WCS America Finals preview: the last bid for BlizzCon

Saturday marks the last chance for some of these players to qualify for the final BlizzCon spot, and more than one of them actually has that opportunity. Excellent racial diversity (no mirror matches to start) and an array of player styles guarantee the fight for the finish will be full of entertaining games and unpredictable outcomes.

Queen of Blades looking for a red Heart

Scarlett and Heart are the first match of the day. It’s appropriate - she and the Axiom Terran last met in the round of 32 this season, where she dropped two maps for the loss. Though ZvT is her worst matchup, the Acer Zerg has to feel somewhat confident: she’s 9-3 this season.

If Scarlett wins the season, she’s going to BlizzCon. Yes, she’s ranked 26, but 1500 added points can go a long way - all the way past Jaedong and into the global finals.

Heart’s record in all matchups tends to hover around 50% - but he’s shown some excellent play this season and is 8-4. We suspect that Scarlett, who recently expressed her nervousness about facing this particular opponent, has been studying his style. If she wins this best of five, facing either HuK or HyuN will still be playing to her strengths - she’s 3-0 against HyuN.

Heart’s made it to the next level recently, losing to Bomber 3-1 last season. Will he get there again or fall to the Queen of Blades?

Security and opportunity clash

Team Roccat’s HyuN is number one. He has no fears going into the day - his position in BlizzCon is, well, more than comfortable. It’s rock solid. It’s a sealed deal.

HuK, on the other hand, doesn’t have a shot at BlizzCon, even with the win. However, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have something to prove. The Evil Genius Protoss hasn’t made it past the round of 16 in WCS this year until now, and he has the worst overall record in the group. His best matchup is PvZ at 53%, but he’s faced his opponent just four times in standard league play, going 0-4 to the Zerg.

HyuN is nearly unstoppable. He won Season 1, made it to the semifinals in Season 2, and took out Taeja in the round of 16. In Season 1, he went 3-0 against Polt and 3-1 against Pigbaby to win. The sheer number of games HyuN has played is alarming. He’s ready to destroy.

If he moves past HuK, and it seems likely, he’ll face either Heart or Scarlett. Both are capable of ending his Season 3 run.

Will Pigbaby drop bombs?

After winning Red Bull Battlegrounds and placing second in Season 2, Bomber’s in a secure place, sitting pretty at rank 7.

However, he placed second in season 2 to his opponent Pigbaby, who is gunning for a win in this best of five. If Pigbaby wins the season, he’ll edge out Jaedong and head to BlizzCon. The rank 20 Protoss, who bested Taeja and Jaedong in the round of 16 to get here, is facing his worst (according to win rate) race of opponent in the Red Bull Terran.

Bomber will be looking for a win to avenge his loss in Season 2. He’s 8-3 this season to Pigbaby’s 9-5. If he beats Pigbaby and has to confront Polt, he’s got a 50% chance of winning - the two are 8-8. We like Bomber’s chances here, but (very recent) history has taught us to never doubt Pigbaby.

Captain America - more super than HerO?

Polt is good to go as far as BlizzCon is concerned. At rank 4, he’s going. Still, recent tourney results have left him just shy of winning. He’s landed second at many, and third recently in DC.

This season, he’s 6-0 after sweeping Heart, Jaedong and MacSed. TvP is the CM Storm player’s best matchup, so he has a good shot at taking down HerO, who he hasn’t faced since February. However, HerO has a lot on the line.

HerO won Intel Extreme Masters Cologne and was second at DreamHack Open Summer. The Team Liquid Protoss also has his best matchup in PvT, and is 5-4 against Polt. He, like Scarlett and Pigbaby, still has a shot at BlizzCon - but he’ll have to win it all. Should HerO take out Polt here and face either Bomber or Pigbaby, we might see some adaptive, innovative play in the semifinals.

We’d call Polt on this, but predict that HerO’s play for the BlizzCon opportunity could give us a surprise.

It’s time to announce our winners

And when we do, the BlizzCon lineup will be complete. To recap: Polt, Bomber, and HyuN are guaranteed spots. Pigbaby, Scarlett and HerO all have the opportunity to secure a spot with a win on Sunday. HuK and Heart aren’t headed to BlizzCon, but will still be fighting for every map and dollar they can get. The fast road to the finish will be paved with ling blood, bunkers and colossus frames.

We don’t know what we’ll see, but we know we’ll like it. Tune in here at 00:00 CEST on Saturday to watch all the death - sorry, fun. Watch all the fun.

If you want to check out how the BlizzCon story got to this point, you can also find our recaps for the Season 3 quarterfinals, semifinals and finals below:


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