IEM Season IX World Championship takes place in Katowice on March 13 – 15. Katowice has been hosting IEM events since 2013, and our team has attended every event in this city so far: in 2013 we won the tournament by overcoming Azubu Blaze and in 2014 we finished 3rd due to a loss to KT Rolster Bullets in the semifinals.

Read: Weekly Recap #3

Participants
There are eight teams representing five competitive regions: LCS EU, LCS NA, LPL, LCK and LMS. Four teams qualified for IEM Katowice by winning Global Challenges:

Kitai Team WE - IEM Shenzhen
USA Cloud9 - IEM San Jose
Rossia Gambit Gaming - IEM Cologne
Taivan yoe Flash Wolves - IEM Taipei.

Remaining four teams were determined by the mid-split standings in the four major regions. Due to conflicts with scheduling, LPL's EDG was not able to attend this event and their spot was granted to the second best team of LCK.

Korea GE Tigers – rank 1 LCK
Korea CJ Entus – rank 2 LCK
Germania SK Gaming – rank 1 LCS EU
USA Team SoloMid – rank 1 LCS NA

Last minute roster changes
Team WE is currently struggling in LPL, sitting in the bottom of the table. They decided to send an alternate roster to IEM Katowice and replaced two players:
Mid: Xiye replaces Ninja
ADC:  Mystic replaces Styz.

Tourament format
The tournament format is identical to last year's event. Eight teams are split into two groups and compete in a Double Elimination BO1 format to advance to playoffs. That means you have to win two games to make it to playoffs, whereas losing two games means that you are eliminated. A team that comes out on top of a winner's bracket wins a group stage and meets a second best team from another group in BO3 semifinals. The tournament concludes with BO5 Grand Final on Sunday.

Group B
Our team ended up in group B together with Team WE, Team SoloMid and CJ Entus. In the first round we are going up against the Koreans. Full schedule is available on IEM web site.

Prize pool:
1st place - $108,414
2nd place - $30,000
3rd/4th place - $15,000
5th/6th place - $5,000
7th/8th place - $2,500
Total: $183,414

Rosters:
Rossia Gambit Gaming: Cabochard, Diamond, Betsy, P1noy, Edward
Korea CJ Entus: Shy, Ambition, Coco, Space, MadLife
USA Cloud9: Balls, Meteos, Hai, Sneaky, LemonNation
Korea GE Tigers: Smeb, Lee, KurO, PraY, GorillA
Germania SK Gaming: fredy122, Svenskeren, Fox, FORG1VEN, nRated
USA Team SoloMid: Dyrus, Santorin, Bjergsen, WildTurtle, Lustboy
Kitai Team WE: Aluka, Spirit, Xiye, Mystic, YuZhe
Taivan yoe Flash Wolves: Steak, Karsa, Maple, NL, SwordArt