ASL5 is right around the corner and you know what that means? Power Rank time! Go ahead and read it, discuss it and share your own rankings!
3 times! 3 times! 3 time ASL champion! And still going strong, so strong that it's rumored that in a meeting between Afreeca and the players, an Afreeca employee openly mused about how to get rid of Flash this season. It's one thing to say when it's one against 15 (being seeded in the Ro16), but it's a whole different thing when you’re this dominant that the tournament organizers are against you.
Following his Ro4 run last season, being shy of the finals by a single game against hero, Larva has not only continued to tear up the sponmatch scene, but has also come to a point where he's able to take series of matches against anyone not named Flash (some numbers are skewed due to older versions of sparkle too). Larva is in the best form of his life and being fast tracked into the Ro16 certainly earns him this high spot.
Rain’s performance in the Wildcard matches against Killer and Soulkey proves that he's earned his spot in the Ro16. His overall performance against zergs these last two months have shown that Protoss players need not lose hope for representation this season. While Rain’s performance against Terran is still a cause for concern, he has fared a lot better against them in offline matches than he has online.
Soulkey is the best zerg in the sponmatch scene as we speak and others will argue (with great merit too) that he's the best zerg player at the moment, but his performance offline doesn’t always live up to promise. His performance in a Bo5 scenario can make or break his run, but an entry to the bracket stages is pretty much a given where he is among his peers.
There is no known unknowns with BeSt when it comes to his performance. His macro is always insane and his decision making skills are always questionable. Last season, he was out maneuvered by Mong in the Ro16 and suffered a bad case of PvP, thus proving me wrong that he would certainly make the Ro8. This season however, I’m doubling down on that claim. He should by all accounts make it to the Ro8. If any of the above 3 are not on his side, he should make a deeper run too.
The fall of Last was a quiet one, it just sort of happened and nobody took notice since Flash pretty much overshadowed all Terrans by that point. Still, the numbers on sponbbang continue to prove that he is the second best Terran out there well capable of being more than a match against anyone this season.
Hero is the the anti-Soulkey where in the case of online sponmatches, hero while good, isn't something overly special or catches the eyes of anyone (though he's doing pretty well at the moment). But, then he busts out into the finals of the ASL like last season. It's likely some could argue his bracket luck was great last season, but his run was well deserved and he played the best matches against his opponents.
Mind has been having a resurgence in form as of late thanks to his performance in KRS weeklies during the downtime. While KRS does make it impossible to see just how much his TvT is holding up his play, his other 2 matchups have been consistently solid so far and it's likely that he’ll continue the performance going into this season.
Jaedong has good days and bad days, on a good day, he’s very much capable of 4 killing Terran and Protoss teams for the zerg team on KRS and there are days when his wrists hurt so much, it's just not possible to do much. But, one thing can be said, Jaedong has not gone out without a hard fought match with his opponents often just barely keeping up with him. The fans can hope they never do keep up with him. One more championship for one of the best there is, best there was and the best there ever will be, would be more than gratifying for everyone.
EffOrt is without a doubt a great zerg, even one of the best, but hot damn does he have a curse stronger than the CJ choke when it comes to the ASL. Be it, because of his unlucky opponent draw or his opponents suddenly gain superhuman confidence against him, it's like nothing has clicked for him in the history of the ASL, especially since EffOrt, like Jaedong is a player who often excels in the Bo5 scenario rather than the group stages. He is very capable of playing the best games against anyone above him.
Shuttle is a KRS monster at the moment, absolutely one of the better Protoss representatives out there and had there been another season of ATB, we’d probably see any team he was on be considered pretty strong because of him. While the ASL 1 champion has had his ups and downs over the last year, right now, he's on the up and up and could really use a single run to showcase what most people have been missing about him so far.
His fans will swear by him. Definitely a strong protoss with a PvT that's truly his own style, but he's still a bit rough around the edges when it comes to his PvZ. But, there's nothing a bit of sparkle cannot fix for a Protoss right now.
If you’ve been following the map test, you will come to know one thing, Stork wins on sparkle. He's amazing on the map and he's going to have a good run this season, but will it be enough? Probably not, but he's definitely going to do pretty well this season and a boost of confidence from Sparkle might help him get a better mindset on practicing on other maps.
Sharp had a hard loss last season against Killer on the final set of his Ro16 Group. His TvT is still solid and his TvZ, while isn’t anything special can usually get him wins. His TvP however has always been a weak spot. Luckily, it's not like he's going to face Mini in the Ro24 on Sparkle and he's already beaten him in the Ro24 last season.
Mong is relatively in the same situation that he was in last season and to reiterate on the point we made last time, given an easy group, it's possible for him to get ahead, but his Ro24 group this season seems like its going to be a tough call for him.
Sea’s removal last season also meant that to him, he made the transition from player to full time entertainer. While still a solid terran and overall balanced in all his matchups, its unlikely that we’ll ever see a deep run coming out from Sea unless he decides to practice harder than anyone else, or at least hard enough to tell his mom what a monster he's become.
Mini will continue to subvert all expectations of him. He's good but inconsistent vs good players and bad vs mediocre players. Sparkle might save him from a very bad fate this season.
You probably didn’t see that Light even qualified for this season. Well, he did it the only way he knows how, killing Zergs and mostly keeping away from Protoss, because Light is still Light and his TvP as always makes a fan cry.
Rush is a practice monster. He's very capable of grinding games and meticulously preparing for his opponents, however, group stages are always the enemy of such players. Funny enough, he's going up against Mind again in his group and he can only hope things go better for him.
After missing out on ASL4, Movie has been all but absent from the scene. It's highly unlikely that the Iron Reaver will make a deep run, but then again for Protoss players, this season looks to be the one that pushes their numbers.
Sky’s performance after qualifying last season was pretty much crushing and abysmal. It's likely he was hit hard by nerves, but now that he has another chance to get back up there, this former early sonic era protoss star looks to make another hopefully meaningful run for his career.
Pusan’s qualifier final match against Killer was the most exciting game on the qualifiers, however it was one of those games that do not inspire confidence for a longer run. Best we can hope for from the Spirit Toss is that he gives us more entertaining games.
The Mafia Zerg makes his ASL debut.For those who don't know Action's history, he was one of the best management zergs out there in the KeSPA era, first as Ace of ESTRO and then the Zerg frontrunner for KT Rolster. The general sentiment towards him was that once he got to hive, he was just unstoppable in ZvT. He's had constant showings so far in the KRS (in fact, pretty much a mainstay for team zerg) that show that he may not be rusty anymore, but it's his first offline outing in a long time, so expect fumbles.
Shine may have come back to being in full observer mode from his bag of builds state based on his performance in the last season, dropping quickly in the Ro16 (seeded into an all-Zerg group). With no time to show anything during his downtime due to his obligations to Afreeca, it's unlikely we will see another ASL3 level run from him.
This qualification comes as a real surprise seeing as how Horang2 spends his time playing PUBG with fellow streamers these days, but I guess Starcraft senses make it, so that the Tiger Toss could make another run for an ASL, though he might not make it far.
Wind back the clocks to 2 years ago and I’d tell you that GuemChi was one of the best protoss players in the post-KeSPA scene, but now he's more of an entertainment streamer and will get knocked out pretty early.
It's about time we saw Calm in ASL. He's been practicing and attempting qualifiers for a couple of seasons now, but hasn’t made much of a showing outside of that either. Maybe now that he has made it in, we could probably get those 5 or I think 6 STX fans in our community back. But, his opening group looks like a bit too much of a challenge for him to get past.
Where or MIsO is becoming the perennial rookie who always makes it into the ASL but never gets past the Ro24. Maybe this is his season? His Ro24 group seems to make me think no.