This article was originally published by ESL. For the full article read here.
We are thrilled once again to have StarCraft II featured during the Intel Extreme Masters World Championship, which will be the first WCS Global event of 2017. It’s a legacy we cherish as IEM embarks on its 32nd StarCraft II event. As the players continue their journey for valuable WCS points, fans can expect to see world-class plays and moments we’ll remember for many years to come.
The tournament will be the first out of three WCS Global events, and the biggest gathering of top tier StarCraft II players of the year. The IEM World Champion will be the first of eight crowned players to secure a spot in the WCS Global Finals. WCS points will also be up for grabs for those who don’t make it to the top, which means IEM will set the pace as players vie to reach the WCS Global Finals in 2017. You can read more about the 2017 WCS on the WCS site.
Here are all the details about the upcoming tournament, which has the largest prize pool in StarCraft II IEM history:
February 27–March 5
We’ll see six days of great StarCraft II action! The full schedule will be as follows:
- February 27: Round of 64 (ESL Arena)
- February 28: Round of 64 (ESL Arena)
- March 2: Round of 24 group stage (Auditorium at IEM EXPO)
- March 3: Round of 24 group stage (Auditorium at IEM EXPO)
- March 4: Last matches of the group stage + Round of 12 playoffs (Auditorium at IEM EXPO)
- March 5: Semifinals and Grand Final (Spodek arena)
We welcome StarCraft II fans to join us for the matches taking place on March 3–5!
76 player tournament
- We will begin with the Ro64, which consists of four double elimination brackets of 16 players each. 12 top players will advance to the next round, and they’ll be joined by 12 players from the online qualifiers.
- Ro24 will consists of four groups with six players in round robin format. Top three players from each group advance to the Ro12.
- Ro12 will be a single elimination playoff bracket. Players who placed first in their group will advance directly to the quarterfinals. The final 12 players will fight for the coveted trophy and IEM World Championship in StarCraft II, as well as a spot in WCS Global Finals.
We’re pleased to announce that this tournament will have the largest prize pool in StarCraft II IEM history—US$250,000! It will be distributed as follows:
- 1st place: $100,000
- 2nd place: $45,000
- 3rd and 4th place: $17,500
- 5th–8th place: $7,000
- 9th–12th place: $3,000
- 13th–24th place: $1,000
- 24th–44th place: $600
Wednesday, January 25 – European server Open Qualifier
- Start: 16:00 PST (01:00 CET 26th/09:00 KST 26th)
- Finish: 22:00 PST (07:00 CET 26th/15:00 KST 26th)
Thursday, January 26 – North American server Open Qualifier
- Start: 16:00 CET (07:00 PST 26th/00:00 KST 27th )
- Finish: 22:00 CET (13:00 PST 26th/06:00 KST 27th )
Friday, January 27 – Korean server 1 server Open Qualifier
- Start: 16:00 KST (23:00 PST 26th/08:00 CET 27th )
- Finish: 22:00 KST (05:00 PST 27th/14:00 CET 27th )
Saturday, January 28 – Korean server 1 Final Qualifier
- Start: 16:00 KST (23:00 PST 27th/08:00 CET 28th )
- Finish: 22:00 KST (05:00 PST 28th/14:00 CET 28th )
Saturday, January 28 – European server Final Qualifier
- Start: 16:00 PST (01:00 CET 28th/09:00 KST 28th )
- Finish: 22:00 PST (07:00 CET 28th/15:00 KST 28th )
Sunday, January 29 – Korean server 2 Open Qualifier
- Start: 16:00 KST (23:00 PST 28th/08:00 CET 29th )
- Finish: 22:00 KST (05:00 PST 29th/14:00 CET 29th )
Sunday, January 29 – North American server Final Qualifier
- Start: 16:00 CET (07:00 PST 29th/00:00 KST 30th )
- Finish: 22:00 CET (13:00 PST 29th/06:00 KST 30th )
Monday, January 30 – Korean server 2 Final Qualifier
- Start: 16:00 KST (23:00 PST 29th/08:00 CET 30th )
- Finish: 22:00 KST (05:00 PST 30th/14:00 CET 30th )
The open qualifiers will be played in a single elimination best-of-3 format, with the qualifying round (Ro16) matches being best-of-5. The top eight players advance to the final qualifier. These qualifiers are open for everyone from every region, but keep in mind that the time zone and server belong to the name-giving region.
The final qualifiers will be played in a double elimination best-of-3 format with the qualifying rounds (the third round of the upper bracket and the fifth round of the lower bracket) having best-of-5 matches. Participants of each final qualifier will consist of:
- The top eight players from the respective open qualifier
- The top eight players based on WCS 2016 results per region. Region to server affiliations are:
- Korea – 2016 BlizzCon Result & WCS Korea Standings
- Europe & Africa – ranked by 2016 BlizzCon Results & WCS Circuit Standings
- North America and APAC – USA, Canada, China, LatAm, ANZ, SEA, Taiwan ranked by 2016 BlizzCon results & WCS Circuit Standings
Top three players from each final qualifier will secure a fully paid trip to Katowice and a spot in the 24 player Group Stage.
Bracket stage sign-up will be available for 64 intrepid players at the conclusion of all online qualifiers. Due to the limited number of spots, preference will be given to players based on region, 2016 WCS performance, and in-game ladder performance.
Good luck and see you in Katowice!
We wish all of the participating players the best of luck and cannot wait to see the very best compete in Katowice for the $250,000 prize pool! Be sure to join us on March 3–5 to witness world-class StarCraft II matches live! Grab a ticket while you can!