ESL will host the first major of 2019. This status is given to Intel Extreme Masters: Katowice which will be held from February 14 to March 3. Twenty-four teams will compete for a million dollars. This is reported on tournament organizer’s official website.
— Intel®ExtremeMasters (@IEM) July 12, 2018
The championship will take place at three different venues. The preliminary stage (the former offline qualification) will be held from February 14-20 in ESL Arena. The group stage of the tournament will be hosted from February 21-24 ar the International Congress Centre, where up to a thousand fans can be accommodated. The playoff stage will be held at Spodek Arena from February 28 to March 3.
ESL, for the first time in the last two years, is invited to host the major. ESL’s last championship that had the major status was ESL One Cologne 2016. Of the twelve major tournaments held so far, ESL has organized five.
For those that aren’t familiar with the Major format, the top eight teams from the previous Major playoffs are automatically invited to the next event and are called “Legends.” Those eight teams are then joined by eight teams that advance from the “New Challengers” stage, which contains 16 teams.
Photo by ESL