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SKMC vs DRG and MLG Anaheim preview

By Serge 'Greed' Shirkhodjaev
Jun 8, 2012 13:47

ImageAll eyes will be on Anaheim this weekend for the MLG Spring Championship. 272 players and SK's Min Chul 'MC' Jang will battle it out for the hefty cheque and the title. Read on for the full preview.

It’s that time again, MLG Weekend is upon us. 16 of the best players in the world have been seeded into pool play. The other 256 players will be fighting through the cut throat open bracket to earn the last 8 spots in Pool Play.

MLG Spring Arena is set to be the biggest spectator event that MLG has ever hosted and with reason as this will be the most stacked event yet with the biggest names in StarCraft 2 fighting for the first place and $25,000 in prize money. Below you will find a quick preview of each group and who to look out for over the course of the event.

One of the newest additions to SK's trial line-up Robert "Inz" Wylie and SK's own StarCraft 2 overseer Serge "Greed" Shirkhodjaev give their personal opinions about each group.

Group A
KR Dong Hwan 'Violet' Kim
KR Min Gyu 'Inori' Woo
KR Dong-Nyung 'Leenock' Lee
KR Kim Dong 'Ryung' Won

The winner of MLG Spring Arena 2 Violet takes the number 1 seed going into MLG this weekend. Violet most recently took top 8 at the Red Bull battle grounds and is quickly proving he’s a top dog in the scene.

Inori had his breakout performance at Spring Arena 2, the world got to see how good he truly is and he will be a contender in taking a spot in the championship bracket.

Leenock and Ryung are two superstar Korean players who at any point could make a run for the championship. However both have been underperforming as of late and this could prove critical in their performance this weekend as both have something to prove to the world.

Will Violet the SurgeonZerg rock the MLG stage in Anaheim? Time will tell. Image courtesy of

Writers' opinions:

"Greed: The adopted son of US, Violet is certainly the first place man in this group. Inori's latest results give me the chance to name him as the second place finisher."

"Inz: In his current form Violet should dominate this group and come out with the top spot going into the Championship bracket. Second place in the pool will be a dogfight that’s for sure. The clash between currently underperforming Leenock and Ryung may be crucial for the second place decider."

Group B
KR Dong Hyun 'Symbol' Kang
KR Joong Hyuk 'Dream' Cho
NL Manuel 'Grubby' Schenkhuizen
KR Jung-Hoon 'MarineKing' Lee

Symbol is on a rampage right now, not only taking 2nd place at Spring Arena 2 and gaining the number 2 seed but has been destroying opponent after opponent in GSTL. After his impressive reverse all-kill of IM-SK Symbol is also a contender to take the entire tournament.

Sporting a fairly low seed in this tournament MarineKing is still a very formidable opponent. A former back to back champion of MLG MKP is looking to shake his mediocre performance as of late and make his mark on US soil once again.

Grubby is a household name in gaming. He is quickly becoming one of the most impressive foreign players as he continues to surprise people in any tournament he plays; however he faces an uphill battle to make it out of the group stages.

Dream remains rather silent within the StarCraft 2 scene but made a surprising run in the loser bracket of the Spring Arena 2. Although he is very young he showed great composure when disposing of some top tier players to earn a top 8 finish, he will be the dark horse of this group and may sneak through to the Championship bracket.

Grubby foresees his group filled with killers. Image courtesy of team EG.

Writers' opinions:

"Greed: I root for Grubby, an old friend of mine, I hope he takes the second place. First place is going to be decided between MKP and Symbol, those two are the beasts of modern StarCraft 2 - this is definitely a HOT match to watch."

"Inz: MKP, Grubby, Symbol and Dream! What an action packed group! I think that Symbol and MKP will make it out, with Grubby just on the edge of making the cut."

Group C
FR Ilyes 'Stephano' Satouri
KR Seong Hun 'Polt' Choi
KR Yang 'Alicia' Joon Sik
KR Dong Ju 'Ganzi' Kim

The most talked about rivalry will be in full swing this weekend with Stephano and Polt competing for the top of Group C. The winner of Polt vs Stephano will take top spot in this group.

Being in a group with Stephano and Polt can be disheartening but if anyone could create a storm it is Ganzi. Spring Arena 2 wasn’t a good showing from the Code S Terran but he had hoped to step his game up at Redbull Battlegrounds. After he finished 0-3 in his group, this MLG Ganzi has something to prove and that’s powerful motivation. In the world of StarCraft 2 anything can happen and Ganzi could cause quite the upset.

Alicia has been relatively quiet as of late, the former Code S Protoss is now sitting in code B and hopes to re-qualify for GSL next season but his biggest challenge will be what faces him this weekend and the chances of Alicia getting out of the group are stacked heavily against him.

Stephano is expected to make it out of a difficult group once again. And according to the image, he is not amused at all. Image courtesy of

Writers' opinions:

"Greed: Stephano all the way to the top! Non-Korean Zergs rule! Long live the creep tumors! And Polt is going to finish second in my opinion."

"Inz: Discussing Stephano and Polt, both players have a good shot of taking the entire tournament but I’ll give the edge to Stephano. So it is going to be Polt and Stephano, with no chance for Ganzi and Alicia, unfortunately. Wrong group, fellows."

Group D
KR Min Chul 'MC' Jang
KR Min-Hyuk 'Heart' Kim
KR Soo Ho 'DongRaeGu' Park
DE Giacomo 'Socke' Thüs

This group is by far the hardest group in the tournament. After an impressive win at the Redbull Battleground, our very own sexy protoss SK|MC goes into MLG looking to take his 2nd tournament in a row and show the world that he truly is the BossToss.

Winner of the Spring Arena 1 DongRaeGu is considered one of the best Zerg players in the world and a very formidable opponent in every match up. After a very unexpected performance at Spring Arena 2 DongRaeGu is looking to silence the doubters and come out strong in this group.

After many insane performances at Spring Arena 1, Spring Arena 2 and MLG Winter Championship Heart is becoming a top contender for tournaments all over the world and could play a big part in shaping how this group will finish but he has a monster challenge.

The German Protoss Socke is in for a very tough time this MLG, although he had an insane performance at Spring Arena 2 things look bleak for Socke.

"You sir are going down" - SK|MC.

Writers' opinions:

"Greed: Folks at apply their "wave" theory to MC's plays, explaining that Min Chul plays insanely good in a tournament and then plays worse in the next one and so on. I think that its not the case here, as the BossToss considers MLG a very serious tournament and is going to do his best to win his second tournament in a row after the RedBull Battlegrounds. Its also his birthday upcoming (June 17) so he'll definitely get himself a shiny present from MLG Anaheim!"

"Inz: It is MC and DGR without a doubt, their match is probably the best fight to see in the whole pool plays. Heart can disappoint either MC or DGR. And while Socke has shown time after time he can compete I think he will be a little out of his depth in this group."

We’ve learned that in StarCraft 2 anything can happen, which swings a group in one way or another. Upsets are bound to happen and people’s predictions are set to be broken.

"Inz concludes: Personally I think MC and Stephano will place top 2 in this event both are proving that they are two of the best StarCraft players on the planet right now.

I also think Demuslim will have an insane run through the open bracket and secure a top place finishing this weekend so look out for him as well!"

Write in the comments below who you think will win each group or your overall tournament winner as well as who you think will have a breakout performance.

MLG Spring Championship goes live at 5pm PDT on Friday, Tune in and enjoy some of the best StarCraft 2 action to date.

Column collaboration by Serge "Greed" Shirkhodjaev and Robert "Inz" Wylie.



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