With the first season well underway and everyone now able to see how region locking has affected the biggest StarCraft tournament series of the year, people are still talking about the changes to WCS 2015. Maybe it has all been talked to death – maybe it’s time to forget about residency requirements and focus on the game. It’s definitely an interesting topic, and the effect that it’s had on the tournament so far is certainly palpable.
This new tournament format has done exactly what it was meant to: drawn attention to a greater range of players from around the world. After today, two of these hopefuls will stand toe to toe in the round of 16 with a chance at earning a spot among the StarCraft II titans we know and love.
Looking at the Group G list, MarroW’s name was likely the one that jumped out at you. He is one of the most recognized foreign players to date, not because of any championship titles, but because of his involvement in the community as well as in the game. MarroW has always been vocal and interactive with maps, and was an early advocate of expanding the map pool. He is arguably one of the most tried and tested players in this group, and hopefully his experience will pay off and help bring him through to the next round.
February the 23rd 2015 was likely unimportant to most people. Perhaps you mourned for the break between WCS groups, but for Tobias “ShoWTimE” Seibler the excitement didn’t end, because four days ago he turned 21. Happy belated birthday from ESL! I don’t think anyone has to think long on what he wished for when he blew out the candles. Making it through to the round of 16 would likely be the best present he could get, but will the Protoss Deathball be enough to make his wish come true?
iAsonu is relatively new to the pro scene. He is a prime example of the success of the new format, giving him the opportunity to compete on a stage he might otherwise be unable to see. Most recently iAsonu competed in G-League, earning second place, but falling 2-3 to Jim. With the knowledge that his fellow countryman and rival has already been knocked out of the tournament, perhaps he will feel more confident knowing he doesn’t have to face him again if he makes it into the round of 16. Regardless, making it out of this group would be iAsonu’s greatest accomplishment, and there is no question that he’s hungry for it.
Hydra (South Korea)
While Shin Dong Won is only 23, he is the ‘old dog’ of this group. Not only is he the oldest, but he is also the longest standing StarCraft pro in Group G – he played for team CJ Entus from Brood War through until late 2014. Joining Root was an interesting choice and a move that is very telling of the kind of person Hydra is. Catz stated that there wasn’t enough budget to sign another StarCraft II player, but Hydra’s passion for the foreign scene and his faith in Root Gaming was what he valued more than the paycheck. While Hydra may not be getting paid what other teams might offer, he is doing what he loves – and that passion is going to be his driving force going into Group G. But will passion be enough to get him into the round of 16?
Finally the break is over and we are close to adding the final four names to the top 16. Find out which one of these gentlemen will be joining the 12 players who have already made it through by tuning in here. Tickets to the live events for the final two groups are also still on sale here!