The Electronic Sports League has announced that Counter-Strike 1.6 has been taken off the main titles list for the seventh season of the Intel Extreme Masters.
Speculations and indications of a CS title change started already ahead of season six and with the announcement of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, it seemed logical that a change of game was within reach.
Today, the announcement came from the ESL, that the Intel Extreme Masters season seven won't feature Counter-Strike 1.6 as one of the main titles, mainly due to a decline in its status outside of Europe.
The announcement came via the Intel Extreme Masters website and reads a statement issued by Michal "Carmac" Blicharz, Director of Pro Gaming:
"Over the six seasons in the Intel Extreme Masters, Counter-Strike 1.6 brought a lot of fantastic moments to our events and its community contributed enormously towards its global growth. We hope we have delivered a great deal of entertainment and emotions in return.
For a truly global project like ours, with events on four different continents and many different countries, we require game titles with professional players and teams from all corners of the world. In the recent years of Counter-Strike 1.6, the game has retained its status of a top professional game in Europe but declined in other parts of the world. This was evident at our events outside of Europe.
With this as the basis, we have decided to take Counter-Strike off the main titles list. This means that if CS 1.6 will be featured at an event, it will only be for certain events where it is a perfect fit for the Intel Extreme Masters locally.
The legacy of CS in the Intel Extreme Masters is one of the greatest stories in all of ESL. The names of the champions of all six seasons will be engraved on every Intel Extreme Masters season final trophy a player or a team will ever win."
According to the statement, should the game be featured in the Intel Extreme Masters, then it will only be at events where it makes sense, which probably means within the walls of Europe.
Following six seasons as a main title in the Intel Extreme Masters, the era has ended. Looking back at the teams to win the IEM trophy, here is a list of the winners.
|Season 6||ESC Gaming||kuben, TaZ, pasha, Neo, Loord||$50,000|
|Season 5||Natus Vincere||ceh9, starix, Edward, markeloff, Zeus||$35,000|
|Season 4||Natus Vincere||ceh9, starix, Edward, markeloff, Zeus||$50,000|
|Season 3||fnatic||cArn, GeT_RiGhT, dsn, Gux, f0rest||$50,000|
|Season 2||mousesports||Kapio, gore, cyx, Tixo, gob b||$50,000|
|Season 1||PGS Gaming||kuben, TaZ, LUq, Neo, Loord||40,000€|
The seventh season of the Intel Extreme Masters is still to be announced. In the last few years the announcement has come between June and July, so we will have to sit tight and see what the ESL has in store for us this season, regardless of dropping Counter-Strike 1.6.