One thing I'm pumped about the upcoming season is that I think we truly have competitive balance. Every team but Ace has a shot to win it all. I think there may be more paper-rock-scissors in terms of good and bad MUs, and that even playoff positioning will come down to the wire. No more SKT1 vs Estro beatdowns everyone can see coming from a mile away. Every match has the chance to be very competitive. In that sense, I'm kind of glad of the contraction.
Side thoughts on how the new format may change things.
1. Beesuit may finally have time to prepare for the OSL. Last season, Bisu probably had to prepare for 4+ games each week. 2 regular matches, 2 potential ace matches, and both MSL and OSL matches. This season, he'll have 1.5 games per week and only the OSL.
The only thing left is for Bisu to not meet a mediocre zerg on his path to the OSL. May the BW gods bless him on that.
2. Preparation may be less of an issue. It used to be teams have to deal with players preparing for SL matches during the PL season. That obligation has been cut down dramatically. Plus no ace matches mean even the best player only needs to practice for one map. Overall, teams like SKT1 which out-prepare their opponents may not have such an advantage anymore. While the Stork-led Samsung Cellphone Players may be able to play phone games, watch anime, and still have time to prepare for matches.
3. Deeper rosters may result in more mirrors. An unfortunate problem with contraction. Teams with more depth at each race isn't a good thing. As now teams are fully capable of just sending the race that benefits most from map imbalance. This may disappear as the season goes on, but at the start we may see a lot of mirrors.
4. And finally, Samsung Khan is going to win the proleague. The stars are aligned. No true ace? Not necessary in the new format. Lackadaisical team atmosphere? No more need for 24/7 preparation. Zerg killing us? We now have 2 solid zergs and a new coach that actually knows about zergs. The Stars are aligned for Samsung Khan to win the Proleague Championship. BELIEVE!