- The tournament will feature 76 players.
- 12 Players will qualify from online and be seeded into the Ro24
- 64 Players will travel to Katowice to play in the first round (Ro64) for a chance to compete against the online qualifiers in the Ro24
- Ro64 - consists of four double elimination brackets of 16 players each.
- 12 top players will advance to the next round, and they'll be joined by 12 players from the online qualifiers.
- Ro24 will consists of four groups with six players in round robin format. Top three players from each group advance to the Ro12.
- Ro12 will be a single elimination playoff bracket. Players who placed first in their group will advance directly to the quarterfinals.
- Ro64/24 - Bo3
- Ro12 - Bo5
- Final - Bo7
Wednesday, January 25 - European server Open Qualifier
- Start: 16:00 CET (07:00 PST 25th/00:00 KST 26th)
- Finish: 22:00 CET (13:00 PST 25th/06:00 KST 26th)
Saturday, January 28 - European server Final Qualifier
- Start: 16:00 CET (07:00 PST 28th/00:00 KST 29th)
Finish: 22:00 CET (13:00 PST 28th/06:00 KST 29th)
Thursday, January 26 - North American server Open Qualifier
- Start: 16:00 PST (01:00 CET 27th/09:00 KST 27th)
- Finish: 22:00 PST (07:00 CET 27th/15:00 KST 27th)
Sunday, January 29 - North American server Final Qualifier
- Start: 16:00 PST (01:00 CET 30th/09:00 KST 30th)
- Finish: 22:00 PST (07:00 CET 30th/15:00 KST 30th)
Friday, January 27 - Korean server 1 server Open Qualifier
- Start: 16:00 KST (23:00 PST 26th/08:00 CET 27th)
- Finish: 22:00 KST (05:00 PST 27th/14:00 CET 27th)
Saturday, January 28 - Korean server 1 Final Qualifier
- Start: 16:00 KST (23:00 PST 27th/08:00 CET 28th)
- Finish: 22:00 KST (05:00 PST 28th/14:00 CET 28th)
Sunday, January 29 - Korean server 2 Open Qualifier
- Start: 16:00 KST (23:00 PST 28th/08:00 CET 29th)
- Finish: 22:00 KST (05:00 PST 29th/14:00 CET 29th)
Monday, January 30 - Korean server 2 Final Qualifier
- Start: 16:00 KST (23:00 PST 29th/08:00 CET 30th)
- Finish: 22:00 KST (05:00 PST 30th/14:00 CET 30th)
- Single Elimination Bo3 until Ro16
- Deciding maps Bo5
- Top 8 Advance to the Final Qualifier
- Final Qualifier
- 16 players
- Double Elimination Bo3
- Deciding maps Bo5
- 3 Players from each Final Qualifier earn a spot at Katowice
The open qualifiers will be played in a single elimination best-of-3 format, with the qualifying round (Ro16) maps being best-of-5.
The top eight players advance to the final qualifier. These qualifiers are open for everyone from every region, but keep in mind that the time zone and server belong to the name-giving region.
The final qualifiers will be played in a double elimination best-of-3 format with the qualifying rounds (the third round of the upper bracket and the fifth round of the lower bracket) having best-of-5 maps.
Participants of each final qualifier will consist of:
- The top eight players from the respective open qualifier
- The top eight players based on WCS 2016 results per region.
Region to server affiliations are:
- Korea - 2016 BlizzCon Result & WCS Korea Standings
- Europe & Africa - ranked by 2016 BlizzCon Results & WCS Circuit Standings
- North America and APAC - USA, Canada, China, LatAm, ANZ, SEA, Taiwan ranked by 2016 BlizzCon results & WCS Circuit Standings
Top three players from each final qualifier will secure a fully paid trip to Katowice and a spot in the 24 player Group Stage.