Intel, ESL launch Intel Extreme Masters gaming PCs

March 1, 2016 // 1:40 p.m.

Tags: #a-bastion-of-performance #company-claims #esl #esports #gaming-pc #iem-challenger #iem-champion #intel #intel-extreme-masters #scan

ESL's Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) pro-gaming franchise is getting a pair of own-brand PCs, in top-end IEM Champion and more affordable IEM Challenger guises, with proceeds from their sale going to boost the IEM Championship prize pool.

ESL's Intel-sponsored championship franchise, Intel Extreme Masters enjoys a $500,000 prize pot for the victors in its pro-gaming tournaments. This year, though, it's turning to a new method of boosting those coffers: the sale of IEM-branded gaming PCs. Produced in partnership with Intel, it's no surprise to see Core i7 and Core i5 processor options alongside the buyer's choice of AMD or Nvidia discrete gaming graphics, while Intel's influence can also be seen in the solid-state drive (SSD) bundled with each - though at 120GB, it seems more of an afterthought than anything.

Each PC can be customised and configured in a variety of ways, with the IEM Champion offering at a minimum an Intel Core i7 K-series processor housed in a Gigabyte motherboard, 16GB of Kingston HyperX memory, and a choice of Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 280X graphics card. The more affordable IEM Challenger tones things down a bit with a Core i5 K-series chip, 8GB of HyperX memory, and a choice of either Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 or AMD Radeon R9 285 discrete graphics. In either case, the stock storage is a 1TB mechanical drive plus the aforementioned 120GB Intel SSD, though this can be upgraded. Additionally, precise specifications will vary by retailer: Scan, one of the IEM partners here in the UK, has opted to boost the specs with a factory overclock, 2TB hard drive, 250GB Intel 535 SSD, and by placing an Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 in the IEM Challenger in place of the standard GeForce GTX 960 in the Challenger.

'We’re closing out a decade of Intel Extreme Masters competition, and these limited edition PCs are a bastion of performance and excellence,' claimed George Woo, Intel brand partnerships and sponsorships marketing manager, at the launch. 'Intel’s commitment to providing the best computing equipment goes hand in hand with ESL’s commitment to bringing the best in eSports competition to gamers everywhere. We’re looking forward to a future of creating more legendary eSports moments together.'

Each PC comes with a gaming bundle featuring copies of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, Warface, Just Cause 3, Smite, and World of Warships. The machines start at £1,169.99, with more information available on the official website.
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