Code A RO48: Final Night Preview
By: Fionn and Waxangel
The Night of the Upset
On the final night of the first round of Code A, every single match lined up for tonight has a distinct favorite and underdog going into the games. Be it the underdog not having as good of a pedigree as his opponent or being a rookie to the GSL all together, there are seven favorites walking into the games tonight, ready to prove they deserve to be in the GSL, while the upstarts will try to knock them down all the way into Code B.
Due to this, we will be counting down, in my opinion, from the least likely upset of the night to the player who I think has the best chance to make a name for themselves.
7. CreatorPrime vs. Skit
There really isn't that much know about Skit. Looking at his handy Liquidpedia profile, you would see that he was in the Fnatic Korean Academy before getting kicked out for behavior issues, and then he would join the new Korean team, Rising Star, before they disbanded in record time. Now, after upsetting Life and asd in this season's Code A qualifiers, he will try and beat Creator, one of the most notable PvT players in the world and who was extremely close to qualifying for Code S last season. Skit must be a pretty good player to beat a solid Terran like asd and a very good player in Life, but this will be his GSL debut, and currently without team, Creator should be able to take the series without much trouble.
Prediction: Creator 2 - 0 Skit
6. coL.GanZi vs. GuineaPig
Two things to talk about in this series. First off, where the hell has GuineaPig been? Since leaving MvP last year, he hasn't joined any other team, Korean or foreign, and has surprisingly made it back through the Code A qualifiers to make it back into the GSL. Once known as the best random player in the world (along with Gumiho), GuineaPig finally stuck with Protoss and was one of the main staple's to MvP's roster in their early days in the GSTL.
Secondly, when the hell did Ganzi get so good at TvP? Is there some magic curse not allowing any of the Slayers Terrans to be good at TvP? Ever since leaving Slayers and joining up Complexity, Ganzi has turned from being one of the worst TvP players in the GSL to being a guy who has gone to foreign events and beaten players like Oz, MC, and Parting. Whatever has changed in his TvP from switching teams seems to be working. If GuineaPig hasn't become some sort of teamless monster since his leaving of MvP, Ganzi should advance comfortably.
Prediction: Ganzi 2 - 0 GuineaPig
5. MvPKeen vs. Golden.LighT
The player who has tortured Keen from his start in the GSL, Nada, has finally been knocked down to Code B by GhostKing, so can this be the beginning of the young Terran finally putting together his potential? Since getting to the quarterfinals all the way back in the August season, Keen has been on a downward trend and hasn't made it back to the round of sixteen since. Meeting Nada again and again, getting beat by him every time probably wasn't the best for his confidence, but after falling apart in last season's Up-and-Downs, this is where Keen has to put up or shut up. His friend and teammate sC already fell to Code B this season after showing such promise last year, and if he doesn't bring his A-game, he'll be following him right out the door.
Golden is a good player and has shown good foreign results since switching from Slayers to the international team LighT, but if Keen plays to the level he's capable of playing at, the veteran should survive. If not, and Keen plays the impatient style that was the main reason for him not making Code S this season, Golden has an opportunity to take advantage.
Prediction: Keen 2 - 1 Golden
4. TSLPolt vs. ST_Sound
At foreign events, Polt has been a world class player the past two months. He not only won Assembly, but in every foreign tournament he's entered across the globe, he's at least placed high enough to win money. Take into account that he has traveled more than any Korean-based player and has beaten half of the current Code S quarter-finalists (Oz, Taeja, Hero, and Squirtle) in these tournaments, Polt has done more than well for himself in the international scene.
In the GSL, Polt has been nowhere near that world class player. Since falling from Code S to Code A for the first time in November, Polt hasn't won a series in Code S or A and is winless in the GSTL. Once known for his consistency and being able to at least make it out of the group stages, Polt has been a disappointment when it comes to the GSL. He hasn't had easy games, having to go up against players such as MVP, Creator, Oz and Parting, but as a former GSL champion, he shouldn't be fighting to stay in Code A.
Sound is a very solid player and had a good showing at the last Homestory Cup, but if Polt can show more of his foreign tournament self instead of his recent streak of play in the GSL, then the Startale player should come up short in the series. If Polt falls out of the GSL this time, he won't be receiving another Code S seed and will have to come back the hard way through the Code A qualifiers.
Prediction: Polt 2 - 1 Sound
3. Puzzle vs. IMtrue
True, in ZvZ and ZvT, statistically, is horrible. He has below 30% in both match-ups and hasn't done well when paired up against GSL caliber players. But, when you look at his ZvP, he has a surprising 80% win rate and a nine game win streak facing strong players like Sage, Vines, and Tails. Puzzle is no slouch in PvZ, having a 60% win percentage, but True was able to hit the jackpot when it comes to rolling the right match-up in this round. Slayers hasn't been doing very well lately, MMA and Ryung not being to get past Protoss, and Ganzi and Taeja leaving for foreign teams. Puzzle, who had gone to back-to-back quarter-finals, wasn't able to make it back for a third time and is looking to stay from falling back into Code A.
Puzzle is still the favorite and should be able to get the win, but True's ZvP record should be an indication that no one should be too shocked if an upset occurs.
Prediction: Puzzle 2 - 1 True
2. IMHappy vs. FXOChoya
Happy was considered one of the best new Terrans in Korea back in October when he made his first semifinals, pushing MMA to his limits and almost setting up a final between himself and teammate Mvp at Blizzcon. For Choya, in October, a lot of people considered him a washed-up player who was a very good coach, but would probably never make it back into the GSL again.
Now, over a half year later, Happy hasn't taken a free fall from where he was once at, and Choya, who a lot of people considered gone forever, has qualified again to partake in another season of GSL. After showing such good play and genius strategies in his first Code S season, people believed Happy could live up to his teammate Mvp's reputation and become a consistent force in the tournament. Unfortunately, he didn't live up to the hype and hasn't made it back since, wallowing between the outskirts of Code S and the top of Code A.
Choya, on the other hand, has had a resurgence from his impressive wins in GSTL, taking down players like MMA and allowing his team to get into the semifinals. We all know that he didn't come up with a big win against GhostKing when he got into the semifinals, but he showed enough good play to prove that Choya isn't the joke player some people make him out to be. Happy has better TvP than MMA and Ryung, both players who Choya has beat on his way back to the GSL, but with his flat play of late, Choya has a chance to complete his comeback and be the only full-time coach to play in the GSL as well.
Prediction: Choya 2 - 1 Happy
1. coL.Killer vs. NSH.Sting
Killer has been in the GSL since the ButterflyEffect's of the world were still around, but he will have a tough test against HoSeo's sting if he plans to stay around any longer. This will be Sting's debut in Code A, getting his spot due to winning the Esports Weekly Match finals, taking down Tails and then former Code S player Noblesse to win the tournament. He might be a rookie to Code A, but Sting showed strong play in the GSTL, taking down current Code S quarter-finalist Squirtle and then playing a very good TvT against Virus where he came up a bit short.
Killer might be the veteran, but Sting might be the HoSeo member to join alongside Jjakji in Code S. His play against Squirtle was fantastic and if he can keep it up against Killer, he should be able to pull the upset.
Prediction: Sting 2 - 1 Killer
Bañe-ata by shiroiusagi.
Writers: Fionn and Waxangel
Graphics and Art: Meko.