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ESL offers a $100K winner-take-all StarCraft II World Championship

The Electronic Sports League has announced a new StarCraft II World Championship, with the winner looking at a $100,000 purse. The Championship, dubbed the “Intel Extreme Masters StarCraft II World Championship in StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm,” will be held in Katowice, Poland on March 13-16.

Typically, competitions like this have a tiered payout system, with much smaller purses going to many more players. By comparison, the winner of the 2013 MLG Spring Championships – Choi “Polt” Seong Hoon – walked away with $10,000, while the second and third place finishers earned $6,000 and $3,000, respectively.

The upcoming Championship will be the conclusion to the eighth season of the Intel Extreme Masters pro gaming tour. The event will feature 16 competitors playing in a single elimination bracket. So far, six players have had their tickets punched to Poland, including:

  • Kim “Revival” Dong Hyun (winner IEM Shanghai)
  • Kim “Oz” Hak Soo (runner up IEM Shanghai)
  • Lee “Life” Seung Hyun (winner IEM New York City)
  • Johan “naniwa” Lucchesi (runner up IEM New York City)
  • Kim “herO” Joon Ho (winner IEM Singapore)
  • Kang “san” Cho Won (runner up IEM Singapore)

Four of the remaining competitors will be decided in two upcoming competitions. The first will take place on January 29 through February 1 in Sao Paulo, Brazil; the second will take place in Cologne, Germany on February 13-16. The top two players from each event will earn a spot, while the remaining slots will be filled by invitations and open qualifiers.

“Every season the IEM was one of the hardest tournaments to win all year. In 2014 we would like to take it to a new level of extreme. True champions are born when they express their talent in the most extreme situations,” said Michal Blicharz, Managing Director of Pro Gaming at ESL. “We wanted to create the most high-pressure tournament this audience has ever seen.”