Well, talk about your high pressure situations.
Most Starcraft tournaments (and most pro gaming tournaments for that matter) tend to feature a prize pool that extends throughout the bracket, you know -- like a Tennis tournament or a Golf tournament. You typically win cash (less cash) depending on how low you place in the tournament.
The Intel Extreme Masters tournament however, is far simpler. It's winner takes all, with $100,000 up for grabs. If you get knocked out, you're out. There are no losers brackets, no second chances.
"Every season the IEM was one of the hardest tournaments to win all year. In 2014 we would like to take it to a new level of extreme. True champions are born when they express their talent in the most extreme situations," said Michal Blicharz, Managing Director of Pro Gaming at ESL. "We wanted to create the most high-pressure tournament this audience has ever seen."
Personally, I'm not a fan. When I watch pro gaming, I like to see the best players, point blank. Giving certain players a chance to come back after a freak loss is important and the fact that only one player goes home with the cash? To me that subverts the idea of pro gaming as an actual legitimate sport. Could you imagine Nadal, Murray and Federer being happy with a tournament structure like that? Yeah, I don't think so. Seems pretty brutal.