It's taken quite some time, but finally we have gotten around all scheduling conflicts and we have got a day for the Summer League 2013 Semi-finals and Finals! It's a great feeling, honestly, as it's been quite the stress as each day went by with no solution. Now all I have to worry about is getting good games! Which, thankfully, is pretty likely when you consider the players we have in the semi-finals! Tefel, JonnyREcco, Noname and Lucky. Four fantastic players, 3 Zergs and 1 Terran.
Semi-final One - JonnyREcco vs Tefel
The first game to be played will be our BO5 ZvZ between JonnyREcco and Tefel. Since we last had a Summer League broadcast all four of our players became WCS Challenger league players - with JonnyREcco and Lucky qualifying in EU and NA respectively to join Tefel and Noname who were already a part of the WCS system.
Unfortunately for JonnyREcco, he remains in Challenger League for the start of 2014 as he fell to ForGG two series in a row to finish third in his Challenger Group, ahead of SortOf who forfeited his matches. This means he lost all WCS Challenger games which he played, as he had already fallen 0-2 to sLivko in the bracket stage of the system.
So not the best of recent results for JonnyREcco, especially when you compare it to Tefel who made it back into Premier League for 2014 by winning his Challenger League bracket; taking victories over SaSe (2-0), TLO (2-1) and TitaN (2-0). But looking at WCS results alone isn't going to be enough to make judgement on this series - the levels of players whom they faced were definitely different and not many would argue with that.
We saw Tefel in the RO8 of the Summer League take a 3-1 victory over Storm - but it wasn't as convincing as you might have thought it would be. The Danish Zerg player put up quite a fight and showed us that Tefel wasn't just on a one-track course to victory. So Tefel is definitely seeming a little bit shaky in his ZvZ altogether - and this feeling is amplified if you look at recent defeats in Qualifiers to Zanster and sLivko. Again though, this also applies to JonnyREcco who lost 1-2 to Ret.
For me this match really comes down to who feels more confident. Maybe if we played this match 5 times in a row we would come out with a different winner each time, maybe it's going to come down to the condition of the players on the day. I'm going to make my prediction based on who I think is the stronger player overall, due to a lot more consistency in recent months. This of course lies in favor of Tefel, who has made a name for himself throughout the whole of HotS, compared to JonnyREcco who has only just come back into the spotlight.
Prediction : Tefel 3 - 1 JonnyREcco
Semi-final Two - Noname vs Lucky
Where do I even begin with this one? With Lucky i suppose - he demolished Qxc in the RO8 with a 3-1 victory. After a shaky start in a macro game he found his stride, deflecting 2-Rax plays and hitting with strong early game aggression to close out the series quickly and cleanly.
Noname has played standard macro games for the majority of the tournament and I don't really see him changing things up here - I expect him to try and draw on the fact that Lucky plays with latency from Korea to his advantage. TvZ is so much about mechanics and consistent engagements that a longer game is definitely going to be in the advantage of the player without latency.
In WCS Lucky took out Vibe and lost to Snute 1-2, while Noname lost to a string of Protoss players as well as MVP. Not much to see here, In GSTL however Lucky has started coming out for his team and one notable victory is against Hyvaa.
Altogether again there really just isn't that much information there from recent games. A big part of me is rooting for Noname, to keep us away from a ZvZ finals; a small part of me would also love to see more fantastic ZvZ which we saw from Lucky in the RO16 against JonnyREcco; but anything can really happen. I think with Noname's predictability and Lucky's mindset in which he is happy to change things up and pulling anything out of the bag to win, Lucky will head into this match-up as the favorite.
Prediction : Lucky 3 - 2 Noname
What more is there to say? I've been waiting for SO LONG for this day - I can barely contain my excitement and emotions. It's going to be amazing, no matter what the out come is. I wish for great games, I wish for all of you to join us to celebrate the end of what has been an amazing tournament in so many ways and on so many levels.
Gl hf to all of our players and make sure to tune in from 1700 GMT / 1800 CET on Monday 28th October to see who will be crowned SC2Improve Summer League Champion 2013.