The eighth season of Intel Extreme Masters StarCraft II competition goes live in Shanghai, China this evening and runs nightly through Saturday, July 27. With $25,000 in prizes ripe for the taking, and a massive pool of Tier 1 WCS points on the line, tensions will surely be running high for the competitors.
The tournament will play out across three stages, beginning with two double-elimination brackets of eight players each. The top two players from these brackets will move on to join 12 previously qualified players in the dual tournament format group stage. From here, the top two performers from group play will advance to stage three, where the single-elimination playoff bracket is all that stands between them the $10,000 first prize. There are also 3,600 WCS points up for grabs at IEM Shanghai, which is a World Championship Series Tier 1 event. This means that the players are not just competing for prize money, but also the opportunity to drastically improve their chances at reaching the 2013 WCS Global Finals, held at BlizzCon later this year.
Tune in tonight, and every night through July 27, at 6:15 p.m. PDT on the WCS Portal or the official ESL StarCraft II stream to join shoutcasters Shaun 'Apollo' Clark, James 'Kaelaris' Carrol, Yoan 'ToD' Merlo, and Leigh 'Maynarde' Mandalov as they catch every nail-biting play, and keep you on the edge of your seat all weekend long. Paul 'ReDeYe' Chaloner will be your event host, and observer Phil 'inFeZa' Bertino will be the eye in that sky that captures all the action as it develops in game.
IEM Season 8 is blazing a trail with this event, as its stop in Shanghai this weekend will be the first major StarCraft II event to take place in China this year. With the combination of local and international talent in its initial bracket stage, as well as some of the world's top StarCraft II players already qualified for its group stage, IEM Shanghai is sure to be a memorable event -so don't miss out!