GSL vs the World will be held from August 3rd to August 6th in Seoul, South Korea. 16 players will battle it out through a single elimination bracket, with all matches being played as a best of 5, and the grand finals a best of 7, to decide the winner. The hype around this tournament is very big, as it pitches 8 South Koreans against 8 foreigners, giving the viewers a little taste of what’s to come with Blizzcon right around the corner, at the end of the season.
The total prize pool for the event is $96.000, with the winner taking home a figure close to $35.700. The last place is guaranteed roughly $2.250. And you can watch all the action on Starcraft’s official twitch channel: http://twitch.tv/starcraft
We have some very interesting matches right from the start, at the round of 16. Let’s go through them one by one, with some player analysis and betting predictions.
Round 1 GSL vs the World Betting Tips
herO vs Stats
The first match will be a Protoss versus Protoss featuring two veteran Koreans. They both have been around the competitive scene for a long time, always fighting at the highest tier of professional Starcraft 2. It’s going to be an extremely close series, and it could end up going either way – especially if you account for the fact that the PvP matchup can produce some very unorthodox games. So far this year, Stats has shown slightly better results: He won GSL season 1 and came 2nd in IEM season XI, while herO’s most notable result was a GSL Super Tournament win. Stats’ GSL win was back in March, and his level of play hasn’t been the same since.
With that being said, herO’s recent form coming into this event looks better than Stats, whose worse matchup is against Protoss. I predict a back and forth series, with close games and herO coming out on top eventually.
Special vs Kelazhur
(Special, for those out of the scene for a while, is Major’s new ID.)
A TvT match between two old rivals: The best Brazilian versus the best Mexican player in Starcraft 2 history. These two guys play against each other multiple times during the year – usually at the Copa América finals or semifinals. They’re both the strongest gamers in the Latin American region, but have yet to show consistent results outside the region.
Special holds a 72-51 record against Kelazhur (58.54% winrate), and also has better TvT stats overall. All of these facts combined with that he is a more experienced player, point to Special’s victory. It’s not going to be a one sided stomp by any means, but Special should advance to the round of 8 come to the end of the series.
INnovation vs iAsonu
Anything but a clean sweep from INnovation in this series is going to be considered as a surprise. We’re talking about a player with 6 premier tournament wins under his belt, with over $320.000 in prize earnings, versus iAsonu, a guy who has never received a top place in a premier event, ever. He’s arguably the best Chinese player and can dominate his region, but he’s no match to the Koreans – and INnovation is one of the very best of all time.
In my opinion, INnovation takes this one easily and is one of the favorites for the trophy.
Serral vs ByuN
If you ask around, most people will rank ByuN as the number 1 player in the world right now. He has shown time and time again how good his micro can be, making plays that most deemed impossible. Watching his action at the peak is a jaw dropping experience. Serral, on the other hand, is a good Zerg for foreigner standards – but he shouldn’t be too much of a problem for a player of ByuN’s caliber. At most, I see him taking one game by going for an unorthodox or very aggressive build –as ByuN is known to play a very greedy style early game. But ByuN won’t fall for the same shenanigans more than once, that’s for sure.
My GSL vs the World betting prediction is that ByuN goes through without any major worries.
Neeb vs sOs
This matchup is probably the most interesting of the first round. Not because it’s a PvP, but because Neeb is the foreigner with the highest expectations to do well and go deep in this very stacked WCS event. And he’s up against sOs (or $o$, a guy who won the biggest tournaments with the larger prize pools – and he has over $430.000 in prizepool earnings during his sc2 career). This Korean is known for his creativity and early game execution, especially when playing against another Protoss. He can battle a best of 5 and do a different build in every single round, so preparing against a guy like him is a very difficult task.
The foreigner scene waited years and years for someone like Neeb to show up. Someone with the potential and the hunger to dethrone the Koreans. He’s the only foreigner to ever win a Korean LAN since Starcraft 2 has been launched (he won the 2016 KeSPA Cup for $18.100), and he has been racking up WCS wins this year (2 titles as of date, WCS Jonkoping and WCS Austin for $25.000 each).
This matchup is very hard to predict, as these two have never faced each other in a LAN before. But considering sOs’ experience (He has 2 Blizzcon wins and played in countless GSL seasons), I think he is a safer pick for the win here.
TY vs Scarlett
This is yet another matchup of a foreigner underdog versus a Korean powerhouse. But this one should be closer than INnovation – iAsonu or ByuN – Serral. Scarlett has practiced in Korea for a decent amount of time and is way more experienced as gamer than the other 2 – having shown on a few occasions that she can go toe to toe with decent Asian pros. With around $175.000 in prizes, she has yet to conquer a title this year but has placed well in a few of the WCS events throughout the season.
She’s going to be up against TY, a guy who was drafted to play in a broodwar team at the age of 12. A guy with over $400.000 earned, who at some point was considered the best Terran in the world. This year alone he has 2 premier event wins (World Electronic Sports Games and IEM Season XI) and he’s looking strong at the IEM that is happening as of the time of writing this post.
They have played 4 games against each other, with TY maintaining a 3-1 lead over Scarlett. After this series, this gap is probably will be even wider.
Nerchio vs Dark
This is another interesting match between a foreigner and a South Korean. Dark is one of the hottest gamers in the scene right now, establishing himself as the world’s best Zerg and one of the best players overall. ZvZ is his specialty, so Nerchio has a huge obstacle to overcome if he wants to advance to the round of 8. Dark has 2 premier titles under his belt and 5 runner-up spots during the career.
Nerchio hates playing against Zergs, as he has said himself many times on the forums and during interviews. He thinks the matchup is too volatile and has a good amount of variance/rng attached to it, often complaining about it when he lost to guys he considered worse than him. Ironically, what makes him hate the matchup might be that he needs to beat Dark, who is miles ahead of him in every single aspect of the game.
soO vs ShoWTimE
To finish the round of 16, we have the Korean Zerg going up against the German Protoss. Following the trend of the other matchups, the Asian is favored to advance to the next round. soO has two runner-up finishes this year at the GSL, the most competitive event in Starcraft 2. Meanwhile, ShoWTimE only has a 4th position to show this year, at the World Electronic Sports Games, which took place early January.
ShoWTimE’s only chance is to take it to the very late game when he plays best, but it’s going to be a tough task to survive soO’s early and mid game relentless pressure without faltering on his macro for even a second.
They’ve played 2 matches in the past, with soO leading 2-0. Without any surprises, he should also take this one convincingly.
I hope that my Starcraft 2 betting predictions will help you to earn some money!
Stay tuned for the future articles!