For you Curious Georges out there, the spotlight pic is of Quiet Lake in Finland. Alright guys, let's hop right into it. ASUS ROG Summer 2012 will be starting on August 2nd and will run into mid-day Saturday rounding up the championship play. Rich will be covering it live from the floor in Helenski while I'll be doing a few match reports along the way.
Seeing as this is a 32-man tournament, let's take a look at my picks for Top 5 at this tournament based on previous results and how the players have been doing lately. Keep in mind that the prize pool is very high stakes, $30,000, so all competitors are as usual, expected to be in tip top shape. Winner takes $13,000, the rest is divided amongst 2nd-8th place. Now for the picks.
Supper time for Suppy?
Definitely someone to watch out for. He's Mr. Perfect as many say, due to being involved in so many leagues, activities and ventures while balancing all of that with school. Recently, he's been on a hot streak and achieved Rank 1 GM on NA servers after a hot run into Top 16 for NA WCS and a sick run in recent MLG and offline events. A very technical Zerg, Suppy can overwhelm an opponent if given the chance, but is his gamesense high enough, or is this all just beginner's luck? I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and give him a generous Top 5, hopefully breaking through the ceiling that's been over his head for quite some time now.
A favorite for this tournament. MC's achievements alone make him a favorite, and that's not even taking into account his recent run in GSL, despite falling in a harsh 4:1 to SeeD. He's one of the best Korean Protoss players in the world and is known for his wicked forcefields and exceptional warpgate unit playstyle. If he can keep his head in the game and not let little things get to him, he'll easily place Top 3. Although I can't confirm, rumours are circulating that if he does indeed take the tournament, we're in for a Gangnam dance, Starcraft Style.
TaeJa Me A Lesson
Easily the best Terran in the world right now. He's dominated every single opponent he's come across, rarely dropping a game while demolishing anyone in his path. He took the last MLG event, Summer Arena, and has been all the rage throughout the scene for his unique ability to adapt to his opponent's style almost instantly. Usually in Starcraft 2, players are more known for mech or bio style, possibly even air in rare cases, but TaeJa is a cyborg, able to play any style given to him. Just in the last month, he's on the IPL5 International Qualifier, TSL4 Qualifers, Summer Arena and has secured his 12th medal in the weekly ESV Korean series. Before that? All-killed Prime in TAC3. Keep an eye on TaeJa if you want to be entertained.
Recco to Wreck
JonnyREcco, Team Dignitas' latest pick up. It wasn't even two weeks ago I said this guy had little potential to explode into the scene, favoring lesser known players over him, and I couldn't have been farther from reality -- he's been on a hot streak lately, winning almost every match he's played in the last week as well as an insane 3:1 over NaNiwa in a PvZ. Is he a top tier player? No, we can't jump that far in yet, but I think the hype surrounding him is real and if he rides the train, he could make Top 5. A rising star Jonny is, so don't sleep on him.
A bit disappointing at Summer Arena, but one tournament can't derail what is one of the most impressive players of 2012. As said previously in past pieces, he's able to beat DRG with confidence and is in that tier with MC as a Protoss player also from Korea. His warp prism play is unrivaled by any other player in the scene right now, and that could be the factor that tips this tournament in his favor, seeing as MC elects to go more warpgate-heavy units and less robo. We'll see, but Top 5 is fair in my book.
Expect the links to the streams as well as details to be posted sometime before the event starts. As per usual, Cadred will have video interviews, a tour of the place and commentary courtesy of Rich as he's at the event, while I'll be knocking out the match reports and general coverage. Any questions? Let us know in the comments section below.