Super (Hero) Tournament Preview, Part 1Thursday, Apr 18 8:00am GMT (GMT+00:00)
In a shameless ploy to cash in on the hype of an upcoming, highly-anticipated movie, we've decided to preview the GSL Super Tournament by finding the superhero (and villain) equivalents for the sixteen participating progamers. Given that we do 239489 'normal' previews each year, we hope you don't hurt us too much for this departure from your normal programming.
Spoiler alert: May include plot spoilers for superhero comics and movies released to this point.
Match #1: Maru vs StatsMaru / Thanos
Who else in StarCraft II deserves to be compared to a universe-level threat other than Maru? Just as the mad titan humbled the earth's mightiest heroes in his search for the infinity stones, Maru has outclassed the GSL's best players on his way to four straight Code S championships. It hasn't been entirely smooth sailing, with both escaping some close brushes with death: Thanos survived getting a magical axe lodged in his chest, while Maru barely edged out a 4-3 victory against TY to win his third Code S finals.
The major difference between the two is that when Maru finishes collecting six GSL championships, the number of Terran balance whiners definitely won't be cut in half.
Stats / Captain America
We hope Polt won't begrudge us making this comparison for a tournament. Stats, often called 'The Shield of Aiur,' is an apt comparison to another notable shield-bearer. Much like Captain, the conversation around Stats is often reduced to being all about his signature weapon, but in truth, both have way more to offer than impenetrable defense. For instance, Stats might be the most well-rounded player in all stages of the game, as capable of winning with an all-in as he can in a late-game slog. Similarly, Captain America is much more than just a guy with a cool shield—he also wields the power of experimental drugs, patriotism, and impenetrable plot armor (let's be honest, Stats is way cooler than Cap).
Prediction: Having grown tired of hearing people complain about how he only shows up for major crossover events, Maru snaps Stats' neck in record time to open the tournament.
Maru 3 - 0 Stats
Match #2: GuMiho vs DarkGuMiho / Magneto
Like Magneto, GuMiho uses his mastery over metal to protect his hated and endangered people. Both have proven to be quite creative at wielding their powers—Magneto once drew the iron out of a guard's bloodstream to escape a plastic prison, while GuMiho has experimented and won with basically every variation of mech Terran possible.
GuMiho is also cynical like Magneto—he believes that the Protoss and Zerg will never stop fearing the Terrans and their superior powers, and scoffs at fools like Professor Kim who think there can be harmony between the races.
Dark / Doctor Doom
Dark and Doctor Doom have egos that are so massive it's surprising they haven't collapsed into all-consuming black holes. However, we can't begrudge them for being so ridiculously arrogant because they've earned it by being total bad-asses. For instance, Doctor Doom once destroyed thousands of alternate universes and merged them into a single reality where he ruled as the God Emperor. Not to be outdone in terms of sheer evil, Dark went undefeated against foreigners for five years and more than thirty matches.
This unique combination of power and hubris make Doctor Doom and Dark some of the most compelling villains in their respective scenes, with fans finding it extremely satisfying to watch them get their comeuppance in the end. That much, alas, seems inevitable for both of them.
Prediction: After tearing apart wave upon wave of Darkbots with his mind, GuMiho finally arrives to confront Dark in his inner sanctum. Dark says "by the way, did you know my powers also include being a goddamn sorcerer on top of being a super-genius?" before banishing GuMiho to a fiery hell dimension.
Dark 3- 1 GuMiho
Match #3: Hurricane vs RogueHurricane / Ronan the Accuser
The 'Marvel Villain' is a tired if necessary trope of the superhero movie. With so many colorful heroes lighting up the screen, it's hard to find the space to give the villains depth and meaningful characterization. Often, all they get is a few scenes to establish that they're a SUPER SERIOUS THREAT before the heroes prevail at the end. In the case of Ronan the Accuser, we got a scene of him beating the tar of out the muscle-bound Drax, and some generic exposition about how he's a genocidal space-maniac. As for Hurricane, we got to see a Super Tournament qualifier bracket where he beatdown TY twice, and I imagine Tastosis will supply us with some generic exposition about him being a dangerous player.
Rogue / The Hulk
No, I'm not making Rogue a southern belle who absorbs other people's life force through touch, even if he shares the name. Instead, I see Rogue as more like the Incredible Hulk: a being possessing incalculable might, capable of overpowering any other hero or villain in existence.
The problem with a character whose strength scales to literally infinity is that people end up asking "wait, why isn't he maximum strong, ALL the time?" For the Hulk, the answer is "because plot." As for Rogue, we still don't know why the IEM and WCS World Champion can't get past the quarterfinals of Code S, or how he managed to get eliminated in the RO32 immediately after winning BlizzCon. Perhaps, now that the World War Serral arc has wrapped up, we'll see full-power Rogue written back into the GSL story-line.
Prediction: The Rogue kicks Hurricane through the roof of FreecUP studio, and sends him flying fifty miles west into the Yellow Sea.
Rogue 3 - 0 Hurricane
Match #4: PartinG vs RagnaroKPartinG / Deadpool
Deadpool is often called the 'Merc with a mouth,' which is a perfect way to describe PartinG. The streamer/progamer is known just as much for his love of money as he is for his general obscenity. Both Deadpool and PartinG are fan favorites despite their relatively low power levels, simply because they dare to be irreverent and edgy in an industry full of stodgy, stereotype characters. Of course, they're not everyone's cup of tea, as their juvenile humor can become grating over time. Also, elitist fans won't hesitate to tell you that the old Deadpool/PartinG were better, back when they were complex characters and not sell-out caricatures of themselves. To which, they'd both probably say, "f*** off."
RagnaroK / Hela
Thor: Ragnarok's Hela was a barely-known character before the movie's release, but she was quickly built up as a dangerous villain who put the heroes in real peril. This was achieved by showing her beat or straight-up murder a looooot of characters. Along those lines, StarCraft: RagnaroK has racked up a number of notable kills in recent months. At IEM Katowice, he took out INnoVation, GuMiho, Solar, and Dear, while he defeated Trap, Leenock, and Bunny in the latest round of GSL qualifiers. Do we really think he has a chance to taken down the heroes when the Super Tournament reaches it climax? Hell no. But he can certainly make things entertaining.
Prediction: RagnaroK almost instantly defeats PartinG by flinging a sword through his neck, but PartinG's detached head still manages to gasp "subscribe to Twitch.TV/PartinGTheBigBoy" before blacking out.
RagnaroK 3 - 1 PartinG