Southeast Europe Power Rankings: November 2013

Apart from the premier events, not as much has happened in November as we would have hoped for, at least not on the Balkans or the regions around. But despite the lack of major regional events, there were some local tournaments and leagues popping up, and with international team leagues starting their seasons, November was an interesting month as any. Without any further ado, let’s start with the Power Rankings!

The Power Rankings

The power rankings are based on the recent performance of eligible players on all tournaments and with a focus on local or national events in each of the considered countries. The bigger and more competitive the tournament is, the more impact it has on the rankings. The most important things  for players to stay among the very best of the region will be competitiveness, activity, achievements and readiness to play on international and local tournaments.

DISCLAIMER: this is a bias ranking, based solely on the author’s opinion, and it does not reflect the true relations and match-ups’ between the ranked players.

10. (/)

rsPicon_smallMilan ‘GrayWarden‘ Stanković

The young Protoss from Serbia is recognized as one of the most talented and prospective players from his country, and while he is utterly unknown among the competitors, he has been a Grandmaster for a while, so he shouldn’t be a total stranger to the community. The bottom line is that before joining Team MiA, GrayWarden rarely, if ever, competed on international tournaments, but in November, he started to fill in a spot in the rotation that was available after GenjiTakiya left, and so far, he has done an excellent job. All-killing the academy team of Punchline ESC in SC2Improve Team League was a good start, followed by even more important win against StrinterN in a team match against Karnage for EES Winter 2013 to end the month. GrayWarden seems on the way to become a core member of his team, and if he starts to show up for international events, nobody knows how far the youngster can go.

9. (/)

hr Ticon_small Deni ‘CRODeny’ Antolos

CRODenyCRODeny was the first Croatian ever to beat Ptak in the finals of a StarCraft2 (WoL) tournament, and while he was a dominant player throughout Wings of Liberty, representing his country on ESWC and WCG 2011, Deny had some good performances in HotS as well. Although not as active as before his promotion to Grandmaster league, and nowdays even playing Dota2 over StarCraft, the experienced Croatian veteran showed us that he is still as good as ever. In November, he attended a bootcamp in Slovenia and participated on MiA Invitational 3, where he outperformed his competition and stomped to the victory without even dropping a single map, while beating players like Razbu, VonComet and frozz on his way to the gold. Is this the return of CRODeny, or just a short stint back to his beloved past in StarCraft2?

8. (5)

hu Ticon_small Dénes ‘Breach’ Orosz

Breach

Breach drops a few spots, but hangs on the Power Rankings despite not playing on any tournament in November, yet with StarCraft2 PlayIT Championship scheduled in Budapest on 1st of December, he is ready to deliver. His only real competition on PlayIT seems to be Psz, who is really struggling against Breach since .. ever, making Breach a sure bet to win it all. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see if Psz or any other player causes Breach, who is considered to be the most successful StarCraft2 player from Hungary, any problems at the tournament. Still, Breach is missing out on international competitions, not attending any qualifiers or tournaments with prize pool other than SteelSeries Arena Season 3, in which he dropped out in the Round of 16 in late October. More in December …

7. (7)

hr Ticon_small Roko ‘frozz’ Marinković

frozz

frozz remains the most active and known Croatian Terran around, and while he somewhat surprisingly lost to CRODeny in the finals of MiA Invitational 3, frozz made it up by taking care of Inaequalis by himself in a team match for SC2Improve Team League. In the meantime, he reached the quarter-finals of one Go4SC2 Premium in November, finished Top4 on SC2CRO Masters #1, and his SteelSeries Arena S3 run came to the end after losing to Starbuck and Naama. He also took part of team clash against Karnage for EES Winter 2013, where ToxiC got the better out of the two with a 2 to 0 victory, but frozz’s Team MiA emerged victorious in the end. All in all, he is looking a lot like good old frozz, the king of Hellions – not far from the top, but not there just yet. Biggest worry for frozz seems to be winning a tournament, and after being so close two times in a row (KSET #3 and MiA Invitational 3), it more and more looks like a curse, or an inability to close out clutch games. Whatever the case, getting the gold is a logical next step in his career as a gamer.

6. (9)

bg Picon_small Vaklin ‘MetHiX’ Petkov

MetHiX and ToDMetHiX could be the most successful Bulgarian player in November without even facing his homeland competition, so while the defeat against Giantt on Vorpal Bulgar Challenge in October still has some weight, he is in clear of now inactive BateToshko, as MetHiX managed to oust him on the very same Vorpal Challenge. With November, it seems that the Bulgarian Protoss further improved his game and achieved some nice results, including two Top4 finishes (#323 and #328) on Go4SC2 Cup’s, and while he couldn’t get past semi-finals, getting there is good enough. The current trend for MetHiX is all up, meaning that his future is bright as long as he continues to improve, compete and practice, practice, practice.

5. (8)

bg Zicon_small Danail Giantt‘ Lazov

Giantt

The most recognized player from Bulgaria bounced back after a forgetful October to earn a fifth place finish on this edition of Power Rankings, in majority thanks to his contribution to team Karnage’s success, as he played an important role on their way to EES Winter 2013. Giantt missed out on the 1st round match of group stage against Team MiA, but without him, they most likely wouldn’t have ended up competing in the first place. He took down Fiasco, Hanfy and Satiini for his team in the qualifiers, and looks to be in good shape after a dreadful disappointment on SteelSeries Arena S3 Round of 32 in October. The fact is that Giantt had a slump, but he was always as consistent as it gets, and it remains to be seen how will he do in the last month of 2014.

4. (4)

hr Picon_small Tomislav ‘CheeseKing’ Matić

CheeseKing

CheeseKing holds the fourth place on Southeast Europe Power Rankings for two months in a row after showing good results ever since his early exit on now almost forgotten KSET E-SPORTS LAN #3 in September. All in all, his statistics over the past two months are great, and in November, he only lost to Ptak in the semi-finals of stacked SC2CRO Masters #1. CheeseKing got the nod to start for his team against Team Gravity in SC2Improve Team League, and he answered with an all-kill, while also beating Namshar in another team match, this time for EES Winter 2013. All eyes will be on the young Protoss from Croatia when he faces Naama in the brackets of SteelSeries Arena S3, and judging by his current form, he looks more than capable of reaching at least Round of 4. In addition to that, he is on a rock solid first place on Croatian ELO league and on a good way to walk away as the champion of the current season.

3. (6)

hr Zicon_small Matija Ptak‘ Vragović

Ptak and CRODenyThe Brood War legend makes a return to the top of the Power Rankings as he can proclaim himself the best player on the ex-Yugoslavian territory. Although it was only an online tournament with a prize pool of around €13, SC2CRO Masters #1 turned out to be much more for Ptak, as he finally managed to play against Starbuck on an official event again. Needless to say, the Croatian Zerg fought his way through brackets, beating Karlooo, DaZe and CheeseKing before taking a sweet victory against Starbuck in a spectacular 3 to 2 finals. He got a chance to save his team a loss against AT Gaming on SC2Improve Team League, but failed to eliminate uThermal after knocking out two opponents in an all kill best-of-seven series. We all know he is good, but we are all eager to see his international reach.

2. (2)

si Zicon_small Matic ’Starbuck‘ Dejak

Starbuck at Offblast 2013

The only Grandmaster from Slovenia had a decent November, but it started off with a painful loss to Ptak in the finals of SC2CRO Masters #1. He turned his fortune around, as he qualified for the SteelSeries Arena brackets easily and did his work on RaidCall EES Winter 2013 as well, winning against Eiki in a deciding game of the team match. He topped the month of November off with a flawless run on Slovenian Gaming League, where he is unbeaten after all but 1 game already behind him. Starbuck stayed put on the second place this month and is still looking like one of the brightest prospects from this part of Europe. It will come down to his determination and will to practice, get better and compete, but if he can keep with his current progress, he’s time to finally explode and shine is closer day by day.

1. (1)

ro Picon_small Silviu ’NightEnD‘ Lazar

NightEnD

WarCraft3 veteran and Fnatic’s legionnaire from Romania remains the only player from the region to participate on premier events in WCS-less November and stays solid on the first place despite his lack of achievements in the past month. NightEnD went to Germany for HomeStory Cup VIII, but couldn’t get pass Group C with Scarlett beating him for the second time after the Romanian Protoss outplayed MoMaN in between, and with TaeJa filling out the group, NightEnD didn’t have a chance but to be an underdog to begin with.  What worries more than his results on HSC VIII is Fnatic playing without him on RaidCall EES Winter 2013, as they seem to favor the lineup of Harstem, Naama, Miniraser, Pink and Zanster. Whatever the reason, NightEnD is still rightfully considered as the most successful StarCraft2 player from the Balkans (and Southeast Europe), but with 2014 and the new WCS system before us, he will have to stay active on the highest level if he wishes to continue his reign on the top.

Dropping off

(3)

bg Zicon_small Dimov ‘BateToshko’ Todor

BateToshko said that he will only participate on Bulgarian tournaments, and as there aren’t any on the horizon, he is therefor inactive, meaning he had to give up his spot on the Power Rankings that is stacked with active players. However, you can be sure that we didn’t see the last of the Bulgarian Zerg, as he somehow promised he will attend local events.

(10)

ro Ticon_small Robert ‘RobbyG’ Irimias

Losing to Bunny and GenjiTakiya on SteelSeries Arena Season 3 is not the main reason why RobbyG lost his slot in the Top10; the main reason was his abstinence from international competitions and lack of any tournaments he intends to attend in the near future. Meanwhile, the Romanian-Hungarian Terran, living in the UK, is still around, and I bet we’ll hear more of RobbyG soon, as if nothing else, he already qualified for the fourth season of SteelSeries Arena.

 

Stay tuned on Treach.tv for Southeast Europe Power Rankings in January! If you are willing to help improve this series of monthly power rankings, please write an email to treachtv@gmail.com (all links to various tournaments and VODs are more than welcome)!

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