State on StarCraft: Four Players Who Can Win the WCS S2 Finals
State on StarCraft is a weekly column on Game Front by Ryan “State” Visbeck, a pro StarCraft 2 player. Each week State brings you his unique perspective on all things StarCraft, including tips, tricks and stories from the front line of competitive play.
NOTE: “State” is officially sponsored by Game Front.
The WCS Season 2 Finals are happening this weekend.
The top 16 StarCraft 2 players of America, Europe, and Korea will gather at Gamescom in Germany from August 23rd through August 25th. They will compete for $150,000 and 17,000 WCS points, which are critical to qualifying for the Grand Finals at BlizzCon later this year.
These are the players to look out for:
(Photo credits: Kevin Chang)
Group A: MC
Jang “MC” Min Chul is the winningest in StarCraft 2 history with over $380,000 in earnings. Famous for his ceremonies and charisma, MC is a show-stopper. He’s won seven major tournaments, placed in over a dozen more, and was arguably the best player in the world at least twice in his career.
Though many fans argue that MC peaked in Wings of Liberty, he impressed last season at the WCS Europe Finals, crushing through the competition on his way to second place and missing first place by a single game. Can he repeat his success and win yet another championship?
Group B: Bomber
Choi “Bomber” Ji Sung has been on a hot streak. Showing world-class TvT, he upset favorites INnoVation and Flash on his way to a Top 4 finish at WCS Korea.
He even seemed to conquer his TvP troubles with his decisive 3-0 win in the quarterfinals against First.
With two premier Protoss players and the American champion Polt rounding out his group, Bomber will need to repeat what he proved in WCS Korea: that he can win against anyone.
Group C: Taeja
If Yoon “TaeJa” Young Suh is in top form, he just might win the Season 2 Finals. Taeja dominated last year with six Top 4 finishes, three of which were championships.
Though he had to cut down on practice at the end of Wings of Liberty to rehabilitate a wrist injury, he has come back in full force to Heart of the Swarm. In the past three months, he has won two more major tournaments and placed Top 4 in two more.
If there’s one thing that stands in his way, it’s a cadre of elite players: Group C: WCS Europe Season 2 Champion duckdeok, WCS Korea Season 1 Champion INnoVation, and one of the best European Protoss players, NaNiwa. Can the heir apparent conquer the Group of Death and conclude a fantastic summer with a win at the Season 2 Finals?
Group D: Scarlett
Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn might be the best foreigner since Stephano. She had her breakout performance in 2011 when she upset Terious, DdoRo and Demuslim at IPL 4 in Las Vegas. In 2012, she went on to score all-kills against Dignitas and Fnatic in the IPTL on top of winning both WCS Canada and North America in last year’s World Championship Series.
Like Taeja, Scarlett has had to cut back on practice and will be “taking an extensive break from SC2” to recover from wrist injuries. And—also like Taeja—she’s impressed despite them. After a Top 16 performance at WCS America Season 1, she came back to place Top 4 in Season 2 after a close 3-2 series against Jaedong. As it stands, she’s only 375 points behind the global finals cutoff for the Grand Finals at BlizzCon. The sole North American representative at the Season 2 Finals, Scarlett will have to overcome MMA, aLive, and WCS Korea Season 2 winner Maru on her way to a championship.
You can watch the WCS Season 2 Finals and this year’s highlights right here. Keep in mind that the end of WCS Season 2 marks the end of the ladder season as well, so be sure to check out our map pool analysis for the upcoming ladder season.
This week’s replay pack features matches from my run at LANHAMMER 2013. Congratulations to HuK for winning the tournament! I look forward to watching the WCS Season 2 Finals with you guys. Let me know what you think!
Check back every week for a new State on StarCraft post from Ryan “State” Visbeck!