The fan favorite (and my personal favorite) StarCraft II event in Croatia is back, and with all 16 participants known, it is time for our beloved predictions of KSET E-Sports LAN 4! So, without any further ado, lets take a look at what awaits us.
The fact that there is no Ptak among the participants, who is the reigning champion of KSET E-Sports LAN, means that we will not see a possible repeat from the last event, where he cruised past the competition to grab the gold that had eluded the legendary Ptak for so long, as he lost in the first two finals (to Starbuck and CheeseKing) before finally grabbing that first place finish on the third edition of the tournament. However, CheeseKing could become the first player to win two KSET LANs, as long as he manages to prove that he is the best Croatian player around. He will surely be the first favorite to take the gold, with his teammate frozz being the closest one to deny him. Speaking of denying, Deny will be a tough nut to crack despite his inactivity; and he was always a hard match-up for frozz. With those two paired in the Round of 16, their match could be a premature semi-finals of the tournament – the winner between the two will most likely play in the finals, unless Evuser, ZoMBi, sPlico or Razbu can make a surprising run and beat one or the other on their way to the grand finals.
I have no idea if there was a seeding system used when drafting the brackets, but with two big names of the Croatian StarCraft II community playing each other in the Round of 16 that is played online, we will miss out on the excitement that comes with the LAN experience or/and the thrill of the later stages of the competition, where one of the two will be missing in action. And with no Ptak, Starbuck or GrayWarden playing, this might be the weakest KSET E-Sports LAN yet.
However, there is plenty to look forward to! On Universe.hr Big Bang LAN, it was frozz who emerged victorious after defeating CheeseKing with 3 to 2 in the grand finals, so the Croatian Protoss powerhouse will want his revenge, while frozz looks to continue his run as the Croatians’ best. But the battle for rest of the Top4 spots will be even more interesting, as the players out of the Croatian Big 4 (Ptak, CheeseKing, frozz and Deny) have a chance for their spotlight.
sprEEEzy is leading that race and might be one of the more promising players of the tournament, following his third place finish on Universe.hr Big Bang LAN. Razbu, ZoMBi, sPlico, Evuser, ibanez, Oogway, Billis, Killerfive and Blask, who is sadly paired with his mentor CheeseKing, are all names that could break the top4 – some easier than others due to particular match-ups – but it will be a tough battle for every player involved. While this might be the weakest KSET yet, that only goes for the names, while the skill level is higher and with players getting better, the games will be more exciting for sure, no matter who plays. Evuser and Killerfive are Slovenian guests, and both are recognized as one of the better Slovenian StarCrafters, so this will be an interesting experience for both of them. Last but not least, one of the guys I will keep an eye on is bLitZ, who was a positive surprise on Universe.hr Big Bang LAN, taking a map off of frozz, and if he didn’t have to face Killerfive and CheeseKing in Ro16 and Ro8, he would be my favorite for a Top4 finish. The only player I’m really missing is VonComet, a Slovenian Terran who was relatively successful on the last KSET, losing to the in-form Deny with 1 against 2, but didn’t try to qualify this time around. Instead, we will have Killerfive, who is possibly the second best Slovenian player right now and won against the out-of-the-form Deny in the qualifiers to earn a spot on the upcoming KSET.
And my 50cents ..
Now all we can do is wait for the next weekend to arrive, grab a beer and popcorn and enjoy the show that is taking place in Zagreb, Croatia, on 4th of October 2014! Anyhow, see ya in Zagreb!