Code A Ro48: Day 1 Preview
Afternoon Matches - 04:10 GMT (+00:00)
Azubu.Genius vs. CJ_Trust
The first match of the night may as well be a mystery match, even though one of the names involved is quite well-known. The epitome of the lazy genius, Genius, goes up against one of the many surprise entrants into the tournament in CJ's Trust.
On paper it would be easy to call this as a win for the Code S regular and one time finalist Genius, as he goes up against a player who has never played in a broadcast game, and hasn't even been promoted to full pro status for CJ Entus (he's a trainee/practice squad player). But if you look at who Trust beat to get here, he can't be taken lightly. While Dreamertt and Lucky aren't the biggest eSF names around, Trust did manage to take them out in the qualifiers, which means he fully deserves his Code A status.
The main issue for Genius is that no one knows how good he is now, or how much he even cares about the game. His interest in League of Legends has gone beyond a running Twitter joke among Korean pros into something that seems like it could actually be a problem. After all-inning his way through hyvaa in Code A, Genius did not perform well at all in the Up/downs, going 1 – 4 to finish last in his group.
I'd like to pick Trust to win here, but since he's a first-timer in the booth, Genius gets the benefit of the doubt this one last time. If he wants to keep it that way, he needs to show games that prove he's locked into SC2 and can be a Code S regular like he was one year ago.
Genius 2 – 1 Trust
CJ_Bbyong vs. MVP.finale
Among the dozens of KeSPA pros who were suddenly introduced to the Western audience, Bbyong has been one of the least likely players who has ended up standing out. By revealing himself as a purveyor of fine cheeses and 1/1/1's, Bbyong has at least succeeded at making himself infamous, if not all that popular. While he only recorded a 1 – 3 record in the Up/Down matches, that's not all so relevant in this match-up as those losses came to three ZvT monsters in LosirA, DRG, and Symbol. Tonight, he's facing MVP's finale in a TvP, the match-up where he's had the most success so far.
Finale hasn't been doing so hot against Terran lately, with a 3 – 7 record in his last ten games. His macro games have been a mixed bag, sometimes able to take games long and assemble the deathball, and sometimes just falling apart to Terran's mid game strength. One thing that has served him quite are his gateway all-ins, as he's been able to catch quite a few opponents completely off guard.
Overall this is a match between two similar players – both fairly average in macro games, and both having a knack for getting easy wins with all-ins on the right maps. It's all going to depend on who gets the build order advantages in which games, but I'll go with the more experienced Finale to come with a better game plan.
Finale 2 – 1 Bbyong
Liquid`HerO vs. ROOT.YugiOh
Rejoice, for the King hadst returned! After a spell of demotivation and general inactivity following his elimination from Code A and IEM Singapore, the eleven time Code A player YuGiOh got himself together in time for the preliminaries to qualify for his 12th tournament. YuGiOh admitted he hasn't brought his form back up to his peak level where he even made appearances in Code S, but it's still nice to see such a regular fixture of Code A back in action.
Unfortunately for YuGiOh, he's been handed a very difficult draw in his return to his kingdom. Liquid's HerO might have fallen on a poor patch of form lately, dropping out of Code S and being 'just' 10 – 7 in Proleague, but he's still one of the toughest first opponents YuGiOh could have asked for. Forget their career achievements – just the fact that HerO has been practicing full kilt this entire time while YuGiOh has only recently returned to serious play is enough to make things look very grim for the ROOT Zerg.
The one thing going for YuGiOh is that he beat all Protoss opponents to get through his Code A qualifier bracket, showing that he was able to recover a lot of his form in a short amount of time. If he's continued to recover at that pace, then HerO could be in for a surprisingly tough fight.
HerO 2 – 1 YuGiOh
8th_TY vs. ST_Avenge
It's no doubt that BaBy/TY has been overhyped lately, but that's just the story of his career in general. All the way back to the Brood War days, TY has had the tendency to show a few incredible games that make him look like a title contender, followed by failure to live up to his considerable promise. Personally, I thought his awesome series against Flash in the Korean Air OSL of 2010 was his coming of age moment, but I've been left hanging for three years. In SC2, his scintillating Code A win over Symbol got plenty of people excited, but since then he's basically been a dud, with a 6 – 9 record in Proleague and quick elimination from Code S.
Yet, he still manages to retain a lot of name value for some reason, which means this is a great opportunity for Avenge. He could be the one who redeems the ex-ZeNEX roster, who have looked pretty much like a throw-in in the Startale-Life acquisition. With a strong run through the prelims that included wins over Bravo and a different T8 Terran in Cure, Avenge definitely looks capable of taking down TY and causing the upset.
Avenge 2 – 1 TY
Evening Matches - 09:10 GMT (+00:00)
LG-IM_YongHwa vs. Samsung_Reality
Yonghwa continues to be one of the most confounding players in the world, making it through a tough IPL6 Qualifier to secure a spot to Las Vegas just a month after embarrassingly going 0 – 5 in the Up/Down matches. It's not like it's booth nerves holding him back, as we've seen him crush in the GSTL and lower rounds of Code A. Yonghwa is just incredibly inconsistent, and that's all we can really say.
One figures he should be favored against Reality, a player who hasn't been anything to write home about yet in the Proleague. But given Yonghwa's track record, is there really any telling what could happen? If I were a betting man, I'd stay the hell away from this match.
Yonghwa 2 – 1 Reality, but really, who can tell with Yonghwa?
EG.Jaedong.RC vs. MVP.Lure
It's pretty indicative of Jaedong's shaky PvZ form that a match against the largely unremarkable Lure seems like a danger. TLPD shows a 12 – 19 record for Jaedong in the match-up, albeit with a somewhat improved record of 3 – 3 in the most recent months. We've had a chance to see some of the strong ZvP ability EG team members have been raving about in his games, but a lot of the time Jaedong has started strong only to somehow find a way to let the game slip through his fingers. Jaedong should win this match, but you can't help but feel a little bit uneasy.
Jaedong 2 – 0 Lure
EG.HuK.RC vs. Samsung_Shine
After HuK's painful 1 – 4 elimination from Code S, it doesn't look good for him now as he goes up against Samsung's Shine. Shine did happen to have a terrible December with a 0 – 6 record in Proleague, but since then he's started to show the skills that caused Samsung to continuously send him out in the first place. He's on a three game win streak in the Proleague, and he defeated MMA 2 – 0 to qualify for Code A.
HuK does have a puncher's chance just because he plays a bizarre PvZ style revolving around weird two base pressures and all-ins that pretty much no one else in the world uses. Back in Code S, Sniper somehow dropped a map to HuK despite knowing about his style and playing with it in mind, due to some poor judgments against an 8-gate all-in he rarely faces. However, if there was ever a chance that Shine would get caught off guard, the fact that Sniper lost such a high profile match has probably eliminated it.
Shine 2 – 0 HuK
LG-IM_YoDa vs. FXO.Tear
While the other names on the roster might be bigger, this could be the most high level match of the night. YoDa, a Code S regular in recent seasons, has been an excellent player in inconsistent spurts. His opponent, Tear, is one of the last Code B Bonjwas to finally make his Code A debut. He's shown he can hang with the best Code S players in FXO's GSTL runs, and elitist hipster fans have been touting his abilities for a long time.
While YoDa could definitely win if he plays to his best, I've gotta side with the elitist hipster faction here. Their past darlings, such as Creator, Life, TaeJa, etc have all turned out to be excellent players. While Tear doesn't carry the same kind of hype that trio once did, he's still a player who has huge potential.
Tear 2 – 1 YoDa