Intel® Extreme Masters (IEM) Katowice 2023 has come to a spectacular closure, as our new Champions have claimed their eternal spot in the Hall of Heroes – a place where legends are born and history is forged for all generations of esports players and fans worldwide. Across three days, over 65,000 people visited the sold-out Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) and StarCraf® II Championships at the Spodek Arena and the International Congress Center (MCK), the IEM Expo, and two additional esports tournaments.
IEM Katowice 2023 CS:GO Championship
The Hall of Heroes hosted 24 of the world’s best CS:GO teams during ten competition days, with the final three days being played out in front of a live audience. After many intense battles, it was G2 Esports and Heroic that were left with the opportunity to claim the ESL Pro Tour (EPT) CS:GO Championship title, a lion’s share of the $1,000,000 total prize pool, and a spot in the IEM Cologne 2023 tournament. The audience at the packed Spodek Arena, along with the almost 710,000* people simultaneously tuning in from around the world, was kept at the edge of their seats, but eventually, it was G2 Esports that took a 3-1 victory.
While previously only making it as far as the semi-finals at IEM Katowice Championships, G2 Esports has officially entered the Hall of Heroes and will see its name engraved on the iconic trophy for the very first time. The team has now also made its first step to completing the race to the Intel® Grand Slam IV, needing three more wins of EPT Masters or Championship events to secure its $1,000,000 cash prize.
Moreover, Nikola “NiKo” Kovač finally managed to secure the coveted IEM Katowice title after having lost three Grand Finals in the past, making the win a particularly special moment for the G2 Esports rifler. For his teammate, Justin “jks” Savage, this is the second IEM Katowice victory after winning last year’s edition as a stand-in for FaZe Clan. He hereby becomes the first player ever to win IEM Katowice back-to-back while playing for different teams. The Australian also debuted as EPT DHL MVP (Most Valuable Player).
“If you want to know how much winning IEM Katowice meant to the G2 Army, just watch NiKo finally lifting the trophy,” said G2 Esports. “We are honored to cement our place in CS:GO history and join the Hall of Heroes with this amazing team.”
Next up in the ESL Pro Tour for CS:GO is the ESL Pro League Season 17, on February 21-March 26. For more information, check the official website and follow ESL CS on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
IEM Katowice 2023 StarCraft® II Championship
StarCraft® II fans world-wide got to experience a most memorable and emotional tournament as well. After five days of intense battles for the $500,000 total prize pool and the title of World Champion, it was Maru and Oliveira – respectively placed first and 20th in the EPT 22/23 Combined Standings – who were this year’s Grand Finalists.
With the former being the expected winner, the people watching the matches live at the MCK as well as the more than 73,000* fans simultaneously watching the live broadcasts were in for a big surprise as it was Oliveira who claimed the victory. Shedding tears of happiness live on stage after his remarkable performance, Oliveira has shown the world the fairytale-like possibility to reach the absolute top as an underdog.
The win is one of the most memorable ones in the almost 25 years of StarCraft® history, as the Chinese Terran player who commenced his professional career in 2015 has never before won a tournament outside of China. Furthermore, despite being close to not making it out of the Group Stage, he ended up beating some of the big fan-favorites – including Heromarine, Reynor, and herO – along the way.
For more information about EPT SC2, check the official website and follow ESL SC2 on Twitter and Facebook.
ESL Impact Katowice
Marking a spectacular start of an action-packed year for the all-women CS:GO circuit, ESL Impact, eight top teams competed at the $100,000 tournament in Katowice. Motivated by tremendous local support at the IEM Expo at the MCK, the Polish squad from NAVI Javelins made it to the Grand Finals, where they were challenged by Nigma Galaxy.
Eventually, it was the latter that proved to be the stronger team as they beat NAVI Javelins 2-0 after overtime on the last map. Nigma Galaxy thereby continues to dominate the all-women CS:GO scene, now having claimed all four ESL Impact trophies since the circuit’s launch in early 2022.
Next up is the ESL Impact League Season 3 on March 8-April 16, with the Global League Finals taking place live at DreamHack Dallas on June 2-4. For more information, check the official website and follow ESL Impact on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
ESL R1 2023 Spring Season Round 1 & 2
Apart from the ESL Impact tournament, the returning IEM Expo hosted another heated competition as the brand-new ESL R1 made its debut. On February 11-12, 48 racers gave a whole new meaning to virtual racing during the first two rounds of the 2023 Spring Season. With more than 75,000 hours watched during the live broadcasts of the first two rounds, EFG’s newest esports circuit already proves to be a stunning success.
Encouraged by the fans gathering around the live stage, Maximilian Benecke from MOUZ became the fastest RENNSPORT driver during Round 1, while Joshua Rogers from Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team was the first to cross the finish line in Round 2.
The ESL R1 2023 Spring Season continues with rounds 3 to 8 on March 13-May 8 and concludes with the 2023 Spring Major, live at the RENNSPORT Summit on May 27-28. For more information about ESL R1 check the official website and follow ESL R1 on TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
The IEM Expo
Last but certainly not least, the event provided its attendees with countless new memories through activities at the IEM Expo. Games, cosplayers, influencers, competitions, hardware presentations, and much more were offered by some of the biggest brands on the market. The big crowd attending is a testament to the ability of shared interests, hobbies and passion for bringing people together to celebrate and socialize.
As the lights slowly turn off in the Spodek Arena and silence settles in the MCK, a new chapter of esports history is officially written and new legends are immortalized at the Hall of Heroes. The spectacular beginning of the year is a promising start for what is yet to come for the world beyond gameplay.
Abios Powers Nigerian Esports Betting Brand Oyawin with Data and Widgets
As part of Kambi Group, Abios powers Nigerian sports betting brand Oyawin with odds and statistics from the largest matches and tournaments in esports.
Oyawin, the newly launched mobile-first sportsbook, allows Nigerian esports fans to access a wide range of statistics, as well as streams and odds from top esports matches, directly on their phones.
Abios has supplied 1337Pro with data and statistics for the largest esports titles, including CS:GO, Dota 2 and League of Legends, for years. The organisation has expanded from being a media platform to include a sportsbook solution and Oyawin, a sports betting brand registered in Nigeria.
With the help of Abios’ product portfolio, Oyawin can provide a comprehensive esports solution to Nigerian bettors. It is focused on tier 1 esports titles, including CS:GO, League of Legends and VALORANT. With access to Abios’ full portfolio, Oyawin can engage their audiences with engaging content such as player props, data visualisations and embedded streams.
It also features Abios’ esoccer solution, allowing fans to engage with engaging around-the-clock content supported by widgets and streams.
Oskar Bonnevier Fröberg, CEO and Founder of Abios comments: “To support the growth of esports in Nigeria, we’re delighted to supply Oyawin with our esports odds, statistics and data visualisations. It allows Nigerian bettors to discover and get access to engaging content for the largest tournaments in esports.”
Jason Foster, Managing Director of 1337Pro Bet: “Abios data has powered 1337pro.com for years, from fixtures, statistics and results to live stream links. We have now extended this success with full odds and trading integration for Oyawin. The platform’s successful launch has given us complete confidence in Abios and our products. We look forward to delighting our sportsbook operators.”
Global Esports Federation Attends UN and Commonwealth Meetings
The Global Esports Federation (GEF) has attended the 10th Commonwealth Youth Ministers’ Meeting (#10CYMM) in London and the United Nations 78th General Assembly (#UNGA78) in New York City. The GEF actively supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (#GlobalGoals) and emphasises its commitment to youth empowerment and a more connected world.
At the UN Headquarters, the GEF engaged with global youth, world leaders, and organisations showcasing its dedication to the #GlobalGoals. It underlined the opportunity and role in empowering youth and making a societal impact.
As a partner of #SDGdigital, and alongside the ITU Secretary General, Doreen Bogdan-Martin, the GEF presented the GameChangers Award, recognising youth-led organisations with innovative solutions for societal challenges.
“Sharing the messages of our community from London to New York City this week has been truly inspiring. Meeting world leaders and members of our global community, we conveyed the message that gaming and esports can be a powerful force for positive change in society, particularly for our youth. While many of us are connected, there are still 2.6 billion people who are not connected and therefore are left behind. The GEF is committed to working with partners worldwide to unlock the full potential of esports for a brighter future for all in our global community,” Paul J. Foster, CEO of the Global Esports Federation, said.
The GEF Vice President, Adrian Lismore, joined the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, at the 10th Commonwealth Youth Ministers’ Meeting in London. The Ministerial Outcome Statement included the acknowledgment of the “economic value to the member states and welcome partnership with the Global Esports Federation and other stakeholders to further develop initiatives and projects.”
The summit brought together over 400 delegates, including Ministers, Government and Senior Officials as well as young leaders, to ratify the Marlborough House Commitment, inspiring hope among Commonwealth youth.
The Commonwealth Youth Ministers acknowledged the potential of esports in driving youth engagement, innovation and economic growth, welcoming partnerships with the GEF. They also recognised the role of start-ups, including esports, in employment generation, innovation and technological advancement, pledging support for their growth.
‘Break the Meta’: Herman Miller Gaming and G2 Esports Launch Limited-Edition Embody Gaming Chair
G2 Esports, one of the world’s most distinctive and successful esports and entertainment brands, and Herman Miller Gaming, a global leader in innovative design known for producing some of the best seating solutions in the world, will take their partnership to the next level, releasing a limited-edition model of Herman Miller Gaming’s award-winning Embody Gaming Chair. Only 250 of the limited-edition G2-branded Embody Gaming Chairs will be manufactured, becoming available for purchase globally on September 26.
Herman Miller Gaming’s relentless pursuit of melding scientific precision, unparalleled performance and holistic wellbeing has converged with G2’s unyielding commitment to equipping gamers with the ultimate arsenal for triumph. The two companies are challenging gamers and esports fans to break away from the rudimentary standards of the typical gaming chair, prioritising their health and wellbeing: “Break the Meta”.
“This chair represents Herman Miller Gaming’s first-ever esports product collaboration, and G2 is the perfect partner. This version of the Embody Gaming Chair is a true celebration of our partnership with G2, and is tailored specifically with the G2 community in mind. While we are particularly eager to see how G2 fans will react to this launch, it’s a phenomenal design option for any gaming enthusiast,” Jon Campbell, Vice President and General Manager of Herman Miller Gaming, said.
With its top-performing Embody Gaming Chair design as the foundation, each limited-edition chair will be adorned with a unique serial number, making it a collector’s dream. Nodding to G2’s brand identity, the chair features splashes of red, which also indicate the functional elements of the chair – the height-adjustment lever, the seat-length adjustment handles and the arm pad triggers. The chair features a special RF weld design, reflecting the G2 logo geometry through an arced v-shape.
Alban Dechelotte, CEO of G2 Esports, said: “At G2, we relentlessly push boundaries in esports and entertainment, driving towards unparalleled success. Collaborating with esteemed partner Herman Miller, we’ve redefined the pinnacle of gaming chairs. Our 2023 has been exceptional, both in action and strategy, recognizing the slender margins that define triumph. Optimal gear undeniably empowers our players, and we’re thrilled to unveil this exclusive product to the wider esports and gaming world.”
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