A look at the group stage at WESG 2016 presented by Alipay in StarCraft II
The participants’ seeding in the StarCraft II discipline at WESG 2016 presented by Alipay has been finally brought to light, so now it’s high time to determine the main first-place’s contenders, who will be able to make a splash, as well as for whom this event will be just a cyber-tourism.
A clear favorite of the first group is the Chinese player Xiang «XY» Yao, who performs under the auspices of Invictus Gaming. Despite the fact that the qual-stage was finished by Xiang only at the third place, we still have to keep in mind that the Asian region is one of the strongest across the globe. Besides, XY plays for the Terrans, who are considered to be the strongest side in the current patch.
The dark horse in this group may becomes Ilyes «Stephano» Satouri, the peak of whose career fell at 2012-2013 years, after which his career was finished. What will the WESG 2016 presented by Alipay mean for Stephano - returning to the professional scene or just a nostalgia-tour throughout the esports - we’ll see. But this 23-years old Zerg has enough potential to withstand any onslaught.
For the rest of the players in Group А, WESG will be the largest championship in their career.
The Group of Maru’s name. The 19-years old Terran has managed to win only one large champions’ title for the three years of his career, but he was stopped by such monsters of StarCraft II as INnoVation, Life and Rain. Cho «Maru» Seong Ju was taking the 3-4th places time and time again, but will anyone at WESG 2016 presented by Alipay be able to stop him on his way to the so-desired trophy? This definitely won’t happen in Group B. Artur «Nerchio» Bloch and Kevin «Harstem» de Koning may be also considered as strong players in this group. Their games will be definitely entertaining, all the more as Harstem prefers the quite rare Protos’ race.
Also should be pointed out the Taiwanese player Lei «Rex» Hao Cheng, for which the WESG 2016 presented by Alipay will be the first championship in his career. In his 23, he is one of the oldest participants, but it may be the lack of experience on the pro-stage to help Rex play in such an unexpected way, which will help him secure the advance to Playoffs.
It may be the only group without a clear leader. Here the first place will be decided between at least four players: the Polish Zerg Mikołaj «Elazer» Ogonowski, the American Alex «Neeb» Sunderhaft, a Zerg Zhou «iAsonu» Hang and, of course, the one and only female esportsman – Sasha «Scarlett» Hostyn.
The bookmakers consider Alex «Neeb» Sunderhaft to be the group-leader, giving him the coefficient of victory in the tournament 9 to 1. There is no high demand on the bets on Scarlett, so she will have the greatest motivation at the tournament – to destroy the gender prejudices and prove that the professional esports is not only for guys.
This group was joined by the Chinese Terran Jun «TY» Tae Yang – the main contender to get the champion’s title of WESG 2016 presented by Alipay, following the bookmakers and analysts opinion. In the absence of a main rival Byun «Buyn» Hyun Woo, TY has high chances of not only reaching the top of his group, but also to get the desirable trophy of WESG.
He may be stopped only by Tobias «ShoWTimE» Sieber, the 22-years old Protos from Germany, the champion of the spring series of WCS. But even if ShoWTimE won’t be able to secure the first place, he will surely reach the Playoffs.
Summing up, we may be sure that the Asian school of StarCraft II is still dominating, especially following the fact that WESG 2016 presented by Alipay will be held in Changzhou. In the group stage, the players will play for 4 places in the Playoffs – secured by the group leaders. Then the 2nd and 3rd places will play against each other for the remaining 4 slots. All matches will be held in Best of 3 format. And only the 8 of the best, out of 24 participants will advance to the final stage of WESG 2016 presented by Alipay.