ESL has released the new detailsand format for the upcoming Intel Extreme Masters, most commonlyknown as IEM, season. They believe that this new setup will“feature more matches, more teams, and the best League ofLegends players from around the world.”
First off, ESL has committed toincluding more teams throughout the IEM series. Every tournamentleading up to the world championship will include eight teams and afull tournament format. As part of their initiative to include moreteams, they have also announced that every region will berepresented at every tournament. In the past, we have often seenevents such as IEM Taipei 2014, which only featured teams fromthroughout Asia. Their new strategy is to prevent this fromhappening and allow for more international competition, somethingthat fans of competitive League of Legends have longed for. Thisexpansion also includes International Wild Card teams, which areoften neglected.
This season, teams will beinvited based purely on their position in their respective leagues.IEM’s LoL events have often had a component of being apopularity contest. Fans would vote in which teams would be able toattend, a choice that often lowered the standards of thetournament. This new format will guarantee that only the highestlevel of international play is permitted.
Finally, ESL has announced theexclusion of byes. Due to the expansion of the events, everytournament will now include a dual group stage to seed teams intothe bracket. Each group will consist of four teams. No longer willthe higher ranked teams be put directly into the playoffs. Only thetop two teams from each group will move on, competing in a singleelimination top four bracket until a champion iscrowned.
The first LoL IEM will be IEMOakland, taking place from Nov. 19-20. Stay tuned to GAMURS tostay up to date on information for the event and rememberto tune in!
What do you think about thisformat change? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us@GAMURScom.
Patrick Cowley can becontacted on Twitter, @PtrckCowley.