2019 Shortlist 

IEM Katowice 2019

Entrant: ESL

Winner 🏆
  • Best Engagement Through Esports & Gaming


How does this represent “Excellence in Engagement”?

This year’s event is the world's most-attended esports event as well as the most-watched ESL tournament series in the company’s 20 year history. Not only is this a testament to the elite status of the event, but also to the growth of the industry as a whole.

As the world’s longest-running pro-gaming circuit, it continues to fuel innovation for the industry year after year. It promoted diversity and inclusion in esports and expanded horizons and opportunities on a global scale, from amateur gamers to families to esports enthusiasts. With multiple digital and linear distribution partners, an expanded esports festival, and integration of cutting-edge technology, ESL has broadened its commitment to lead esports and create opportunities for fans and players at all levels.

With this event, ESL hopes to inspire esports organizations to continue innovating the industry and growing the esports audience to create a world where everybody can be somebody.


When this global esports experience was conceived 13 years ago, the initial goal was to establish the world’s premier esports tournament and set precedent for proceeding global esports events. As the esports industry has progressed and these events have gained worldwide recognition, that objective has shifted to not only maintaining the tournament’s prestige, but to engage a new generation of esports fans.

Through this event in Katowice, Poland, both ESL and Intel aim to diversify the esports audience, increase visibility and expand awareness to a broader, more mainstream audience by providing more interactive onsite activations and activities for fans to engage with while still catering the best esports action to its core group. The esports event is designed to be immersive, offering a unique sporting experience whether live streaming from the comfort of your living room or cheering on your favorite esports team in the at-capacity crowd at Spodek Arena. It is a proliferation of ESL and Intel’s commitment to grow and diversify the esports industry.

Strategy & Execution:

Gameplay was broadcast to a global and diverse group of fans on linear and digital platforms worldwide, with content produced and distributed in 21 languages. In addition to world-class competition in CS:GO, Dota 2, and Starcraft II, the event succeeded in showcasing an esports experience featuring educational programs, fan activities, etc. that appealed to hardcore gamers and newcomers alike.

ESL leveraged partnerships with recognizable brands, including Mountain Dew and AT&T, to create onsite and online experiences for fans, engaging previously “unreachable” audiences. The massive exhibition space highlighted esports through various product booths, competition stages and technological showcases. Four additional competitions helped to capture mainstreaming trends and diversify the industry, such as the Intel Challenge Katowice, highlighting the world’s best female CS:GO teams, and the ESL Katowice Royal featuring Fortnite.

At the joining Global Esports Forum, an exclusive esports conference for brands, sponsors, analysts, investors, and media. Intel curated content for various panels, keynotes, networking opportunities and research presentations that addressed the overarching theme of “Unleashing the Next Billion Esports Fans."

The event offered attendees new ways to engage with esports, and leverage the enthusiasm of the audience to create an experience that goes beyond strictly gameplay.


This global esports event has defined a generation of esports tournaments as the longest-running global professional esports tournament circuit in the world. As a result of the approach to appeal more broadly to a mainstream audience, it saw unparalleled growth across metrics both onsite and online. ESL and Intel welcomed 174,000 fans to Spodek Arena for the world’s largest esports tournament to date. Along with fans attending the tournaments and surrounding festival over the course of two weekends, the event reached more than 230 million unique online viewers and a cumulated peak of more than 4 million concurrent fans, a 156 percent growth from last year. Through livestreams, highlight clips, and custom features on Twitter, Facebook and other social platforms, the tournaments in Katowice reached nearly 200 million video views on social media channels.

With more than 125 million hours of content viewed, the $1 million CS:GO Major is considered ESL’s most-watched CS:GO tournament ever. Additionally, the World Championship in StarCraft II broke global viewership records for its six-day tournament, reaching more than 10 million sessions throughout the entire duration.

The event exemplifies ESL and Intel’s continued commitment to expand and advance the entire esports industry.


  • ESL
  • Intel

Featured Teams

  • Astralisy
  • Faze Clan
  • Team Liquid
  • MiBR
  • ENCE
  • Renegades
  • Ninjas in Pyjamas
  • Natus Vincere

Featured Games

  • CS:GO
  • Dota 2
  • Starcraft II


Craig Levine
Chief Strategy Officer

Sandra Lopez
VP/GM Sports

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