Interview with Carmac: "We hope to see unprecedented levels of pwnage"
With the new season of Intel Extreme Masters just one day away, we catch up to the man behind it all - Michal "Carmac" Blicharz. We get to talk IEM Season VII and the future of the tournament, the changes in format, eSports in non-eSports media, the Cosplay Contest promise and Carmac's take on tournament's outcome.
For the new season, you are bringing in an open tournament addition to the format and for Cologne it's kind of at the level of premier tournaments' playoffs. Why did you feel the need to change the format?
The first reason is that there are so many tournaments these days that many top pros aren't able to make it to all of the qualifiers. The second reason is that with our closed qualification system, we had trouble replacing players that dropped out at the last minute. Now all we will do is open the extra slot to an additional player from the open tournament.
We now have a healthy mix of players that are pre-qualified and rewarded for it and pros that were too busy to participate in the qualifiers. The open bracket's tougher than we've expected, tougher than anyone's expected. This will make qualification for the next events more interesting and more important because everyone will want to be qualified directly to group play.
You have always been a person of strong opinions and I want to put IEM on the side for a while and talk about eSports in the non-eSports media. I know that long have you been advocating that eSports will not reach the level of regular sports any time soon but more and more statistics are gathered to at least try to show the opposite. Are you seeing yourself becoming wrong in the near future or those numbers are still largely inaccurate?
I could be wrong at any time! You know what Churchill said about statistics, right? Right now we're growing like crazy and we are reaching more people than ever in the history of esports. The growth has been immense and completely blew my mind. But the best esports show on the planet still cannot compare itself with a World Cup or the Super Bowl. There's nothing wrong with not being as large as the World Cup, though, right?