SC2I Summer League Quarter-finals Preview!
Schedule : 1900 CET - Nerchio vs DmC ; 2015 CET - Tefel vs Complain ; 2130 CET - Patience vs Adonminus ; 2245 CET - Kas vs WaKa
The SC2Improve Summer League 2014 has been going on for many months now. It was not a pretty start - the first two qualifiers saw stream issues so that we could not broadcast the entirety of the event and the qualifiers following saw multiple delays and postponements as real life issues and other tournaments kept interrupting the original plan. When we finally got some dates set for the RO16 we were a month behind schedule - but then something else came up to force us to delay the groups for even longer.
Thankfully this is all behind us and we had some really awesome games in the RO16, leaving us with 8 players who will be hunting for the SC2Improve Summer League 2014 title. The quarter-finals are expected to all be broadcast on the 30th of October, but we are still awaiting confirmation from 1-2 players. Until the show is good to go, here is our preview of the players and matches in the quarter-finals!
First up in the bracket we have Patience - our only Korean player remaining! He will be playing from Korea so latency may kick up a bit of an issue, but he seemed to deal with it just fine in his RO16 group when had advanced in first place defeating Ignite 2-0 and Complain 2-1. It has been almost an entire year since Patience's breakout performance at DreamHack Winter and since then he has continued to grow and impress. Up against Adonminus in the RO8 he should be feeling confident after his 2-0 victory over him at DreamHack Moscow about a month ago.
Adonminus has previously played Patience in a SC2Improve event, but it was only for a qualifier to last years Winter League (where Patience won the series 2-1.) This Israeli player is someone we know very well around SC2Improve. He was one of the best performers in the SC2Improve Weekly, he was our SC2Improve Winter League 2012 champion and he is the only player to have qualified to the playoffs of all four of our Seasonal events to this date. He will be the underdog going into his series against Patience, but Adonminus always has some crazy strategies to pull out of the bag and to give him an advantage. The fact that this is a Bo5 however makes me question if he will have enough of this to see him through to the semi-finals.
Moving down the bracket we come to Nerchio - no doubt another fan favourite here in the quarter-finals. With a very impressive showing in the RO16 he advanced 2-0 over both PuPu and Kas. Nerchio is a player who hasn't been in the spotlight so much as of late. We all know he can be great and one of the best foreigners in the world, but he hasn't made as much of an uproar for himself this year. He has placed in the RO16 twice and the RO32 once in this years WCS Europe Premier League - but hasn't seen many results elsewhere. Top four is expected of Nerchio in this tournament - but if he comes up against Patience in the semi-finals it would be hard to guess how he will fare.
Nerchio's first opponent will be DmC - a Russian player from Vega Squadron who we have seen a lot of in the SC2Improve Team League over the past two Seasons. Having recently lost 0-2 to Nerchio in The Foreign Hope tournament, things don't look so great for our Protoss player as he heads into his quarter-final match. In the group stages he showed us a combination of strong timing attacks with some quick three-base play mixed in against Zerg players, so what will he magic up for us to watch against Nerchio?
WaKa was the victor of Group C - coming out ahead of DmC. Unfortunately he pulled the short straw and goes up against Kas in the quarter-finals, who finished second place in his group behind Nerchio. WaKa has been one of those players this season who seems to have come from nowhere. With some solid performances throughout the qualifiers he pushed his way into the RO16 and continued to impress from there. He has also been performing well in the SC2I Team League and is always cheered on by a mass of Spanish fans - but will the cheers for him be enough to get him through the titan that is Kas? Out of all of the Aligulac predictions it is this match which is perceived as the most one-sided.
This isn't that unexpected -- Kas is an absolute legend of a player. He has been on the rise again lately with some great finished in online competitions, such as Who's The Best European? hosted by BasetradeTV, where he was crowned the champion. Kas is probably my personal favorite to win the Summer League this year - but he did look slightly shaky against Nerchio in the RO16. Thankfully for him he won't meet Nerchio again until the finals, so for now the path ahead seems pretty straight forward for him.
Tefel is a player we know well in SC2Improve. This time last year he finished in third place in the SC2Improve Summer League 2013. This was followed by an equally strong run in the SC2Improve Winter League 2013/2014, which was a lot more stacked. He finished in fourth place in this, behind uThermal, Armani and Solar. Two great performances by Tefel - but the online king will definitely be on the hunt for an appearance in the finals this time around - one step further than he has been able to make it before.
Complain will be his first opponent in the single-elimination bracket. Complain has actually gotten insanely good in the recent months - making this the closest match of the four as predicted by Aligulac. What's even more scary is that he has already shown us some fantastic TvZ in the earlier stages of the tournament and he really could give Tefel a run for his money here. In fact I think Complain is our biggest chance of an underdog story here - and what a turn-out it would be if we saw a TvT in the semi-finals.