Before the WCS Global Finals get started at BlizzCon, theScore esports reached out to some of the WCS Circuit's most well-known names to get their take on the upcoming matches and their predictions for the final.
Here's what Aleksandr "Bly" Svusuyk, Maru "MaSa" Kim, Grzegorz "MaNa" Komincz, Marc "uThermal" Schlappi, Dario "TLO" Wünsch and Kevin "Harstem" de Koning had to say.
Who are your picks to win the quarterfinals?
|Match||Elazer vs. ShoWTimE||Neeb vs. Dark||ByuN vs. TY||Zest vs. Stats|
1. Elazer: He won the last few times vs. ShoWTimE.
2. Neeb: I doubt there is anybody except me that can stop him #proxhatch.
3. ByuN: He’s the best and will win it all.
4. Zest. He beat Neeb in PvP, so OFC YES.
1. ShoWTimE. He'll just stop the dark horse with no passion.
2. Dark: Neeb is really solid in PvZ, however Dark will use different strategies to beat him I think.
3. ByuN: TY is really solid in TvT but I don’t know if that applies to ByuN's micro.
4. Stats: PvP-wise, Stats is better than Zest, I’ve heard.
1. ShoWTimE: Elazer is a great player, very unpredictable in his builds, but he's been playing vs. ShoWTimE a lot and I think the experience between these two will come out ahead.
2. Dark: He has played some impressive ZvP and we are yet to see Neeb's PvZ in a big tournament since KeSPA Cup. He has lost vs. Scarlett recently, and I think Dark knows his weaknesses too. Dark wins.
3. This one I have no idea about. I am sure we are going to see some incredible TvT.
4. Stats: Teammate-on-teammate PvP is unpredictable. I want to say Stats is a slight favorite, but since it's a teamkill anything may happen.
In the upper bracket ShoWTimE and Dark should win, just picks based on skill. Then TY would win against ByuN, because I think he's stronger in TvT. The PvP could go either way, but I'll go with Zest.
1. ShoWTimE: While Elazer recently beat ShoWTimE, I believe ShoWTimE's experience and consistency will be decisive.
2. Dark: Neeb impressed us all, but I'm afraid Dark will make better use of preparation and exploit weakness to aggression.
3. TY: Very hard to call, think it'll be very close but my intuition says TY.
4. Zest: Zest's series vs. Neeb convinced me he'll also take out Stats.
1. Elazer: Elazer beat showtime 3-0 at WESG. I would be surprised if that would change.
2. Dark: I really want Neeb to win, but I'm afraid Dark might be too good.
3. TY: TY might be the best player at preparing, and ByuN is probably the most predictable.
4. Stats: I believe Stats to be the best 'toss in the world. I would be really surprised if he lost.
Which player is most likely to exceed expectations?
MaSa: If Zest does beat Stats (opposite to my prediction) he'll exceed expectations because he's really been lacking in results lately.
MaNa: I think the only one who can exceed expectations and have a chance on doing so is Elazer. I think any one of the other players advancing to the next round wouldn't be a surprise.
uThermal: I think Zest might be. Most of the other players already have high expectations, but I feel like most people aren't expecting too much from Zest, even though he's one of those players that could win a tournament out of nowhere — just like IEM last year.
TLO: Elazer is a massive underdog but definitely underrated. He could make the Finals if the stars line up.
Harstem: I think Elazer already exceeded expectations, and I think he is capable of a Top 2 finish.
Which player is likely to fall short of expectations?
MaSa: TY. A lot of people are picking him as possible champion but falling off at Ro8 RIP.
MaNa: Neeb. He said Dark is not that good, but the chances of Neeb beating him are like 30-70 in my opinion.
uThermal: ByuN and Neeb. Both players have lots of hype behind them, but they both drew really rough opponents. Dark is the best Zerg by pretty far, and TY has always been a master in TvT, so even though people have high expectations of ByuN and Neeb it’s not that unlikely they both lose in the first round.
TLO: Byun and Neeb have everyone's eyes on them, but looking at the bracket, I can see both losing in Ro8.
Harstem: I'm afraid Stats might fail in the quarters or the semis.
How likely is a foreign finalist? What about champion?
Bly: Neeb will be in the finals for sure, no doubt about it, but ByuN will win it all.
MaSa: I have no clue on this, because due to my prediction it's ShoWTimE vs. Dark, and I have no information on either.
MaNa: It's very likely actually. It will all depend on the day that Dark has. Of course he's a clear favorite at that side of the bracket, but foreigners have already shown that they can fight with the best. I think if a foreigner in the Finals meets a Terran there, then we're not going to have a foreign champion. Korean Terrans are just that much better at the game, it feels like playing different matchup.
uThermal: The chance for a foreign finalist is decent, a foreigner to win is not very likely though. Neeb has a chance to beat Dark, it'd be much harder for ShoWTimE or Elazer though, so the best chance is probably Neeb winning against Dark, then Neeb losing to ShoWTimE and ShoWTimE winning against a Terran in the finals. I'll give it a solid 15 percent.
TLO: I'd give a foreign finalist a 60 percent, considering there's two chances to beat Dark. Champion is hard to predict, depends too much on the individual players.
Harstem: The chances of a foreign finalist are about 50-50. The chances of a foreign champion about 15 percent.
Who do you think we are going to see in the Final (head/heart)?
|Final Match Prediction|
|Bly||Neeb vs. ByuN|
|MaSa||Dark vs. Stats|
|MaNa||Dark vs. TY|
|uThermal||Dark vs. Zest/TY|
|TLO||Dark vs. TY|
|Harstem||Dark vs. TY|
Bly: Neeb/ByuN, ByuN wins 4-2.
MaSa: Head: Dark vs. Stats, Stats will beat ByuN with imbatoss. Heart: Dark vs. ByuN. Terrans unite then ByuN beats Dark with amazing TvZ.
MaNa: Head says Dark vs. TY, heart says Dark vs. ByuN and ByuN taking it. I like ByuN’s attitude, very open to the community and what a story it would be if he would win both GSL and BlizzCon as a teamless player and now with a new Team Expert.
uThermal: My favorite Final would definitely be ByuN against Dark, but I think it will probably be either Zest or TY against Dark, with a slight edge to Zest.
TLO: Heart: ShoWTimE vs ByuN. Head: Dark vs TY. Prediction: TY will take the title, he's on an insane streak right now.
Harstem: Head: Dark vs. TY. Heart: Elazer vs. Stats. I think Dark will win. But I hope it's Elazer.
Thanks to all the players who took the time to make their predictions, and good luck to all those competing at BlizzCon!
Christian Paas-Lang is an esports journalist from Toronto waiting for the 4-0 Elazer cheeseout of ByuN. You can follow him on Twitter.
Navneet Randhawa does stuff and things at theScore esports. You can follow her on Twitter.