SSL Ro.16 - Group B
As expected, last week Zest and Dark advanced to the quarterfinals. If there was an upset in Group A, Trust took down aLive 2-1, only to fall to Zest later that very same day. While Zest would’ve normally been the clear favorite to advance out of the group, it was Dark who took the first place. In the end, Dark and Zest both advanced, as expected, but their individual results could be construed as somewhat of an upset. Nevertheless, both top picks of Group A are now in the quarterfinals, and it’s time to take a look at the second group.
Second place in SSL season 1. Crushing the opposition in ProLeague. And yet, dropping out of Code S, against MyuNgSiK and Cure. KT Rolster’s Protoss would be the first pick to advance out of this group, save for his somewhat surprising results in the second season of Code S. Reaching the finals to battle against Dark means that he didn’t have to wade through the Challenge stage, and what would’ve been the point? The Protoss player certainly has the results to back up his claim to fame: he’s been an almost unstoppable monster in ProLeague, recently only falling against Jin Air’s sOs. With the group format, what he needs to do here is to leverage his impressive PvT to take down the volatile Bomber and the power house GuMiho.
Unfortunately for us all, Bomber fell against Super in the second season of GSL (and against Creator in the wild card group), so this will be his last chance to make a name for himself in 2016. Of course, with a legacy like Bomber, anything less than the finals would be a disappointment. And of course, with a legacy like Bomber, reaching the finals will be an uphill battle. While he should never be underestimated as an opponent, reaching the quarterfinals of the league won’t be an absolute certainty. The Afreeca Freecs Terran hasn’t exactly been convincing in ProLeague lately, so his performance in the group stages of SSL will be really difficult to predict. Of course, this will be exactly the position Bomber feels comfortable in, as it allows him to pull of the zany strategies he’s nowadays known for. Never to be underestimated, the Terran will still face difficult enemies in Stats and GuMiho. He’s been struggling against both Terran and Protoss lately, so he will have his work cut out for him.
Almost making it to the finals of GSL season 1, until meeting the immovable object Zest. Who can blame him? This time around Dear qualified for Code S without having to make it through Code A. In the Challenge event of SSL, he took down ByuN in a convincing manner, while at the same time losing to Rogue and aLive. Samsung Galaxy’s Protoss is in a curious position in his group. His last trophies worth mentioning are from 2013, so it’s high time for him to step up to the plate again. Of course, he’s against Stats and GuMiho, scary opponents by themselves. Thankfully, he’s taken down players such as Rogue and Maru in ProLeague, so he’s not completely without surprises.
When we last saw him, MVP’s GuMiho was wreaking havoc online. Recently he’s taken down players like INnoVation, Classic and MC, all three living legends of the scene. Too bad for them, they had to go up against the Terran powerhouse that is GuMiho. If there’s one player who really has the guts to advance over GuMiho, it will be KT Rolster’s Stats. This will mean that GuMiho will pour everything he’s got into the TvP match-up. Thankfully he’s showed a lot of promise lately, so grabbing the second place of the group shouldn’t be too much of a problem for him.
To start off the group, you have a veteran of the scene going up against a relative newcomer. Even though Stats has admittedly been visible in the scene for a number of years, he doesn’t really hold a candle against Bomber’s achievements. The Afreeca Freecs’s Terran’s challenge will be to utilize his past experience to gain an upper hand over his opponents, and it’s certainly not a surefire thing. Meanwhile, MVP’s GuMiho is looking to put his online experience to good use, and going by results and by percentages, he should have the upper hand against Dear. What remains to be seen, then, is GuMiho’s match against Stats, and at the end of the day, GuMiho’s deciding TvT against Bomber. Granted, the final match might go either way, as it pits experience against novelty. In the end, Bomber’s volatility probably won’t be a match against GuMiho’s recent strong results.
Stats > Bomber
Dear < GuMiho
Stats > GuMiho
Bomber > Dear
GuMiho > Bomber
Stats and GuMiho advance to the Quarterfinals!