Alone amidst the wolves: Scarlett in WCS Season 2 finals
We continue our WCS Season 2 coverage by taking a peek at one of the most prolific foreigners and the brightest North American player of modern StarCraft - Sasha "Scarlett" Hostyn.
To a big extent, it makes all the sense to feature Acer’s Scarlett in an article of her own. In these days of a dying North American scene, the young Sasha Hostyn successfully stands, now for many months, as the very best the continent has to offer.
A player unique in every conceivable way, Scarlett has, with time, become the continent just as much as the continent has become her and the days when she represented Canada and Canada only are long gone. Ever since the 2012 WCS North American finals, Scarlett has grown into a singular unshatterable rock against the crashing Korean waves trying to drown her own land, to a large extent successfully. Just a quick skim through her track record is enough to paint her as the most consistent North American player since the early days of HuK and maybe even as the most successful NA player of all time.
But, as the novel title goes, the winner stands alone. Ever since the beginning of 2013 and the WCS, Scarlett has gotten used to be among the exceptions in almost every single tournament she’s attended. The start of the year caught her playing against NesTea in Iron Squid II quarter finals as one of only two North Americans to reach that far. In WCS American Season 1 she was part of another such configuration as she and Suppy reached the round of 16 before getting eliminated in the same group by eventual finalists HerO and Revival.
Two months in time and Scarlett has already upped her play and results significantly but with the spoils returns the loneliness of the victory. In RSL V, she is the only foreigner in the top four and almost takes out Life for the grand final spot. Even grander is her run through WCS America Season 2 as she becomes the only foreigner to take first place in a Ro16 group, the only American to make playoffs and the only foreigner to survive the quarter finals. Her streak is so impressive and the hope she carries within is so insurmountable that it would make Waxangel label her potential championship to “the greatest thing for the foreign scene in f****ing forever”.
A close loss in five games against ZvZ mastermind Jaedong barred her from the America grand final but not from the Season 2 finals. As Hostyn packs her bags for Cologne, however, she flies to yet another tournament of haunting loneliness, another event where she will once again be “the only something”.
“How so?” you would ask and so I rush to answer. Unsurprisingly, Scarlett is the only representative of her continent in Germany this weekend. As of August 20th, she’s also the only North American in the top 50 according to the WCS rankings and the only foreigner in the top 30 according to our own GosuRankings. With her recent results in mind as well as the aforementioned statistics, Scarlett looks to be the answer of who will take Stephano’s place as the best foreigner in the world and if Naniwa fails to live up to the hype, her ascension might very well become reality.
Looking at the Season 2 line-up and group pairing further builds the hype around the Canadian lady. Out of all sixteen players, she’s one of only two Zergs in the tournament and seeing how Jaedong will likely be shredded to pieces between the ZvP jaws, she’s actually the Zerg with the highest chance of advancing to the playoffs. On her side is also the fact that she’ll be playing exclusively her best match-up (in the group stages at least) and will be opening against her own team-mate MMA, whose style she should be familiar with.
Now the only thing that Scarlett needs to do is channel everything about her into actual results. The successes at WCS America and RSL V were impressive enough but there is entire legacy to be conquered at the Season 2 finals and the crown of best foreigner is palatable as it is desirable. Despite the horde of fans who will undoubtedly cheer for Sasha this weekend, she is alone as an Atlas carrying her continent, flag and race on her shoulders and her presence will be judged and examined from many an angle.
Realistically speaking, wishing for the ultimate victory is a bit of a stretch. Fortunately, there are plenty of predators to be upset, plenty of wolves to be slain and lots of room to redefine “the greatest thing for the foreign scene in f****ing forever”.
More WCS Season 2 coverage:
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