With just over two months to go, the Intel® Extreme Masters World Championship in Katowice, Poland is right on the horizon: qualifiers for the US$250,000 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competition have been announced and will begin January 16. Eight top-tier teams will receive direct invites to the competition, with a further four to qualify, one from each of the following competitions:
- Intel Extreme Masters Taipei (multiple qualifiers still open for signup)
- European qualifier one (January 16th to 17th on ESEA)
- European qualifier two (January 25th to 26th on ESEA)
- North American qualifier one (February 12th to 14th on ESEA)
Counter-Strike tournament format in Katowice revealed
The Intel Extreme Masters Counter-Strike World Championship will be played in a similar format to that of previous years. Twelve teams will be placed in two round robin groups of six. The winners of each group will be placed into the tournament’s semifinals; the second and third place finishers will have a playoff to decide who advances.
The event’s group stage will be played behind closed doors on March the 2nd and 3rd, with every team playing five maps in total. Following the group stage, the remainder of the event will be played out in full at the Spodek arena, with both quarterfinals and semifinals on March the 4th and a best-of-five grand final on March the 5th.
* All qualified teams for Katowice will have their flights and hotels covered.
** Invitations have been issued based on the most recent Valve major. Should a team choose not to participate, invitations will be issued to the next available team in the ESL Power Ranking.