IEM Season XIII Katowice Preview

Post 24.2.2019

The World Champion is still missing a trophy from his collection. He has the chance to claim it in Katowice, Poland, as Serral travels there to participate in IEM Season XIII.

Will the IEM Trophy feature the name of Joona “Serral” Sotala after this event? // Credit Helena Kristiansson/ESL

IEM is arriving once again at the iconic Spodek Arena in Katowice! The event begins on the 25th of February with an offline qualifier and lasts until the 3rd of March. As a result of winning the World Championship at BlizzCon, Serral got a ticket straight into the Group Stage phase of the tournament, without having to go through any qualifiers. He has been placed in Group C with two Koreans, Innovation and Rogue, who will be joined by 3 additional players from the offline Qualifier.

I’m always excited to participate in IEM Katowice. I’d say it’s the biggest and best tournament in SC2 right after BlizzCon. Half of my group is already announced and it’s me, INnoVatioN and Rogue so not an easy one for sure.

I have been practicing a good amount so I’m still very confident in my ability to advance and in my chances to win the whole tournament.

I’m still just going to go one game at the time and see where it takes me. This is my first big offline event for around 3 months so I’m very excited to get to play more meaningful matches again.

During last year’s IEM Katowice, Serral’s group consisted of Rogue, Impact, Neeb, Zest, and Nerchio. He advanced first from his group with a 5-0 score, only dropping 2 maps, one to Rogue and one to Neeb. Serral advanced straight to the Quarterfinals where he faced Trap. He had a very close series against him, ending with a 3-2 score. However, Serral was unable to advance past the semifinals ending his tournament run with a 0-3 result against Classic. Nonetheless, he took home prize money worth $26,000.

Last year Joona’s road ended in the Semifinals. This year, he has his eyes set on the prize // Credit: Adela-Sznajder/ESL

Besides being one of the most prestigious titles in StarCraft 2, winning the championship in Katowice already secures the player a direct seed into the Global Finals at the end of the year. Additionally, the winner takes home a hefty amount of $150,000. Tune in to the stream to cheer for Serral on March 1st!


  • Group Stage:
    • Four groups of six players played out in round robin format.
    • All matches are Bo3
    • First place in each group advances directly to the Quarterfinals.
    • Second and third place in each group advance to the Round of 12.
    • Ties broken in the following order:
      1. Overall matches won
      2. Overall map score difference
      3. Matches won among tied players
      4. Map score difference among tied players
      5. Tie-breaker match
      6. Coin toss
  • Bracket:
    • Single-elimination bracket of twelve players.
    • Round of 12, Quarterfinals, and Semifinals are played in Bo5
    • Grand Finals is played in Bo7


Place $USD Seed WCS Global Pts
1st $150,000 WCS Global Finals 3000
2nd $65,000 2100
3rd-4th $25,000 1350
         5th-8th $10,000 900

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