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MLG Orlando: can anyone stop the Koreans?

By Michael 'Zechs' Radford
Jan 5, 2010 01:56

ImageThe first Zechs Files of a new decade is dedicated to this weekend's MLG finals in Orlando. Can Button Bashers be beaten?

It’s been almost a month since I last published a Zechs Files. But with Christmas over and MLG Orlando just around the corner, what better time could there be to make a comeback? The MLG finals start on Saturday with the All Star tournament, but today I’ll be previewing the big one: the MLG season finals.

Lineup: Flexxorz, Twixz, toes
Main comp: shaman/hunter/paladin
Last 10 games: WWWWLLLWWW (7-3)

The team that has caused more flames than any other on the pro circuit is back to defend its crown. The beastcleavers have played and won more games than any other team in MLG this season. They are currently sitting on top of a 23-6 record and topped the rankings when it came to qualifying for the finals.

However, the previous event in Anaheim left the Microsoft-backed team with something to prove. They finished in 3rd place, losing 3-0 to SK Gaming EUROPE in the consolation final. As always, the latest patch changed things between Anaheim and the ESL continental final – just ask ESL TV staff – and Check Six were able to win that event meaning they are probably the favourite American team to win this event.

If you go back to days of eMg has a 4-3 record against SK but since the x6 era the shoe has been on the other foot, with beastcleave holding a 2-1 advantage. In fact, x6 has a winning record against every team at this event except for Button Bashers, who they are tied with at 1-1. To put it simply, any team hoping to win this event will need to beat x6 at some stage.

compLexity Gaming Red
Lineup: Sodah, Venruki, Reckful
Main comp: rogue/mage/priest
Last 10 games: LLLLWWLLLW (3-7)

Looking at the win ratio of this team, it seems strange that they even qualified for the Orlando finals. 12-14 doesn’t look to impressive, but those 12 wins came at important times. Despite some dreadful finishes in other events, coL always seems to do just enough at MLG. They managed to finish in the top four at every even this season, despite their losing record.

Although I consider coL to be the weakest team in Orlando, they do have a winning record against the previous SK lineup. What that means in the new climate is difficult to tell, especially since only a 3rd of that team will be playing this weekend. The good news for Complexity is their RMP mirror, which gives them a 1-1 record against BB. If they avoid x6 in the first round, a bit of luck could see them into the grand final.

Button Bashers
Lineup: Orangemarmalade, Numberone, Hiren
Main comp: rogue/mage/priest
Last 10 games: WWWWWLWWWW (9-1)

No matter what form the Korean team is in, they are always a danger. So, with a victory in Anaheim behind them, BB are arguably the biggest threat to x6 at this event. Considering their victory the last time these teams met, the RMP team will be feeling pretty confident.

On top of that, Button Bashers team has the advantage of surprise. No matter how many times they turn up to international tournaments, teams seem to be caught off-guard by the un-scoutable Koreans. Not being able to gauge your opponents online has proven to be a problem for many teams and Orlando will be no different. Even though x6 is the team to beat, BB is the most likely one to do it.

SK Gaming/EG Mix
Lineup: Pookz, Realz, Kollektiv, Azael
Main comp: ???
Last 10 games (SK): LWLWWWLLLL (4-6)

It’s hard for me to write about SK’s chances for two reasons. Firstly, they are an unknown quantity coming into this event thanks to the mix team they are forced to play with. Secondly, there’s an ever-so-slight conflict of interest involved if I’m trying to remain unbiased.

For those reasons, I’ll keep this short and to the point. The two members of last year’s SK lineup have a positive win ratio against two out of the three teams (if you include eMg results) and have already won an MLG even this season. On top of that they have the same surprise aspect of BB, perhaps moreso. Although the other teams have played against Realz and co many times, even I don’t know what setup(s) they will play. Hell, we might even see some shadowplay if we’re lucky.



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