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Extreme Masters Season VII Preview

By Tobias 'noxilicious' .
Aug 15, 2012 01:45

ImageThe Extreme Masters have proven to deliver some of the best action in numerous games. The seventh season will kick off with the Global Challenge Cologne that will be played at gamescom 2012.

Once again Germany is going to be the place where Starcraft II players from all around the world will be facing each other to fight for the win of the Global Challenge Cologne.

Unlike other events in the USA or Korea this tournament features only three Koreans but also some of the best foreigners, It will be a great event with some of the best StarCraft II action of the summer. with a $31,800 prize pool up for grabs everyone will be gunning to play their best and take home the championship.

As the online qualification are finished, the 16 players that qualified have been seeded into four groups. Each group will be joined by two more players once the Open Bracket is finished, which will be finished after the first day of Gamescom 2012.

So let's jump right in and preview the action ahead!


Group A

SE Rickard 'SortOf' Bergman
PL Arthur 'Nerchio' Bloch
KR Min Gyu 'Inori' Woo
GB Benjamin 'DeMusliM' Baker

SortOf is not one of the best players of the world but his latest performances have been not bad at all. His latest offline performance once again gave proof that he can take down some good players. He could be one of the surprising players and make it out of the group.

The HSC V champion Nerchio has to be considered as one of the favorites of his group. On his route to victory he defeated HasuObs and SK's own MC. He managed to qualify for TSL 4 but has lost against DarKFoRcE in the Round of 32 already and is out but it was still a close series. He should have no problems to make it out of his group.

One of the few Koreans is Inori. MLG Orlando was one of the few events which would feature Inori outside of Korea. He also made it to the quarterfinals of IPL 3 and is known for his good PvP style. His group does not have any Protoss players beside himself. He still has got some chances to advance but he will have to play his best.

Last player in group A is DeMusliM. He has been very successful in the early stages of StarCraft II as he won the first HomeStoryCup and was ranked on the third place in the fifth season of the Extreme Masters. Lately he seems to struggle a bit as his success in recent offline events has yet to come. I feel there is barely any chance for him to advance.


Group B

BE Jérémy 'Feast' Vansnick
UA Mihail 'Kas' Hayda
AU Jared 'PiG' Krensel
KR Kim 'viOlet' Dong Hwan

Feast would have needed an introduction in the middle of 2011 but by now he is well known to the foreign scene. His first big event was in the sixth season of IEM at the Global Challenge Kiev. Since then he has certified that he has some amazing blink micro. However he only had two offline events and the first big success is yet to come. He scored some nice results in online cups but his nerves while playing in front of an audience might influence his performance.

One of the three Terrans and the only European Terran is Kas from Ukraine. He is one of the most active players on the GM ladder and has scored numerous wins, not only on ladder but also at offline tournaments. With some great games in TSL 3 and with the qualification for TSL 4, Kas has to be considered one of the favorites to rank in the Top 4 of the whole event.

The Australian zerg player PiG is fairly unknown to most people. A unique ZvP style involving a lof of rushing and cheesing has made him kind of famous though. Winning the WCG Australia Brisbane Qualifier and scoring the third place at the WCG Australia in 2011 can be considered his biggest wins so far. He has qualified for GC Cologne by winning the SEA qualifier. Nevertheless his chances of advancing are very low as he will have to face some of the best players from Europe.

Being the only Korean zerg in the tournament should not worry viOLet too much. Winning the 2012 MLG Spring Arena 2 is probably his biggest success, but by far not his only. He has shown great micro and macro in numerous matches. Winning the EM Global Challenge in Sao Paulo and several online cups approve that he is one of the best zerg players up to date. He should make it to the playoffs.


Group C

RU Artem 'sLivko' Garavtsov
FI Samuli 'elfi' Sihvonen
AU Andrew 'mOOnGLaDe' Pender
US Chad 'Minigun' Jones

This group is probably the one that sLivko wanted to have. His chances to advance from his group are pretty high as he shouldn't have a problem winning at least two matches. He showed some great games at Sao Paulo in the last season of IEM and he also had some decent wins at HSC V. His first real big success is still missing, but he should be able to survive the groupstage.

One of the two Protoss in this group is elfi. He has been showing some great games lately, especially in PvP. He has qualified for TSL 4 and was the runner-up in the WCS: Finland Nationals. At the last ROG Summer 2012 event his results were a bit disappointing but he should have good chances to advance.

mOOnGLaDe is the only zerg in group C and is one of the two players from Australia who has managed to qualify. He is quite well known in Australia but made a splash during IEM season V where he came 4th behind Squirtle. He has to face really good players like elfi and sLivko so I feel his chances of advancing are really low.

The American protoss Minigun is maybe one of the underdogs but should be kept in mind. He has shown some great games in the EG Master's Cup Season VI. Interestingly he avoids PvP and will play ZvP instead. Though he has won some online cups he will have a very tough time getting out of this group.


Group D

DE Dennis 'HasuObs' Schneider
ES Juan 'VortiX' Moreno Durán
KR André 'Kirby' Kempa
CL Pipe 'KiLLeR' Zuñiga

Across Europe there are only a few Protoss who can keep up with the best of the best. One of them is HasuObs. The German has not only won the title of the last EPS season but has also ranked as runner-up in the WCS: Germany Nationals. And if those wins don't convince you yet, you got to keep in mind that HasuObs had numerous wins in online cups and some great success at offline events. His 3-0 domination in the TSL 4 against ThorZaIN affirmed his current form.

VortiX from Spain is another player you will have to keep in your mind. Recently he won the ESL Pro Series Season 9, qualified for TSL 4 by beating the Korean zerg Golden 3:0, has ranked as runner-up in the WCS: Spain Nationals and has managed to all-kill Team Empire in the IPL TAC 3 with convincing wins against Kas, Beastyqt and Happy. He will have to face even better players in his group but maybe he can surprise everyone and survive his group.

The replacement for MMA is non other than SuperNoVa who has recently joined mTw. He is known as one of the most consistent players in GSL and is well known to the foreigner scene as he was the runner-up in the IEM Global Challenge in Sao Paulo last season. Not only is SuperNoVa known for his brilliant micro but also for his different playstyles that can surprise his opponents.

The one and only player from Chile in this GC is gonna be KiLLeR. He was underestimated when he first showed up at big events but made quite a name for himself very quickly by defeating some of the best foreigners, even scoring map wins against Koreans. Winning online cups, the WCS: Chile Nationals and the 2012 Battle,net South American Championship, but his opponents can be named as some of the best across the world and that will be a big challenge for him. I feel he will show some good games but this group will be very tough for him.

The players in the groups are already good but as the Open Bracket was published it turned out that the worlds elite players will try to make their way into the groups as well. SK's own MC as well as MVP, NesTea, YongHwa and other amazing Koreans are just some of the big names coming from the open bracket!

With Tasteless, Artosis and Day[9] as the casters for the games this is setting up to be the best Global Challenge in the whole IEM history so far. Get ready for some days with a good amount of action in Starcraft II!



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