WCG 2008 in Cologne Germany will be the first WCG since foreigners on a mass scale have had access to LAN latency. Yes, we had hamachi. No, leagues did not implement hamachi nor did a ladder utilize the setting (to the scale we have now for sure, but I would argue the tiny percentage isn't even worth noting otherwise). This will mark a solid year that the entire foreigner gaming scene has been saturated with LAN latency via both ICCUP, private games but also the normalization of using CHAOS plugin for league, tourney and other types of games.
What does this mean? This means the advantage koreans held over us will be reduced. They go through years of playing offline events with practicing for the most part with other gamers in their house or at the local pc bang. This will be the first year we as foreigners can claim that for the most part (the best to our ability) we have recreated that. Sure the level of gamers we have trained with are significantly worse than the koreans but that is non unique. I am talking about a factor that didnt exist before now existing and how that benefits us as a gaming community.
An additional factor is the inclusion of key nations. With the Netherlands and other countries considering a WCG we have access to players that are top quality and especially driven that we never would have had in the past like Ret, Haypro and others. I would also add that with TSL running this close to WCG Draco will be in better shape than he was the previous year and a strong Protoss on these maps (especially with Draco's potential) can mean big things for the foreigners. Couple that with the fact that WCG is in Cologne, Germany which I think increases the chances of a WCG being held for all the european nations and we have a better player base this year.
The maps favor non koreans over koreans (like they do every year imo). Python/Bluestorm being the only real maps they will have any kind of interest in leaving Peaks/Tau/Gaia to be on our side. This is mentioned every year and doesn't pan out that much but I would contend with the compiling factors it starts to add up.
Korea has stagnated. They sent Savior, Hwasin and Stork to WCG 2007. Savior was thought of as some unmovable monster. Hwasin was going to destroy everyone and meet him in the finals. Stork was a strong protoss but nobody ever really thought he'd do anything. Well Stork had to slay hwasin and Savior lost to Mondragon/Pj (even with map imbalance favoring Savior vs Mondragon). Stork struggled with WhiteRa and his own lack of intelligence. The key issue here is none of them really looked untouchable. Stork turned it on in the finals but he very well could have been caught with his pants down due to his pride/arrogance against WhiteRa. That was then though. I would argue that Korea save for Flash lacks the super weapon they have had in the past. That being said players of Flash's level aren't even guranteed to make it out. Players like Boxer, Nada and others have in their prime failed to make a WCG (note: yes they HAVE quali'd but they have also failed). Korean WCG is a crackpot. Their level ofplay has evened out so a clear winner is almost impossible to predict. Even if you disagree you would have to agree that at the very least their is a better chance this year that at least 1 maybe 2 will sneak in that nobody would suspect. Don't agree? State 2-3 players you can give a strong percentage to that would make it this year. Jaedong, Flash and Mind would seem like nice picks huh? Just watch.
Lastly, the gaming level of non koreans is higher than it ever has been. I would argue, even in relation to koreans. We have never been closer to their skill (since koreans "took off" which is post 1999~2000 or so). Mondragon is in his best shape of recent history and with TSL backing into WCG I would contend his previous 3rd place finish would only act as a motivator for the ultimate prize now being a realistic goal for him. Draco has proven that at the drop of a hat he can retake the throne as one of the most dominant players and I think even he will be hard pressed to avoid this WCG given the shape he is in. Ret is one of the best foreigners. His TvZ and ZvT make him a real threat against anyone. Given more time and tougher training (TOT) he will be even more scary. Strelok/WhiteRa have never been as good as they are now. Especially Strelok, he just won ASUS (Debut) and is winning tourneys almost weekly. I could go on but my point is that the foreigner gaming base is not consolidated into a Testie, Mondragon, Draco but rather spread out with Dreiven, Nony, JF, Strelok, Mondragon etc etc being all around that level we have more players of that potential with MORE of a chance to take advantage of a easy bracket or a arrogant korean (note: this does not mean koreans are arrogant but rather they may have never heard of a "nony" and then suddenly they are down a game and have to climb back up vs a confident top tier protoss who has trained like a boxer for the past 6 months). We also have a player in korea training with IdrA. He will be participating in USA WCG and if he doesn't make it out that just means the level of gaming HERE is so high that even the token white professional couldn't hack it with the level being so high. I think he very well could but this is just a signifier of either way, it being a good thing for us as a community.
My prediction is completely speculative and only serves the purpose of 1. establishing my prediction so I can look like a genius when it comes true and 2. start a discussion.
1. Two of the top 3 in WCG will be non-koreans. Big woop? We had that happen this year. Sure, but I am predicting what nobody did last year and I think a repeat will be more epic.
2. For the first time a WCG winner will be from a country that isn't Korea.
3.This will be the last WCG with SCBW on the ticket. Korea will have to sit and stew on their greatest defeat.
You make a good argument and I agree with most the points. However, while everything is in our favour, you simply cannot argue with skill. They have more of it. I believe this'll be the closest WCG I've seen but I do not believe we will win.
The angels have the phone box
Binky1842 United States. May 19 2008 13:24. Posts 2343