Plug your ears children, it's about to get nerdy in here.
As much as I've grown to enjoy tracking baseball stats and complaining about how the BCS is rigged to help SEC teams get to all the college football championships, over the past year neither of those games have been my spectator sport of choice. Instead, it's been professional Starcraft 2. I'm not even going to get into what that says about me, but as the current season is getting ready to do the final set of Code S group matches to determine which 8 players make the playoffs, I've decided to give my predictions on who will advance. Because, you know, it's my blog and I can do stupid crap like this if I feel like it. Bracketed letters indicate the race they play: Terran, Zerg, or Protoss.
The top two players from each group advance.
DongRaeGu is the easy favorite from this batch. He's the only player from that group to have won a GSL championship, and he's made it as far as the final 4 since then. He's also got the most prize money won of any player this year, one of the best ladder records on anybody in the game, and he's overall just clearly the best player in this group.
Ryung is my other pick. His GSL success has been modest, but he's gotten to the playoffs before. I think he might finally be ready to break through to the next level.
MarineKing is, at this point, almost certainly the best player to have never won a GSL. He's claimed 2nd on multiple occasions, and he has won an assortment of other major events, including back-to-back MLGs early this year. He almost always makes it this far, and he advanced to the playoffs last season (again). Since he's playing in probably the weakest group, there's not much to stop him from advancing. He also happens to be my absolute favorite player to watch, so I'm really rooting for him to get to the top.
HyuN is my other pick to advance from that group. He's had bits of GSL success in the past, and Zerg players are doing extremely well right now, so the potential minor imbalance should work in his favor.
PartinG is a top-notch player who has already made the playoffs twice in the previous 4 GSLs this year. He's also the best hope Protoss have of being represented in the playoffs.
Polt is my other pick from this group. He has not been at the peak of his game recently, but he's a former GSL champion who has started pulling things together after a rocky patch. I'm looking to this as his chance to step back into the spotlight.
Life is probably the easiest pick of the bunch. He's the defending GSL champion, one of only 2 "royal roaders" the GSL has had (somebody who wins the whole event their first time participating), arguably the best team league player in the world over the past 6 months, and winner of the MLG Fall Championship just a week ago. And he's done all this at 15, making him one of the youngest Starcraft 2 professionals. Right at this moment, Life is the best player in the world. Since he's so young, there is a good chance of that continuing as he gains more experience.
Leenock is my other pick from this group. Both he and Symbol have had very strong results recently, with each making playoff appearances last season. They are also both play Zerg, so there's no notable race advantage. This is almost a coin toss for me, but I'm taking Leenock just because I personally like his play a little better.
For the overall event, my top 3 picks to win are:
So yeah, that's my full geekdom rising to the surface.