IEM Global Challenge organizers are going to support the teams

ESL Vice President Michal Blicharz spoke about the organization of the IEM Global Challenge 2020 tournament, which will be held from 15 to 20 December. In a publication on Reddit, he said that all tournament participants will receive the necessary financial and technical support.

Hey! Carmac here from the ESL Product Team. Wanted to drop by to let you know what plans we have for the Intel Extreme Masters Global Challenge and to collect your feedback towards those plans.

Such posts have helped us deliver better experiences in the past. We should have communicated with you guys more frequently this way and I’m honestly not sure why we hadn’t.

Our internal teams have been working very hard on delivering something different compared to what was our norm in 2020. Here’s some tl;dr on it:

What is the IEM Global Challenge

In the IEM Global Challenge we wanted a classic end of year tournament (also relying on the pandemic dying down and running LAN, but we all know how that went). It will be an 8-team tournament with teams from Europe and North America competing together online for $500,000.

Our goal was to tie together all remaining ESL & DH tournaments creating a competitive storyline through IEM New York, DreamHack Open Fall and IEM Beijing-Haidian with NA and EU regional champions in those tournaments receiving direct invitations (four invites total). The final four invitations were determined by the best performing teams from EU, CIS and NA from our ESL World Ranking.

Confirmed teams as of 30/11/2020:

  • Furia (winner of IEM New York - NA Region)

  • Chaos Esports Club (winner of IEM Beijing - NA Region)

  • Team Liquid (replaced EG who were the 1st in the ESL World Ranking - NA Region)

  • Heroic (winner of DreamHack Open Fall)

  • Vitality (winner of IEM Beijing - EU Region)

  • Astralis (1st ESL World Ranking Invite - EU Region)

  • Complexity (2nd ESL World Ranking Invite - EU Region)

  • Natus Vincere (1st ESL World Ranking - CIS Region)

Pre-Pre Show

Our broadcast team is cooperating with Spunj and Machine to create a 2020 review ahead of the competition itself where we look back at the best, the funniest and the worst moments of 2020 (feel free to mention your favourite ones in comments here and we might pick them out). And of course we will look at why the 8 teams above have deserved their spot at the IEM Global Challenge.

Team support

We work hard on supporting teams in getting to events safely and comfortably, and so they have a good experience competing. This is normally invisible to the community, so for those of you interested in what “online” tournament support looks like, here goes:

  • Financial support for: bootcamp location, accommodation, food, travel to boot camp, & COVID19 testing.

  • Intel has supported us with NUCs that all players will receive to create a secondary system in order to have cameras and voice recording on during our competition without any interference to the performance of their home gaming setup.

  • We are providing teams with additional technical support, solutions for perfect competitive conditions for tournament set up and during the tournament.

  • We are providing voice communication and VPN servers to improve connections for players.

  • Live IT support throughout the competition for any technical issues.

New Virtual Studio

When Covid-19 first hit, we had to repurpose the ESL office on the fly to ensure a basic broadcast. For ESL One Cologne Online we repurposed the office again to build a green screen studio and we added features along the way (fan cams, head to head player interviews, 3D jerseys of teams to make sure their sponsors are also represented).

(Props to our events & broadcast teams on having done that. It’s a pain in the butt during a pandemic.)

Progression of our studio over the last 6 months:

ESL Pro League Season 11, March 2020

ESL One Cologne, July 2020

ESL Pro League Season 12, Sept 2020

Intel Extreme Masters Beijing-Haidian, Nov 2020

These studios are limited by the floor footprint that’s available in our office (and we will change that in 2021), but for the IEM Global Challenge, we’re going for 2.0. See a working screenshot here (it’s from the early work - Vlad would poke my eye out if I shared something fresher):

*Working concept: Intel Extreme Masters Global Challenge, Dec 2020

Community driven content

I visit this sub every day and I don’t think I will be surprised by many comments below this thread. Some of the feedback will no doubt be that the content simply got repetitive. It has to do with the volume of CSGO we provided, but also that the matches did not come with an adequate proportion of additional, entertaining content. We’re going to be upping that for the IEM Global Challenge, featuring Machine, Spunj, Rush, Stunna, Harry and Hugo. You might have seen the first of that around IEM Beijing: - American Psycho, - Matrix, - Slice of Fame with Harry

We will do more.


Those normally come up in comments, so here goes:

Ads: We’re aware of the ads that were running over games during IEM New York (I believe it was solved for IEM Beijing - if not, please call it out). Apologies for that - it should never happen. Apologies for also taking long to resolve that one with Twitch, but I am told it won’t be a problem going forward.

Player Cam Spoilers: It happened a few times where production showed teams celebrating which spoiled the round result as it was played out live. Tl;dr our production process was too prone to human error and we’ve created a completely new work flow to make sure the delay won’t cause such issues.


If you’ve made it this far, I guess we are doing something right. If you have found any of the above interesting or want to give further feedback on something you have seen recently, then feel free to throw this into the comment section and we’ll respond where we can! (If I don’t have direct information on the operation, then I will get it from someone who’s operationally involved.)

- Michal