GSL Super Tournament 2by Wax
Last Dash for the Global Finals
Start time: Thursday, Oct 03 8:00am GMT (GMT+00:00)
At last, it's time to enjoy one of my favorite traditions in professional StarCraft II: the final WCS point-giving tournament before the Global Finals. This year, the distance between Korea's top eight and the pack of BlizzCon* hopefuls is particularly wide, and there's a good chance that we'll see the current top eight lock in their spots.
Still, there's nothing quite like watching a player try to make that miracle run, with every match win making it seem like we might witness true StarCraft magic. And so, it's time to break down the qualification scenarios for the players who haven't yet locked in their Global Finals spots, gawk at the ridiculous bracket draw, and hope I did my math correctly.
*Calling the Global Finals Ro16 'BlizzCon' was always technically incorrect, as it was held in separate studios prior to the actual BlizzCon? event. But now that the Ro16 is being held 3000 miles away from southern California, the misnomer has become especially amusing.
Super Tournament 2 Point Awards
- 1st: 1500
- 2nd: 1050
- 3rd-4th: 675
- 5th-8th: 450
- 9th-16th: 225
Everybody Hates Classic: PartinG, Solar, and GuMihoPartinG (#15), Solar (#14), and GuMiho (#12) are stuck in limbo, wondering if they've already been eliminated from WCS Global Finals contention.
Here's the situation: everyone is waiting to see if Classic (#3) will receive permission from the Korean military to travel overseas for the BlizzCon portion of the Global Finals. If Classic DOES manage to participate, then PartinG, Solar, and GuMiho are just dead men walking, with absolutely no chance of earning enough points to break into the top eight of the standings.
If Classic unfortunately has his travel visa denied and is forced to forfeit his spot in the Ro16 (the reasonable assumption is that Blizzard wouldn't allow him to play in ONLY the group stage), then these three players could hope to make a miracle run in the Super Tournament and qualify for the Global Finals.
PartinG and Solar would have the same qualifying conditions:
- PartinG/Solar win the entire tournament AND TY finishes RO4 or lower
Amusingly enough, these two have been paired against each other in the first round, so one of them will be 100% eliminated from Global Finals contention off the bat (more on this below).
GuMiho's qualification conditions would be slightly more lenient, if still highly unlikely:
- GuMiho wins the entire tournament (no other conditions)
- Finish runner-up AND both TY and RagnaroK fail to reach the finals.
Given their recent form, it's hard to see GuMiho or PartinG hit their qualification conditions in this rather stacked Super Tournament. Of the three, I think Solar is the best equipped to beat the odds, as he actually showed championship-tier play in a handful of recent Code S matches. The main knock against Solar is that he can be inconsistent from game to game, so he'd need to go on a ridiculous streak of high-rolls to claim the championship.
This video is relevant every year.
The Deathmatch of Hope: RagnaroK and TYBy a peasely difference of 75 points, RagnaroK (#11) escapes being included in the auto-eliminated-by-Classic tier. Not that it means RagnaroK's odds are any good, as he's almost in a championship-or-bust situation.
If Classic is in the Global Finals, RagnaroK's qualification conditions are:
- Win the entire tournament, AND Stats loses in the Ro16, AND then RagnaroK defeats Stats in a tie-breaker for #8.
If Classic is out of the Global finals, RagnaroK's qualification conditions become
- RagnaroK wins the entire tournament.
- Finish runner-up, AND both GuMiho and TY finish RO4 or lower.
Funny enough, RagnaroK will have one of those conditions under his control, as he faces TY (#10) in the very first round of the Super Tournament. That's right, not only do we have the Solar vs PartinG first round match above, we have TY and RagnaroK in the same branch of the bracket, meaning we'll see the qualification scenarios become simplified very quickly. Should TY survive this quadrant of the bracket, his qualification scenarios are as follows.
If Classic is in the Global Finals, TY's qualification conditions are:
- TY wins the entire tournament, AND any one of Stats OR herO loses in the Ro16.
If Classic is out of the Global Finals, TY's qualification conditions are:
- TY wins the entire tournament.
- TY finishes runner-up, AND neither RagnaroK nor GuMiho win the championship.
- TY finishes top four, AND neither RagnaroK nor GuMiho reach the finals, AND neither Solar nor Parting win the championship, AND Stats loses in the Ro16, AND TY wins a tie-breaker against Dear.
No, the last scenario probably isn't happening, but it was still funny to write out such a convoluted sequence of events.
Even though RagnaroK leveled up considerably in 2019, he's not yet at the skill level where you think he could win the entire Super Tournament against a field of mostly Code S champions. However, I do think he has a decent shot at ruining TY's BlizzCon dream in the first round. Remember, RagnaroK managed to take a map off Maru in the Code S quarterfinals by dealing a precise and powerful blow at a weak timing for Maru's BC-mech. While TY often goes for creative early-game harassment, he also likes to play greedy, macro-oriented mech builds as well. Depending on TY's strategy selection, this series could end up being surprisingly close.
Not Even Playing in this Tournament: DearSo, we gotta talk about Dear (#9), despite the fact that he failed to qualify. He can't earn any more points, and he's stuck at the #9 spot with 3750 points. Technically, I could have put him into the PartinG-Solar-GuMiho tier, since he's auto-eliminated if Classic ends up being BlizzCon eligible. However, I'm singling Dear out for some special attention because a humorous qualification scenario opens if Classic drops out:
- GuMiho/Solar/PartinG finish runner-up or lower, AND RagnaroK finishes RO4 or lower, AND TY finishes RO8 or lower, OR TY finishes top four AND Dear wins their tie-breaker match.
You might say it would be unlikely for all these conditions to hit at once, but...
Just reminding you, once again, that the Super Tournament draw worked out so that four of the players fighting for a Global Finals spot are in the same quadrant of the bracket. Meanwhile, GuMiho is stuck on the death-half of the bracket where he'll have to beat one of Rogue/Stats/Dark/Maru in the semifinals.
I'm not joking when I say this: IF Classic drops out, I like Dear's chances of qualifying by sitting at home and doing NOTHING more than I like the chances of any of Solar/PartinG/TY/GuMiho/RagnaroK making a miracle run.
Protect Ya Neck: herO and StatsAfter all of the complicated scenarios listed before, it's a relief to get to herO (#7) and Stats (#8). Their qualification scenario is simple: win a single f***ing series. Yup, that's it. A series win will put them beyond reach of anyone chasing behind them, regardless of what happens to Classic.
Even if they don't advance a single round, they're still in pretty good shape.
herO can be only be eliminated in ONE scenario: he loses in the Ro16, AND Classic remains in the Global Finals, AND Stats finishes RO8 or better, AND TY wins the entire Super Tournament.
Stats has a couple more elimination scenarios, but they're highly unlikely (basically covered in all of qualification scenarios for TY and RagnaroK that involve Classic staying in the Global Finals).
Furthermore, if Classic does end up dropping out of the Global Finals, then both Stats and herO auto-qualify as well.
Mini-game: Avoid the SerralNow that I write it all out, it really feels like the Super Tournament will end up being like WCS Fall where no one outside the top eight will be able to make a splash. However, there's an entirely separate race worth watching that's going on between the already qualified players.
The Ro16 groups at the global finals are 100% fixed depending on WCS Korea and WCS Circuit standings. According to the rules, #1 Circuit seed Serral and #4 Korea seed Maru are set to be placed into the same group. Obviously, Serral would hope to avoid facing Maru so early in the tournament, while Maru would share that sentiment.
This could end up being an unexpected boon for the viewers. We all know that Maru (#4) has fallen flat on his face in previous Super Tournaments and other 'weekender' style tournaments. While some fans have put this on the lack of preparation time, others have suspected that Maru was simply slacking off in smaller events.
Well, now we get to put those theories to the test. With the fear of Serral in his heart, will Maru actually bring his A-game to a Super Tournament?
He can't just tank this tournament and hope Rogue (#5) or soO (#6) overtake him. In soO's case, he's uhh... not playing so great these days, to put it kindly. As for Rogue, he might look like the best player in Korea right now, but he's not dominant in a way that guarantees a high finish.
No, the only surefire way for Maru to escape the #4 seed is to