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Katowice Hitches its Wagon to esports

Katowice was once known as a mining town. Today, that arena is best known as the home of Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Katowice, one of the most prestigious Counter-Strike tournaments in the world. Every year, teams fly in from North America, South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe to compete for esports fame and a $1 million prize pool.
For someone outside Katowice, it is genuinely bewildering to be in a minor Polish municipality, with a population of 294,000, surrounded by twentysomethings and teenagers who ate a layover in Frankfurt in order to watch the action live.
The city is all gray skies and towering tenements, but for a few weeks in February, it’s also the Counter-Strike capital. This year’s tournament attracted 174,000 visitors. The little mining town has hitched its wagon to esports, in the hopes that it can transform its centre of industry.

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