WCS Europe RO16: Who will push on?

These are the last days to draft your European league players in the WCS Fantasy League before the RO16 begins. Don’t let your favorite players slip through your fingers!

Draft your Fantasy league here

Group A

  • Kevin “Harstem” de Koning (Protoss)
  • Jens “Snute” Aasgaard (Zerg)
  • Park “ForGG” Ji Soo (Terran)
  • Juan “VortiX” Moreno Durán (Zerg)

The only group to feature all three races, Group A is also the only group with three foreigners. ForGG joins VortiX, Harstem and Snute to compete on June the 9th.
After pulling out a top four finish in his first Premier League appearance, ForGG has seen declining results, not making it past the RO32 in Seasons 2 or 3 in 2013. Despite dropping a game to upcoming opponent Snute at the Acer TeamStory Cup Season 3 in May, the Millenium player, one of only two Terrans in the RO16, has exhibited impeccable standard league results since the start of the year, taking on Zerg in 40 games with an impressive 72.5% win rate.

Watch live video from ROG tournament on Twitch TV

Snute’s 2-8 standard league record against ForGG this year should strike fear into the heart of the Team Liquid Zerg, but recent games against Terrans Dayshi, Bunny and INnoVation may have warmed up his ZvT play. After plowing through jjakji and fellow WCS Ro16 competitors Welmu, YoDa, MC and First at the Intel Extreme Masters Season IX Shenzhen Stage 2 last week, Snute’s confidence is bound to be at an all-time high. As Kaelaris notes: “Snute sits at the very pinnacle of non-Korean prowess right now.” 

The other Zerg in the group saw his last big win with the Vasacast Invitational 2014. VortiX is consistently among the top players in the WCS, claiming spots in at least the RO16 for the last four WCS Europe seasons and taking it all the way to the global finals in 2013 Season 3. The now teamless Zerg’s newfound decisiveness is greatly overshadowing any lackluster results seen in early 2013, but will the Son of Soulkey be able to maintain his recent ZvP success?
VortiX’s opponent Harstem might have a difficult first matchup on his hands. Harstem’s recent 0-3 loss to LiveZerg in THE 2014 WCS Season 1 Europe Challenger League was reflective of his 2014 43% PvZ record, but the Dutch Protoss isn’t to be underestimated in the group. He’s known to give himself ample opportunity to harass when facing Zerg, and practiced PvT tirelessly in preparation for his RO32 group, which will prove useful if he’s given the chance to take on ForGG.

Group B

  • Vesa “Welmu” Hovinen (Protoss)
  • Jang “MC” Min Chul (Protoss)
  • Yoan “ToD” Merlo (Protoss)
  • Choi “YoDa” Byung Hyun (Terran)

Group B, heavy with Protoss and rounded out with a single Terran (one of just two in the RO16) faces off on June the 10th.

Welmu’s five-win streak against Terrans at May’s Acer TeamStory Cup Season 3 and his takedowns of MMA in the 2014 WCS Season 1 and DeMusliM in Season 2 should have him feeling primed for his first matchup against YoDa. Still, with a recent win rate of 52% facing Terran – his best matchup – and an even 50% against Protoss, Welmu’s placement in Group B could prove a challenge for the Finnish player.  
Though YoDa hasn’t seen any TvP action this season, living with and practicing against fellow RO16 competitors MC and First may give him the slight edge it will take to best Welmu and move into the winner’s bracket. If his results against PrimeLoT and Group B contender ToD at the TakeTV ULTRA Invitational in May are any indication, YoDa has what it takes to rise out of a sea of Protoss and make Incredible Miracle proud.
The Boss Toss has pushed his way to three consecutive WCS finals and is on the hunt for a fourth. After knocking down Golden and Happy in the RO32 and ForGG, Patience, Bunny and Happy again at the Intel Extreme Masters Season IX Shenzhen European qualifier last week, the top-ranked MC is ready to take his famed blink stalker style all the way. With a 75% win rate against Terran in 2014 but only a 52% PvP record, MC’s performance in Group B will be intriguing to watch.
Though he has seen impressive results against Terran lately, besting Mvp and uThermal on his path to the RO16, ToD’s RO32 loss to San may be a preview of what to expect from his first match against the top-ranked Boss Toss. In the last year, ToD’s PvP record has hovered around 47%, but he’s not down for the count – the last meeting between ToD and MC (at HomeStory Cup VIII) ended with a best of three win for the Frenchman.

Group C

  • Kang “First” Hyun Woo (Protoss)
  • Manuel “Grubby” Schenkhuizen (Protoss)
  • Jo “Golden” Myeong Hwan (Zerg)
  • Grzegorz “MaNa” Komincz (Protoss)

Group C is Group B’s counterpart, featuring three Protoss and one Zerg player. Will newcomer Golden come out on top in the June the 11th battle?
First, the Protoss player, who will compete in Group C on his birthday, has produced excellent results since the beginning of 2014. The teamless Korean is performing nearly flawlessly in mirror matchups at 13 wins, one loss, but his PvZ record is less ideal at 12-9. Whether the player who fell 0-3 to Jaedong in the 2013 WCS Season 2 semifinal has seen true improvement in his PvZ play remains to be seen, but the quality of First’s PvP play implies he’ll move forward to the RO8.
Relative newcomer Golden has less experience than his fellow Group C contenders, but it’s possible that a fresh view will give him an advantage in his first appearance in any premier league. As the first Korean Zerg to ever qualify for Premier League in Europe and the only Zerg in a group of Protoss, Golden has a lot to prove. His propensity to scout thoroughly may help him move forward, but he has his work cut out for him here in Group C.  
A fan favorite and the oldest player in the RO16, Grubby is hoping to take his play to the next level after being knocked out in the RO16 in Season 1 this year. A recent four-win streak and 67% PvZ record prove that Grubby is indeed a contender. Taking down Patience 2-0 in the RO32 this season was a huge accomplishment, but with a 58% mirror matchup record in 2014, a win against fellow foreigner MaNa isn’t guaranteed for Grubby.  
If practice makes perfect, MaNa should be excited for the mirror matchups likely to come his way in Group C. The Polish Protoss player has only faced Protoss thus far this season, beating both BlinG and Krr to secure his spot in the RO16. MaNa is performing at 47% in PvP but showing his best results against Zerg this year, which could prove beneficial should he find himself in a match with Golden.  

Group D

  • Andrey “LiveZerg” Guldyashov (Zerg)
  • Kang “San” Cho Won (Protoss)
  • Artur “Nerchio” Bloch (Zerg)
  • Son “StarDust” Seok Hee (Protoss)

Group D provides variety and challenge as two Zerg and two Protoss take the offline stage on June the 12th.
The number four ranked player San is a formidable opponent for anyone. In 2014, San has played 180 standard league games and won 118, absolutely destroying Zerg in the process with 49 wins and 13 losses, including wins against players like Snute, Jaedong, Life and Tefel. While the first Korean in yoe Flash Wolves excels at PvZ, he has less extreme success in mirror matchups. Still, performing at a 62% PvP win rate this year proves that San can handle almost anything – even his worst matchup (against Terran) has the Korean Protoss winning over 60% of games.
Nerchio, the Team Acer Zerg from Poland, relished success in 2011 and 2012, but has seen declining results in major events since. Taking on Stephano and only Stephano in the RO32, Nerchio won three games and dropped three games to his fellow Zerg, ultimately solidifying his spot in the RO16. Nerchio’s ten wins in ZvP since the start of 2014 show that he has what it takes to best a Protoss if the conditions are right, but he has yet to face one this season, making Group D an even greater challenge.

Since Vega Squadron acquired LiveZerg on May the 1st, the Russian Zerg has mustered eight wins and four losses, proving his worth. He took two games each off two top Terran players on his way to the RO16 this season, but without any Terran in this group, he’ll have to fight through the other races and potentially deal with a ZvZ. It’s his worst matchup, but also one in which he’s shown steady improvement over the past year. Facing Stardust won’t afford LiveZerg a simple win, either – though he’s 25-15 in ZvP in the last year, he’s yet to come up against Stardust or even a Protoss player in this season of the WCS. 

mYinsanity’s StarDust is the final player in Group D. In the RO32 he bested BabyKnight and FireCake, both 2-0, but lost 0-2 to fellow RO16 competitor First. In 2014 so far, StarDust has exhibited a 72% win rate against Zerg, taking 18 standard league games (including a 2-0 win over TLO in the WCS Europe Premier League Season 1) and only dropping seven. Despite a 65% PvP record in 2013, StarDust’s recent mirror matchups haven’t been as successful. Still, he has the skill and the determination to take on the best Protoss players, as evidenced by a 3-0 win at the 2014 Assembly Winter: ASUS ROG Tournament over San, who went on to beat StarDust 3-0 the very next day. 

See commentator predictions here and be sure to tune in to the action on Twitch to see if your favorite players push their way to the RO8. 


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