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MLG Spring Arena 2 Preview


With the MLG Spring Arena 2 about to kick off in New York, the most prominent players of both the Korean as well as the foreigners’ scene will display not only their skill, but also the very new and interesting draft system.

The Tournament

With a total of 32 players this event will feature the pantheon of StarCraft 2 pro players, with names such as DongRaeGu, Stephano, Ganzi, MMA and MC, who had the opportunity to step in after MarineKing was unavailable to attend. An online, invite-only qualifier was held to determine the ranking of these players with many surprising results. Not only did players like Tefel and Socke rank, contrary to the expectations of many, in the top half, but MLG veterans like Leenock and HuK find themselves on the lower end.

Artosis and Tasteless have been replaced by their British counterparts, Apollo and TotalBiscuit joined by GSL’s Wolf, djWHEAT, Rob Simpson and JP McDaniel. One of todays most reknowned observers Adebisi will do his job on the main stream. Broadcast will start at 4:30 pm EST (22:30 CET). Check the links below for schedules and other details.

It is to be noted that the top 12 of this tournament will move on straight to pool play at the MLG Spring Championship. The bottom 16 will advance in the Open Bracket to Winners round 4.

The Draft

1: Korea DRG
2: Korea Ganzi
3: Korea Heart
4: Korea Oz
5: Korea SeleCT
6: Sweden ThorZaIN
7: France Stephano
8: Germany Socke
9: Korea Symbol
10: Korea Killer
11: Korea Mook
12: Poland Tefel
13: Korea Alicia
14: Korea Sleep
15: Korea MMA
16: Ukraine Bly
17: Korea viOlet
18: Korea Polt
19: United States IdrA
20: Germany Goody
21: Korea Dream
22: Korea Rain
23: Netherlands Grubby
24: Korea Inori
25: Korea Ryung
26: Canada HuK
27: Netherlands Ret
28: Korea Losira
29: Korea Leenock
30: Sweden Seiplo
31: United Kingdom BlinG
32: Korea MC

Winner of Spring Arena 1 and acclaimed MarineKingKing: DongRaeGu
Photo by: MLG

The one thing that caught many people in awe was the implementation of a system entirely fresh to MLG tournaments. The top 16 players from the qualifiers would be able to pick their favorite opponent to play against. DongRaeGu, being ranked first, would get the first pick, Ganzi the second, etc. The player ranked 16th would have to face the one player noone else chose.

A great aspect of this system is that it can produce amazing storylines. It can create and rivalries, surprises and upsets. On the other hand, the order of the players is misleading at best. Polt and MC, arguably two of the group of favorites, are stuck in the lower half and remain for those with the last picks to choose from. So placing in the middle of table is, in a way, more of a curse than a blessing.

The final picks can be seen below.

Draft picks
Korea DongRaeGuVSUnited Kingdom Bling
Korea GanziVSGermany GoOdy
Korea HeartVSSweden Seiplo
Korea OzVSNetherlands Grubby
Korea SeleCTVSKorea Rain
Sweden ThorZaINVSKorea Inori
France StephanoVSKorea Ryung
Germany SockeVSUnited States IdrA
Korea SymbolVSKorea Dream
Korea KillerVSNetherlands ret
Korea MoOkVSKorea Losira
Poland TefelVSKorea Leenock
Korea AliciaVSKorea viOlet
Korea SleepVSCanada HuK
Korea MMAVSKorea MC
Ukraine BlyVSKorea Polt

The Verdict

With a player pool like this, practically anything can happen. As always, Korean player are expected to come out on top, but with the number of foreigners at the tournament, at least two or three huge upsets are bound to happen. We could also see one of the lesser known Koreans, such as Inori, Ryung or MoOk, have his big break-through at this event. Looking from the top, though, is DongRaeGu. The most recent MLG champion, swept through the qualifiers and goes into the tournament as strong as ever.

One of the more surprising players to make it even through the qualifiers this well has to be Tefel. Unlike his fellow Poles MaNa, Nerchio and Tarson, he has gone unnoticed for the most part but this may be his chance to make it big. He had all three races to pick from, but he chose Leenock and considering his results against Bly and ret in the qualifiers, perhaps not the worst decision.

The last time Grubby was at MLG he proved that he can cast. Now he wants to remind people that he can play, too.
Photo by: MLG

Another mirror match will be played by Grubby who is up against Oz. While PvP has come a long way, there are still players who handle the mind games better than others. If Grubby manages to take advantage of his micro-heavy Warcraft III play style and utilizes his Warp Prism drops well, we may end up seeing another Korean beat. Granted, it will take a bit more than just skill for Grubby to beat Oz.
The fact that Heart picked Seiplo seems like an obvious decision at first glance, but once you realize that Seiplo is probably the player with the least exposure of all contestants, you have to wonder if the Korean didn’t draw a bit of a wildcard with this one.

Schedule and details: MLG

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