Eight players remain in the SC2Improve Summer League 2013 but only four can make it into Finals Day - tonight we find out two of these four players. Best of Five is now in play and it's single elimination - every single map matters here for these guys as there are no second chances this time around.
Match One - Qxc vs Lucky (1900 CEST)
Woooowww... Is this really going to be our first RO8 match? It is and I really can't believe it. It's such a shame that these two had to meet so early on in the elimination stages of the tournament because both of them could win this tournament. You could rightfully argue that either of them are favourites to win as well.
Two amazing players should hopefully make for an amazing BO5 - but who is the favourite between these two? Well recently we have seen Terran dominating in TvZ with Marine Marauder Medivac Mine proving to be an extremely efficient and strong composition. But a lot of Terran builds rely on very greedy openings with fast triple orbitals and double upgrades - which is something that can be punished - and if anyone is going to punish it it will be Lucky.
Lucky has shown us on his way to the RO8 that he isn't afraid to be aggressive and use a mixture of all-ins over all match-ups, including in his ZvT. So will he be able to catch Qxc off-guard? The problem is while Qxc does often go for this standard greedy TvZ opening he will frequently open with Reaper's - giving him a much greater ability to scout and spot potential aggressive plays from the Zerg.
He also enjoys playing slightly different openings as we saw against Storm in the RO16 - Hellion/Banshee and Proxied Barracks strategies are something we may very well see from him again which will help him be unpredictable and less counter-able.
Honestly I think this match could go either way. Recently in the Fragbite Master's Qualifier Qxc beat Lucky 2-1, so with this knowledge and also considering ping and the current state of TvZ I am going to predict Qxc to win, but in a close set of games.
Prediction : Qxc 3 - 2 Lucky
Match Two - Noname vs Adonminus (2030 CEST)
Our second game of the evening is between two players who are slightly less known than Qxc and Lucky, but who have definitely not had an easy time getting here and deserve their position. TvP is the match-up - but don't expect ordinary games.
Noname got knocked out of WCS EU in the RO32 this season with losses to Vortix and MVP - but being able to get their alone is a big achievement. His style of play very often in TvP seems to be gasless expands - CC first or Barracks first - and to play a strong macro game from here with the potential for SCV Pulls.
Adonminus is the SC2I Winter League Champion - he likes quirky play - things which can catch his opponent off guard. He mixes in a variety of Stargate openings (Voidray rushes, Proxied Oracles, Phoenixes into Macro) which allows him to be a very dangerous player if you don't scout diligently against him. Sadly for Adonminus he just recently played Noname, where he won 2-1, but this means Noname will almost definitely know what sort of strategies to prepare against.
So both players again can take maps off of each other, but Noname is definitely the more experienced player and with recent games against Adonminus I feel this will help him out more than what Adonminus will have gained from it. It could go either way, but I really feel Noname will have the edge in the series.
Prediction : Noname 3 - 1 Adonminus
Make sure to tune into the RO8 at http://twitch.tv/wardiii from 1900 CEST to see which two players will be the first into the semi-finals!