For the first time in the history of the German ESL Pro Series Finals, a Korean StarCraft II player is in with a chance of winning the title, with Jo “Patience” Ji Hyun having qualified in his first ever season of EPS. Of those fighting for the title, he has the least EPS experience, having qualified straight from the A Series with only one EPS cup under his belt. Beating out EPS regular Sascha “GoOdy” Lupp to qualify, Patience is poised to make yet another upset.
However, looking to defend his EPS Winter title is the sixteen year old Gabriel “HeRoMaRiNe” Segat. While his weak performance at the Intel Extreme Masters in Cologne may have some people doubting his ability to take the trophy, his recent EPS performance tells a different story.
Knocking out favorite Dennis “HasuObs” Schneider in a convincing 2-0 fashion to qualify has silenced many of those who doubted him before. It also marks the first time in two years that the German Protoss player has not been at an EPS final. Let’s not forget that this is not the first time that the young up-and-comer has beaten the German legend: his fight for the Winter title had him go head-to-head with HasuObs in the semifinals (3-1) only to go on to the Finals where he went up against Giacomo “Socke” Thüs (3-2).
But how can we forget HeRoMaRiNe’s performance the last time he took to the stage in Cologne? Group D of the Intel Extreme Masters saw him lose 2-0 to both Lee “INnoVation” Shin Hyung and Kim “Classic” Doh Woo without much of an in-game fight. Does he have what it takes this time?