This year, IEM will hold its biggest StarCraft II competition to date, with a US$250,000 prize pool on the line, as well as the first player to qualify for the WCS Global Final. With the online qualifiers now concluded, we are happy to welcome Neeb, ShoWTimE, Serral, TY, herO, True, Solar, dark, aLive, Zest, INnoVation and ByuN to the player lineup of the upcoming tournament.
The EU qualifier saw over 180 players sign up with only three available positions to qualify for Katowice. The bracket was packed with StarCraft II stars, including previous IEM winners from Shanghai, Shenzhen and Gyeonggi in uThermal, Classic and inform INnoVation. There was, as expected, a flood of well known European players including the Polish stars, Elazer and Nerchio. After several hard-fought matches in both the upper and lower bracket, it was Neeb, ShoWTimE and Serral who secured themselves tickets to the IEM World Championship.
The best ranked Protoss players from North America and Europe were joined by Serral who is without a Top 16 finish at premier event for over a year. Is this time for the Serral hype train to start up again? He joins Neeb and ShoWTimE to compete in the Ro24 at IEM Katowice.
The NA qualifier was dominated by Korean players with the likes of 2015 IEM World Champion, Zest and many others. In the end, it was TY, herO and True who bested their opponents and will travel to Katowice to compete at IEM.
The 3x IEM champion, herO, is a nice welcome back to IEM viewers. With his incredibly decorative past in IEM, we will see how well he performs in 2017.
Two Korean qualifiers took place with a total of six players advancing to the IEM World Championship. Needles to say, both final brackets were stacked with world-class players and we saw some thrilling action before the qualified players were determined. In the first qualifier, it was Solar, dark and aLive, whereas the second qualifier was taken by Zest, INnoVation and ByuN - players very familiar with top tier SC2 events.
We wish to congratulate all 12 players who fought their way through the qualifiers and secured a slot at the upcoming IEM World Championship Katowice. If you're still in need of a ticket to the event, there are still some available.
The next step for a chance to compete in Katowice, is the ro64 singnup. You can find all information about it here. The deadline is February 2nd at 23:59 PST - be sure not to miss it and sign up here!