In the same vein as last year BlizzCon, I’ll make a preview thread about the Starcraft side of the event (https://tl.net/forum/starcraft-2/538540-blizzcon-2018-the-mega-preview).
We’ll take a look at the current map pool with a small statistical analysis, the results of each pretender to the throne throughout the year and their standings in their respective circuits, the players statistics in 2019 both online and offline, an analysis of the upcoming group stages, and some players interviews.
Map statistics taken at the date 10/15/2019.
TvP: 47.2% (557/1180)
TvZ: 50.8% (713/1401)
ZvP: 52.3% (811/1548)
Mirrors: 391 TvT, 672 ZvZ, 551 PvP
Match-up: winrate% (number of games)
TvP: 37.8% (360)
TvZ: 47.3% (372)
ZvP: 54.1% (566)
Mirrors: 114 TvT, 282 ZvZ, 201 PvP
TvP: 59.2% (103)
TvZ: 58.2% (122)
ZvP: 59% (105)
Mirrors: 40 TvT, 43 ZvZ, 43 PvP
TvP: 49.6% (119)
TvZ: 51.5% (132)
ZvP: 59.8% (127)
Mirrors: 26 TvT, 50 ZvZ, 37 PvP
TvP: 47.4% (380)
TvZ: 54% (424)
ZvP: 47.6% (489)
Mirrors: 130 TvT, 159 ZvZ, 205 PvP
TvP: 57.8% (104)
TvZ: 48.5% (130)
ZvP: 51.2% (129)
Mirrors: 32 TvT, 51 ZvZ, 28 PvP
TvP: 56.9% (51)
TvZ: 43.7% (87)
ZvP: 53.8% (39)
Mirrors: 26 TvT, 24 ZvZ, 17 PvP
World of Sleepers
TvP: 57.1% (63)
TvZ: 50.7% (134)
ZvP: 50.5% (93)
Mirrors: 23 TvT, 63 ZvZ, 20 PvP
Winrates by race for each map, sorted ascendingly:
ZvT: 41.8% Disco Bloodbath, 46% Thunderbird, 48.5% Ephemeron, 49.3% World of Sleepers, 51.5% Triton, 52.7% Acropolis, 56.3% Winter’s Gate
(Advantage: 3/7 by 3.5 points in avg., Disadvantage: 4/7 by 3.6 points in avg.)
ZvP: 47.6% Thunderbird, 50.5% World of Sleepers, 51.2% Triton, 53.8% Winter’s Gate, 54.1% Acropolis, 59% Disco Bloodbath, 59.8% Ephemeron
(Advantage: 6/7 by 4.73 points in avg., Disadvantage: 1/7 by 2.4 points in avg.)
TvZ: 43.7% Winter’s Gate, 47.3% Acropolis, 48.5% Triton, 50.7% World of Sleepers, 51.5% Ephemeron, 54% Thunderbird, 58.2% Disco Bloodbath
(Advantage: 4/7 by 3.6 points in avg., Disadvantage: 3/7 by 3.5 points in avg.)
TvP: 37.8% Acropolis, 47.4% Thunderbird, 49.6% Ephemeron, 56.9% Winter’s Gate, 57.1% World of Sleepers, 57.8% Triton, 59.2% Disco Bloodbath
(Advantage: 4/7 by 7.75 points in avg., Disadvantage: 3/7 by 5.06 points in avg.)
PvT: 40.8% Disco Bloodbath, 42.2% Triton, 42.9% World of Sleepers, 43.1% Winter’s Gate, 50.4% Ephemeron, 52.6% Thunderbird, 62.2% Acropolis
(Advantage: 3/7 by 5.06 points in avg., Disadvantage: 4/7 by 7.75 points in avg.)
PvZ: 40.2% Ephemeron, 41% Disco Bloodbath, 45.9% Acropolis, 46.2% Winter’s Gate, 48.8% Triton, 49.5% World of Sleepers, 52.4% Thunderbird
(Advantage: 1/7 by 2.4 points in avg., Disadvantage: 6/7 by 4.73 points in avg.)
(stats from Liquipedia)
The global winrates tend to indicate that zerg has an advantage against protoss on this mappool and a slight disadvantage versus terrans, whereas terrans have a disadvantage against protosses. This year the number of mirrors is more balanced than before, with zerg still in the lead probably because of their high number of players in WCS Circuit, and protoss relatively close because of their success in WCS Korea.
The most interesting statistics although are the detailed ones.
Protoss versus Terran:
We see for example that protoss is at a global advantage against terran, by a fairly large margin, but they are advantaged on less maps. That’s explained because the new maps haven’t been played a lot yet, so there is not a high number of games on them, which doesn’t affect the global win rate much (and they seem to be at a disadvantage on most of them so far), but they are at a huge advantage on Acropolis which has been played a lot, and at an advantage on Thunderbird, also played a lot, which therefore greatly impacts the global winrate.
This tells us that terrans will probably be fine against their protoss opponents in spite of the win rate, if they can avoid playing on Acropolis, and to a lesser extent Thunderbird.
The new maps collide with the new balance patch with the new ghost upgrade for terran and warp prism nerf, so that can also explain the winrates being better in TvP on these maps.
Terran versus Zerg:
As for the terran versus Zerg match-up, it’s slightly in the advantage of terran, on 4 maps out of 7, to the same degree the Zergs are at an advantage on the 3 other maps, so this should be fairly even, although the maps are really recent as said earlier so the winrates aren’t as indicative on most maps as they are on Acropolis / Thunderbird.
Zerg versus Protoss:
Zergs have roughly the same global win rate versus protoss, that protoss has versus terran. However the detailed statistics are completely different: protoss has an advantage on only one map, by a decent margin since Thunderbird has been played a lot, and a disadvantage on the 6 other maps with 2 horrendous maps winrate wise, 2 bad maps and 2 decent maps, for an average of 4.73 points disadvantage on these 6 maps. Bear in mind that the maps haven’t been played that much so these numbers might not represent an accurate picture of the reality of the map pool for this matchup, but it’s still kinda worrying. It should not be too bad in bo5 with vetoes since only 2 maps seem really bad, but in bo7 it should be really difficult for protoss against zergs.
Disco Bloodbath will probably be vetoed a lot against terrans, whereas terrans will probably veto Acropolis the most. Zergs will probably veto thunderbird as well, and protoss Ephemeron in PvZ and Triton in PvT.
Serral #1 on aligulac: 3176 - 3199 vP - 3132 vT - 3198 vZ (1/16)
Reynor #5 on aligulac: 2870 - 2859 vP - 2860 vT - 2891 vZ (5/16)
Neeb #14 on aligulac: 2669 - 2514 vP - 2696 vT - 2798 vZ (10/16)
SpeCial #28 on aligulac: 2519 - 2603 vP - 2394 vT - 2561 vZ (15/16)
TIME #35 on aligulac: 2383 - 2332 vP - 2385 vT - 2433 vZ (16/16)
HeRoMaRinE #19 on aligulac: 2607 - 2567 vP - 2578 vT - 2677 vZ (12/16)
Elazer #24 on aligulac: 2563 - 2633 vP - 2526 vT - 2531 vZ (14/16)
ShoWTimE #17 on aligulac: 2625 - 2620 vP - 2481 vT - 2775 vZ (11/16)
Dark #3 on aligulac: 2975 - 2908 vP - 3207 vT - 2810 vZ (3/16)
Trap #21 on aligulac: 2581 - 2398 vP - 2806 vT - 2540 vZ (13/16)
Classic #12 on aligulac: 2706 - 2650 vP - 2705 vT - 2763 vZ (8/16)
Maru #2 on aligulac: 2978 - 2783 vP - 2995 vT - 3155 vZ (2/16)
soO #13 on aligulac: 2672 - 2646 vP - 2718 vT - 2652 vZ (9/16)
Rogue #4 on aligulac: 2876 - 2932 vP - 2855 vT - 2842 vZ (4/16)
herO #11 on aligulac: 2711 - 2620 vP - 2706 vT - 2807 vZ (7/16)
Stats #9 on aligulac: 2765 - 2714 vP - 2733 vT - 2849 vZ (6/16)
Players statistics in 2019:
Since the most recent balance patch (patch 4.10.1, 21 august 2019) was only two months ago, there are not enough statistics on it yet. Therefore, I have decided to retrieve the win rates from 2019, unlike my 2018 thread which focused on the most recent balance patch.
------Offline: ----------------------------------------------- Online:
ZvZ: 31-16 (65%) in games, 12-4 (75%) in series. |-| No games played.
ZvP: 46-18 (71%) in games, 18-3 (85%) in series. |-| 16-12 (57%) in games, 3-1 (75%) in series.
ZvT: 32-13 (71%) in games, 12-3 (80%) in series. |-| 14-12 (53%) in games, 3-2 (60%) in series.
PvP: 20-21 (48%) in games, 8-6 (57%) in series. |-| 61-31 (66%) in games, 28-11 (71%) in series.
PvZ: 17-26 (39%) in games, 7-8 (46%) in series. |-| 66-50 (56%) in games, 26-18 (59%) in series.
PvT: 33-14 (70%) in games, 14-2 (87%) in series. |-| 80-34 (70%) in games, 30-7 (81%) in series.
PvP: 28-16 (63%) in games, 11-4 (73%) in series. |-| 22-17 (56%) in games, 8-6 (57%) in series.
PvZ: 25-16 (60%) in games, 9-3 (75%) in series. |-| 22-14 (61%) in games, 9-4 (69%) in series.
PvT: 22-11 (66%) in games, 8-2 (80%) in series. |-| 15-27 (35%) in games, 4-8 (33%) in series.
TvT: 16-9 (64%) in games, 7-4 (63%) in series. |-| 10-5 (66%) in games, 5-2 (71%) in series.
TvZ: 42-15 (73%) in games, 18-4 (81%) in series. |-| 14-3 (82%) in games, 10-2 (83%) in series.
TvP: 35-26 (57%) in games, 12-8 (60%) in series. |-| 14-7 (66%) in games, 6-4 (60%) in series.
ZvZ: 21-19 (52%) in games, 9-6 (60%) in series. |-| 43-19 (69%) in games, 19-6 (76%) in series.
ZvP: 49-35 (58%) in games, 17-12 (58%) in series. |-| 79-44 (64%) in games, 31-14 (68%) in series.
ZvT: 41-21 (66%) in games, 19-5 (79%) in series. |-| 73-52 (58%) in games, 21-12 (63%) in series.
ZvZ: 22-10 (68%) in games, 9-3 (75%) in series. |-| 44-20 (68%) in games, 19-7 (73%) in series.
ZvP: 31-16 (65%) in games, 11-3 (78%) in series. |-| 75-46 (61%) in games, 24-14 (63%) in series.
ZvT: 18-9 (66%) in games, 8-4 (66%) in series. |-| 45-38 (54%) in games, 18-13 (58%) in series.
PvP: 32-23 (58%) in games, 12-8 (60%) in series. |-| 32-16 (66%) in games, 17-8 (68%) in series.
PvZ: 37-22 (62%) in games, 18-7 (72%) in series. |-| 44-22 (66%) in games, 18-6 (75%) in series.
PvT: 30-19 (61%) in games, 13-7 (65%) in series. |-| 53-35 (60%) in games, 23-11 (67%) in series.
PvP: 26-11 (70%) in games, 12-3 (80%) in series. |-| 23-13 (63%) in games, 10-5 (66%) in series.
PvZ: 50-24 (67%) in games, 20-5 (80%) in series. |-| 33-35 (48%) in games, 10-9 (52%) in series.
PvT: 32-24 (57%) in games, 14-6 (70%) in series. |-| 25-22 (53%) in games, 10-8 (55%) in series.
ZvZ: 60-22 (73%) in games, 20-3 (87%) in series. |-| 25-6 (80%) in games, 11-1 (91%) in series.
ZvP: 39-13 (75%) in games, 15-3 (83%) in series. |-| 24-5 (82%) in games, 13-0 (100%) in series.
ZvT: 41-17 (70%) in games, 13-2 (86%) in series. |-| 18-5 (78%) in games, 7-1 (87%) in series.
ZvZ: 29-18 (61%) in games, 10-4 (71%) in series. |-| 64-38 (62%) in games, 26-9 (74%) in series.
ZvP: 42-19 (68%) in games, 16-5 (76%) in series. |-| 82-37 (68%) in games, 33-10 (76%) in series.
ZvT: 31-21 (59%) in games, 12-7 (63%) in series. |-| 85-40 (68%) in games, 35-10 (77%) in series.
PvP: 28-15 (65%) in games, 12-4 (75%) in series. |-| 35-14 (71%) in games, 16-4 (80%) in series.
PvZ: 49-26 (65%) in games, 19-7 (73%) in series. |-| 50-7 (87%) in games, 19-1 (95%) in series.
PvT: 38-13 (74%) in games, 14-4 (77%) in series. |-| 46-15 (75%) in games, 19-3 (86%) in series.
TvT: 17-16 (51%) in games, 6-6 (50%) in series. |-| 47-35 (57%) in games, 17-11 (60%) in series.
TvZ: 38-32 (54%) in games, 14-10 (58%) in series. |-| 73-35 (67%) in games, 28-13 (68%) in series.
TvP: 47-25 (65%) in games, 18-9 (66%) in series. |-| 59-29 (67%) in games, 24-7 (77%) in series.
TvT: 19-11 (63%) in games, 7-4 (63%) in series. |-| 36-13 (73%) in games, 19-5 (79%) in series.
TvZ: 29-27 (51%) in games, 9-8 (52%) in series. |-| 52-20 (72%) in games, 19-4 (82%) in series.
TvP: 28-19 (59%) in games, 11-6 (64%) in series. |-| 65-38 (63%) in games, 24-12 (66%) in series.
TvT: 15-11 (57%) in games, 6-5 (54%) in series. |-| 23-12 (65%) in games, 7-5 (58%) in series.
TvZ: 33-17 (66%) in games, 13-5 (72%) in series. |-| 34-22 (60%) in games, 14-5 (73%) in series.
TvP: 19-18 (51%) in games, 7-6 (53%) in series. |-| 48-30 (61%) in games, 18-7 (72%) in series.
ZvZ: 33-30 (52%) in games, 12-9 (57%) in series. |-| 39-28 (58%) in games, 19-9 (67%) in series.
ZvP: 33-15 (68%) in games, 15-3 (83%) in series. |-| 59-48 (55%) in games, 19-14 (57%) in series.
ZvT: 15-12 (55%) in games, 6-4 (60%) in series. |-| 44-33 (57%) in games, 16-11 (59%) in series.
PvP: 22-15 (59%) in games, 9-6 (60%) in series. |-| 80-24 (76%) in games, 38-6 (86%) in series.
PvZ: 30-15 (66%) in games, 13-5 (72%) in series. |-| 110-55 (66%) in games, 42-12 (77%) in series.
PvT: 15-17 (46%) in games, 5-6 (45%) in series. |-| 50-30 (62%) in games, 18-6 (75%) in series.
Dark is the utter favorite here and should get out without any issue. soO might seem the 2nd favorite according to aligulac, but ShoWTimE’s PvZ is better on paper so he might be able to qualify for the playoffs as the 2nd seed from group A. SpeCial will have a tough time but he has shown in past BlizzCon the ability to defy the odds.
The group of death. According to aligulac Maru will beat TIME easily, and Serral will beat Stats, although Stats beat him in Asus ROG recently. That will allow Maru to dodge Stats (his worst matchup being TvP on paper) since the long awaited Maru vs Serral matchup could go either way but Maru is super slightly favored on paper (aligulac and paper are interchangeable) so he should beat Serral. Stats will probably beat TIME without any trouble, which will give us another Serral - Stats showdown. If there is no rematch curse, Serral wins again and qualify in one of the most brutal group BlizzCon has ever seen.
This group is really interesting, and kinda hard to predict. On paper Reynor beats everyone and qualifies easily, and Classic manages to get 2nd after a close PvP against herO. However, HeroMarine has shown good things versus ShoWTimE recently so he might give Classic a run for his money, and both herO / Classic best match-ups are PvZ. Since Reynor plays in WCS Circuit, his vP/vT ratings might be inflated, and he might not be the favorite against either of the protosses.
It’s still likely we see another foreigner get out alive of this group though.
And here we are! Group D, probably the toughest one to predict. The 2nd seed from WCS Korea Trap has a really low aligulac rating, mainly because of his bad PvP and his PvZ rating dropped quite a lot after his recent loss to teammate Rogue and the defeats that followed online. Rogue should qualify relatively easily but Neeb has a monstrous PvZ on paper which will give him a run for his money, and Elazer is an European zerg so ZvZ is his forte against koreans. He beat Dark himself recently, so the only opponent Rogue shouldn’t be afraid of is the best WCS seed of the group Trap.
Elazer is the worst on paper, but he is still the favorite against Trap by this aligulac metric since his ZvP owns Trap’s PvZ. All in all, everything could happen but the recent GSL champion should do well, and it’s Neeb time to shine.
Dark 3 - 2 ShoWTimE
soO 2 - 3 SpeCial
Dark 3 - 1 SpeCial
ShoWTimE 3 - 2 soO
SpeCial 3 - 2 ShoWTimE
Dark barely beats ShoWTimE, who exceeds expectations but can't manage to beat the Super Tournament champion.
SpeCial manages to beat soO with good preparation as always in BlizzCon, but is unable to take more than a map against Dark's godly ZvT. No broodlords were needed.
In the losers match, ShoWTimE proves himself too good for soO and goes on to face the other foreigner in the deciders match: in an epic battle as close as the recent HeroMarine vs ShoWTimE battle, SpeCial manages to qualify for the ro8 and actual BlizzCon event.
Dark and SpeCial advance.
Maru 3 - 0 TIME
Stats 2 - 3 Serral
Maru 3 - 1 Serral
Stats 3 - 1 TIME
Serral 3 - 1 Stats
Maru beats TIME rather convincingly, but doesn't manage to get a single win off of proxy 2 rax reaper alone.
The first real battle of this group happens next: Serral seeks his revenge against Stats from his defeat at ASUS ROG on his home soil, and gets to beat Stats in the same vein, at home.
The battle everybody wanted to see happen in 2018, is finally taking place, and in spite of the meta being rather bad for TvZ, Maru brings his GSL Code S playoff A game and beats Serral 3-1.
TIME takes a game off of Stats for honor, but gets beaten 3-1 rather easily by Stats.
The Serral - Stats battle becomes even easier for Serral as Stats hasn't enough tricks up his sleeve to prevent Serral from playing his comfortable macro game.
Maru and Serral advance.
Classic 3 - 1 HeRoMaRinE
herO 1 - 3 Reynor
Reynor 3 - 2 Classic
herO 3 - 2 HeRoMaRinE
Classic 3 - 2 herO
HeroMarine puts up a valliant fight, but the old Classic proves his presence at BlizzCon wasn't a steal at all.
Reynor manages to take out herO relatively easily and shows the world his ZvP is as scary as his ZvZ...
He then goes on to qualify as first seed beating the veteran Classic in a close battle.
Among losers herO reigns supreme and eliminates HeroMarine from the tournament.
Classic is able to fly to USA for BlizzCon and indeed he will as he beats herO in a reverse sweep.
Reynor and Classic advance.
Trap 2 - 3 Elazer
Rogue 3 - 1 Neeb
Rogue 3 - 1 Elazer
Neeb 3 - 2 Trap
Neeb 3 - 1 Elazer
Elazer is in form and beats Trap who hasn't yet recovered for his PvZ losses in multiple code S finals.
Rogue beats Neeb relatively easily with some nydus play and loses a late game in spite of the so called zerg advantage he talked about, because Neeb is just that good.
Elazer has a good ZvZ but Rogue is no Dark and no upset happens there, the code S champion seeks a 2017 repeat and has already Serral in mind so his ZvZ is on point.
Neeb beats Trap who has a weak PvP ; and goes on to eliminate Elazer who isn't at Rogue's level in the matchup.
Rogue and Neeb advance.
The reigning champion is coming as first seed from WCS yet again, but he isn't totally dominating his peers, since Reynor gave him a lot of troubles. He was able to win GSL vs The World rather easily, and has virtually no weaknesses as all three of his match-ups are above 3100 on aligulac... He could be upset really early though since the best terran is in his group, and one of the top protosses, who beat him recently, Stats, is there as well. I still see him as the favorite to win BlizzCon especially in this meta.
Rogue just won code S, and has less obvious weaknesses than Dark so I put him ahead. He is probably hungry for another BlizzCon title after getting kicked out by Serral last year, and he is peaking at just the right time of the year, in a favorable meta. I don't see him able to take out Serral easily though.
Dark has probably the best ZvT in the world, and a very good ZvP as well. Too bad his ZvZ isn't up to par, in a meta where other zergs will probably qualify relatively easily, that will hurt his chances a lot. He is in form having just won GSL ST2 but I can't place him higher since even Elazer could upset him again.
The terran hope in yet another tournament, Maru has shown superb TvZ across the year and can beat any of the terrans here. Against protoss his only weakness after the patch would probably be Trap, but since his loss to Rogue Trap is the shadow of his former self unfortunately... In this good meta for zerg, Maru is the non-zerg hope with his deadly TvZ so I rate him as the best non-zerg player in this power rank.
Reynor is favorite in his group with Classic and herO. Reynor can take out Serral. That alone should put him as like a top 3 favorite, but he has shown a lot of weaknesses outside of the WCS Circuit so I'm being cautious here and put him "only" at a very respectable 5th place in this PR. He could very well win the whole thing but I think he still lacks the experience to win in a lot of high stakes matches in a row.
Classic almost didn't qualify, and that would have been a shame, because he is the most complete protoss with no obvious weakness. His form hasn't been as good lately, but you bet he has practiced his ass off for his last tournament before military service, after struggling to be allowed to even participate.
Stats is the last seed from Korea, do you believe it? But afaik he is the last protoss to beat Serral in a bo5+ in a tournament, so that alone should tell us not to underestimate him. His group is super hard and you bet Serral has an answer for most of whatever Stats will throw at him, but if he gets out of his group alive, Stats is a decent dark horse to win the title. If he qualifies as first seed, he is one of the favorites for the title. Against Maru it could go either way, but I think Maru will win this time again.
Neeb is the best WCS Circuit protoss, and has had fantastic results against players not named Serral / Reynor most of the time. He can top his group but I see him qualify as 2nd and he can probably go to ro4 with a bit of bracket luck, but a ro8 finish is probably the most likely thing to happen.
2nd seed from Korea, yet 9th? That seems far fetched but his aligulac ratings speak for themselves, Trap is a superb PvT player that has relatively bad PvP and a not good enough PvZ in this favorable zerg meta. Since the only top terran here is Maru and there are no terrans in his group, it will be a long shot for him to go far this BlizzCon. Bad draw for him.
SpeCial is only 10th, but the draw is perfect for him, as he can barely edge out soO / ShoWTimE in a good day with preparation, which is why I see him get top2. I don't see him go any further though, but it'll probably be a close ro8 defeat afterwards.
ShoWTimE could qualify instead of SpeCial, since I view him as a favorite against an out of shape soO (starcraft wise!), but he lost to HeroMarine recently and isn't as clutch as SpeCial in these BlizzCon groups imho, even though he topped his group in 2016. If he manages to qualify, I don't see him beat any other player that is first seed, and I don't see him beat Dark in bo5, so a ro8 finish would probably be his best result.
I don't think it's soO's time to shine. He has qualified with a great emotional IEM run, but he doesn't thrive in this zerg meta and hasn't shown anything recently. He could beat everyone but Dark in his group, but I don't see it happening for some reason.
herO is in a tough group, and he will probably be a difficult opponent, but I only see him eliminate HeroMarine and lose against everyone else in his group, in close matches. His PvZ is good so Reynor might have some troubles but will win anyways.
I don't think HeroMarine can mimic TY's builds and playstyle against herO in the short time span there has been between ST2 and BlizzCon, and I don't see him beat Reynor even if he manages to beat herO. Against Classic he can put up a fight but will probably end up losing; therefore I expect good starcraft into defeats with maybe some weird cheese thrown in the mix, although that's not his style.
Elazer had a fantastic GSL vs The World, but I don't see him go far seeing how stacked his group is, nobody is weak vs zerg here. Maybe he will make me lie again, he has had fantastic results in previous BlizzCon so at least he got the experience, and might end up doing better than the young Reynor, but I would not bet on that to happen.
TIME has drawn the worst group ever. If he doesn't stress too much, he can have close and interesting games against the top dogs in his group, but if he shits his pants we will have very quick 0-3 against any player of his group.
For this year preview, I managed to interview some player(s)!
Here are the Q&A.
Q: First off, congratulations for qualifying for WCS Global Finals 2019!
You must be happy to qualify once again this year. You qualify as the #8 seed with a rather comfortable lead of 650 points on the #9 seed PtitDrogo, but you weren’t sure of securing a spot until WCS Fall, so it must have been a relief to do so?
I think I was in a pretty comfortable position going into WCS Fall so I wasn't thinking about it too much but after the playoff bracket was drawn I got a little more worried since my bracket was very difficult and Scarlett seemed to have a rather easy path to the ro8. Luckily things ended up working out for me so it was definitely a bit of a relief.
Q:You had a relatively slow start of the year with a #7th place finish at WCS Winter EU, but managed to get top 8 at WCS Spring and a strong top 4 finish at WCS Summer, before losing a close series 3-2 to HeroMarine at WCS Fall for a top 16 finish.
How confident are you coming into this BlizzCon?
Does your #8 seed from WCS Circuit make you feel like the underdog here, or your experience makes you think you can get have a good result. In 2016 you notably upset ByuN and topped your group, and in 2018 you were able to beat Dark but couldn’t qualify by losing to him in the rematch ; so do you think this #8 seed is kinda misleading compared to for example #5 seed TIME who has 0 BlizzCon experience so far?
To be honest I think the ranking doesn't really matter between the #5-#8 WCS seeds because we are very close in terms of points and basically have the same results this year so there isn't much of a difference. I wouldn't consider myself favourite to make it out of the group but I'm confident regardless that I can as long as I play my best.
Q: You are in Group A playing against GSL S2 / GSL ST2 winner and #1 seed from WCS Korea Dark, IEM Katowice champion and #5 seed from WCS Korea soO, and WCS Spring finalist and #4 seed from WCS Circuit SpeCial.
Are you happy with this group?
Because of the Classic situation in Korea, groups were not certain until very recently, did that affect your practice and mindset?
Which player are you the most confident against, and who do you want to avoid if possible?
Pvz practice is very easy to find in Europe so having 2 Zergs in it worked out well for me and with Special I've been 50:50 this year I believe so I would say I'm fine with the group. The situation with Classic didn't bother me too much since I already knew I had to play Dark first and the last Korean in my group was going to be a Zerg either way. There isn't really anyone I'm particulary confident against or that I want to avoid.
Q: What do you think of the current map pool and meta?
It is probably the worst balanced mappool we have had this year so I'm not too happy about it especially because most of the maps are good for Zerg. At least they favour Protoss for the most part in Pvt so thats something I guess
The meta has been pretty similiar the whole year so I don't have too many thoughts on it right now. Against Zerg it is not what I personally would like it to be but other than that it is okay for me.
Q: Do you prefer the new format for ro16, with bo5 instead of bo3?
Do you prefer to play them in front of a crowd in South Korea or as before in the USA?
Bo5 is much better for sure. Last year I had a lot more prepared than I was able to show in the short bo3's so it is a good change in my opinion. I think playing in front of a crowd is better overall but it can add some extra pressure sometimes. Also in my group I'm the only one who has to travel to Korea so it's a bit of a disadvantage for me in terms of fatigue/jetlag.
Q: Germany had a strong showing in Nation Wars V last year, but barely missed going to the offline portion in Paris by losing 3-4 against Serral Finland. This year your team seems even stronger, you qualified relatively easily for the ro16 and you are thus in the stacked Group D against Mexico, China and Brazil. How happy are you with the draw and are you confident you can make it out?
Do you think your team has the upper hand having 3 strong players, one of each race, compared to super ace teams such as Italy and Finland?
Which teams scare you the most?
On paper I think we are favoured vs everyone in our group but someone like Special or Time could have a strong showing and beat us as well. It's a difficult group but I think we should be able to make top 2. The format is essentially as good as before for the countries with 1 strong player so while having 3 good players is useful to have it isn't a big advantage. Finland and South Korea are the most scary for us and then it is probably Italy/USA/Mexico/France or something like that.
Thanks to ShoWTimE for the interview!
There might be or might not be more players interviews coming.