After two days of fierce competition, Dream, Bunny, ByuN, and RagnaroK emerged as the four victors of the double elimination play-in bracket to win spots in the main event of IEM Katowice 2021.
Bunny continued his run of good form from DH: Last Chance and GSL Super Tournament 1, taking down Elazer, Kelazhur, and RagnaroK to secure his second ever group stage berth at IEM Katowice. Back in the 2019 edition of Katowice, Bunny narrowly failed to escape the group stage by a one-map margin to soO, with soO going on to win the entire tournament.
Speaking of Katowice 2019, RagnaroK's playoff was one of the surprises of the tournament. Now, he has a chance to try and match or top his personal best performance. A loss to Bunny in the upper bracket of the RO36 put RagnaroK on the ropes, but he recovered to win a group stage spot with a convincing 3-1 over Armani in the final match of the lower bracket.
In Dream's case, this marks his first time playing in the main event of IEM Katowice in its current incarnation. Dream actually took second place at IEM Katowice back in 2013, but at the time Katowice was a satellite event to the World Championship in Hanover.
Most fans predicted ByuN to advance to the group stage, but few would have expected his Ro36 journey to be so arduous. ByuN started the Ro36 with an unlucky draw against Dream, and a 1-2 loss sent him straight down to the lower bracket. While ByuN came within a map of elimination on two occasions, he managed to survive a gauntlet of DongRaeGu, Cyan, Hurricane, and sOs to reach the main event.
Round of 24 matches are set to begin on Monday, Feb 22 2:00pm GMT (GMT+00:00) with a stacked Group A, which has become even more competitive with the addition of ByuN from the RO36.
The round group stage will be played from Feb 22-25, with the top twelve players advancing to the playoffs.