Want a preview of TSL4 and its players for Week 1? Look no farther than below!
Amazing spotlight artwork courtesy of Salon Alpin, other photos within the article courtesy of their respective owners/websites.
Alright, we're kicking off TSL4 with this preview, so strap yourself in for a long ride. Consisting of multiple weeks of tournaments, TSL has been an achievement in community tournaments since its inception way back when a game called Brood War was the top dog in RTS. Let's take a look at the matches that will be played this weekend for the Ro32. Page 1 are matches played on July 28th (Saturday), Page 2 are matches played on July 29th (Sunday).
Can HyuN move past his first Major obstacle?
In the first match, I have HyuN taking out Major. In somewhat of an upset, HyuN being a less-known talent, it's bold to say HyuN will take the series but I see potential in this kid. He's won nearly a dozen online cups since the middle of May, and continues to perform excellent on ladder and online. Being that these matches take place online, the factor of stage fright are null and extinct. An aggressive Zerg player, HyuN of Team SCV Life needs to focus to take out Major, but it can be done.
Curious Lee Won Pyo. Forget about George.
Curious over LaLuSh. Curious has taken out Seed recently, in fact he knocked seed out 3:2 to qualify for TSL4 in the Korean Qualifiers, and he's just a solid overall player needing to break through that barrier that blocks many players, and that is a major LAN title. LaLuSh was once one of the higher tier foreign Zerg players but I've not seen anything as of late that would put him ahead of Curious. LaLuSh has been in a slump recently, not doing anything results-wise since March.
VortiX and The Unknown
I'm going to take VortiX to take out BabyKnight. Despite not having results that would be considered good, there's something about his Zerg play that really catches me off guard, but I can't quite put my hand on it. An ex-WC3 player and quite an intelligent kid on the side, diving into computer programming and a competitive rivalry over the years with his siblin LucifroN, the way VortiX utilizes his units will overwhelm BabyKnight. Although he may not be a favorite/known, look out for him later in the year, especially if he decides to attend IEM Cologne, a premier level tournament where he could indeed break through as a solid Zerg player.
Can Squirtle evolve?
This match is the one everyone's going to be waiting to see. We have what some are calling the best Korean Protoss in the world going up against the fan favorite, Team Liquid's own Ret, the King of Drones. Ret looked very strong at NASL3 against Stephano, the man regarded as the best foreign Zerg in the world, and he held his own against numerous Protoss opponents despite falling in the end. Squirtle is the first player to ever All kill in a GSTL match, and he was one game short of becoming a Royal Roader in GSL Season 2, with Mvp breaking his 14 game winning streak. He's got wicked potential, and in my mind is the favorite for this match, but it will be a very close match.
Alright now that we have Saturday's matches previewed, let's check out what Sunday has in store for us.
The King in the North keeps his crown.
NaNiwa's the clear favorite over JonnyRecco. Although JonnyRecco is only 16 years of age, he does show potential but the difference in skill can't really be spoken of, NaNiwa having way more achievements and official matches under his belt, proving to everyone he's easily one of the best foreigners in the world and possibly the best foreigner right under Stephano. NaNiwa's competed in all the big leagues, and that ability to perform when it counts will edge him out in this match.
Don't Hayda the player, Hayda the game.
Fraer is a great guy, showing potential through his Brood War career (reaching A- on iCCUp) into Starcraft 2, but I have to give this one to Kas. Kas has played over 13,000 games since Starcraft 2 came out, he ladders every single day rain or shine, and he's out for the TSL4 victory. He wants the title bad, and this could be the one major LAN win of his career, his biggest win being at Copenhagen Games Spring 2012, nothing to brag out. Kas is loved by by the whole scene for his hospitality and mannered personality, and he's the clear favorite here.
Can Welmu out-keen Keen?
Welmu over Keen in an upset. Although Keen is Korean, Welmu made cake of PuMa recently at Arena, making a wave go throughout the scene that he's on par with Koreans, even though he's not a known player just yet. In hopes to represent Finland and take out a Korean while he's at it, I'll say that his Protoss style will edge out Keen's mech style that resonates from his history with Brood War.
Life or Death situation.
Again in another foreigner over Korean win, I see Elfi taking out Life of StarTale. Elfi's a very solid Protoss player, and although it's believed to be as the game stands Zergs can easily defend against Protoss players, with a bit of focus the Finnish Hope can take out Life. Elfi's been on stage with the big boys and knows what that pressure feels like, especially falling 1:2 to Welmu at the Finnish WCG Qualifiers. He's from Warcraft III, and being Finland's finest, his control may be the deciding factor in his bout with Life.
Regardless, it seems to be a pretty tightly-packed first week for TSL4 and it's going to be a great show to watch. Unlike certain leagues' formats and player pool, this bracket seems to be very well-balanced and fair to the viewers, showcasing each race evenly along with balancing out foreigners and Koreans quite well, making for a tournament that everyone should tune in and check out. More details regarding the stream, where everything's going down and all that stuff will be posted either later today or tomorrow. Think my picks are mad and yours are better? Let us know in the comments below!