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- ESL will do away with its early entrance ticket for the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice, in favor of guaranteed seating at multiple price points.
- The model reflects the tournament’s later start times than in previous years, and feedback from international attendees looking to secure arena seats.
- Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2020 will be the first “Masters Championship” in the new ESL Pro Tour system.
ESL Gaming has announced a new ticketing model for the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Katowice tournament, that replaces the general early-entry pass with designated seating zones. Beginning this Thursday, a set of upper and lower ranked tickets will go on sale, along with two premium options that place attendees in front of the stage.
The IEM Katowice Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) tournament has been held in the Polish city’s Spodek arena since 2014. For these initial years, games would go on from noon to midnight, and the early entrance tickets allowed fans to gain access ahead of those without a ticket. “We didn’t necessarily expect people to sit in the audience and wait for six, seven, eight hours,” explained Michał Blicharz, VP pro gaming for ESL, in a video. “We actually wanted to have a rotation, that when people left, new people would come in.”
However, as the tournament format changed to focus on best-of-three matches, start times moved later in the day. Blicharz noted that the early entrance tickets were losing value, and based on feedback, the company wanted to ensure fans traveling abroad would be able to guarantee their seats. It will still be possible to enter the Spodek Arena for free, however, there is considerably less seating space for non-ticket holders than in previous years.
Last year, a four-day early entrance ticket cost €58.50 ($64.90 USD), a Premium Experience ticket cost €205 ($227), and the “God Mode” package (which includes hotel accommodations and VIP area access) cost €1400 ($1,553). This year’s tickets are for the three day weekend, and are priced as follows: Upper-Rank is €42 ($46.60), lower rank €70 ($77.67), Premium Experience €152 ($168) and God Mode €1169 ($1,297). All Euro amounts are approximate.
Taking place Feb. 25 – March 1, IEM Katowice is the first “Masters Championship” of the ESL Pro Tour—an interconnected set of ESL and DreamHack CS:GO tournaments. Teams will qualify for the $500K Katowice event based on their performance throughout the year. Victories in these events will also help teams qualify for the second Masters Championship, ESL One Cologne, taking place July 2-7.
Aside from the CS:GO tournament, IEM Katowice 2020 will host other esports tournaments and have an expo area, neither of which require a purchased ticket.
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Esports organizations such as Team Liquid, 100 Thieves, Gen.G. Game developers, including Riot Games and Blizzard. Non-endemic sponsors such as adidas, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Jack in the Box, and more. The Esports Observer readers get a special discount when registering for the conference.
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