Code S Ro16 - Group Group B Previewby Malafice
Please welcome our new trial writer Malafice who previews Group B of the Ro16!
The Group of Death: Dark, GuMiho, Rogue, INnoVationStart time: Sunday, Jul 15 9:30am GMT (GMT+00:00)
Hailed by many as this round’s group of death, Group B promises to be nothing short of explosive. Tensions between Dark, GuMiho, Rogue, and INnoVation reached a critical juncture during group selections when a disgruntled GuMiho (displeased at the fact Dark picked him) elected to re-open Dark’s fresh ZvZ wounds and bring Rogue into their group. Things truly spiraled out of control when Rogue decided that the Ro16 would be the perfect stage to exact his revenge on INnoVation following their contest at GSL vs the World. The resulting group is an amalgamation of ego and contempt. However, pride and money are not the only things at stake in this juggernaut group. With the WCS Global Finals looming, a failure to perform here could mean the demise of any BlizzCon aspirations two of these superstar players may have had.
INnoVation has the most riding on this GSL. In a recent interview, he claimed that his top priority was making it to the Global Finals. Currently, he is on the outside looking in. After two underwhelming performances in GSL S1 and GSL S2 INnoVation is ranked 13th in the KR WCS standings. In order to crack the top 8 he will not only need to survive this group, but likely make a deep run into the Ro4 as well. INnovation proved he still has what it takes to win a GSL when he dissected Rogue’s vaunted ZvT and crushed him 3-1, backing up his claim (to Rogue), “I will drop you quickly”. The very next day, however, he got swept convincingly by Serral. Which INnoVation will show up in the Ro16 is anyone’s guess.
GuMiho essentially picked himself into this group of death, and while he may have ruined Dark’s day, he certainly didn’t do himself any favors either. GuMiho hasn’t played a Zerg in a GSL event since he beat Scarlett in the Ro32 in GSL S2, and he’s now stuck in a situation where he must contend toe to toe with two of the best Zergs in the world. While GuMiho is known for his meta-breaking unorthodox style, this former GSL Champion is going to have to cook up something extra special if he wants to make it out of Group B alive. Currently sitting one spot ahead of INnoVation at rank 12, GuMiho is in need of some serious WCS points as well.
The player most displeased with Group B should undoubtedly be Dark. Through the guise of gleeful comradery displayed by the other three groups, the scowl on Dark’s face became visibly more pronounced as his illusions of an easy Ro16 group faded with each proceeding pick. This GSL is not do or die for Dark’s WCS hopes, but falling to INnoVation or GuMiho would certainly prove to tighten the WCS Global Finals race. Still brooding over his loss to a foreigner, players that he himself said Koreans should never lose to, Dark will be seeking to regain his swagger and bolster his position among the top 8 WCS KR players.
With his trip to the WCS Global Finals already booked, Rogue is out for blood in the Ro16. In the interview prior to his match with INnoVation, Rogue said, “If I met Maru, it could be a preview of the finals, but since I face INnoVation, it’s not the same level as a finals.” Rogue’s overconfidence when facing INnoVation at GSL vs the World lost him the series. Rogue refused to adapt to his opponent's play and got run over. Rogue will be desperate to prove that his loss to INnoVation was nothing but a fluke. He will have the opportunity to do this as well as claim his position atop the Korean Zerg throne if he can manage to take down Dark simultaneously. No points here, it’s all about the pride for Rogue.
Based off of prior performances this year along with sheer caliber, all four players of Group B have a legitimate shot of advancing to the Ro8. That being said, Dark appears to be in the strongest condition coming out of GSL vs the World and should be the favorite to win the group. Karma will come back to bite GuMiho here as he will falter before Dark, and ultimately get engulfed by the flame of Rogue and INnoVation’s budding rivalry. Rogue and INnovation will battle fiercely to advance but Rogue’s apparent struggle to adapt in GSL vs the World will leave him just a step behind INnovation.
Dark 2 > 1 GuMiho
Rogue 2 > 1 INnoVation
Dark 2 > 1 Rogue
GuMiho 1 < 2 INnoVation
Rogue 1 < 2 INnoVation
Dark and INnoVation advance.