If you are going to bet real money on StarCraft II at WCS Global Finals, you probably have some knowledge about the professional scene already. You don’t even need to be a hardcode fan to be aware that Maru is one of the best Terran players in the world, soO have finally broken his curse this year winning IEM, and Classic is the top-notch Protoss player this year. Just bet on their wins and earn money, right?
Wrong! That’s why you’re better not to bet on WCS Finals 2019 before reading this post. I promise it will be as short as possible.
SoO indeed had one fantastic tournament this year. He managed to beat Serral and Stats and raised the trophy. But this year means: in March. But what happened to him later?
GSL Season 1? Knocked out in the Ro.16.
GSL Super Tournament 1? Knocked out in the Ro.16.
GSL Season 2? Knocked out in the Ro.8.
GSL Season 3? Knocked out in the Ro.16.
GSL Super Tournament 2? Knocked out in the Ro.4.
Semifinals are not bad, but mind that he’s got washed out 0:3 by Dark, who is playing in the same group here in the Global Finals. That’s ZvZ, and in the non-mirrors, he struggles a lot lately. He tends to overbuild units in the early-game, and it looks like he has no clue how to implement them if his opponent is not all-inning him.
I saw one analyst wrote that soO is the least impressive zerg on the tournament right now. I agree. He is the IEM world champion, but avoid putting your money on his victories because they are not going to happen.
Don’t get me wrong: I love SpeCial. He’s a funny guy, he’s an excellent player, and I briefly know him in person. He did an excellent job of ending up in the playoffs of every WCS Circuit event this year, securing his Global Finals spot. He also has some cute builds-orders.
But he lost all his matches against Serral and Reynor, and now he has Dark in his group. There is also soO, whos ZvT is his best match-up right now, and one of the most influential Circuit Protoss players, ShoWTimE. Even though SpeCial used to beat him, as well as Neeb, back in the WCS Spring, he keeps stating that TvP is unplayable.
And I feel that his game perception is wrong because he plays it like he is still in Brood War, trying to brute-force his opponents instead of relying on multi-pronged attacks. Maybe he can overcome ShoWTimE with some crazy mech builds, but mind it will be best-of-5. Odds will be in SpeCial’s favor as Alligulac considered him up a 60/40. But I don’t believe this, and neither should you.
TIME showed fantastic shape this year, making it to the Ro.8 of every WCS season and also beating soO 3 to 0 in the GSL vs. the World. I met TIME at the few events, and I watch him and root for him since 2017. And what I am about to say that I think he passed his peak this year already.
A few glimpses I had on TIME in the online tournament didn’t show that kind of stellar performance anymore. That doesn’t mean that TIME is going to decay, but don’t forget that during this year, he has already achieved as much as never before. Some might say, cool, now go and get the trophy. But if you want to bet real money, you are better to get real.
I hope TIME will shine even brighter next year. This year, let’s leave him enjoying himself representing China at the Global Finals, which never happened to his country if you count out a Taiwanian Has.
Classic is probably the most sophisticated example of the old-school KeSPA-style StarCraft pro gamer. That means that he is the king of preparation, and he is the best in the long series like best-of-5 that they will use since the round-of-16. So what’s wrong with his chances?
Two things. First, the groups weren’t published in advance because no one knew if he would be available to take part. However, he was about to get in a particular group if he can, so this can be even considered an advantage: he knew who he will be playing, his opponents not.
But he wasn’t sitting back at home; he was trying to make thins working with his participation. Of course, I don’t know how much actual time do you need to spend somewhere in the army cabinets to rule the things out. But even if not too much, it is still stress. And a stressed player can’t do good in StarCraft.
That means that the bookmakers will evaluate Classic to Alligulac, so just to his results. But in fact, his odds are lower, so betting on him would put you into a disadvantage mathematically. And if so, why risk?
Yes, dear. Maru is the cutest StarCraft player ever. Everyone loves Maru, I love Maru, and if you don’t, please make sure to uninstall StarCraft II. But if you love someone, you must let them go, they say. So let him be.
Maru never ever performed well at BlizzCon. The only tournament he ever one outside of Korea was WESG in China. Ro.16 will indeed be in Korea, but in the Ro.16, he will also play in the same group Serral and Stats.
Maybe he will break the curse and win the whole thing. But ‘maybe’ is not a reason to put your money on a favorite. You can bet on ‘maybe’ when the odds are 2.5+. And they will hardly ever give it to Maru.
So trust me, better put your love and your money in the different baskets. It will let you keep both of them if safe.