2022 GSL Super Tournament 2 - RO16 Day Oneby Wax
Start time: Monday, Nov 28 8:00am GMT (GMT+00:00)
How time flies! Eleven months after Zest opened the 2022 GSL Season by winning Super Tournament #1, the season is now set to come to a close with Super Tournament #2.
The top players in the tournament will be eyeing the $30,500 in prize pool, but there's also a group of players that will be more interested in the 1500 EPT points on the line.
Let's take a look at the first day of the Super Tournament, where the first half of the round-of-16 will be played.
'G4L' opponent in Classic.
Of course, Classic is a huge underdog in this match. He's been back from the military for little over a year at this point, in which time he's reached the level of roughly a first-round Code S player. On the other hand, Maru is unquestionably the greatest GSL player ever, which makes his Aligulac win probability projection of 93.85% seem insultingly low (amusingly enough, this is not the most lop-sided Aligulac prediction of the day).
While things look grim for Classic in this match, I still think the book is wide open for him going forward. Successful returnees like herO, DRG, and GuMiho all toiled for around a year before enjoying their breakthrough runs, and Classic is still on that timeline. While we'll probably have to wait until 2023 to see him make a strong run, I still think the potential is there for him.
Prediction: Maru 3 - 1 Classic
Still, I think I can shelve my concerns about ByuN until the quarterfinals of the Super Tournament. He actually has a bigger Aligulac advantage against Armani than he did against Zoun, with the stats website seeing him as a whopping 96:4 favorite to win at the time of writing (the biggest margin of the day). Not only that, but Armani is on a 6-match losing streak to ByuN (including two 0-2 losses in the last Code S tournament) as well.
One complication could be a difference in the 'want-it' factor, since Armani is currently one place outside of the IEM Katowice qualification cutoff and needs all the EPT points he can get. However, even taking that into consideration, I seriously doubt that ByuN will find a way to lose here.
Prediction: ByuN 3 - 0 Armani
Or, I guess that's what I would have said if not for Solar's violent 3-0 of Creator in the DH: Atlanta RO16. Solar took his three maps in a variety of ways, starting by trampling over Creator with Roach-Ravager-Bane in game one, using mid-game Swarm Hosts in game two, and finishing him with a quick all-in in game three.
As bad a picture as that paints for Creator, I do think he has an okay chance of winning the rematch. Smartly mixing up macro and all-ins has been a cornerstone of his 2022 success, and he really didn't get to show that in Atlanta. I'm certain that he'll use the long preparation time for this match to review what happened at DreamHack and come prepared with some more aggressive builds.
Also, while DH Atlanta showed us the best of Solar (well, up to his fifth game against Maru), it bears reminding fans that he's not the most consistent guy in the world. He even suffered a 0-2 upset to Prince in WTL just a week before Atlanta, losing to the Team GP Protoss' deathball in game one and losing to a DT all-in in game two. While that's a very low-end result for Solar, it was a reminder of how his form can fluctuate.
Aligulac gives Solar a moderate advantage with a 59.85% chance of winning, which matches my gut feeling as well. I'm predicting Solar to win, but it wouldn't be surprising to see Creator take the upset.
Prediction: Solar 3 - 2 Creator
However, the big difference between the two at the moment is that GuMiho's unorthodox streak is netting him much better results. He recently had his best post-military result of finishing fourth place in Code S Season 3, while SpeCial recorded his worst WCS/DH: Latin American result in years as he relinquished first place to Cham. In terms of momentum, there's no question as to who's playing better right now.
Aligulac says GuMiho is a pretty strong favorite with a 76.82% chance of winning, and is even on a 4 match winning streak against the Mexican Terran (the last win even coming in the qualifiers of this very tournament). I'm going to go along with that prediction and say GuMiho advances here, gaining a precious handful of EPT points that nudges him toward bypassing the IEM Katowice play-in and qualifying directly for the group stage.
Prediction: GuMiho 3 - 1 SpeCial