WCS Season 2 Premier: Snute

May 28 2015
[image loading]

Two Liquidians came up, two Liquidians moved on to the [image loading] WCS Premier League Season 2 Ro16. Moreover, both Bunny and Ret advanced in first place from their groups, which ought to increase their odds of getting favorable groups in the next round. It's all come up roses for Team Liquid so far.

But there is much more WCS left to be played, and three more players left to face the task of moving on. Snute will be the next to give it a go, in an intriguing group that might fairly be considered the Ro32's toughest.

Can he persevere as Bunny and Ret persevered? We hope so, but there's only one way to find out.

2015 WCS Season Two Premier
no [image loading] Liquid`Snute
May 28rd, Cologne, Germany

[image loading] [image loading] 2015 WCS Season Two Premier

The four players in this group have a lot to offer. ROOTHydra is one of the tournament favorites. No surprise, since he was the runner-up last season. Next, there's his teammate, ROOTKelazhur, who qualified as an unknown from Brazil last season and ended up winning hearts by giving our own TLO a run for his money. Third, there's MǂLilbow, who has long been considered the best European protoss by his peers, but has not proved that ability in public matches. Finally there is Snute, who needs little introduction to reader of this. But after his powerful WCS Season 1 run was abruptly stopped by his teammate Bunny, he is surely hungry to go beyond the Ro8 this season.

Lilbow and Kelazhur will open the group, with Snute and Hydra following up with a ZvZ.

fr [image loading] MǂLilbow < 16:00 GMT (+00:00) > br [image loading] ROOTKelazhur
no [image loading] Liquid`Snute < 17:00 GMT (+00:00) > kr [image loading] ROOTHydra

The Aligulac predictions for this match were so surprising, I ran them twice just to make sure. The number crunchers place Lilbow as the group favorite, with Hydra second best, and Snute only the third most likely to move on.

Of course, we know well that ratings can be wrong. Despite being ranked the third favorite, our own Ret defied the odds to advance in first place from Group C. But still, given Snute's pedigree, these numbers are surprising.

What they show us, most of all, is that Lilbow should not be underestimated. Is his rating a bit inflated? Probably. His recent streak of wins against lower-tier European players has obviously bumped up his score. But watch out for the Frenchman. Pros have been touting his skill for a long time and he has the ability to break out on the big stage.

Hydra is the other player Snute must watch out for. But you knew that already. It's a bit confusing that Snute and Hydra have come to be matched against each other in the first round of games in this group, considering how highly both must be seeded. If you switch the order so that... say, Snute plays Lilbow first, his odds of advancing increase slightly. If Snute had drawn Kelazhur first, his odds of advancing would be at 56%!

Opening matches make a difference in this MSL/GSL group format.

                  Top 2      1st      2nd      3rd      4th    
Lilbow 65.61% 35.80% 29.81% 20.38% 14.01%
Hydra 65.15% 33.15% 32.00% 21.84% 13.02%
Snute 49.13% 22.94% 26.19% 27.84% 23.03%
Kelazhur 20.11% 8.11% 12.00% 29.95% 49.93%

Estimated by Aligulac. Modify.

Regardless, Snute must sort out the draw he is given. Hydra will be a challenging opponent, but ZvZ always gives Snute a strong chance. As will Lilbow, but Snute should nonetheless have confidence in his experience and skill over the rising protoss star. Kelazhur proved able enough to pull an upset in the last WCS Season, but this group will probably be a bit too much for him.

Liquid Fighting!

Writer: tree.hugger
Graphics & Format: shiroiusagi
Photo Credits: Arvid Wuensch
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