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Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

The IEM Challenge is returning to Katowice this year

The best of women's CS:GO will return to Poland, and last year's champions Dignitas get a direct invite to the event.

ESL, Intel, and AnyKey have revealed that the women's Intel Challenge competition for CS:GO will return to IEM Katowice in Poland from February 28 to March 2, where eight of the best teams will fight it out for the $50,000 USD prize pool.

The tournament, which started in 2015, will provide a direct invite to 2018 champions Dignitas for the group stages starting on February 28. The rest of the seven slots will go to teams that succeed in qualifiers in Europe, North America, South America, and Asia, taking place as follows:

January 25 - EU qualifier #1 - 1 slot
January 28 - EU qualifier #2 - 1 slot
January 30 - EU qualifier #3 - 1 slot
February 2 - EU qualifier #4 - 1 slot

January 25 - Asia qualifier - 1 slot
January 26 - North America qualifier - 1 slot
January 27 - South America qualifier - 1 slot

"In a world where anyone can enter ESL tournaments and compete, we think that there's no reason why a woman shouldn't be the champion of the biggest competitions," said Michal Blicharz, Vice President of Pro Gaming at ESL. "We've built the Intel Challenge with Intel to help promote female role models in esports with the hope of inspiring more women to take up competitive gaming and try to become the best in the world."

"Esports and gaming are connecting people throughout the world and empowering diverse voices in ways that have not been possible before. Intel is committed to delivering world-class esports experiences, and that includes creating opportunities for diversity with initiatives like the Intel Challenge to shift the focus of esports toward a more inclusive one," added John Bonini, VP of VR, Gaming and Esports at Intel.

Entrance to IEM Katowice is free although tickets for ESL One Katowice and IEM Katowice are on sale now.

Who can come out on top at the Intel Challenge?

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Photo: ESL