IEM World Championship begins today with Heart of the Swarm group play, League of Legends starts tomorrow


Today the Intel Extreme Masters Season VII World Championship begins in Hanover, as some of the world’s top StarCraft 2 pros get a trial by fire in Heart of the Swarm in a $100,000 tournament. Pool play begins at 3:30 AM Eastern / 8:30 GMT and is can be streamed via ESL TV. The full schedule is available here.

While IEM is playing host to a strong StarCraft 2 field across the board, the Group D matches on Thursday at 3:30 AM Eastern / 8:30 AM UK are particularly worth watching. Featuring StarCraft legend Jung “Mvp” Jong Hyun as well as Ilyes “Stephano” Satouri and Manuel “Grubby” Schenkhuizen, Group D will likely have some of the most exciting matches of the entire tournament.

The first-prize winner takes home $30,000 and draws first blood in the Heart of the Swarm records, and this is one of our first chances to watch Heart of the Swarm being played in anger. As anyone who has watched recent showmatches can attest, few pros really know this expansion very well, and they’ll be racing to adapt their games to the new meta even as they battle one another.

League fans have just as much to look forward to, with twelve of the best teams in Europe and Korea (and Brazil) coming together to fight for a $50,000 grand prize. A lot of powerhouse teams are here, like Gambit Gaming (former Moscow 5), Fnatic, EG, and the Frost and Blaze squads, now playing for CJ Entus.

The League streams kick off tomorrow at 3:30 AM Eastern / 8:30 AM UK with Brazil’s paiN versus Gambit. Again, streams will be available via the ESL.