We are now only days away from the start of Season 2 for the WCS 2014 Europe Premier League and I am getting more and more excited as time ticks by. I believe that this is going to be the best season to date! We have a fantastic mix of players. Both finalists, MC and MMA, will be looking to meet each other eventually for the revenge game. We have a lot of newcomers, we have a lot of older faces, one in particular, and a great balance between Korean and European players, both sides very capable of beating the other. A great season is about to begin, so let's take a closer look at some names that stand out.
I want to firstly look at the Korean and European contenders. With the rise of the Global Esports Management, they have now created a team house in Germany for their StarCraft clients. It houses the current WCS champion MC, along with First, HyuN (WCS America) and YoDa with the occasional guest such as Mvp. These players are living, practicing and dedicating themselves to being the best, they are here to conquer the European region. They all are getting great results from practicing and improving together: MC took the championship last Season, HyuN won WCS America on the same weekend and now First and YoDa have qualified into the Premier League. These guys mean business.
However, lets not forget the other Koreans we have competing. MMA will be looking to find himself in a position to take out MC as their rivalry grows. ForGG will be hoping for the results he deserves as he has been underperforming every season after his first season in Premier League where he achieved a top 4 finish. Jjakji will be looking to repeat his great past season, where he was able to score a top 4 finish on his debut in Europe. On top of that we have 3 incredibly dangerous Protoss players, each for different reasons, San, StarDust and another player who debuts into WCS, Patience. Last but not least, we cannot forget the first Korean Zerg to qualify for the European Premier League. Thats right: there has not been a single Korean Zerg before Golden.
Now let's look at the other side, let's look at the Europeans who can contest against these Korean players. I want to pick out four players that stand out for me personally that stand out for me this season.
First up, Snute. Snute is playing some of the best StarCraft of his life! He is very calculated and all rounded, he doesn't seem to have many weaknesses right now, as he is very solid against all 3 races. He has one of the best defensive games against Terran while he climbs up his Mutalisk count which wins him games, he has worked very hard on a strategic Swarmhost game against Protoss that causes frustration to his opponents as he suffocates them to surrender and he has always had one of the better ZvZ games out there and that has once again been displayed with his building rivarly against HyuN, usually coming out on top vs. the world class Zerg. Definitely a favorite to go far this season.
Happy is a player that every bloody season I want to say he can go far but every season he slips up somewhere on his journey and gets eliminated earlier than expected.But whatever, I will do it again. Happy can be a contender this season for sure, some days I watch him play and I think he just has everything, crisis management, perfectly solid builds backed up with the best macro and micro and others I sit there casting him and nothing works and everything just falls a part. Its hard watching Happy play sometimes because I know he is capable of so much. His advancement will depend on how hard he practices specifically for his opponents more so than his traditional way of training. I think this change-up would only work for the better, if he was able to use his all around powers and concentrate them a little more.
VortiX is a massive talent and watching him play is always a pleasure. He is able to manage his time well between studying and practicing for WCS, hopefully he has some spare time to be able to get some practice in so that we can see another strong performance from him. I was a little surprised with his 0-3 vs Jjakji last season in the Ro8, he was in great shape but just got beaten up there. VortiX is always a player to follow.
Last but not least, I cannot end this little write-up without mentiong the one, the only, Ilyes Satouri (aka Stephano). Stephano makes his return to the Premier League after announcing his retirement in Season 2 where he was eliminated by LucifroN. Since then, there for sure was a little period where we didn't see any Stephano and all seemed true, all seemed like he actually had retired. The next thing is.. he is streaming a lot, playing a lot and climbing back up on the Grand Master ladder, all while saying he is just playing for fun while not having any school work to do. The next thing we know, hes qualified for Challenger? Then he beat Starbuck to qualify in Premier? What do we make of this? Has he returned? Is this all as he says, that he is playing a little for fun while having little school work? or is it deeper than the eye can see? Is Stephano coming for his tournament win he wanted to end on? Whatever the case, HE IS BACK!
This Season in WCS is going to be one of the best, I know it is! Its got everything setup to be the best. Make sure to tune in on the 13th May at 18:00 CEST to witness this historic season.