The first episode of Eurosport's coverage of the Intel Extreme Masters aired recently, and drew over a million different viewers. The show went behind the scenes at the Global Challenge Shanghai Counter-Strike 1.6 tournament, following the highs and lows of Team Fnatic's campaign to become Shanghai's new Counter-Strike champions.
The Global Challenge Shanghai competition saw world famous Counter-Strike pros team NaVi and Team Fnatic battling it out for the $57,000 prize money. The program concentrates more on the behind the scenes drama and preparation of the teams involved rather than the matches themselves, but nevertheless drew over a million different viewers between its initial broadcast and repeats on Eurosport and Eurosport 2. The program's success acts as another sign of the broadening appeal of competitive gaming as a spectator sport.
The show is available to European viewers on demand on the Eurosport player . For international viewers, the Intel Extreme Masters have put episode 1 on Youtube, part 1 of which is embedded below. Episode 2 will be broadcast on Eurosport 2 on Thursday at 9:30PM GMT, and the series is planning to cover the whole Intel Extreme Masters league season all the way up to the event's finale in Hanover next March. For more information on the competition, check out the official Intel Extreme Masters site .