WCS Korea Season 1 - GSL
Code S Ro16: Group D
Preview: Symbol, soO, Gumiho, Losira
Brackets and standings on Liquipedia
Ro16 Group D Preview
Forget about everything that happened in the Ro16. Yes, Bomber has made it to his first ro8 in over an year. Yes, the group of death has passed with Innovation and Parting victorious. Yes, Soulkey has made it to the ro8. Yes, Roro is making a real consecutive GSL championship run. But for the ro16, this group has the potential to top everything that has happened thus far with one simple fact. It’s a Gumiho vs Losira rematch.
This isn't a rivalry like Flash vs. Life featuring two prodigies from two generations, or a trash-talk laden one like Parting vs Life. Gumiho vs. Losira is just a match between two players of equal skill whose styles match up each other so perfectly that the end result has always been explosive and exciting games. While there is only one series to go on, it was one of the best series played in 2013 (if not THE best) and the last great TvZ series of WoL. In that series, Gumiho and Losira met in the loser’s match of the Ro16 and both players proceeded to play some of the best games of their lives. It was Gumiho’s multi-tasking against Losira’s defense. It was Losira’s ultras against Gumiho’s bio forces, Losira’s queens against Gumiho’s ghosts, his infestors against Gumiho’s nukes. It was a battle for the ages, and that was only game 1. Then game 2 trumped that. Then game 3 eclipsed both of those to the point that no one remembers games 1 and 2, only 3. It was a masterpiece of a game that ended with a mined out Akilon Flats, with Gumiho's ingenuity triumphing over Losira's tenacity.
Unfortunately for both of them, they both put everything they had into that series, and Gumiho was easy pickings for MC in the final match. That is the real conundrum of this group. Individually, both Gumiho and Losira are favorites that can clear this group. But together, there may be a chance that they exhaust each other to the point that they become easy pickings for the other two players in the group.
Forever a Kong, Never a Champion
Coming in second is the perpetual silver surfer Azubu.Symbol. He has the dubious honor of winning the continental silver slam, with second place finishes in major tournaments in Asia, North America, and Europe. Much like Roro, he came into this season with almost no fanfare and recognition, and quite easily made it into the ro16 with no one taking any particular note. There are many reasons for this, the largest being he was the runner-up of the last season of WoL which came to represent the epitome of broodlord infestor. Thus the image of a macro-centric late-game oriented stuck to Symbol and has hidden Symbol’s strongest trait of his game, his thirst for victory.
Symbol plays to win. That is the underlying principle that drives all of Symbol’s games and plans. During his first Code S run, he was crushed by Seed using Ultra-infestor bane against Protoss. The season after, he switched full time to brood lord infestor. He lost in an all zerg group one season, in the next he makes it to the finals winning his ZvZ against Curious. He lost to Roro being too predictable with a roach macro styles, and the next season he changed his ZvZ to aggressive early game ling-bane attacks. When he makes a mistake one season, he makes sure to fix it and improve the next. It is that aspect that makes Symbol one of the most dangerous players in the world, he never stops trying, he never stops improving himself.
SKT Zerg is a term often used more as an insult than a mere identifier. The SKT Zerg more often than not dashes the hopes and happiness of SKT fans everywhere as they lose game after game trying their best to slow damn the juggernaut that SKT usually is in Proleague. soO is the latest heir to that legacy. Luckily for Soo, this is a new game and while the SKT Zerg line is still weak in comparison to its Protoss and Terran lines, it has come a long way since the heyday of Hyuk and friends. As for Soo himself, he is a solid Zerg player that has done well for himself in the transition into SC2 and has been a good contributor for SKT during PL. Unfortunately for him he is also 0-4 in his last PL matches since the switch to HotS, thus making it hard to gauge where Soo actually is in terms of skill. The only thing concrete known about him is that he beat Curious twice to advance to the Ro16, and that he saw fit to single out the Prime team as being easy.
The most important factor that will decide this group will be the Losira vs. Gumiho matches. While no one can know for sure if the two of them will destroy each other in another glorious battle to the death, it is a distinct possibility. With that being the case, both Symbol and Soo should be favorites to make it out of this group as they can just sweep up the exhausted two players. If it comes to be that Gumiho vs. Losira does not end in a blaze of glory, then Symbol and Gumiho are the likely favorites to get out of the group with both Losira and Soo close behind them.
Symbol > Soo
Gumiho > Losira
Symbol > Gumiho
Losira > Soo
Gumiho > Losira
Symbol and Gumiho advance.