IEM Gyeonggi adds Overwatch Invitational
- Dec 03, 2016
South Korean Overwatch fans have something to get excited about, as Intel Extreme Masters will be featuring the game onstage in Gyeonggi, South Korea, at its upcoming multigame esports event on Dec. 16-18, IEM announced Friday.
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At the Goyang Sports Complex, IEM will showcase 16 Starcraft II players, eight League of Legends teams and, for the first time, six invited Overwatch teams. This Invitational will feature a $100,000 prize pool.
It will be mainly a South Korean affair, as only two of the six Overwatch teams present will be from Europe. The teams have not yet been announced.
"South Korea is considered by many to be the birthplace of esports, and we're thrilled that IEM is returning to the country for the first time since Season 3 [in 2008-2009] to close out 2016," said Michal Blicharz, Vice President of Pro Gaming at ESL, via a press release. As StarCraft, League of Legends and now Overwatch are exceptionally loved in the country, Blicharz noted that the event would be "a celebration of South Korea's most popular gaming titles."
Overwatch, released in May of this past year, has already hit 20 million players and spawned huge international events like the $300,000 Overwatch Open. Blizzard partnered with TBS's ELeague for the Open, getting some cable television attention. Over 3 million people worldwide voted for their favorite players to participate in the Overwatch Cup, an event that culminated in the Finals at BlizzCon this past November. Blizzard is launching its Overwatch League next year too.
Overwatch recently received major critical acclaim. It won both Game of the Year and Best Esports Game at this year's Game Awards. It also took home awards for Best Game Direction and Best Multiplayer.