The Final Tournament Of SCII ESL Pro Tour 2022/23 Returns To Katowice
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The Final Tournament Of SCII ESL Pro Tour 2022/23 Returns To Katowice

Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2023 marks the culminating event of the StarCraft II ESL Pro Tour 2022/23 season. It will welcome the world’s best 36 SCII esports players who will compete for the lion’s share of the $500,000 prize pool and the right to have their names engraved onto the coveted trophy.

StarCraft II IEM Katowice 2023 Format & Schedule

Also known as the Masters Championship 2023, Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2023 is the biggest and most prestigious StarCraft II esports event of the year. As the final competition of the ESL Pro Tour 2022/23 season, IEM Katowice 2023 will welcome the top-rated 36 SCII players, who will compete in the International Congress Center for the world champion title and the right to have their names etched in the history books.

  • Date: February 8-12
  • Venue: International Congress Center in Katowice, Poland
  • Where to Watch: Twitch

The tournament will kick off with on February 8, with Round of 36, featuring 16 players who will compete in a double-elimination bracket for a spot in the Group Stage. Only the top four will advance, while the remaining 12 will get eliminated from the tournament.

The Group Stage will run on February 9-10, using a round-robin format with four groups of six players, who’ll compete in best-of-three (Bo3) matches. The group winners will receive a direct bye into the quarterfinals, while the second and third place advance to the Round of 12.

In case of a tie, IEM Katowice 2023 will use the following order to break them:

  • Overall map difference
  • Overall map won
  • Match wins between the tied players
  • Map difference between the tied players
  • Number of maps won between the tied players
  • Tie breaker match
  • Coin toss

The Playoffs will begin on February 11 and conclude with the Grand Final on Sunday, February 12. The playoffs will use a single-elimination bracket, with Round of 12, quarterfinals, and semifinals all played as best-of-five (Bo5). The finals are best-of-seven (Bo7).

World’s Elite Travels To Poland

Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2023 will be the biggest and most stacked StarCraft II tournament of the year, welcoming the cream of the crop of the StarCraft II esports scene, including big names from Korea, Europe, China, North America, and South America.

Unfortunately, we won’t get to see Lee “Rogue” Byeong-yeol. With four Code S titles, and three world-championship-class events to his name (Blizzcon, 2x IEM), Rogue has built quite a strong case for himself as one of the greatest StarCraft II players of all time but is forced to miss IEM Katowice 2023 due to mandatory military service.

Although Rogue will be missed, the field still features many excellent talent. The list includes the current no.1 on EPT Korea standings and the tournament favourite Cho “Maru” Seong-ju (3.25 at bet365) and two European SCII superstars and IEM Katowice finalists in Riccardo “Reynor” Romiti (3.60 at bet365) and the defending champion Joona “Serral” Sotala (4.33 at bet365).

Joining the main three favourites are Park “Dark” Ryung-woo (4.33 at bet365), Kim “herO” Joon-ho (5.50 at bet365), and Clément “Clem” Desplanches (7.00 at bet365), creating a very exciting list of the top-six players, featuring three Korean and three European pros.

Other big names attending the event include Lee “Bunny” Jae-seon (15.00 at bet365), Shin “RagnaroK” Hee-beom (26.00 at bet365), Byun “ByuN” Hyun-woo (15.00 at bet365), Kang “Solar” Min-soo (34.00 at bet365), Park “DRG” Soo-ho (26.00 at bet365) and Max “Astrea” Angel (31.00 at bet365) as the only North American representative.

SCII IEM Katowice 2023 Betting Odds Comparison

Player/ BookmakerBet365PinnacleGG.Bet
Cho “Maru” Seong-ju3.253.3703.40
Riccardo “Reynor” Romiti3.603.5103.60
Joona “Serral” Sotala4.334.2504.30
Park “Dark” Ryung-woo5.004.8805.00
Kim “herO” Joon-ho5.505.5505.50
Clément “Clem” Desplanches7.006.8107.00
Lee “Bunny” Jae-seon15.0014.41015.00
Byun “ByuN” Hyun-woo15.0014.41015.00
Park “DRG” Soo-ho26.0024.20025.00
Shin “RagnaroK” Hee-beom26.0024.20025.00
Jang “Creator” Hyun-woo31.0029.23031.00
Max “Astrea” Angel31.0029.23031.00
Li “Oliveira” Peinan (TIME)31.0029.23031.00
Kang “Solar” Min-soo34.0023.89034.00
Gabriel Raffaele “HeRoMaRinE” Segat34.0031.26034.00
Koh “GuMiho” Byung-jae34.0031.26034.00
Park “Zoun” Han-sol36.0032.29036.00
Kim “Cure” Doh-wook36.0033.27036.00
Alex “Neeb” Sunderhaft51.0048.40051.00
Juan “SpeCial” Lopez51.0048.40051.00
Tobias “ShoWTimE” Sieber67.0061.49067.00
Julian “Lambo” Brosig67.0061.49067.00
Kim “Classic” Doh-woo101.0075.850100.00
Jang “NightMare” Wook101.0091.690100.00
Kim “Ryung” Dong-won101.0088.330100.00
Park “Armani” Jin-hyuk101.0091.690100.00
Eo “soO” Yun-su101.0068.330100.00
Piotr “Spirit” Walukiewicz501.00403.440500.00
Mikołaj “Elazer” Ogonowski501.00403.440500.00
Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn501.00152.790500.00
Pablo “Cham” Blanco5001.00403.440/
Wu “Coffee” Yishen5001.00403.440/
Ke “Has” Feng5001.00403.440/
Huang “Nice” Shiang5001.00403.440/
Haseeb “TeebuL” Ishaq5001.00//
Kevin “Harstem” Koning50001.00//
Show more +

Back To Live Play

The IEM Katowice 2023 will return to live (offline) tournament play after two years of primarily online action due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But with the pandemic slowing down, most of the big events of 2022 returned to LAN.

This brings up the question of which player has what it takes to deliver in front of a live audience and whether we’ll see Serral lift another IEM Katowice trophy. But the Finnish Phenom had already won BlizzCon Global Championship back in 2018 and has since added nearly 20 major tournament titles, so it’s unlikely for him to feel too much pressure playing offline.

On the other side, IEM Katowice 2023 will also have a bitter taste as it concludes the 2022 season, which gave us both exceptional storylines, but it was also the year of retirements in Korea, where the military service swept Trap, Zest, and Rogue, neither of whom will travel to Poland.

While it might be an overplayed statement, the IEM Katowice 2023 has the potential to be one of the greatest to date. Even though we’ve lost big names this season, the field looks as competitive as ever, as many players reached new, higher levels of play throughout the 2022 season.

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