Blizzcon 2015 Starcraft 2 World Championship Finals

When we get to the pointy end of the Starcraft 2 World Championship Season we start to see one of the greatest things of all unfold – a lineup of players that is so fully of talent it becomes difficult to pick what can happen.

Coming up at Blizzcon 2015 on November 6th, the finals will begin. Throughout the year we’ve seen a plethora of names go and pass by – and 16 of them have scraped together enough points to make it into the final bracket.

One very important thing to keep in mind is that this tournament bracket is single elimination with no losers bracket to wiggle your way out of trouble. Another key note is that every match is a best of 5 until the grand final on Saturday which is a best of 7. This will not only have a big effect on how the players go about their various strategies, but also it’ll really test their nerves if they start to slip behind their opponent.

By no means was it an easy feat to make it either – we’ve had multiple winners across the major events, and an incredible depth of talent. To quote Zerg buddy Arthur “rebOrn” Lee – “… That’s an insane lineup, everyone is an amazing player”.

So how do you know who to cheer for? Many people will have a favourite player they’ve admired from afar for a long time. Some will support the players from a specific team or race, and others may just be cheering for the dark horse. For me I’ll just be hoping that we get some stellar matches, and I highly doubt that I’ll be let down when we’ve got the names of herO, Maru, Life, Rain, Hydra (and more) taking to the field.

When’s it all going down?

Before we get to the nitty-gritty, we’ve got to eliminate 8 of the 16 players. November 1st, the WCS Global Finals Ro16 kicks off with a bang, featuring the big PvT of herO vs FanTaSy. After the dust settles from that first match, we’ll find out who else has got the mettle to continue on into the round of 8 at the big event.

Friday at Blizzcon kicks of with the “Opening Ceremony”, and shortly after on the Starcraft stream we’ll have the Starcraft 2 WCS Global Finals Preshow – starting at 11:45AM PST.

At around 12:15 PM PST we’ll have the Round of 8 revving up featuring the players who’ve made it through from earlier on in the week. At this stage it’s extremely hard to call who’s going to have an upper hand here, but I think that herO, ByuL, Life, Rain and Hydra will be pretty confident at that point; the rest of the matches are very tight.

On Saturday the 7th it’ll all come down to a few brave souls, and only one will come out with a trophy and a lovely $100,000 prize. Starting at 12:30PM PST the Semi final contestants will face off. Then, at 4PM Saturday, the Grand Final battle-lines will be drawn, and after what may be the biggest (and fitting, given it’s the last) best of 7 we’ll have our winner.

The best way to keep track of the comings and goings of this top 16 slugfest will be to load up http://wcs.battle.net/sc2/en/schedule and keep an eye on it – there’s not only a great video system to watch when the matches are on – but the schedule here will convert to your local time.

Who are the top dogs?

As noted earlier we’ve got a heap of talent:

herO Protoss SSL S3 Winner
Maru Terran SSL S1 Winner
PartinG Protoss 64% Winrate PvT
Life Zerg GSL S1 Winner
INnoVation Terran GSL S3 Winner
Rain Protoss GSL S2 Winner
Hydra Zerg WCS S2 Winner
ByuL Zerg 71% winrate TvZ
Classic Protoss SSL S2 Winner
Dream Terran 65% Winrate TvP
Polt Terran WCS S1 Winner
Zest Protoss Incredible 76% Winrate PvP
Lilbow Protoss WCS S3 Winner
sOs Protoss 69% PvT
Rogue Zerg 44% in ZvP
FanTaSy Terran 5-1 84% in TvT

It’s really hard to pick a winner from this field. Some are definitely in the underdog side of the coin – Fantasy, Polt, and lone foreigner Lilbow – however you just cannot count these guys out. Fantasy is a former Brood War beast with some sparks of great play this year. Polt has always been a crowd favourite and will have the fans behind him – though he has been drifting a little. Lilbow is the lone foreigner who I’m sure will have a flood of fans cheering for him and he can certainly take it to many of these players – especially the Terrans with his insane 83% winrate in PvT.

blizzcon-respawn1

That said – I think that herO, Maru, Life, ByuL and Innovation will be the key contenders here. A lot will depend on the round of 16 and how that plays out. Life will no doubt bring his A-game and will try and ensure that the foreign fans will have a bad day. Innovation has to deal with Zest which is no small feat. A lot will be held on the shoulders of these young men come November.

Let me know your thoughts on who you think will be in the hot-seat once the final GG is called at Blizzcon, I’d love to know what everyone thinks – post in the comments below.

Esports Contributor for Respawn Ninja. Follow him on @DUCKVILLELOL for all your daily Esports rantings and opinions.

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