The Intel Extreme Masters World Championship in Katowice, Poland (IEM Katowice 2017) is set to host a women’s-only Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) tournament. Eight of the best women’s teams will compete during the Intel Challenge Katowice competition.
This is the third year in a row that a women’s CS:GO competition has been held as part of the event with IEM Katowice 2016’s female CS:GO tournament featuring the likes of Team Karma, Elysium and CLG Red.
IEM Katowice 2017 Hosting Women’s CS:GO Tournament
In a press release, Intel and ESL say that that eight of the best female CS:GO teams will compete for the Intel Challenge Katowice title as well as their share of a $30,000 prize pool. The tournament kicks off on March 2 (Group Stages), with playoffs on March 3 and teams from North America and Europe will take part, with two teams from NA and two teams from Europe being invited directly.
The rest of the participants will be decided by online qualifiers that take place on the dates as follow:
- January 28-29 – EU Qualifier #1 – 2 slots
- February 4-5 – EU Qualifier #2 – 1 slot
- February 4-5 – NA Qualifier #1 – 1 slot
The press release also explains that the tournament is being organised in co-operation with eSports diversity advocate AnyKey, an Intel-run initiative that puts together whitepapers, research and events that support and foster a more inclusive and diverse eSports sector.
This Intel Challenge Katowice competition follows much debate about how to get more women into eSports. While some believe that women’s-only tournaments are a good way of getting female players on a main stage, others, such as Riot Games head of eSports, disagree. Some say that gender specific tournaments foster the ‘segregation’ of women and could lead to lack of exposure and lucrative sponsorship deals.
There are also arguments that addressing harassment on live-streaming sites like Twitch and addressing anti-women attitudes within eSports are as, if not more, important when it comes to getting women involved as women-only tournaments. People are certainly divided on the issue, then, but with AnyKey’s involvement, both research and conversation about solutions to the problem will continue.