Intel has been a supporter of gaming and esports for several years including its partnership with ESL, however at E3 they are stepping up this support. Today, Intel revealed several new initiatives, including partnerships with ESL, Oculus, and Ready At Dawn Studios that will push PC gaming to new levels.
In addition to the announced gaming partnerships, the company also announced timing for the new Intel Core X-series processor family. The 4- to 10- core processors will be available for pre-order beginning on June 19th and will start shipping the following week. Availability for the rest of the X-series processor family will follow after that, with the 12-core Intel Core i9-7920X processor to start shipping in August, the 7940X, 7960X, and 18-core 7980X extreme processor to ship in October.
ESL, the worlds largest esports company, and Intel announced they are expanding their 15-year partnership to advance the growth and development of esports. As ESL’s official technology partner, Intel will help grow all of ESL’s esports events around the globe. Intel will provide the backbone of all events, studios and broadcasting operations, with all amateur and pro tournament PCs running the latest Intel Core i7 processors and all production hardware running on a combination of Intel Core and Intel Xeon processors.
Additionally, the two companies also revealed the Intel Grand Slam for Counter Strike: Globe Offensive (CS:GO) that will offer a bonus $1 million prize, awarded to the first time that wins four CS:GO competitions by ESL and DreamHack in a 12-month period. This prize is in addition to the rest of their winnings at qualifying events that include Intel Extreme Masters, ESL One, ESL Pro League and DreamHack Masters series.
Intel also announced several partnerships and investments to accelerate pro competitive VR esports. This includes a partnership with Ready At Dawn Studios to release Echo Arena as a free download for all Oculus Rift owners for three months starting on July 20th.
The collaboration with ESL and Oculus has spawned the VR Challenger League. The competitive VR gaming series begins in July and features both the previously mentioned Echo Arena from Ready At Dawn Studios as well as The Unspoken from Insomniac Games. The VR esports competition will take place online and at key events with players around the world with the finals taking place at the Intel Extreme Masters World Championship in Poland in 2018.