One of esports longest running competitions is headed to the west coast as part of its annual tour. And it’s got some big ambitions.
Nine year-old esports tournament Intel Extreme Masters announced this morning that its annual tour will make an appearance in San Jose, California in early December. While it will not be IEM’s first stop in the United States, the group hopes the San Jose event will be the largest in its history.
The StarCraft and League of Legends tournaments will be held in San Jose’s SAP Center, home to the San Jose Sharks NHL franchise. The 18,000 person arena is yet another in a growing list of traditional sports stadiums to host esports events in the past two years—including the Staples Center in Los Angeles and the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden.
Beginning as a pair of Counter-Strike 1.6 and WarCraft 3 tournaments in Cologne, Germany in 2006, IEM has quickly expanded as esports gained widespread recognition. Since 2006, the event has made stops in Los Angeles, Montreal, Dubai, Shanghai, and Sao Paulo.
With events such as the League of Legends World Championships selling out the Staples Center last year, hopes are high for IEM to rake in the ticket sales for the event.