A city in southern Poland called "Katowice" earned ~$22m from their last eSports tournament.

All credit to photographer/owner. — by Unknown.
All credit to photographer/owner. — by Unknown.

We all know that eSports are a profitable niche to invest on, and there is a lot of tournaments worldwide every week. But this one has proven to be the golden grail for one small city in southern Poland.

The number ~22 is not official; it is a byproduct of all research and info from third-party websites.

Katowice is a city in southern Poland, with a population of 297,197 as of 2017. Today, the city is considered as an emerging metropolis. The whole metropolitan area is the 16th most economically powerful city by GDP in the European Union with an output amounting to $114.5 billion. -Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katowice
The Intel® Extreme Masters (IEM) are a series of international eSports tournaments held in countries around the world. These Electronic Sports League (ESL) sanctioned events, sponsored by Intel, include events in Starcraft II, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Quake Live, League of Legends and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. -Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel\_Extreme\_Masters

Tournament information:

  • IEM series and Intel Grand Slam
  • Organizer: ESL
  • Sponsors: Intel, HyperX, Vodafone, paysafecard, Acer Predator, H4x, Pringles, Kinguin, Betway
  • Game: Global Offensive
  • Type: Offline (LAN)
  • Location: Katowice, (Poland)
  • Prize pool: $524,000

Just last year this tournament had around 175,000 visitors from all over the world, who came only to watch professional players play games.

So how did the organizers and project managers managed to earn that much in just a few days while the tournament lasted?

There are several ways:

  • Selling tickets: Creating a demand for scarcity system, offering tickets at a discount for a limited amount of time and then announce that there is a limited number of tickets in the sale and boost the price. The Spodek arena can hold around 11,500 people, and that is a considerable number considering all seats were taken during four days the tournament lasted.
  • Advertising space: Referring to advertising during breaks and timeouts during games. This is calculated via XY price per second. The digitalization today offers a variety of ways to stream and bring the commercials to all potential viewers.
  • Advertising space2: This can be achieved thru banners, and physical advertising elements, and areas such as banners, roll-ups, promo flags and other.
  • Advertising space3: We cannot forget the Social Media Impact. Reaching to millions of fans and offering sponsored products is an excellent way to earn extra money. Since IEM has its own shop, it can boost posts and create a massive number of conversions.
  • City tourism: The tournament and its visitors/viewers had a considerable impact on this small city. Coffee shops were full, all hotels were booked, nightclubs were full, and stores had an increase in sales.

This is only a few tricks project managers plan and executes to boost the sales and profits. Just last year, the event was watched by 34 million gaming fans, that is a vast amount of potential visitors for the next year or potential online shop supporters and buyers.

“Katowice is an old industrial city that was built around the coal mines in the region, but today it’s creating an image as a place that’s open to modern technology and youth culture. A global gaming event held in Katowice’s primary sports venue fit into that image very well. The city had a vision to recognize a great opportunity and has benefited tremendously on an economic and PR level since then. -Michal Blicharz, managing director at ESL

From year to year, we can see an increase in the popularity of this city between gamers and increase in visitors and the tournament prize pool. We hope that next year, IEM Katowice will break all previous records and that the city will benefit even more than before!