The third and final season for the WCS Europe Premier League is fast approaching, and we as a community are closing in on an ever so exciting global finals at BlizzCon. With the Premier League being the main source of WCS points, this season is the most important for every competitor not just in Europe but globally to either guarantee a position in the top 16 or attempt a late push for that position.
Throughout the year the Europe Premier League has provided some excellent memories, such as MC finally being able to break his two year drought from a tournament victory and the large rivalry built between MMA and MC. We also have the way that Vortix, Welmu and Snute have improved and grown as players while showing great performances with high finishes.
Three groups that stand out
There are three groups that I cannot stop thinking about since the moment they were announced – in all three groups it’s incredibly difficult to predict two players who will definitely advance through. Each group has one player who has a lot of work to do this season, which adds so much additional pressure to them. Let’s take a closer look.
This is an obvious group that stands out above the rest. It contains the highest-placed non-Korean in the WCS rankings, Snute, who is fighting for one goal: BlizzCon.
The part that makes this super interesting is that the current champion, Stardust, also found himself drawn into this group. Stardust is a killer who just keeps on getting better and better: don’t forget his win rate against Zergs in WCS events – it’s floating around 85%. A killer.
Along with Stardust, we have Patience, another player who on a good day can beat anybody in this league, having proven that with high-placing finishes at international tournaments in the past. Unfortunately, the one player who won’t be looked at as much here is Miniraser, who joins us for the second time. Sadly his group is very, very difficult. There will be relieved pressure considering everybody won’t be expecting much from him, and with some WCS magic, upsets can happen.
Another group with three big contenders and an underdog. All eyes will be on MMA, though, who will be looking to repeat his goal from last year – getting to BlizzCon and being able to go back to where it all began, where he won his first GSL tournament. He is like Snute – on the verge of being top 16, but without a performance this season he might not make it.
Yoda and First, housemates and friends, both are performing excellently currently, with Yoda having had a recent spike of performance and results after qualifying for Intel Extreme Masters Toronto. He hasn’t strung them together yet, but I have a good feeling about him this season.
Showtime, Showtime, Showtime. Remember the times he beat Mvp twice? Yeah… we need something like this to happen again for him to advance. I doubt First, Yoda and MMA will be putting much thought into Showtime, sadly.
For me, this group is extremely thrilling to think about. Who advances? I have no idea… My head is telling me stop thinking and just pick Vortix and Jjakji, but I always want to believe in Kas and Harstem is 100% capable of beating anybody in this group. I love this group.
Jjakji needs to do well to keep his BlizzCon flame burning – if he messes up here, his position will be threatened by up and comers globally. There is also still a long shot for Vortix to make BlizzCon with a top four finish this season, but I am not sure how much of a focus that is for him anymore as he sits at rank 38 currently.
Whichever way you want to look at it, this group will be entertaining and full of surprises – who will get the booby prize, though?
I have picked out three groups but overall this season’s RO32 is well balanced – 12 Protoss, 11 Terrans, 9 Zerg, 10 Koreans and 22 non-Koreans. Very equally distributed groups and overall a good season to look forward to, especially because BlizzCon is just around the corner and points are everything right now.
WCS Premier League starts on the 19th of August – see you then!