ESL Pro Tour Standings: Race to the Final 36by: Liquipedia Contributors
The 2020-21 season of the ESL Pro Tour is headed to its final act, and we have a good sense of which 36 players have accumulated enough EPT points to qualify for the Masters Championship at IEM Katowice 2021. However, things are still in flux toward the tail end of the rankings, and we might see a few Katowice spots change hands in the coming months.
As noted in the table above, the pandemic-adjusted EPT 2020-21 system awards IEM Katowice 2021 spots on a per-region basis. Only a player's point ranking within their own region matters in terms of qualification.
The Masters Championship at IEM Katowice 2021 is comprised of two stages: The RO36 "play-in" stage, and the RO24 main event. Top ranked players qualify directly for the RO24, while lower ranked players must begin the tournament in the RO36.
Five tournaments remain that can affect the EPT standings:
- ASUS ROG Online (Nov 27-29, 2020): 1280 total points, 250 points for first place.
- GSL Super Tournament II (Dec 2-12, 2020): 1590 Korean region points, 300 points for first place.
- TeamLiquid Starleague 6 (Dec 5-20, 2020): 1260 total points, 250 points for first place.
- DreamHack Masters: Last Chance: (Jan 12-17, 2021): 1370 total points, 300 points for first place.
- ESL Open Cups (every Monday until Jan 12, 2021): 315 total points, 210 maximum for one player.
A player competing in the non-Korean regions can amass up to an additional 1010 points (250 by winning ASUS ROG, 250 by winning TSL6, 300 by winning the last chance event and up to 210 points by winning all remaining ESL Open Cups in all 3 regions). A player competing in the Korean region can earn up to 1310 points, due to the GSL Super Tournament's additional 300 points for first place. Of course, one player winning all the aforementioned tournaments is extremely unlikely and only theoretically possible.
Let's break down the IEM Katowice qualification races by region.
*In the official ESL standings, non-Korean players are included in the Korean standings due to a technicality in the rules. Practically speaking, they are not part of the rankings as none of them will qualify for IEM Katowice 2021 via the Korean region. Non-Korean players have been removed from the above rankings graphic for clarity.
Mathematically confirmed on points and/or earned direct seeds to the Round of 24TY (#1 - 2,927 points)
We already knew TY had secured a seed when he won GSL Code S Season 1. TY then 'double-qualified' by winning a second Code S title in Season 3, and thus that extra RO24 spot goes to the next player down in the Korea standings.
Rogue (#2 - 2,545 points)
Rogue was the first player to secure a IEM Katowice 2021 spot, earning a direct invite by winning IEM Katowice 2020. But Rogue also won GSL Code S Season 2, effectively double-qualifying for IEM Katowice. The additional RO24 spot goes to the next player down in the Korea standings (due to TY and Rogue earning multiple direct seeds via championships, the effective RO24 cutoff for Korea is 10th place).
Maru (#3 - 2,105 points)
It is impossible for all the players in ranks 4-11 to overtake Maru at once, thus mathematically securing a RO24 spot for the Jin Air Terran. Maru earned most of his points with a 2nd place finish at GSL Season 3 and a 3rd-4th place finish at IEM Katowice 2020.
Realistically secured RO24 seedsINnoVation (#4 - 1,985 points)
There are some crazy, completely unrealistic scenarios where even INnoVation can't guarantee himself a Round of 24 seed. He basically has to not earn any more points, and all the players currently ranked 5-11 have to earn points in an exact distribution so they overtake INnoVation simultaneously.
Stats (#5 - 1,955 points)
As Stats has almost the same number of points as INnoVation, the above holds for him as well. Stats' impending military service is a potential complication, depending on the exact timing of his enlistment.
Trap (#6 - 1,767 points)
As with INnoVation and Stats, the scenarios in which Trap does not earn himself a Round of 24 seed are slim to none. It is marginally more probable than INnoVation or Stats not getting in, but still highly unlikely.
In a very good position for a Ro24 seedZest (#7 - 1,640 points)
Zest is in a very good position to secure himself a Round of 24 seed. As with Stats, there is a possibility that Zest's pending military service will affect his eligibility. Neither player has spoken about this issue in detail.
Cure (#8 - 1,504 points)
Like Zest, Cure is in a very good position to secure himself a Round of 24 seed. He has a head start of 469 points compared to Solar on rank 11.
On the hot seats for the Ro24 seedsPartinG (#9 - 1,194 points) & Dark (#10 - 1,120 points)
PartinG and Dark are on the hot seats in the Korea Region, as their lead over Solar (currently ranked 11 with 1,035 points) is small enough for them to be easily overtaken during the upcoming events. Should the "wildcard" RO24 spot convey to Korea as projected, these two players would gain a significant buffer for RO24 qualification.
In striking distance of Ro24 and with realistically secured Ro36 seedsSolar (#11 - 1,035 points) & DongRaeGu (#12 - 940 points) & Armani (#13 - 880 points)
In the Korea Region we have 3 players who have a very realistic shot at overtaking some of the current top 10 and hence achieving themselves a top 10 finish and a direct seed to the IEM Katowice 2021 Round of 24.
Fulfilling military serviceBoth Dear and soO would most likely have qualified for the Round of 36 with their current points, but as they are serving their mandatory military service at the time of IEM Katowice 2021, they are unable to compete.
Currently in the Ro36 rankssOs (#16 - 695 points)
sOs has a good head start (of 267 points) and will most likely be able to secure himself a Ro36 seed.
Dream (#17 - 560 points)
Dream is most likely also gonna make it with his head start of 132 point and the advantage of having a few ranks of breathing room.
Hurricane (#18 - 520 points)
Hurricane is 92 points ahead of Zoun, he has a good shot at staying in the Ro36 seeds.
On the hot seats for the Ro36 seedsRagnaroK (#19 - 498 points)
RagnaroK has a 70 point advantage on Zoun, with still 3 global events, GSL ST2 and all these ESL Open Cups to happen he shouldn't feel too safe though.
Bunny (#20 - 458 points)
Currently Bunny is the gatekeeper in the KR standings. He has a 30 point head start on Zoun, so he is in imminent danger of being overtaken.
In striking distance of Ro36 seedsZoun (#21 - 428 points)
Zoun has a realistic shot at securing himself a Ro36 seed if he is able to perform well at the upcoming events.
Long shot chancesPatience (#22 - 335 points)
For Patience, the chances are not that good as he has a 123 point disadvantage, but it is possible.
There are potential scenarios where the combination of the wildcard spot and the military service of Stats and Zest significantly impacts the lower end of the Korean rankings, which would help ensure Patience's RO36 spot while perhaps even bringing TaeJa and Creator into contention.
The European region is awarded 5 Round of 24 seeds and another 2 seeds to the Round of 36.
Mathematically secured seeds for the Round of 24Reynor (#1 - 2,477 points)
So far, Reynor has amassed the most points in the Europe region. He has by far more points than needed to secure himself a Round of 24 seed. Reynor's points mostly come from very good regional results (2 wins and a second place in the 3 regional EU events) and by winning the DHM Fall Season Finals.
Serral (#2 - 2,375 points)
Even though this year Serral (currently) isn't the #1 of Europe he also has amassed more points than needed to secure himself a Round of 24 seed. Serral secured most of his points with good regional results, a 3rd-4th place at IEM Katowice and by winning the DHM Summer Season Finals
Clem (#3 - 1,927 points)
Clem too has secured enough points to already earn himself a secured Ro24 seed. Clem's performance improved steadily over the year, resulting in his first win of a Premier tournament with DHM EU Winter.
Realistically secured Ro24 seedHeRoMaRinE (#4 - 1,182 points)
Big Gabe's head start to rank 6 in the EU Standings is 525 points, which seems big enough for him to secure himself a Ro24 seed in almost all reasonable scenarios. Of course it has to be pointed out that Gabe won a considerable portion of his points in the weekly EU ESL Open Cups (winning 20 out of 45 so far), to the point that they became known as the "Big Gabe Weekly" cups.
In a very good position for a Ro24 seedShoWTimE (#5 - 985 points)
In the EU standings, ShoWTimE is in a very good position to defend his current 5th place rank with a head start of 293 points compared to uThermal at #6. In the pack of players behind Reynor-Serral-Clem, ShoWTimE is the only one to have qualified for ASUS ROG Online. Thus, he stands to further fortify the fifth place wall against his challengers.
In a good position for a Ro36 seeduThermal (#6 - 657 points)
uThermal has a head start of a bit more than 100 points compared to Lambo. This gives him some breathing room, but his seed is far from being secured as of now.
In the race for a Ro36 seed
Elazer (#7 - 599 points)
Elazer is currently on the hot seat for the Ro36 seeds in the EU region. He has a 69 points head start compared to Lambo but he shouldn't feel safe with that. Neither player qualified for ASUS ROG, making TSL6 and DHM Last Chance crucial tournaments for both players.
Lambo (#8 - 530 points)
Among the players who are not currently qualified for the RO36, Lambo has the best chance to earn a spot by the season's end. 69 points from global events is a difficult gap to make up, but the German Zerg might be up for the task.
With a chance for a Ro36 seedMaNa (#9 - 499 points)
MaNa is only 31 points behind Lambo, so he also has an outsider's chances of earning a RO36 spot at IEM.
MarineLorD (#10 - 495 points)
As MLord only has 4 points less compared to MaNa, the same odds apply to him. With the point margins between Elazer, Lambo, MaNa, and MarineLord being so narrow, the weekly ESL Opens (10 points per win, 5 points per runner-up) could potentially play a decisive role in the standings.
Realistically secured Ro24 seedAstrea (#1 - 1,133 points)
Astrea has a head start of 403 points on Scarlett (rank 3 in the NA Standings), which seems big enough for him to be awarded with a Ro24 seed in almost all reasonable scenarios.
In a very good position for a Ro24 seedNeeb (#2 - 1044 points)
Like ShoWTimE in the EU Standings, Neeb is in a very good position to defend his current 2nd rank in the NA Standings with a head start of 314 points compared to Scarlett on rank 3.
In a very good position for a Ro36 seedScarlett (#3 - 730 points)
Scarlett's head start of 430 points will most likely be unreachable for Future (currently in rank 4 with 300 points), who will have to make multiple, deep playoff runs in the remaining events to steal 3rd place.
Mathematically secured seed for the Round of 24
SpeCial (#1 - 1,482 points)
SpeCial has secured himself enough of a head start compared to Kelazhur (2nd place in the LatAm Standings) to already have a secured Ro24 seed, regardless of Kelazhur's performances in upcoming events.
In the race for a Ro36 seedKelazhur (#2 - 423 points) & Cham (#3 - 310 points)
In the LatAm region Kelazhur and Cham will battle for the Round of 36 seed, with Kelazhur having a significant head start of 113 points.
Realistically secured Ro24 seedTIME (#1 - 855 points)
As with Big Gabe and Astrea, TIME too has a huge head start (695 points) on the first non Ro24-place player (Cyan at rank 2) in the Chinese standings.
In the race for a Ro36 seedCyan (#2 - 160 points) & Jieshi (#3 - 130 points)
The race for the Ro36 seed of the China region will most likely be decided between Cyan (with a head start of 30 points) and Jieshi.
Realistically secured Ro36 seedsNice (#1 - 727 points) & Has (#2 - 565 points)
With the current 3rd place Rex only having 85 points this region's Ro36 seeds realistically seem to be determined.
The Oceania/Asia region is granted a single seed to the Round of 36.
Realistically secured Ro36 seedProbe (#1 - 355 points)
Given the historic performance of OCE players at global events in LotV, the regional standings will likely hold until Katowice, giving the regional seed to Probe.
Replacement spot: Cancelled global eventPrior to the global pandemic, a direct seed to the RO24 of IEM Katowice was planned to be awarded through a live, global-tier event. With this event being replaced by DHM: Last Chance, it appears that this spot will now be awarded to the RO36 qualified player with the largest sum of EPT points (regional + global points). The vacant RO36 spot of the 'promoted' player will be passed down to the next player in that specific region's rankings.
Considering the point totals for the players who are currently on the fringes of RO24 qualification, it appears highly likely that this final RO24 spot will convey to Korea.