Ahead of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Intel brought esports onto the world's largest stage when 18 players competed for the $150,000 prize pool.
At this time, the first-of-its-kind tournament which featured Blizzard Entertainment’s “StarCraft II" was ultimately won by Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn, the only female competitor to qualify for the event. She finished the event by beating out one of the world’s best players, Kim “sOs” Yoo Jin, in an upset victory.
Tournaments like these, ahead of global events like the Olympics, are providing new exposure and further legitimizing the growing esports industry to its global audience. It also makes sense to hold these tournaments in two of the larest markets for esports, South Korea and Japan. Additionally, Intel brings esports industry clout, as they are a recognized brand worldwide for technology, gaming, and esports, holding tournaments like the Intel Extreme Masters, which sells out arenas like the Barclays Center in Brooklyn New York.
There has also been chatter about including esports in the Olympic games, and these tournaments may be Intel's way of making the case to the committee that esports should be included. We then ask, slightly in jest, will they be in the Summer or Winter games?
Watch the Intel World Open preview video below!