This is all the possible ways a best-of-five series can end in triumph for a player in question. Given the order of the maps, I will attempt to calculate which player was given the least chance of being able to win the finals, by tallying the all possibilities of the ten combinations listed above.
The record of the player in question will be excluded from the match-up record for each of the maps, because I wanted to know the possibility of any other player of the same race being able to win, because one player winning it all may skew the statistics a little too much for my liking.
Without further ado, here are the top nine unluckiest players in terms of which match-up they played in the finals, and the chance the map pool gave them within the context of that specific match-up, without actually taking into account the records of the players in question, but rather looking at the entire records of everybody else.
1. JangBi in Lost Saga MSL
Map order: Neo Harmony, Carthage, Destination, Byzantium 2, Neo Harmony
PvZ win rate on Neo Harmony excluding JangBi's records: 14.29%
PvZ win rate on Carthage excluding JangBi's records: 25%
PvZ win rate on Destination excluding JangBi's records: 42.86%
PvZ win rate on Byzantium 2 excluding JangBi's records: 30.61%
The possibility of protoss zerg player not named JangBi winning this series: 9.95%
Comments: Holy shit. I totally forgot about the map pool imbalance that Lost Saga MSL had in terms of the protoss-versus-zerg match-up. I mistakenly thought it was the second place curse that JangBi used to have that held him back, but quite clearly the map pools were ridiculously hard for him as well. Quite clearly, I should have noticed problems with the map pool if sAviOr out of all people could defeat Bisu in a straight-up match. With the circumstances giving JangBi a mind-boggling single digit expected win rate, it is astounding how that particular narrative wasn't driven home more, especially since how map pool problems were always addressed when it affected more popular players such as Jaedong, sAviOr, or Flash. I guess this tournament goes to show the chasm in power of fan-driven narratives between popular players, and those who were neglected in terms of attention from the general public. I'm certainly guilty of it.
2. Jaedong in Arena MSL
Map order: Colosseum, Othello, Tiamat, Athena, Colosseum
ZvT win rate on Colosseum excluding Jaedong's records: 36%
ZvT win rate on Othello excluding Jaedong's records: 29.31%
ZvT win rate on Tiamat excluding Jaedong's records: 0%
ZvT win rate on Athena excluding Jaedong's records: 40%
The possibility of any zerg player not named Jaedong winning this series: 12.87%
Comments: One of the most bullshit map pool for a major individual tournament finals I have found thus far. Not only was the entire map pool unfavaourable for the zerg race, one of the maps, Tiamat, was an abomination that didn't allow any hope for the zerg against the terran race. fOrGG took his teammate down with surgical precision in a clean 3-0 sweep, and some people at the time pointed to this tournament as to why sAviOr was superior to Jaedong, due to the fact that Jaedong was unable to overcome the difficulty of his situation.
3. Stork in EVER 2007 OGN StarLeague
Map order: Persona, Katrina, Fantasy II, Blue Storm, Persona
PvZ win rate on Persona excluding Stork's records: 0%
PvZ win rate on Katrina excluding Stork's records: 60.33%
PvZ win rate on Fantasy II excluding Stork's records: 50%
PvZ win rate on Blue Storm excluding Stork's records: 49.35%
The possibility of protoss zerg player not named Stork winning this series: 14.89%
Comments: One of the few cases where I seriously regretted taking the records of the player in question out of the equation. Although it is undeniable that Persona was a god-awful map, taking out Stork's records leaves us with just one protoss-versus-zerg match played by TheROCK, who isn't exactly the sole protoss representative everybody hoped for. What makes this entry a little problematic is the fact that the rest of the map pool was quite good for the protoss race. The combination of Persona being played in both games one and five, the general imbalance it had as a map, and the tiny sample size of matches it had during its short stint as a map used in a professional setting, created the perfect storm for boosting Stork way up the list. What's ironic is that despite the huge statistical ramifications Persona had as a map for my particular formula to rank the misfortunes of various finalists, Stork ended up winning both his protoss-versus-zerg matches on this map: one against Jaedong in the group stages, and his sole victory in the finals versus Jaedong. Even with the horrible balance issues that Persona had, I personally don't think this finals warrants a placing as high as this.
4. July in Shinhan 2005 OGN StarLeague
Map order: Pioneer Period, Ride of Valkyries, Sin 815, Rush Hour 2, Pioneer Period
ZvT win rate on Pioneer Period excluding July's records: 16.67%
ZvT win rate on Ride of Valkyries excluding July's records: 51.06%
ZvT win rate on Sin 815 excluding July's records: 40%
ZvT win rate on Rush Hour 2 excluding July's records: 42%
The possibility of any zerg player not named July winning this series: 19.80%
Comments: One of the more over-looked finals in terms of how lopsided the map pool was for one player. July only had one favourable map in the form of Ride of Valyries, and the rest of the map pool was horrible, especially the map chosen to be played twice if the series went that far, Pioneer Period, noted for its incredibly close starting positions. iloveoov stomped July to the ground, and even defeated July on Ride of Valyries after an incredibly nail-biting game.
5. FanTaSy in Bacchus 2010 OGN StarLeague
Map order: Gladiator, Aztec, Pathfinder, Icarus, Gladiator
TvP win rate on Gladiator excluding FanTaSy's records: 27.27%
TvP win rate on Aztec excluding FanTaSy's records: 30.43%
TvP win rate on Pathfinder excluding FanTaSy's records: 33.33%
TvP win rate on Icarus excluding FanTaSy's records: 52.83%
The possibility of any terran player not named FanTaSy winning this series: 21.78%
Comments: I initially overlooked how FanTaSy managed to overcome all odds to defeat Stork on incredibly difficult set of maps, with Icarus being the sole battleground where the terran race was favoured against the protoss race. Stork repeated his mistake of being incredibly complacent with his build orders with the knowledge that the map pool was quite favoured towards him, something he should have learned from his crushing defeat versus Flash in the finals for Bacchus 2008 OGN StarLeague. One of the most incredible against-the-odds performances from any player in history, and FanTaSy succeeds in being the only terran player on this list.
6. Stork in Incruit OGN StarLeague
Map order: Chupung-Ryeong, Medusa, Return of the King, Plasma, Chupung-Ryeong
PvT win rate on Chupung-Ryeong excluding Stork's records: 18.75%
PvT win rate on Medusa excluding Stork's records: 55.56%
PvT win rate on Return of the King excluding Stork's records: 41.75%
PvT win rate on Plasma excluding Stork's records: 43.75%
The possibility of any protoss player not named Stork winning this series: 23.87%
Comments: In a strange reversal of fortune, Stork was the one with the severe map pool disadvantage against FanTaSy this time round. Chupung-Ryeong, the map that was used for both games one and five, was an extremely potent map for the terran race, and a nightmare for most protoss players. Stork was an odd-ball, being undefeated on this map versus the terran race, as well as gathering more number of victories than the rest of the protoss players added together.
7. sAviOr in Shinhan OGN StarLeague S3
Map order: Longinus 2, Neo Arkanoid, Reverse Temple, Hitchhiker, Longinus 2
ZvT win rate on Longinus 2 excluding sAviOr's records: 37.79%
ZvT win rate on Neo Arkanoid excluding sAviOr's records: 24.29%
ZvT win rate on Reverse Temple excluding sAviOr's records: 32.86%
ZvT win rate on Hitchhiker excluding sAviOr's records: 48.67%
The possibility of any zerg player not named sAviOr winning this series: 24.57%
Comment: The only zerg player on this list to truly overcome the bullshit map pool, sAviOr had to battle against one of the worst map pools in memory as far as zerg-versus-terran goes, and somehow managed to miraculously overcome some of the best terran players of his era in the form of Midas, Iris, and NaDa. One of the most electrifying performances of any gamer in history, especially in terms of a single match-up. The most satisfying zerg-versus-terran storyline the professional Brood War scene has ever created thus far, from which most of sAviOr's legacy is built around.
8. Jaedong in BigFile MSL
Map order: Polaris Rhapsody, Odd-Eye 3, Fighting Sprit, Triatholon
ZvT win rate on Polaris Rhapsody excluding Jaedong's records: 34.48%
ZvT win rate on Odd-Eye 3 excluding Jaedong's records: 16.67%
ZvT win rate on Fighting Spirit excluding Jaedong's records: 46.67%
ZvT win rate on Triatholon excluding Jaedong's records: 53.85%
The possibility of any zerg player not named Jaedong winning this series: 26.39%
Comment: Jaedong had numerous battles against Flash, but the only best-of-five series between the two that went to full five games had its battleground take place on a map pool that was less than optimal in terms of balance. A close series that sparked a lot of heated arguments between fans of Jaedong and Flash, some of which I remember being in the thick of.
9. YellOw in Coca-Cola OGN StarLeague
Map order: Neo Hall of Vahalla, Neo Jungle Story, Neo Legacy of Char, Ragnarok, Neo Hall of Vahalla
ZvT win rate on Neo Hall of Vahalla excluding YellOw's records: 29.17%
ZvT win rate on Neo Jungle Story excluding YellOw's records: 39.39%
ZvT win rate on Neo Legacy of Char excluding YellOw's records: 84.21%
ZvT win rate on Ragnarok excluding YellOw's records: 0%
The possibility of any zerg player not named YellOw winning this series: 27.04%
Comment: Aside from Neo Legacy of Char, the saving grace for YellOw, the rest of the maps were some of the worst maps ever created, and YellOw would go on to win all the maps that the rest of the zerg race succeeded in having a win rate over 30% in, but lost both his games on Neo Hall of Vahalla, and of course, Ragnarok, a lock-in for one of the worst maps of all time. A series that gave birth to the most celebrated rivalry of all time, but one that also sparked conspiracy theories about whether Ongamenet gave BoxeR the preferential treatment due to his star status.
I tried to make this list as comprehensive as possible, but this is by no means set in stone, and there could be a plethora of finals that had lopsided map pools for a certain player that I've glossed over by mistake. I'll edit the list as time passes by if I come across any finals that had even more of a map pool issue for a certain player.