Making an Impact
Another week, another two groups of Code S. Last week had plenty of Terran supremacy and with three Terrans in Group F, it may prove to be more of the same. Before Friday’s TvTvT, Group E has one legendary Protoss going up against one upcoming Terran and two mid-tier players.
First up is KT Rolster’s Terran TY. The only representative of his race here, he can’t turn to his superior TvT skills. Instead, he faces two Protosses and a single Zerg. Knowing his reputation, it’s unlikely the odds will faze him. TY blazed through his SSL Challenge group without dropping a single map, a feat no one else was able to replicate. If there’s a glitch in his playstyle, it’s his results in ProLeague. Out of his recent matches he’s won only half, losing to players like Innovation and Curious. His seemingly average win rate against Protoss, 59%, is mostly due to losses against players like Zest, Stats and sOs earlier in the year. Recently he’s taken down mid-tier Protoss players quite comfortably. Then, of course, there’s the elephant in the room: TY is the finalist of the previous GSL season. His silver medal against teammate Zest earned him a guaranteed Code S spot but thanks to his recent SSL performance, his ability isn’t in question. There's no doubt he's the favorite.
Impact secured his season 2 Code S spot on a single BO5 against another mid-tier Zerg player, Curious. His most recent ProLeague match yielded yet another loss, falling to Hurricane; his SSL Challenge result was a disappointing 3-6, tying against aLive and Rogue while taking down jjakji. Whatever dreams he had earlier in the year depend on his performance today. If there’s any hope remaining for Impact, it will have to come in the form of brilliant strategies developed with the rest of SK Telecom T1. Unfortunately for him, he’s up against stars like TY and sOs. It remains to be seen when he’ll resurface again.
If there’s one injustice to be recorded in the annals of StarCraft this year, it’s sOs’s tiebreaker loss against Trust in the SSL Challenge event. Jin Air’s Trickster was supposed to advance as one of the favorites of his group, but high-level professional play is always ruthless. Nevertheless, sOs still has the results to back up his reputation. He’s been honing his skills in online cups these past few months, but his ProLeague results have been aggravatingly lackluster. He’s lost to players like Armani and ByuL, so maybe the Trickster isn’t quite the powerhouse that he used to be. Of course sOs has been a volatile player for his entire career, and he’s certainly the other favorite to make it out of the group.
If Super has focused on one thing this year, it’s been online cups. He’s been playing an astonishing amount of matches recently. However, his offline results paint a dire picture. His offline win rate against Protoss is a mere 36%, and Super will be going against the legendary sOs. He will really need to pull off a miracle to survive here. But all is not doom and gloom. Super managed to qualify for the SSL Ro16 last month, and went toe-to-toe with players like Maru and herO, not to mention beating Zest twice. He might have another ace up his sleeve.
It would be easy to paint Group E as another divided group, with two clear favorites and two clear losers. And that would mostly be correct. sOs is ravenous for a victory, given his truly tragic SSL result. TY is eyeing at another chance for a trophy, and he’s also still in the SSL. These two will duke it out for the top spot. Normally sOs’s experience and overall better recent performance in the PvT matchup would give him the necessary edge, but the stakes will be higher for TY. Unfortunately for the remaining two players, Super and Impact, their prognosis isn’t looking good at all. They’ll most likely just turn into speed bumps on the way to more prestigious opponents.
TY > Impact
sOs > Super
TY > sOs
Impact > Super
sOs > Impact
TY and sOs advance to the Round of 16.