Code A, Week Two Preview
By: Waxangel and Fionn
Bomber's back in Code A after yet another disappointing Code S performance, where he finished last in his group. Despite this, it's pretty obvious that he's going to brutalize Heart. In fact, a 13 – 3 record in non Code S competition since GSL October (two of the losses coming to MC), suggests that not only will he crush Heart, but a slew of other players as well while he cruises back into Code S. Of course, upon reaching that point, the cycle will repeat itself once more.
Heart seemed to be a pretty decent Terran player when he used to stream a few months ago, but since then we've had precious little chance to see him. The fact that he's been passed over by TSL in multiple clan wars is also disheartening, but maybe that's because he's not even on the team anymore? In any case, Bomber's recent TvT streak is 4 – 0, against players like Jjakji, Sting, Gumiho, and Ryung. It's very unlikely he'll lose to Heart.
Prediction: Bomber 2 – 0 Heart
Who knew that the Korean government would lift its ban on the hunting of elephas coreanus in 2012, leaving the endangered species to fend for itself? Last month, former MSL champion ForGG was brutally downed by SK.MC in the streets of Metropolis. Now Taeja looks to trim the herd further by bringing down ex-MBCGame Hero stalwart Hyun in Code A.
In ways, Taeja is like a mini-Bomber. Bomber's purpose is to make life miserable for everyone in Code A and below, while Taeja's job is to make everyone in Code B rue their existence. Consider the many ESV Weekly tournaments where he's made short work of nearly everyone who's been in a Code A qualifier. Now, consider that we've seen very little of Hyun against Code A class opposition as of yet, so he's just another Code B player as far as anyone should be concerned. That's the lesson we learned from ForGG; your success at a previous stage is no indicator of how you'll do in the next.
Prediction: Taeja 2 – 0 Hyun
Unless you're a championship contender, there's really no shame to dropping out of Code S at the hands of MVPsC and MVP.DongRaeGu. As far as I know, I don't think EG is asking to JYP to win Code S just yet, so let's just chalk it up as an unlucky group draw and expected result.
Though JYP is back in Code A, it seems like he has the perfect opponent to bounce back against. First off, Life plays Zerg, the race against which JYP has had the most success. On top of that, he's fifteen years old with just a single live audience game so far, two factors that typically work against players unaccustomed to performing under pressure. Yes, there has been an exception in the past, but his ID happened to be Flash.
However, Life does have a chance, considering the maps. With Crossfire and Dual Sight lined up in sets two and three, there's always the chance that between incessant mutalisk harassment and well selected all-ins, Life could find a way to upset his opponent.
Prediction: JYP 2 – 1 Life
Facing off are two players who have built their reputations largely on GSTL fame (alright, Squirtle won 3rd at IEM World Championship 2011), looking to further their careers in the individual arena as well. Picking up all-kills in the GSTL at least means that fans remember them and want to see them in Code A, which is a step up from some of the more interchangeable Code B players who make it up from the preliminaries every season. Although, the considerable of time since their last good GSTL performances makes one wonder if they're really that much better.
Two factors lead me to favor Squirtle here. First, he really earned his spot in Code A this season, by winning a tough ESV Korean Weekly to win the Code A spot in November, which has carried over into another Code A berth this season. Meanwhile, Seal got through the prelims by beating... ST_Rainbow.
Second, there seems to have been a collective new year's resolution by all Protoss players to make 2-base all-ins the face of PvZ again. Interestingly enough, it seems to be working for them so far. Under those circumstances, I don't know if I like Seal's chances.
Prediction: Squirtle 2 – 1 Seal
What happened, Ryung? Five months ago, I had you firmly in the top echelon of players in the GSL. Your TvT was as good as it came; you were beating big names like Bomber and looking like you could surpass your nemesis, friend and teammate MMA to become the first Slayers player to win a GSL championship. Now, in the present, MMA has won two GSL's and you are sitting on the knife's edge of falling off the mountain down to nothingness.
One of the main reasons why Ryung is so close to falling out of GSL entirely is due to horrid TvP that he's shown in the booth. In a short time, the Forgotten Son of the Emperor has gone from the second in command behind MMA to falling down in the depth chart for Slayers behind most of the Terrans on the team. This is his chance for redemeption and to get back into the thick of things, but it's going to be hard.
AnnYeong is a beast. I first noticed him in the World Cyber Games Korea qualifiers against Polt. He did lose the game due to a few minor mistakes, more than likely due to the nerves of playing in the booth for the first time. However, but he played excellent throughout and brought the Super Tournament winner to the edge of defeat. Following the loss, he was still able to make it out of the qualifying group and make a surprising run to the quarterfinals, knocking out TOP and Line to secure his place.
In the end, he had to face MVP and lost 1-2, but AnnYeong showed a lot of raw talent in the process. It's now almost four months since his games against MVP, and I can only believe that he has gotten better in that time. Prime is starting to become a power house once again with young players such as AnnYeong and Creator. While this is a chance for Ryung to hang on to his last sliver of life, this is AnnYeong's chance to break into the scene and become a star in his own right.
Prediction: AnnYeong 2 – 1 Ryung
This is a battle between two players who are, statistically, some of the worst players in the Korean pro scene. Luvsic sits in 111th place in ELO and Ace is right behind him in 118th place. Neither have stellar overall records in Korea, both under 50% in winrate.Their 'best' matchups favor Luvsic, who is 5-6 against Protoss, compared to Ace's 2-6 record against Zerg.
These two players really have a lot to prove. If you ask people, 'Hey, who is the best Zerg on oGs?', most of them will tell you, 'Zenio!' before they remember that he's not on the team anymore. Then they'll probably scratch their heads before replying '...Cezanne?' Zergs have never been oGs' strongest suite, so it's up to Luvsic to try and change that while making a splash in Code A.
With Ace, he is the player you always see celebrating and doing ceremonies...for the other members of his team when they win. Bomber wins four straight games in a row? Time for Ace to dance on the opposition. This is his opportunity to prove that he isn't only the cheerleader for Startale, but an actual player who should be reckoned with in the GSL. One of these players will fall out and have an amazingly difficult time ever getting back here, but the other will be granted a second chance at stardom.
Prediction: Luvsic 2 – 1 Ace
In Code S, we have the Big Four: MVP, MMA, Nestea, and MC. They've been in eleven of the thirteen GSL finals and have have shared the throne for a year and a half. In Code A, there is but one king. A player that stands above all others and calls Code A his domain. If you want to make it in Code A, you must first get by its ruler. After spending a short while in Code S, Yugioh, King of Code A has returned, and is ready to make sure he won't drop down to the lowly Code B.
Sculp, though, is a player with massive potential. Alongside Heart, he is the Terran I think is most likely to break out in this Code A tournament. Back when HoSeo was first starting out, it Sculp, not Jjakji, who looked like the future ace of the team. He was getting the same amount of hype that Jjakji was, and pros were commenting on how much skill sculp possessed. Now, with Jjakji being the champion of Code S, it is time for the Sculp to catch up.
It's truly a battle of the new versus the old, with YuGiOh trying to evangelize upwards immobility to a Code A newcomer, while Sculp will try to make his stay in Code A as short as possible before moving on.
Prediction: sculp 2 – 1 YuGiOh
Last season, Cezanne culled one of the most stubborn clingers to Code S from the GSL entirely, by defeating his teammate oGs.Ensnare in first round of Code A. Now, he looks to eliminate yet another past beneficiary of the old 24 seed Code S system in Startale's Virus, who survived for six Code S seasons before dropping straight down to Code A in the new format.
Cezanne isn't exactly an example of GSL excellence himself, but if he could drop Virus to Code B as well, then we might argue that Cezanne would have been a Kyrix, Ensnare, Clide, or Virus if he had had the fortune to be an early comer like them, and further prove that the old Code S system truly was horrendous. It's not looking good for Virus. Despite being in Code S for seven straight seasons, he was used by his team zero times in the GSTL during that period. Also, it would just be plain cool for Cezanne to gain cult status as the purifier of the GSL, like a vengeful vigilante. The hero the GSL deserves, indeed.
Prediction: Cezanne 2 – 1 Virus