontiers that inspire millions of gamers to dream, challenge themselves and be a part of esports legacy.  

Intel® Extreme Masters has travelled to over 30 cities around the world, with more than 75 IEM events bringing the thrill of the game to millions of esports and gaming fans from over 180 countries. With audiences bigger than Superbowl, gamers and esports fans break records in stadium attendance and viewership numbers, and over $11 million in prize money has been awarded to some of the world’s top esports talent to date. Opening up a world of new frontiers to a new generation of gamers and esports fans.  

“Thinking back to when this place held an Intel® Extreme Masters tournament for the first time, what followed would not have been imaginable. This event represents a dream come true to everyone that wanted to build esports into something bigger and unforgettable memories shared by fans and players,” says Michal “Carmac” Blicharz, VP Product Development. 

“The modern and bold visual identity will reflect the legacies and history that is carved out at Intel® Extreme Masters, and in particular, IEM Katowice,” comments Shahin Zarrabi, VP Brand & Corporate Marketing at ESL Gaming. “The identity sets us up for success in many more years to come and ensures the high quality our fans deserve.”