ESL One, IEM Katowice 2018 Attract 169,000 Live Spectators

Posted on March 28, 2018 - Last Updated on July 13, 2023

The last weekend of February and first weekend of March saw two major esports events unfold in IEM Katowice, Poland.

Esports giant ESL and tech company Intel released figures for their ESL One and the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2018 competitions. The two events welcomed a total of 169,000 live spectators.

Spodek Arena filled with passionate fans

Katowice’s Spodek Arena hosted the two major esports tournaments. On Feb. 24 and 25, ESL One marked the first Dota 2 Major held in the country. The following weekend, the finale for IEM’s 12th season once again welcomed enthusiasts into the arena to watch the action unfold.

During both events, $2 million in prize money was distributed between competitors in Dota 2, CS:GO, Starcraft II, and other games. According to the release, it was the largest cumulative prize pool for ESL ever.

“With another successful double-weekend Katowice event in the books, we continue to expand our commitment to showcasing legendary gameplay and providing our audience with an amazing esports experience,” said ESL Vice President of Pro Gaming Michal Blicharz. “We couldn’t have asked for a more exciting finale this year, and we are proud to have helped create these memories for both the audience at Spodek Arena, as well as the entire esports world that tuned-in to watch the action.”

While the crowd of 169,000 fans was slightly smaller than last year’s 173,000, it still shows that there’s huge interest for live esports events.

Impressive viewership figures across all channels

The organizations reported a few other impressive viewership figures. The action-packed gameplay attracted a total of 2.2 million peak online viewers during the first weekend and 1.7 million during the second weekend.

This came out to a year-over-year growth of 80 percent for weekend one and 26 percent for weekend two. Moreover, live streams, highlight clips, and custom features on Twitter and Facebook recorded an impressive 187 million impressions and 9.3 million engagements for both events.

“The passion behind the esports community, along with Intel’s leading gaming technology consistently make for unforgettable events,” said Intel Vice President/GM of the VR, Gaming and Esports Group John Bonini. “In its 12th season, Intel Extreme Masters continues to deliver some of the most compelling esports competitions imaginable, and we are thrilled to power every esports milestone.”

Surrounding the event

During the event, fans could also check out the newest trends in the industry at the IEM Expo. While top brands and tech companies showcased exciting new products, individual esports competitions took place at three separate esports stages. The Intel Challenge Katowice 2018, for example, welcomed the top women’s CS:GO teams battling for prize and glory.

VR and the top gaming gear technology were also part of the exhibition. All in all, the events once again succeeded on multiple fields, and we can be certain that the two championships will return next year.

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Dejan Zalik

Dejan has been involved in gaming for over 10 years. Moving from classics like Diablo 2, Lineage 2, and Warcraft 3, he found his passion in Dota 2, which he’s been playing ever since. He also likes to keep up to date by reading and writing about whatever is happening in the industry.

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