32 players, 3 days, $26,400 in prize money, that is MLG Spring Arena 2 in a nutshell. Every player earned his spot in this tournament competing against their region’s best of the best. Now, we, as Starcraft II fans, get to enjoy 3 action packed days of great games. And who are we going to see? Below I have sorted the players into groups, the bottom eleven, the mid eleven, and top ten. Only the last group is ranked, the others are listed in no particular order.
The record in parenthesis is their statistics in MLG events. Currents as of May 14th.
ClashMoOk (11-8 58%)
SlayersRyung (19-16 54%)
dBlinG (14-12 54%)
EGIdra (81-60 57%)
LiquidRet (82-79 51%)
Ai_Seiplo (10-8 55%)
Grubby (27-35 43%)
Blast_Tefel (14-7 66%)
TSLInori (19-16 54%)
IM_LosirA (28-12 70%)
MVP_Dream (First appearance)
Looking at the bottom eleven we find many of the fan favorites including EGIdra, FollowGrubby, and LiquidRet. While I love watching them play as much as the next fan, it’s very hard to place any of them higher than 20th in this deep talent pool. EGIdra, I believe has the capability to be above this group, yet his performances of late don’t justify it. LiquidRet and FollowGrubby fans would eagerly argue for their beloved players. However they both hover at 50% win-rate, which is on the lower end for this event.
Blast_Tefel, and AI_Seiplo are all well known names on the European circuit, however they are really going to have to step up their games for MLG Spring Arena 2. I have TSLInori, ClashMook, MVP_Dream, SlayersRyung, and IM_LosirA in here as well because we haven’t seen them perform in any major tournaments. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them make a deep run.
xSixSleep (11-7 61%)
ESCGoody (21-14 60%)
aTnSocke (61-73 45%)
coL.Heart (36-29 55%)
EGHuK (112-76 59%)
coLKiller (11-9 55%)
AcerBly (11-8 58%)
dSeleCT (73-58 56%)
SlayerS_Alicia (11-9 55%)
FnaticRain (54-43 55%)
FXOLeenock (35-11 76%)
Heading into the middle of the pack we see a number of Koreans that make us go, “Hey I‘ve heard of him.” SlayersAlicia, coLKiller and FnaticRain are these players. All have had promising moments in the past, they just haven’t put together a solid run for a title. I can’t see them breaking out here either, the top ten has some of the best talent in the world.
coL.Heart showed very solid play in the last Spring Arena, but I fully expect that the top pros will be ready for him this time. AcerBly and xSixSleep are the wild cards in the tournament, both have shown the capability of competing with some of the best yet neither has done so at a premier tournament.
FXOLeenock, aTn.Socke, and dSelect are three players I believe could break into the single digits. If Leenock pulls all Terrans in his bracket we might see him in the top 8. dSeleCT has shown the ability to hang with the best at times and Socke has always preformed well at MLG events; I expect nothing less out of them here.
Let’s take a closer look at the top 10.
10. TSLSymbol (9-6 60%)
Hello Symbol and welcome to the top 10! The hottest rising Korean as of late, taking 2nd place in Iron Squid and upsetting former Code S champion Jjakji in Code A earlier this week. He will be looking to build on all of his momentum. Taking second place in the MLG Korean qualifier earlier this month, Symbol has shown his new winning ways are not just a flash in the pan and I expect him to continue to impress everyone with a strong showing at this event.
9. SK.MC (68-52 56%)
It’s hard to doubt the Boss Toss. MC isn’t scared of anyone and has proved that he will continue to make his 2-base timing attacks work, no matter what. I can’t place him higher though as his tried and true methods are well known by the others on this list.
8. TSLPolt (40-11 78%)
Yes TSLPolt has continued to disappoint his legion of fans in the GSL. However, you cannot say the same for his foreign tournament appearances. He has top performances in almost every competition outside of Korea. I have him ahead of MC because of his insane record in MLG events, a staggering 40-11. No other player with 50+ games in MLG events has a higher win rate.
7. coL.GanZi (73-42 63%)
Since changing teams from Slayers to Complexity, Ganzi has really stepped it up, placing high in a number of foreign events. His once average TvP has really evolved and combined with his already stellar TvZ and TvT, Ganzi should be looking at another top ten finish in MLG Spring Arena 2.
6. Empire_viOLet (61-34 64%)
Coming off his MSI Battleground win over iS.Axslav, Empire_Violet will be in high spirits. I expect to see another strong performance out of the “German” Zerg; his aggressive style should translate into a number of wins. He is ranked 6th because the five above him have showed the ability to multi-task exceptionally well and will be able to react to Violet’s counter-attacking style accordingly.
5. EGThorZaIN (50-35 59%)
The ‘Spoon Terran’ restored our faith that foreigners could win major tournaments at Dreamhack. Thorzain has been to known to practice for hours on end for major tournaments; because he didn’t have to qualify, he should not only be well rested but well prepared for this weekend. I don’t expect switching teams to be a hindrance here and it’s entirely possible for us to see see an all foreigner final. (See Stephano)
4. SlayerS_MMA (47-23 67%)
Ah how the mighty have fallen... Wait, can you say MMA has fallen? Yes, he had to actually qualify for this event. Yes he lost two matches in the qualifier. Still, the Slayers Ace has shown time and time again that he comes well prepared to any major event. Usually he has some vogue build, (blue flame hellions anyone?) and combined with his amazing ability to multi-task, MMA should not be doubted here.
3. FnaticRC.Oz (40-35 53%)
The winner of the Korean qualifier hasn’t been very active on the foreign scene in the last month. Granted he was probably focused on the GSL Code S, recently losing to the hands of PartinG. Oz did look strong in the qualifier, not dropping a match and only 2 games total; both to Protoss players. With the forces of Auir looking statistically weaker on paper, Oz will be positioned to make a deep run in a major tournament for the second time in a row.
2. MilStephano (34-15 69%)
The French “American” Zerg will once again be every foreigner fan’s hope to win. His innovative builds, along with his unpredictability, have led many Korean Pros to admit they don’t like facing Stephano. His macro is among the best, combined with his solid micro and decision-making, he will undoubtedly still be playing on Day 3 and competing once again for the top spot.
1. MYMMVPDongRaeGu (89-55 62%)
3rd, 3rd, 2nd, 2nd, 1st, these are the places DRG has finished in the last 5 MLG events. The champion of the last Spring Arena, DRG will be looking to defend his title. I believe MVP’s Ace can do it also. The best Zerg in the world will not have his nemesis MarineKingPrime here and I have him ahead of Stephano because of his amazing ZvZ international win rate (70%). With DongRaeGu wrapping up his Code S spot earlier this week, there will be little on the Zerg master’s mind besides another trophy for his already burgeoning mantle.
This weekend is shaping up to be one of the most tightly contested tournaments of the year and I am excited to see how the Europeans and American defend the foreigner turf from the Korean Pros. MLG Spring Arena 2 will no doubt provide us with great games and many a new build order to study and dissect in the coming months. Thank you all for reading and enjoy the show!
Article written by GoSu.Lefty