The world of esports is about to get rocked as Blizzcon 2018 begins on November 2nd and with it, the opening round of the highly anticipated quarter-finals of the StarCraft II 2018 World Champion Series. It’s been an incredible year for the world of StarCraft and there have been some truly astounding runs, but there can only be one champion left standing who can proudly say that they are the world’s best.
This year, we are blessed with an all-star line-up of players who are so good, they make it truly impossible to tell who the next world champion will be – but let’s take a look at who the favorites are to take home the glory (And of course, a big, fat, paycheck).
In the running is the Rogue from Team Jin Air, the former 2017 World Champion who is looking for a back-to-back title defense. Although the South Korean Zerg’s results haven’t been the most impressive this year, he is still in good form and by no means incapable of taking the crown again. Known for his hard work, tenacity, and dedication, many viewers may be surprised when he executes a tricky build that he’s been undoubtedly hiding up his sleeve.
Then, we have the Mexican Terran SpeCial from Team Predator, who lost 2:1 to Rogue in Group D’s round-of-16, but won convincingly in the losers bracket, defeating both Nerchio and Classic with an unbelievable 2:0 apiece to make the quarter finals. Though he has the skill to win, SpeCial is also known to choke. Nonetheless he’s also earned some impressive results, having ended up with a third place finish last year at Blizzcon and qualifying again this year for the second time in a row, being the first foreign StarCraft II pro gamer to do so.
And in the spirit of firsts, there’s also Maru from Team Jin Air, the South Korean Terran widely considered to be the tournament favorite. A young, quiet, and somewhat awkward genius, Maru can’t help but feel the pressure as he is expected by all to bring home the gold. As the first and only South Korean Triple-Crown winner (Winner of all 3 GSL tournaments this year), Maru has already made himself a living legend. With his meta-establishing low-commitment proxy builds, his flexibility and mercurial play-style is going to be very hard to beat.
Lastly, there is Serral of Ence eSports, a young Finnish Zerg who might be the only foreigner truly capable of challenging the dominant South Koreans in the StarCraft scene. As the first and only Grand-Slam champion, (Winner of all 4 WCS Circuit tournaments this year), Serral has not only proven that he is the best outside of Korea, but that he can also stand at the top as he was crowned the tournament champion of GSL vs. the World back in August of this year. Though he had already defeated Maru, it was only in a best of one. In a series, Maru is an absolute beast, known for his thorough research and hard work. Now that he’s had three months to prepare for his revenge, Maru will undoubtedly provide a difficult challenge for our Finnish Zerg.
It’s going to be an exciting series to watch as our players duke it out in a no-bars hold series to find out who’s the best.
Tears will be shed; dreams will be shattered.
Legends will be born.
Make sure to tune in to to Blizzard’s Stream at 3:30 pm EST, November 2-3, for the the epic conclusion of this year’s 2018 WCS Global Finals.