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GSL Round of 16 Preview

By Mat 'Clamev' L
Jun 26, 2012 20:06

ImageGSL Ro 32 is played out and the Group nomination for Ro 16 is done. What we are left with is one foreigner left in the tournament and one Group of Death.

The GSL is entering the hot phase of the tournament, with the Ro 16 on the way.

In the Ro 32 we had SE Marcus 'ThorZaIN' Eklöf unsurprisingly knocked out, his travel schedule was just too much and he will have to battle it out in Code A. The big surprises were KRLee-Sak 'PartinG' Won getting knocked out by Symbol and MarineKing and KRDong-Nyung 'Leenock' Lee also getting knocked out 0-2 by Ryung and Taeja.

The group nominations are done and below is a quick preview of what's to come from the Round of 16 in the most prestigious tournament on the face of the planet.

Group A

KR Jong Hyeon 'MVP' Jung
KR Young Seo 'TaeJa' Yoon
KR Dong Hwan 'viOlet' Kim
KR Sang Won 'Seed' Ahn

Having no less than 4 GSL titles under his belt, MVP is easily the favorite to advance from this group. That being said, he did not seem to be untouchable in the Ro 32, losing one game to SuHoSin and losing a set 0:2 against two cleverly timed out two-base all ins from Genius.

The rest of the group seems to be more evenly matched, with Taeja having good results in GSTL and beating MarineKing last season. Violet in the meantime must be very motivated after winning his first big foreign tournament - the MLG Spring Arena #2 in May and winning against Oz and Maru in the Ro 32, only losing to DongRaeGu 1:2.

Seed can also not be counted out, as he is a very smart and strategical player who has the potential to perform an upset.

Group B

KR Hyun-Woo 'Squirtle' Park
KR Dong Hyun 'Symbol' Kang
KR Jung-Hoon 'MarineKing' Lee
KR Min Chul 'MC' Jang

Undoubtedly the group of death. Starting with Squirtle, the finalist from last season, who has shown that he can compete on the highest level choosing Symbol to be in his group.

To many people, who may not follow the Korean scene Symbol might feel like a weak part in the group of death, but this impression only lasts until you have seen the Ro 32 matches, in which Symbol beat both Parting and Marineking convincingly, making it look easy.

We will see if the win against MarineKing was just a fluke, as he is number 3
in the group of death. Marineking has been very vocal about having problems against Zerg, so this group with two Protoss players should be to his liking.

The last one to complete the group is our very own SK|MC. He seems stronger than ever, as he has still the best timed and executed all ins and is not afraid to do them, he has also shown to be comfortable in the late game, going for more macro centered builds. This unpredictability makes him an incredible fearsome player to go up against. Does not matter how this group will turn out, there is going to be an upset.

Almost all of these players are hot contenders to take the tournament. Especially with Symbol being a potential royal roader it will be interesting to see who will prevail.

A royal roader is a player that is a favorable to win his first ever appearance in a major tournament like OSL/MSL in Brood War and GSL in StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty.

Group C

KR Min-Soo 'Genius' Jung
SE Johan 'NaNiwa' Lucchesi
KR Kyo-Seok 'Keen' Hwang
KR Hyun Woo 'Byun' Byun

This Group without a Zerg is another very interesting constellation of players. Genius who beat MVP 2:0 in the Ro 32 should be pretty happy about the two Terrans in his group and because his pick was Naniwa is probably going into this group with confidence.

Naniwa, the only foreigner left in the tournament, should also be very confident with this group. He has stated in interviews that he almost exclusively practiced PvsT and PvsP, explaining his relatively weak performance at Dreamhack Open Stockholm against Zergs. Additionally to being comfortable against Terrans, Naniwa has taken out Genius not only in the last season of GSL but also in the Dreamhack tournament not too long ago.

The very young Terran Keen has shown some great potential by beating players like Oz and Major in MLG Providence and Nestea and MMA in last season of GSL.

With Byun being the wild card showing some solid TvsP against Hero and Seed in the Ro 32, we are in for an exciting group and a lot of high level PvsT.

Group D

KR Soo Ho 'DongRaeGu' Park
KR Kim Dong 'Ryung' Won
KR Young Jin 'SuperNoVa' Kim
KR Jae-Duck 'NesTea' Lim

Group D "the gentlemen club" with every member being in the GSL at least for a while is full of GSL veterans. First and foremost Nestea who got the Nestea award for qualifying for Code S for the tenth time. Even though he qualified so many times, his last win has been July 2011 and Nestea surely wants to show that he is still able to take a GSL title.

DongRaeGu on the other hand is coming straight out of Code A, because of a slump last season. He said in the group nomination that he is not afraid of anyone this season and he feels comfortable against any race, seeing how strong Zerg is in the current metagame.

This should make him even more comfortable seeing how Supernova has stated that he is afraid to play Zergs and would have not liked to have two Zergs in his Group.

Ryung, who has been struggling in Code A for a long time, is looking to prove himself to be more than just another Slayers Terran, already showing potential by beating Leenock and AcE both 2:0 in the Ro 32.

GSL round of 16 kicks off tomorrow with Group A at 11:10, tune in to see if MVP, currently the best player in the world, is able to defend his title.



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