Code S RO32: Group B Preview
In the midst of a chaotic MLG weekend where some of the best players in the world competed for a $25,000 grand prize, we might have forgiven you for missing Code S' return with its second season of the year. The key word being, might have.
With the America's premier tournament getting totally dominated by players from the GSL, there's no excuse to miss out on the league where all those players cut their teeth.
Group B: MvPGenius, BBoongBBoongPrime , IMSeed, oGsSuperNova
With DongRaeGu busy collecting more money so he can finally buy a house, his teammate and previous runner-up MvPGenius has been handed the duties of christening the new Code S season.
After making a surprise run to the finals last season, Genius has been reportedly having a hard time with the loss. He wasn't in attendance for his team's last GSTL match and really hasn't been seen since falling to DRG in a close final. If it's true that he's taken an extended sabbatical since the end of Season One, then Genius will be thankful for landing in a group where he still has a good chance of getting through.
Genius used his finalist's right to select BBoongBBoongPrime as his first opponent. B4 is new to Code S, and has never received the scrutiny of the Code S spotlight. B4's rise to Code S wasn't an easy one, and it took miraculous circumstances (he played well, too) for him to come back from a 0-2 deficit in his Up and Down group to secure his spot. On paper, the match-up doesn't look so bad for the Code S rookie, as he has an almost 60% win rate against Protoss, but when looking closer, most of his wins came months ago. In his recent matches against Protoss, he comes in with an abysmal 4-10 record and gives you a better idea why Genius picked him to be his opponent. While Genius cracked under the pressure in the finals, he played excellent PvZ in the group stages of Season One. If he can perform on that level again, B4 should be a pushover.
Another rookie this season isIMSeed, who finally broke Incredible Miracle's long lasting streak of being unable to produce a Protoss Code S player. After being one of the main reasons why IM won the first ever GSTL championship, Seed defeated Leenock in the final round of Code A to reach Code S nearly a year later. He looked especially good in the recent RaidCall Invitational where he defeated Moon, Creator and Oz before pushing Alive, a semifinalist of last season, to a five game series where he lost in the final game after coming back from a 0-2 deficit. While his PvZ has been his most impressive match-up, his PvP looked sharp as well. If Seed can get into a series with Genius, he might be able to give the player who 3-0'd MC last season a run for his money.
Rounding out the group is oGs.SuperNova, one of the most consistent players in the history of the GSL, and already one of the most underwhelming players in his short international tournament career. Unlike international tournaments, however, Code S has always been SuperNoVa's turf, and he is one of the only players to ever to be in seven or more consecutive Code S seasons – without falling to Code A.
Unfortunately for Supernova, he will not be able to play his best match-up of TvT, being forced to rely on his non-mirror match-ups. His TvZ has looked shaky as of late, losing to Violet at Sao Paulo, getting run over by Zenio at Hannover, and dropping a game to July in the Up and Downs. Those three are formidable ZvT players, but the losses still hurt.
But really, Supernova's chances of advancing out of the group will come down to his TvP. It's no secret that SuperNoVa has an aversion to playing late game TvP and has made it his mission to try and end most of his TvPs with an all-in. This doesn't meant his TvP is good or bad; just that it's a wild ride whenever we see him play it.
In the Up and Downs, he was able to pull out a successful cheese against the known greedy player Creator and got the win. With two Protosses in his group, he can certainly try to all-in every single game, but he still has to play a regular game to at least keep it from becoming entirely predictable.
Since Genius was a Code S regular even when he admitted he was just coasting, we'll give him the benefit of the doubt even if he truly did take a break. However, the remaining player to make it out of the group is much harder to call. The rookies are untested on this stage, while SuperNoVa will probably be doing all or nothing builds in multiple games. I think they all have fairly even chances, so I'll just decide this with my complex heart and go with the PRIME REVOLUTION.
Genius > B4
Seed > SuperNova
Genius > Seed
B4 > SuperNova
B4 > Seed
Genius and BBoongBBoong advance.
Bañe-ata by shiroiusagi.
Graphics and Art: Meko and shiroiusagi.