Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO), DotA 2, and League of Legends (LoL) tournaments take place around the world. Some cities, however, have become a benchmark in eSports for receiving annual championships. This is the case of the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Katowice, which takes place in Poland, and ESL One Cologne, Germany. Other places are also famous for revealing teams and pro players champions. See below, cities that are true references in the eSports.
Located in southern Poland, Katowice is a city known for hosting one of the largest esports events in the world, the ESL Intel Extreme Masters. The city made its IEM debut in its eighth season in 2012 with the Global Challenge Katowice. This edition featured League of Legends and StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm competitions. The event took place at the Spodek Arena and, thanks to its success, the city became the official stage of the season finale in the following years.
Although IEM Katowice did not promote Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competitions in its first editions, it was with the FPS that the city became an absolute benchmark in electronic sports. So much so that in 2019, the Spodek Arena is the stage of the first Major of CS: GO of the year, with a prize of $ 1 million.
Seoul, South Korea
South Korea is a country known worldwide for its appreciation of electronic sports. The South Korean government itself invests in a specific department for this segment, the Korea e-Sports Association (KeSPA). Owing to this, and because of the South Korean culture’s mentality of winning, the country’s players stand out in various games such as League of Legends, StarCraft II, and the Tekken franchise.
For these reasons, the capital of the country, Seoul, is expected to host major sports events. In addition to StarCraft II world tournaments, the city hosted the grand finale of the 2014 World of LoL, won by Samsung White, the home team, and the 2016 World Cup Entry Phase.
Cologne, like Katowice, has hosted many editions of the Intel Extreme Masters. The German city hosted the tournament for the first time in IEM’s fifth season at the 2011 Global Challenge Cologne. The tournament featured StarCraft II and Quake Live competitions and remained on the calendar until 2015 when it hosted a unique League of Legends competition.
Despite this, the highlight of the city also goes to CS: GO, with ESL One: Cologne. The tournament started in 2014 with the intention of being, according to the ESL, one of the biggest electronic sports events in the world. Always running at LANXESS arena, ESL One: Cologne had Major status until 2016. The competition is still happening today and is one of the most traditional events of the CS: GO competitive scene.
Los Angeles, United States
The second most populous city in the United States, Los Angeles has not become a benchmark in eSports by chance. After all, the city hosted three times the finals of the World of LoL. In all editions, the tournament managed to fill the arenas with fans of League of Legends.