I thought it would be fun to do a power rank for the event, so here are my, LuMiX, Sayle, Fujikura and Faust's picks for the event! Hope you enjoy the read, if you do, make sure to post with your power rank down below!
And be sure to flame us for our bad picks - especially LuMiX, he doesn't know what he's talking about.
Get hyped for this weekend . I'll drop a link to the event -> Here <- for anyone who is unaware of the event, please go support them and be sure to tune in for the cast this weekend.
It's nice to see Tastosis doing foreign Brood War again! + Show Spoiler [Fun Fact] +
Do you know, Michael is so new school that he doesn't really know who any of the personalities are? I guess the guy doesn't watch english VODs
Jaeyun is here due to circumstances out of everyone’s control with a last minute withdrawal from the event. We wish him the best of luck and we love him as a player, but unfortunately, it seems unlikely that he will move on past the first round.
Fujikura: "UCSD CSL Ace player. Due to Nyoken, having an un-expected emergency, there was a scramble to find a local replacement who played in the Zotac Qualifiers. I often watch his stream and enjoy his play style and commentary, due to the circumstances I’m placing him in 6th."
Individual Ratings: Everyone 6
KawaiiRice will benefit from three Zergs being in the event, however, he had mixed results throughout the qualifiers and ended up getting the spot due to other players dropping out (travel & visa issues). On the plus side, since qualifying, KawaiiRice has been practicing as much as anyone and has been putting up good results in his practice matches.
His biggest threats are DragOn and TvT. With these being on either side of the bracket, it’s pretty much impossible for KawaiiRice to skit on by without running into either. KawaiiRice will have to go all the way in the Winner Bracket and hope that UltrA gets knocked down.
Eywa-: "KawaiiRice is probably the best of any player here at getting an economic advantage out of the early game. If he can bring a few timing attacks to the event, he could become a real threat, developing into a favorite."
Individual Ratings: Eywa- 5, LuMiX 5, Sayle 4, Fujikura 5, Faust 4
UltrA in his prime would likely be up at the #2 slot… There are a lot of questions however about his current activity. He doesn’t play in tournaments and he also is one of the three players who hadn’t qualified through the main qualifiers. While he didn’t directly qualify, it’s important to note that he still put up really good performances in both South American qualifiers. He is very confident in TvZ, which means he should be very confident in his first match.
His biggest threat is DragOn, UltrA has been practicing with Dandy in TvP because he isn’t very confident in this matchup.
Fujikura: In my heart he’s the #1, but to be un-biased I’ve placed him at 3rd. He’s a macro oriented player that’s had a lot of success in the past in WCGs and Online tournaments, currently he’s arguably the best active Chilean 1v1 player.
Sayle: Used to be active but I don't know how much he plays now. In active days, I would rate him #2 but since I don't know, I'll put him here.
Individual Ratings: Eywa- 3, LuMiX 3, Sayle 5, Fujikura 3, Faust 5
Hawk is a bit of a dark horse, not much is known about the former Starcraft 2 Pro. He won the first qualifier, but hasn’t otherwise played in any tournaments. Word on the street (Discord) is that this guy is super skilled. His ladder ranking matches that of Michael and if that’s not scary enough, his playstyle is almost completely unknown. We’re not sure if anyone really knows what this player is capable of and if he is underestimated, he might just win it all.
His biggest threat is DragOn, a player which he will like not beat in a straight macro game, and anything he can do to throw this Protoss off of his game will lead to an advantage.
Other threats: Zerg (this guy has seriously good ZvT)
Considerations: Neither of his biggest threats have any LAN experience
"Faust: Hawk has beaten Dragon in team leagues, so I have faith in him. And his ZvZ is very strong. It comes down to how he plays vs Ultra and Kawaii.
"Eywa-: The truth is, Hawk is a little bit of a wildcard. He took the first qualifier, so he has had far more time to practice than everyone else for the finals. It also means that he played won in the weakest qualifier due to the lack of time players had to prepare. This leaves a lot of questions, what is Hawk’s final form? How does that compare to the other players in this event? All we have are whispers from what people have seen in training and ladder. The word on the street is that he will be a real competitor he should be able to move past the first round, and if he has properly studied DragOn’s play, he may even be able to pull an upset there."
Individual Ratings: Eywa- 4, LuMiX 4, Sayle 3, Fujikura 4, Faust 1
DragOn, the consensus number 2 pick. He is a terrific macro player and should be able to take any game where he gets to play his style. Everyone seems to want to put DragOn in the number 1 spot on their power rank, but the consensus is: Too many Zerg threats. Both Michael and Hawk have the potential to throw DragOn off of his strong rhythm, there are many opportunities for Zerg players to exploit a standard Protoss player.
Other advantages that he holds is that he has been an active contributor to the scene for longer than any other player at this event, he is likely to be closest to his top form.
Biggest threat: Zergs
Fujikura: The lone Protoss. He has been one of my favorite players for a while, being as I’m a Protoss player myself. He has a lot of experience getting far into tournaments and winning them, winning the 2nd NA Qualifier, a strong macro oriented player, with there being so many Zerg players In the tournament it should put him down lower, but he plays Zerg vs Protoss, so he knows the disadvantages Protoss face vs Zerg and seeing as there’s no other Protoss for him to worry about and the advantages he has over Terran he’s in a good spot.
Sayle: Probably either he or Michael will win it but since it's PvZ, I put Michael ahead of him. Unlikely to lose PvT to the terrans
Eywa-: He is also such a strong macro player which should leave him with a very good advantage against the mostly standard playstyles of UltrA and KawaiiRice. He could run into trouble if he runs into some unexpected timings, but with his biggest threats (Michael and UltrA) being on the other side of the bracket… He’s likely to go far.
Individual Ratings: Everyone 2
Michael, the CheeseKing and legendary new school player tops the list at number 1. Michael’s road to ZOTAC wasn’t the easiest, in fact, he didn’t always put up the best performances in the qualifiers and often got in his own way. Still, Michael is a dynamic player who is known to use every strategy in the book and his incredibly high skill cap is really what makes this Zerg such a frightening opponent.
His biggest threat in this event is almost by consensus DragOn, who is a formidable macro player.
Other threats: Terrans
Fujikura: "The king of cheese. Sporting a 2500 MMR ladder ranking and winning the final Zotac Qualifier for NA. He was the favored player in every Qualifier, but due to certain situations he wasn’t able to qualify sooner. A very strong Zerg with quite a bit of experience, hasn’t appeared in many online tournaments as of late, so other than his strong appearances in the Zotac Qualifiers and his strong games vs Dandy in the Zotac Global Tournament, I don’t have a lot of content to make this ranking, aside from strong PATL Performances."
Faust: "Michael is the hardest for me cause in practice he is amazing but his play in the last few qualifiers was not his best"
Sayle: "Relatively poor performance in qualifiers given his overall skill level but IMO his only real competition is DragOn, who he will have a good MU of ZvP against, and Kawaii because ZvT is hard"
Eywa-: "Michael is my pick to win the entire event, however, I wouldn’t consider him the favorite. Michael’s top form is likely the best of anyone at this event, I don’t believe that he has reached that form yet in 2017. His play has such versatility and is so unpredictable that it is likely to be difficult for the other players in the event to play the game they want to play. Michael wants to play a very different game than most of the players in this event, thus his success or failure in this event will depend on his ability to drive the flow of play. If he can get the opponent to play his game, rather than sticking to their game plan, he will likely prevail."
Individual Ratings: Eywa- 1, LuMiX 1, Sayle 1, Fujikura 1, Faust 3