MLG Raleigh Preview
RALEIGH, North Carolina, United States - The MLG Pro Circuit hits Raleigh, NC this weekend, and doing so kicks off the first major StarCraft 2 tournament on the North American continent.
On Friday, exactly one month after its much anticipated release, 64 top North American StarCraft 2 players will take the Raleigh Marriott City Center by storm and take part in the first major StarCraft 2 event on North American soil at MLG Raleigh. This first event will feature a slew of top players and a lot of great games, and will carry a $7,000 prize pool.
Casted by Sean "Day" Plott, JP McDaniel, Alex "HDStarCraft" Do, and Mike "Husky" Lamond, the event is going to be a great kickoff to StarCraft 2 in North America.
Players to Watch:
Kevin "qxc" Riley - You've probably heard of him. Qxc, playing for Root Gaming, is currently one of the top North American Terrans. He made quite a splash early on during the beta, and continued his strong play, concluding with a top 4 finish in Day's Razer King of the Beta. He continued to impress with the launch of StarCraft 2, qualifying for the ESL Intel Extreme Masters American Championship group stage, taking 4th in the 1st qualifier cup, and winning or placing well in several other online events. His innovative and creative Terran play make him a threat to any and all players in the field.
Tyler "Liquid`Tyler" Wasieleski - Known as NonY in Brood War, the defending TSL champion was a force to be reckoned with in Brood War and also the beta, pioneering many Protoss strategies there and showing well in tournament play, highlighted by a third place finish in the HDH Invitational. He hasn't appeared with much activity since the launch of StarCraft 2, but knowing Tyler, he is preparing hard with his Liquid teammates. His mechanics are the highlight of his strengths, largely in part due to his stay in Korea with the progaming team eSTRO in 2009. His mechanics alone make him a heavy favorite to take home the title.
Chris "HuK" Loranger - A relative newcomer to the scene, HuK made his impact in the beta, showing strong in many tournaments and placing well all throughout his competitions, including a 3rd place finish in the TeamLiquid SC2 Invitational #2 and earned a place in Day's Razer King of the Beta. When the retail launched, HuK continued his strong play, qualifying for the upcoming ESL Intel Extreme Masters American Championship group stage, taking 3rd in the 1st qualifier cup. He also receieved an invite to the Intel Extreme Masters Global Challenge in Cologne, where he was able to take a series off of Tarson, the eventual 4th place finisher. Playing for Millenium, HuK is a threat to all players due to his strong play at the event.
Roman "Silver" Strieb - Representing Complextiy Gaming, Silver is a former top WarCraft 3 player who made the transition to StarCraft 2, with surprising results. Shortly after coming onto the scene, Silver defeated IdrA, qxc and HuK to win the first ESL IEM egular season cup and qualify for the ESL IEM Americas Group Stage. A former Random player in WarCraft 3, is intelligence and game knowledge is on par with the best of the best in the game, and he should be considered a threat to any and all players.
Bryce "Machine" Bates - The Evil Genius Zerg Machine was a top North American player in Brood War and continued his success into the StarCraft II Beta. He played very well in the beta stages, taking 2nd place in the Hello, Goodbye tournament, losing to IdrA in the finals, and winning the MLG King of the Beta Hill against teammate LzGamer. He boasts very strong mechanics and game sense, and will give even the best players a run for their money in the hunt for gold,.
Paul-David "SLush" Pagé - SLush was a former StarCraft: Brood War player in the late 90s and early 2000s before switching to playing Counter-Strike for several years. After switching back to StarCraft II during the beta, he instantly showed good results, winning the TeamLiquid SC2 Invitational 2, overcoming iNcontroL, Artosis, Louder and CauthonLuck to claim the title. He continued his success in launch, taking 2nd place in the 7th and 9th editions of the GosuCoaching Weekly, behind Sheth and KawaiiRice, respectively. His strong finishes in the past and recent results make him a strong contender to place high in the tournament and represent Root Gaming well.
There are plenty of other top players contending this weekend, including Jake "LzGaMeR" Winstead, Shawn "Sheth" Simon, Andre "Gretorp" Hengchua, Rori "CauthonLuck" Bryant-Raible, Kelby "iNka" Williams and many more. Tune in to check out as many games as possible and keep tabs on the coverage here at Insider Esports.