MaxFrag’s 2012 WCS World Championship Preview & Predictions

After a long journey of countless qualifiers, the WCS World Championship is finally just around the corner. The Finals will take place in China from November 17th-November 18th. 32 players will battle it out for their chance to be crowned the 2012 WCS World Champion, in addition to their piece of the $250,000 prize pool. The format for the finals are as follows: The 32 players are broken down into 8 randomly chosen groups, each group consists of 4 players. From there, the top 2 players from each group will advance. From there, the final 16 players will be entered into a standard 16 person double elimination bracket.

To make things more clear and structured, the layout for this write-up has been laid out below:

I) Overhead look at the Groups
II) Group/Player breakdown, and MaxFrag Group predictions
III) MaxFrag’s 2012 WCS World Championship Final Predictions
IV) Conclusion

I) Overhead Look at the Groups

Thank you to WCS (http://us.battle.net/bwc/en/tournaments/sc2/brackets) For the Bracket
II) Group/Player Breakdown, and MaxFrag Group predictions.

Group A: Group A has the Korean favorite, a European power house, the dark horse and the young un-blossomed potential. With no zergs to be seen in this group, it will allow these players to focus on the other match-ups.
MaxFrag Predictions: 1) PartinG 2) Socke

Illusion (T): This is by far one of the biggest opportunities for Illusion’s young career. He is clearly one of Quantic’s most highly potential players, and it’s impressive what he has done at such a young age. The big question here though is: Can he turn the incredible potential he has into wins? Can he overcome his lack of experience and turn them into wins? Nonetheless, Illusion certainly has an uphill battle. PartinG and Socke remain as two potential giant roadblocks in Illusion’s road for success. For all of those Illusion fans out there, we must hope his time in Korea has truly paid off.

Fenix (T): After joining Incredible Miracle on September 1, 2012, Fenix has really fell off the radar. With his strong background in Broodwar, and his decent success on Fnatic, he isn’t someone you can just forget about. However, he remains almost impossible to predict. It’s hard to see Fenix making it out of this group, although he really is the dark horse of this group. We’ll really have to sit
back and take a “wait and see” approach with Fenix.

PartinG (P): Startale’s PartinG needs no introduction. His strong performances in both MLG and GSL leave him as the clear favorite for this group. It’s hard to see PartinG really having too much of a problem with Illusion or Fenix, and he also remains the favorite in his matchup vs. Socke. PartinG is surely the player to beat for Group A.

Socke (P): Socke has been one of Europe’s best Protoss since the early days of Starcraft II. After defeating HasuObs in the Germany WCS Finals, he has earned his way into Group A. Socke should have the advantage going into the matches vs Illusion or Fenix, but he’ll be in for a very tough match vs PartinG. With the unpredictability of the PvP match, it may be possible for Socke to walk out with a first place finish in Group A, but most likely a second place finish.

Group B: Zerg, Zerg, Zerg, and oh, another Zerg. After seeing this group, there’s no surprise that there’s no zergs to be seen in Group A. With the European star, the Chinese Dark Horse and the two North American up and comers, we’re in for a real delight.
MaxFrag Predictions: 1) VortiX 2) Suppy

VortiX (Z): VortiX looks to be one of the favorites for Group B. However, unlike some of the other groups, group B has no real clear favorite. VortiX has consistently showed a great game sense and an incredible understanding of the ZvZ matchup. Recently coming off a heartbreaking 2:3 loss to Leenock, I’m looking for VortiX to bounce back, and do so in convincing fashion. With zerg vs zerg being such a volatile matchup, it’s hard to declare anyone as the clear winner with much confidence. However, VortiX shouldn’t have much too much of a problem with ViBe or Comm, but VortiX vs Suppy will be the match to watch. Look for that match to dictate who takes first, and who takes second.

ViBE (Z): After winning WCS NA, ViBE finds himself in the zerg group of death. ViBE has shown he can compete and beat the best of the best out there, and this weekend will be another opportunity for ViBE to show what he has. For ViBE, it’s going to be a matter of turning winning games into winning series. Going into this weekend, ViBE surely isn’t the expected favorite. However, he’s one of the select North American zergs that actually has the chance of getting out of this group alive. Does he have a great chance? Probably not, but definitely a chance.

Comm (Z): Much like Fenix for Group A, Comm certainly is the dark horse for Group B. He defeated TooDming to win the 2012 SC2 WCS China Nationals. He’s probably one of the hardest players in this entire tournament to try and guess at how he’ll do, simply because he is so under the radar in the foreigner scene. This will be a major opportunity for him to grow his name. To do that though, he’ll need to bring exceptional ZvZ play to the table.

Suppy (Z): After a strong performance at MLG Dallas, Suppy is on the radar as one of the players to keep a closer eye on. Despite being a full time student, Suppy has continued to improve and show very promising results. Despite his real life commitments, Suppy was actually the highest placing Evil Guinesses’ player at Dallas. At MLG Dallas, specifically for ZvZ, Suppy was able to defeat Ret, Revival and Jookto in group play. He certainly has the potential to win this group. Suppy vs VortiX, we’re in for a real treat.

Group C: Group C is actually one of the most interesting groups in this whole tournament. Simply because, there is no direct or clear favorite for this group. It’s a big combination of players who have slightly dropped off, or aren’t playing the best Starcraft they ever have,but everyone in the group is capable of winning it. It’s truly one of the most unpredictable groups.
MaxFrag’s Predictions: 1) Sen 2) Grubby

Sen (Z): Since playing in the Taiwan leagues, Sen has dropped of the radar slightly. However, he is one of the most raw talented players in the entire Starcraft 2 scene. No matter how long it’s been since he’s won something or no matter how long it’s been since you’ve heard his name, you simply just can’t count him out. He is one of the most talented players in the world, and he is very capable of taking home this group. In fact, MaxFrag believes he is favored to do so. Sen shouldn’t have too much of a problem with KiLLer, and looks to be the favorite versus the 2 Protoss fan favorites.

KiLLer (Z): KiLLer is a very good zerg. In fact, he is and has been one of the most underrated zergs in the world. However, in a group like this, KiLLer would need to pull a mini cinderella story to get out of this group alive. Nonetheless, look to see a good, solid and well-rounded performance out of KiLLer.

Huk (P): Huk is, well Huk. He’s a player who needs no introduction. However, as of late, we haven’t seen the same Huk we saw awhile back. With his work ethic and control, he’s not someone who can be overlooked. From the looks of this group, there’s a strong chance second place is going to come down to a bo3 PvP series. Huk has shown weakness in the PvP matchup, inconsistency especially.
Although almost impossible to call with any real level of certainty, Huk won’t be advancing.

Grubby (P): Although nothing like a Naniwa or something like that, Grubby has shown he is one of the select few foreigner Protoss players that everyone should fear. WCS has the possibility to be another great showing for Grubby. With Grubby’s endless list of experience, it’s hard seeing him not advancing.

Group D: A bunch of highly potential up and comers, with one of the best Protoss in the world. Picking the first place finisher is about as easy as it gets, however, picking second place gets a bit more foggy.
MaxFrag’s Predictions: 1) Rain 2) BabyKnight

State (P): Easily one of North American’s top 5 protoss players, State has been steadily improving, especially as of late. This will serve as a great debut of what all his time in Korea has done for him. In a group with 2 other Protoss players, State has a better chance of getting through than in some other groups, but the chance still doesn’t look great.

BabyKnight (P): He’s a strong European Protoss, who has really been preforming as of late. He shouldn’t have too much of a problem with anyone, except the obvious Rain. However, past Rain, look for State to be the biggest road block. At the end of the day, it is PvP, and we all know how that match up can be.

MaFia (Z): One of newer names in the scene, straight out of Australia. Has shown potential, has shown a high level of skill, but Group D is a test that may be almost impossible to pass. Rain and BabyKnight both look to be major roadblocks in the mini-Cinderella story of MaFiapossibly getting out. It’ll be an accomplishment for MaFia to take a game off of these guys, let alone a series.

Group E: The group that you wish you didn’t spawn into. Team Liquid’s Protoss star, Lone Star Clash Champion Stephano, the Gracken, and the Kespa player RorO. A group filled of a disgusting amount of talent, and luckily for us, we’ll get to watch every second of it.
MaxFrag’s Predictions: 1) HerO 2) Stephano

Stephano (Z): Korean or Foreigner, it doesn’t matter. Stephano is arguably the best foreigner of all time, with his laundry list of accomplishments. Recently coming off a Lone Star Clash repeat Championship, Stephano looks to be back, and that in itself is a very scary thought. Stephano has shown slight weakness in ZvZ, which could be problematic, especially with RorO in this group. However,HerO looks to be the biggest challenge of all. This group looks like it could very well come down to a bo3 with HerO vs Stephano.

HerO (P): HerO, the real HerO. Team Liquid’s HerO, the HerO we all love. Although he hasn’t been preforming his best as of late, HerO definitely can’t be counted out. Day 9 predicts HerO to win this entire event, so maybe there is something here that is being overlooked. With 3 PvZ’s on HerO’s plate, this will be either a blessing or the end of HerO. Idra, and RorO are very strong zergs, but are they quite on the level of HerO? It’s unlikely. Although almost impossible to call, MaxFrag votes HerO to win this group.

IdrA (Z): Idra, the Gracken himself. One of the most mechanically sound players out there, but has not had the performances as of late to back up that picture perfect macro. IdrA is a player who is very capable of beating anyone, but he has and can struggle with being thrown off kilter, or having external affairs effect his state of mind, and ultimately his play. He has potential to possibly steal that 2nd placespot, but it’s going to be an uphill battle for the Gracken himself.

RorO (Z): Although Kespa players generally transfer over with a fair level of success, Roro has shown an exceptional level of potential.Defeating Leenock in the South Korean Nationals make him an obvious opponent to be feared. RorO hasn’t shown an incredible level of ZvP, although with 2 other zergs it’s possible he can still make a real run at this.

Group F: Cross your fingers and hope your predictions are right. That’s the kind of group, group F is. Curious obviously comes to your mind as a favorite, but trying to pick the second place for this group is quite the challenge. Lot’s of could be’s and maybe’s, so we’ll reallyjust have to wait and see.
MaxFrag’s Predictions: 1) Curious 2) TitaN

Curious (Z): Curious is the safest bet with this group. He’s a top level Korean Zerg, who has shown some incredible games vs the Code S Koreans we all know and love. Curious certainly won’t have an easy time with this group, but he is the expected favorite.

TitaN (P): TitaN is one of the European players who has been gathering and drawing more attention as of late. Rumor has it that TitaN is an extremely scary opponent these days, and WCS has the potential to be a great debut for him. Although my fingers have to be crossed as I’m typing this, MaxFrag votes TitaN for second place.

Major (T): Simply put, MajOr is by far one of North America’s best Terran players. When you watch his play, you get a feeling that you don’t get very often when watching foreigner Terrans. He is ROOT’s best player, and he has a real opportunity to show the world exactly what he has. Although I don’t see him advancing through, he is definitely the wildcard of this group.

herO (P): The fake herO, aka, the Broodwar Hero. He is the Broodwar hero, and that’s all there really is to know about him at this point.
He doesn’t have a long or epic introduction, but he is a Kespa player, so the potential is always there. Although it’s unlikely he will advance, this will be a nice introduction into the scene for herO.

Group G: The two favorites, the rather unknown Brazilian, and the let’s go USA Insur.
MaxFrag’s Predictions: 1) LucifroN 2) LoWely

Insur (P): Insur has continued to work his way up and prove that he really is one of NA’s best Protoss players. Although the journey here has been a success for Insur, he certainly has the work cut out for him. He will have to play the best games of his life to have a chance here. On top of that, this looks to be one of the biggest stages Insur has seen, so it will be interesting to see if nerves come into play.

LoWely (Z): He started off with an out of nowhere shockingly strong performance in the NASL, and since then, he hasn’t stopped. He has become one of the best European zergs out there, certainly the best in Belarus. Losing to LucifroN just over a month ago for the Europe Final, MaxFrag expects a second place finish for LoWely.

Levin (P): Levin was a successful Warcraft III players from South America, and has recently began to show more success in Starcraft II. Despite the recent surge, this will undoubtedly be a large and unforgiving mountain to climb. He is going into this tournament with nothing to lose, and we’ll have to see just what he can do with that on his mind.

LucifroN (T): Brother of VortiX, and extremely scary and to be feared Terran from Spain. Definitely the favorite going into this weekend’s Group, and it’ll be exciting to see just what LucifroN has to bring to the table. Clean control, solid decision making, should be a solid first place finish for LucifroN.

Group H: So many incredible players. How do you even begin to predict?
MaxFrag’s Predictions: 1) Scarlett 2) Creator

m00nGLaDe (Z): Although an incredible performance at MLG Dallas, I don’t seeing this going all that well for m00nglade. He’s a very good player, but he’s in a group with three great players. Most interestingly, this group has the potential of having teammates Scarlett and Nerchio, fighting for their lives.

Scarlett (Z): Scarlett, oh Scarlett. From the first IPL, Scarlett hasn’t slowed down. Showing incredible game knowledge, scenes of flawless decision making and great use of control, Scarlett is an absolute Canadian power house. I see Scarlett beating Moonglade, and then beating Creator, ensuring herself a first place finish.

Nerchio (Z): Take what was just said about Scarlett, and change it to the European setting, and you have Nerchio. Hands down, one of Europe’s best Zergs. He has won so many online tournaments it’s actually astonishing, and his LAN performances have been a class act as well.

Creator (P): Creator said in an interview that he is specifically preparing for his group. This weekend will truly show exactly what that preparation has done. Creator is an absolute boss of the Protoss race, and he has to be considered one of the favorites going into this group.

III) MaxFrag’s 2012 WCS World Championship Final Predictions:

First Place: Rain
Second Place: HerO
Third Place: Scarlett

IV) Conclusion

Thank you very much for reading this, and I hope you enjoyed it. The insane level of play, the rivalries and the unfolding of the stories leaves us no other option than an incredible weekend of Starcraft II.

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