IEM Katowice 2020 kicked off with day one of round-of-76 competition. The Protoss-heavy bracket #1 saw players rewarded for their PvP prowess, with the trio of Patience, sOs, and ShoWTimE advancing. Though HeroMarine had two near chances to the spoil the Protoss party, he narrowly lost to ShoWTimE and Patience at the final hurdle.
Bracket #1 also featured a heavy Polish presence, with five players representing the host nation. Unfortunately, none of the players were able to join Elazer in the group stage, with the underdog Gerald making the deepest run.
In bracket #2, INnoVation advanced as expected, with the multiple-time major tournament champion looking barely fazed as he cut a path through a series of foreigners. He was joined by one of the off-season's surprise powerhouses in Armani, who took advantage of being a last-minute-replacement player and secured a group stage spot.
The final Ro24 spot from bracket #2 was taken by none other than the Taiwanese trickster Has, who seemed to have mastered the art of hypnosis as he constantly convinced his Zerg opponents to commit fruitless acts of aggression against him.
These six players will advance to the round-of-24 group stage (played February 27-28), where they will join six more players from RO76 brackets #3 and #4, as well as 12 seeded players including BlizzCon champion Dark.
IEM Katowice will resume on February 25th with day two of the RO76 double-elimination brackets, with notable players such as defending champion soO, SpeCial, Trap, Clem, and Dear looking to earn RO24 spots.