Dutch players at IEM World Championship27-02-2017
This week the 11th season of the IEM World Championship comes to a conclusion. Once again the matches will be played in Katowice, Poland, and so far no Dutch players have qualified for the $250.000 prize pool tournament. But that could change! Because before the actual tournament kicks off on Thursday, today and tomorrow a series of 4 offline qualifiers will be held at the ESL Arena. Through those qualifiers the last 12 spots in the championship will be earned, and among the 64 players lined up for the offline qualifiers are 4 Dutch grandmasters: uThermal, Harstem, Optimus and Thalandros.
Harstem is in the first qualifier, which starts today at 11:00h. Looking at the bracket there’s a high chance he’ll face Snute in the qualifying match. Even if he loses that there’s still the loser bracket (the qualifiers are double-elimination), so Harstem certainly has a fighting chance. Unless Stats somehow ends up in the loser bracket…
Both uThermal and Optimus are in the second qualifier, which starts today round 18:00h. They’re on opposite sides of the bracket, so as long as they keep winning we won’t see a Dutch ‘team kill’. Of course ‘just keep winning’ is a tall order, especially if your first match (for Optimus) is against French power house Dayshi. uThermal should have a somewhat easier start, but he still has players like SortOf in his bracket to look out for.
Thalandros is in offline qualifier #4 tomorrow, and that’s not a friendly place to be for our Dutch Zerg. If he manages to beat French Zerg MiNiMaTh in his first match, there’s a high likelihood of him having to face Korean Protoss Patience. And the loser bracket could eventually be populated with players like PtitDrogo and Namshar, so Thalandros has his work cut out for him!
Good luck to all the Dutch players! If you want to read more about the other players in the tournament check out TeamLiquid’s Power Rank, and tune in to the ESL-stream or any of the community streams to catch the matches.