WCS RO16 — Extensive Preview

DreXxiN 2015-06-26 03:58:50

Beginning on June 26th, the competition in Toronto at the WCS Season 2 Finals will be fast, furious and a lot of fun. Talent from all over the world will converge in Canada in order to try and make their way through a stacked bracket featuring 5 Koreans, as well as 11 high-level foreigners.

The first group is what most would call the group of death. ForGG, a consistently top level Korean Terran, is a favorite in the group despite not being as successful in season 1 of WCS as many expected. He was eliminated 3-2 by Polt, the eventual champion, in a close TvT series, despite ForGG’s proficiency at the matchup. His victory 7 months ago at Dreamhack winter is distant in the minds of many, but the top-level play he showed there to eliminate Life 4-2 cannot be forgotten, showing creative and elite TvZ to eliminate the world champion. He will be facing a young German protoss, GunGFuBanDa. GunGFu is notable among the European scene for his excellent PvP, which essentially carried him to the finals when he defeated elfi 2-1 and Has 2-0. However, he is the only Protoss in a group dominated by two top level Terrans and one top level Zerg. His small chances of proceeding, especially compounded by the fact that he stated that he had hoped he will not face any terrans in the ro16. The odds are heavily stacked against the young protoss, and it is highly unlikely he will proceed from the group.

The second matchup will be between Bunny and Hydra. Bunny is, by most standards, the best foreign Terran in the world, as backed up by his 4th place finish in Season 1 of WCS. The Dane was knocked out similarly to ForGG in a close, action-packed TvT series vs Polt, but made fourth place in the full tournament, taking out a variety of strong players along the way. Hydra was the runner up, also losing to Polt. In fact, Bunny, Hydra, and ForGG all were eliminated by Polt in season 1 by a margin of one game coincidentally. Hydra’s devastating Zerg play was not quite enough to take Polt out despite being 2 games up on the Terran in the finals, but it was an incredible showing regardless. Bunny and Hydra have recently played two series, Hydra taking one of the series 5:1 and Bunny taking the other one 4:3, which indicates that this bo3 could go to either player.  


ForGG 2:0 GunGFuBanDa

Sadly for the German Protoss, I don’t see him beating anyone in this group group of death. All of the players in it essentially outclass him. GunGFu will probably attempt some sort of cheese and it will be crushed by ForGG, similar to how GunGFu performed in Fragbite Masters vs MMA.

Hydra 2:1 Bunny

Although my heart roots for Bunny as a foreign Terran hope, Hydra is overall favored. However, Bunny absolutely stands a chance against the Zerg, and I think that he has a much better shot at taking him down than defeating ForGG

Losers Match:

Bunny 2:0 GunGFuBanDa

The German Protoss will perhaps be able to take a game off of the Danish Terran, but as soon as the game turns standard or macro-based, Bunny’s superior play will be able to defeat his opponent.

Winners Match:

ForGG 2:1 Hydra

This will probably be an extremely close series, but ForGG will likely be able to beat Hydra if he plays his best with strong mech/bio play, whichever he opts for. If there is one strong suit that ForGG has over other Korean Terrans, it is the creative and innovative builds he pulls out in tournaments that his opponents will not expect.



Hydra 2:1 Bunny

Bunny is a capable TvZ player, but likely not capable enough to take out Hydra. Hydra’s play is, to some degree, simply too strong.

ForGG and Hydra proceed.

- - -

Group B: Polt, FireCake, MarineLorD, Harstem


Group B is a group with multiple very solid foreigners and a former champion. Although none of them have very impressive results, all of them contain moderately good ones. Harstem recently achieved a ro8 at Dreamhack Tours, but overall hasn’t achieved anything all that notable in recent times. He failed to make it past challenger in Season 1, falling 0-3 to Serral. Other than those two results, he hasn’t achieved anything of note lately. He’s always been a solid European protoss, but despite chants of #yearofharstem he still has not achieved a particularly notable performance this year. This group could be his opportunity to change that. His first opponent, Polt, meanwhile has an extremely dominant record. The champion of Season 1 and favorite to win the tournament, Polt’s devastatingly aggressive bio-terran style makes him an extremely difficult foe to overcome for any of the players in the group. Perhaps Harstem or one of the others will be able to do it, but the odds are stacked against them.

Meanwhile, FireCake will play MarineLorD in the second bo3 of the day. The two Frenchmen, known for their BM whether within tournament settings or elsewhere, seem like a relatively even match. FireCake’s TvZ carried him into the ro16, taking out iaguz 2-1 and MaSa 2-0 in the ro32. MarineLorD, meanwhile, defeated viOLet 2-1 in a close TvZ in the ro16 to advance, despite losing 2-0 to the Korean Zerg earlier in the day. He did not make it past challenger in Season 1, falling to ForGG in a close series, but he held his own vs a top Korean Terran. With each of these players’ solid results, the series will likely be very close. However, MarineLorD’s impressive play against ForGG in challenger Season 1 of WCS in which he took 2 of 5 games off the Korean Terran seems to indicate that he might be the only player in the group who could beat Polt.


Polt 2-0 Harstem

Polt’s TvP is simply too strong, Harstem could well take a game off him but I don’t see him taking the series. However, stranger things have also happened, and Polt lost to TLO in a huge upset in the ro32, so it’s up to Harstem to make something happen in that respect.


MarineLorD 2-1 FireCake

MarineLorD has had dominant showings in TvZ, and will likely edge out the French Zerg.  

Polt 2-1 MarineLorD

Polt’s TvT will most likely again prove too strong, despite the Frenchman’s strength in the matchup.  

FireCake 2-1 Harstem

FireCake is strong enough overall that he should defeat the Dutch Protoss, despite Harstem’s strength in PvZ.

FireCake 2-1 MarineLorD

MarineLorD, despite being by many EU pros standards’ one of the top foreign Terrans, seems to infrequently play his finest under pressure. If he reaches the decider match, this pressure may damage him mentally and hurt his chances of proceeding.

Polt and FireCake proceed.

- - -

Group C:

TLO, iaguz, Lilbow, iAsonu

Group C is, by most standards, the weakest group. Lilbow, known for his devastating PvZ and overall high-level play as Protoss, is definitely the favorite to take first place, especially after his incredible play defeating Hydra 2-1 in the ro32 of the tournament, as well as Kelazhur 2-0. Although all of his matchup scores are excellent, his past record shows that his PvZ is the absolute best in Europe. This dominance will come into play in his first match versus iAsonu, a Chinese Zerg player. He entered the ro16 off of a fairly easy group, and the only player he actually defeated was Xenocider, an American Terran who, despite his skill, is not necessarily the same caliber as some of those who iAsonu will face in this group. The Chinese Zerg’s abysmal ZvP sits far below his averages as well, with ZvP by far his worst matchup. He will have a very rough time taking out Lilbow, but if he faces the Terran or Zerg in the group, his odds seem to be significantly better.


TLO, a creative fan favorite, is the most famous and popular player in the group. Playing since the beta, he is known and loved for his creative Zerg play. He will face iaguz, the Australian Terran. Both of these players are “good foreigners”, but TLO lately has stepped it up in his ro16 group. In a massive upset, he defeated Polt, the reigning champion, 2-1 in an exciting TvZ series. This bodes badly for iaguz. However, the Gimli Terran still stands a chance. He has strong TvZ, it being statistically his best matchup by a narrow margin, and the Aussie Terran defeating TLO is definitely a strong possibility.


Lilbow 2-0 iAsonu

Lilbow, as is indicated by his win over Hydra in the ro32, has the best PvZ in Europe. iAsonu’s ZvP, being his worst matchup, should not be able to stand up to the Frenchman.  

TLO 2-1 iaguz

TLO is overall the superior player by most standards. However, iaguz has shown great performances in the past and caused major upsets. Although the Gimli Terran may well take the bo3, TLO’s dominant play vs Polt in the ro32 solidifies his place as a top foreigner.  

Lilbow 2-1 TLO

Lilbow, again, has extremely powerful PvZ and will most likely defeat the German Zerg, although this matchup, again, could easily go either way with both of the players top European players.  

iaguz 2-1 iAsonu

This matchup could go either way, especially since iAsonu’s best matchup is ZvT, but iaguz is a solid enough Terran that he is probably favored in this matchup.


TLO 2-1 iaguz

In a rematch, the same outcome would be likely as before.

 TLO and Lilbow proceed

- - -

Group D:

Ret, Jaedong, Petraeus, StarDust

The final group is one of rising foreigners and slumping Koreans. Although the odds are against it, it is legitimately possible that two Koreans would be eliminated in the ro16, something unexpected by many.

The first match is between a slumping Korean and a Foreigner gaining his “second wind”. Ret, the impeccable macro Zerg, has had a surprisingly successful season 2 of WCS, especially considering the fact that he failed to reach the ro32 for both season 1 of WCS and two out of three of the 2014 seasons of WCS Europe. His 2-0 upset of his ro32 group this season saw him defeat the Korean Zerg viOLet in macro games, a major feat for the Dutch player. He will face Stardust in his first matchup, a Korean Protoss who, despite an impressive past as a major foreign Protoss, seems to have declined as time has passed with overall disappointing play in recent games. He seems to have regressed to the hyper-aggressive style of Protoss he utilized early in his career, rather than the macro-based style that he used at the 2014 Global Finals and elsewhere in mid-late 2014, and his lack of participation within Season 1 of WCS makes his level of preparation for the tournament look dubious. Stardust’s recent falling off means that Ret definitely stands a viable chance versus him.

The second match, between Petraeus and Jaedong, is actually similar in many ways to the first one. Jaedong is in a slump relative to his previous performances. Known for his dominance in 2013-2014 with a variety of first and second place finishes in those years, he has recently shown weaker play than usual. He did not play in Season 1 of WCS similarly to Stardust, and overall the Korean Zerg showed weakness in his ro32 showing despite his victories, allowing both elfi and GunGFuBanDa to take a game off of him in bo3 matches, two Protoss players that Jaedong would usually be expected to dominate. Petraeus, the New Zealander Zerg, failed to qualify last season in what most considered an upset, but has made a much better showing this season, defeating Kane and Jim in order to proceed to the ro16. Whether he be able to stand up versus the Tyrant is yet to be seen, but if he plays his cards right he might be able to take out the Korean, despite Jaedong’s powerful ZvZ. Predictions:

Ret 2:1 Stardust


This is more of a gut opinion, but Ret has a strong chance to defeat the Korean if he can hold off his inevitable early-game aggression. Statistically Stardust is highly favored, but Ret’s recently dominant play tells a different story while Stardust’s play has been sub-par as of late.  

Jaedong 2:0 Petraeus

Jaedong’s ZvZ has always been his strongest matchup, and despite Petraeus’s strength as a player his odds of overwhelming the Tyrant seem low.  

Ret 2:1 Stardust

This definitely defies some expectations, but Ret has a strong chance to defeat the Korean if he can hold off his inevitable early-game aggression. Statistically Stardust is highly favored, but Ret’s recently dominant play tells a different story while Stardust’s play has been sub-par as of late.  

Jaedong 2:0 Petraeus

Jaedong’s ZvZ has always been his strongest matchup, and despite Petraeus’s strength as a player his odds of overwhelming the Tyrant seem low.  

Jaedong 2:0 Ret

Ret’s ZvZ, despite his 2:1 of viOLet, likely will not be enough to contest Jaedong.  

Stardust 2:1 Petraeus

Petraeus is a solid player, but his odds of defeating Stardust depend heavily on both player’s form when they play. Stardust’s inconsistency could be his downfall in the group.  

Ret 2:1 Stardust

If they meet a second time, Stardust’s list of gimmicks may come to an end, and if Ret can defeat the Korean once, he probably will be able to again.  

Ret and Jaedong proceed.


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