WCG USA StarCraft Previews
This weekend, 10 of the best SC players in the country will battle it out to see who will get the right to represent Team USA in November at the WCG Finals in China. Among them are WCG Ultimate Gamer participate Geoff "iNcontroL" Robinson and Greg "IdrA" Fields, a progamer for the Korean team CJ Entus.
This weekend's favorite is obviously Fields, who has been training 8 hours a day, every day in Korea for the past year and a half. His training has shown incredible results lately, as he has won almost every foreign tournament he has taken part in. His biggest weakness is still unorthodox play, something that could get the better of him in this field of players, but the Bo3 format plays to his advantage in negating this ability. IdrA should theoretically take the tournament without dropping a series, but that's why they play the games, right?
The tournament's three Zerg players all stand in the way of IdrA's dreams, as they have the best ability to take down the Terran. While his mechanics are up to snuff, Zerglings seem to get him every time. Jake "LzGaMeR" Winstead, Bryce "Machine" Bates and Robinson, all representing Evil Geniuses this weekend, are three different Zergs with three different threats to IdrA. Machine is the least likely to make any splashes against IdrA. While he plays very solidly, his standard style is most likely to be easily brushed aside by IdrA. LzGaMer's aggressive Zerg play should make for some great games against IdrA, as he will likely bring a solid mix of standard and off-beat play to throw him off of his game. However, if anyone is going to overcome IdrA this entire weekend, it is iNcontroL. iNcontroL's biggest advantage is his creative and strategic play. Rather than riding all the way on mechanics, iNcontroL utilizes unique strategies that throw his opponents off and give him advantages that wouldn't normally be had.
Behind the three Zergs sit a pair of players who also utilize unique strategies to catch players off-guard. One Protoss, Eric "G5" Rothmuller, and one Terran, Dan "Nyoken" Eidson, are the two biggest non-Zerg threats to IdrA. Nyoken is primarily a poker player who likes to fake builds and bluff out his opponents into thinking one thing then countering the hell out of them. G5, alternatively, plays very odd, unique builds, trying to out-think and out-wit his opponents in games. He usually comes out on top when an opponent overreacts to what he does. However, don't discredit his mechanics, he can carry to the mid- and late-game just as well as any Protoss stateside.
There has to be a special category for one player. David "Louder" Fells, on behalf of EG, plays incredibly when he's in a LAN atmosphere. Last year and this past May in the US Invitational, Louder played beyond anyone's expectations for him. He placed 3rd and 2nd, respectively, and shocked people in the process. It would not be a surprise at all to see him finish in the top 3 of the tournament.
At the bottom of the tournament sit 3 players - Dan "Artosis" Stemkoski, Adrian "KawaiiRice" Kwong and Kelby "iNkA" Williams. Artosis, while a great player and a common site at WCG USA, hasn't been playing up to snuff of some of the other players lately. His schedule working and doing media in Korea has kept him from doing his absolute best practicing, and it shows when he gets up against top competition. KawaiiRice and iNkA are two fresh faces to WCG USA. KawaiiRice, representing Team Pandemic, has not seen major LAN exposure in his short career, and while he can be expected to take a few games down, he is unlikely to come out on top of the tournament. iNkA was recently picked up by EG, and got his qualifying spot by default after David "Dino" Kent had to withdraw from the tournament. His LAN experience is limited as well, and he doesn't know all of these guys like the others. While that could play to his advantage, he probably won't get much higher than 3rd in his group this weekend.