Unlike the heavy hitters of Group B, it’s unlikely that many tipped any of Group C's denizens to be strong contenders for the championship at the start of the year. That said, while some players have transferred their class over to the new expansion, the change in scenery has certainly allowed others to kick things up a notch. Considering that, a long time ago, ParalyzE, TRUE, and a post-2011 jjakji managed to reach the playoffs once each, anything is possible. Hell, in a group consisting of Maru, Life, Bomber, and MyuNgSiK, who would have ever thought that MyuNgSiK would advance? Any of these players are very much capable of carrying out upsets, not only in this group but beyond, in the playoffs, as well.
A player whose best description possible is 'neither here nor there', Curious represents the archetype of the average SC2 progamer, but with a few exceptions. Playing since 2011, the Zerg tried his hand at every possible opportunity, every possible tournament, but every time, he turned out lacking. Still, he carried on, marching from year to year...until the latter half of 2015. Then, he finally obtained his just reward—a Dreamhack championship, and a semifinals finish in Code S, just as he was considering retirement. After sending ByuN, Stork and Forte into the Code A/B void, the Gatekeeper has returned to service. We do not know much about him in LotV, and even less about his ZvZ skills, but as a player who has exhibited great variance in his career, Curious has a good chance at advancing, especially in this group.
Losira is another average player with another average resume. It should be noted that this is the first time since 2013 that he has reached the Round of 16 of Code S. Losira is known for his strong macro capabilities, although this is tempered by the fact that his style is, in fact, no style at all (E/N: his ultralisk proclivities aside). Losira is a follower of others, and his play is invariably based on the foundations laid of his race's vanguard. Historically ZvZ is his best matchup, and if Losira decides to play aggressively he’d certainly be playing in his comfort zone given the similarities of the early game. It should be noted that he’s in pretty dreadful form at the moment—since his 3-0 win over Coach Choya in Code A, he has racked up a 2-9 record. His only victory was a 2-1 over aLive that sent him into the Ro.16 (due to Bbyong’s forfeit). The vast majority of his recorded games in LotV were played back in 2015, and it could be the case that he’s struggling on KT Rolster, or simply being left behind by the developing meta.
Some time ago, Dream was the best infantry-based TvZ player in the world, although his abysmal winrate in that matchup for the year when he exhibited that play does not do it sufficient justice. Since then, he has plummeted back to Earth; besides a notable game in the Proleague Grand Finals where he defeated Maru with mech, his play has since then been hesitant and uninspired, culminating in a defeat to Hydra at BlizzCon. He advanced to Code S this season with a 3-2 victory over HyuN, another Zerg who cannot be counted amongst the best, and since then his play has not appeared to have recovered the brilliance it once had. Qualifying in first from his group was certainly a notable achievement, but it shouldn’t be forgotten how poorly Seed played, or how herO’s blunders contributed heavily to his eventual success. Against his teammate, who has thus far displayed that very brilliance, he will need to regain some of it, or risk regressing once more to the middle of the pack.
Dark is without a doubt the strongest player in this group. However, in a tournament containing the likes of TY, Zest, and Dear, without the flawed formatting, qualifying rounds or short duration of the SSL, he may still be considered the dark horse of the tournament, despite his current spot in the Starleague Grand Final. Much of the SSL took place in a more volatile landscape where Zergs appeared far more comfortable—look at how much of Dark’s campaign hinged on his ZvP dominance, and look at the fact that there are no protosses in his group today. He has not played any respectable terrans, except for a cheesy Bo1 in Proleague against TY and a Bo3 against a free-falling aLive, which means that his current ZvT form is unknown. His ZvZ, which will eventually have to come into play, looked pretty good against Solar in the SSL Winners’ Final, but after showing six sets there so recently, there’s plenty of room for his opponents to prep for him. The SSL so far has been somewhat strange, and there’s a feeling that the high finishes that some players obtained were somewhat deceptive as to their true skill level (RagnaroK in particular, for example). Success in the SSL is one thing, but to do well in the GSL as well is quite another. Time to put Dark to the test.
Dark is the in-form player, and should crush his teammate and anyone in this group. Dream's TvZ form is uncertain, although if he defeats Dark, he will likely seize the group as well. Curious and Losira are tossups; anything can happen with them given the lack of evidence on display. Therefore, we are left with past histories in different games and their human element, which are always very uncertain things to begin with.
Curious > Losira
Dream < Dark
Dark > Curious
Dream > Losira
Dream > Curious
Dark and Dream advance to the Round of 8.
Week 5 Report Card
Time for our weekly report on our Writers’ Draft standings! For an overview of the initial drafting process, click here. Here’s a quick reminder of the teams:
+ Show Spoiler +
Destructicon: Zest, Rogue, Dark, Curious, Dream, Bbyong, Trap, Creator
Soularion: TY, Soulkey, MyuNgSiK, Dear, Forte, Super, SpeeD, Seed
TheOneAboveU: herO, Classic, aLive, DongRaeGu, DeParture, Bunny, Cure, Journey
hexhaven: soO, Solar, TaeJa, Leenock, Stork, Losira, Symbol, HerO
Destructicon - 25 points - B+
Once again, Zest advanced to the playoff stages, and this time, his perfect 4-0 in the Group of Death gave him even more bonus points. In group A, Trap may have been outplayed by TaeJa in the decisive fifth game, but at least his 3rd place gave him 5 points (and 10 overall)—not too shabby for a 7th pick.
Soularion - -5 points - E
From elation to failure; SpeeD delivered a crucial 5 points in the Ro.32 by qualifying to the next round, before throwing it all away with his 0-4. For whatever reason, the confident rookie of the past few weeks just didn’t turn up, getting shut out of the group by herO and TaeJa with ease.
TheOneAboveU - 25 points - A
With only three players in the Ro.16, TheOneAboveU desperately needed them to start delivering. That they did—herO’s hardly going to find an easier pair of opponents in the Ro.16 than SpeeD and Trap, while Cure’s TvZ looked pretty handy, albeit against Solar and soO playing well below par. That said, the bad news is that herO and Cure are matched together in the Ro.8. You win some, you lose some...
hexhaven - 10 points - D
The good: TaeJa may have struggled initially, but he recovered well to show strong play against SpeeD and Trap.
The bad: 1st pick soO crashed out, failing his ZvT test against Cure.
The ugly: 2nd pick Solar looked a shadow of his former self, dropping out of the group 0-4 without showing any fight at all.
All in all, a pretty bad week.
Destructicon - 65 points (Dark, Curious, Dream to play this round)
TheOneAboveU - 49 points (Bunny)
Soularion - 43 points (TY, MyuNgSiK, Dear)
hexhaven - 31 points (Losira)