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StarCraft II 2018 World Championship Series Global Finals Preview


23 October 2018 11:26

The 2018 StarCraft II World Championship Series (WCS) reaches its conclusion with 16 of the world’s best players competing at the 2018 WCS Global Finals for one of the most coveted trophies in the calendar. A $700,000 prize pool is also up for grabs at California’s Blizzard Arena between Friday 26th October and Saturday 3rd November.

How the Tournament Works

All StarCraft players will initially take part in the Global Play-Off group stage, which sees players split into four groups of four. They’ll face off in a best-of-three dual-tournament format, with the top two players from each group - eight in total - progressing through to the Global Finals. The Global Finals are single-elimination, best-of-five matches, with a best-of-seven final.

Who is Competing?

The 16 competitors - seven from WCS Korea, eight from WCS Circuit, and the IEM World Champion - have qualified for the event by winning one of the seven WCS tournaments to receive direct entry, or earning WCS points in matches throughout 2018. The players are shown below in their respective groups, which WCS they qualified from, and their odds of winning the tournament outright:

Group A – 11/8

  • Cho "Maru" Seong Ju – WCS Korea – 21/10
  • Jun "TY" Tae Yang – WCS Korea – 10/1
  • Alex "Neeb" Sunderhaft – WCS Circuit – 25/1
  • Julian "Lambo" Brosig – WCS Circuit – 66/1

Group B – 11/5

  • Joona "Serral" Sotala – WCS Circuit – 27/10
  • Kim "sOs" Yoo Jin – WCS Korea – 13/1
  • Joo "Zest" Sung Wook – WCS Korea – 15/1
  • Gabriel "HeRoMaRinE" Segat - WCS Circuit – 50/1

Group C – 13/2

  • Kim "Stats" Dae Yeob – WCS Korea – 11/1
  • Park "Dark" Ryung Woo – WCS Korea – 11/1
  • Tobias "ShoWTimE" Sieber – WCS Circuit – 36/1
  • Ke "Has" Yu Feng – WCS Circuit – 250/1

Group D – 7/2

  • Lee "Rogue" Byung Ryul – IEM World Champion – 17/2
  • Kim "Classic" Doh Woo – WCS Korea – 19/2
  • Juan Carlos "SpeCial" Tena Lopez – WCS Circuit – 36/1
  • Artur "Nerchio" Bloch – WCS Circuit – 125/1

Split of the Prize Pool

The $700,000 prize pool is split between all players based on their final standings:

  • 1st place - $280,000
  • 2nd place - $140,000
  • 3rd-4th place - $42,000
  • 5th-8th place - $21,000
  • 9th-16th place - $14,000

Players to Watch

South Korean-born Lee "Rogue" Byung Ryul is the reigning WCS Global champion, and were the 24-year-old to retain his crown, he would become the first person in history to win back-to-back titles. He’s 15/4 to reach the final in California, and won last year’s grand final 4-2 against fellow countryman Eo "soO" Yoon Su. He’s pre-tournament favourite with many bookmakers to top Group D, and clearly a player to look out for as the tournament progresses.

Cho "Maru" Seong Ju, 21, created history by becoming the first ever player to win three Global StarCraft League (GSL) championships in a row in 2018 – Season 1, Season 2 and Season 3. He topped the Korea standings with 14,250 points, and is 4/7 pre-tournament favourite to reach the final and be in with a shot of holding the 2018 WCS Global Finals trophy aloft.

Julian "Lambo" Brosig, meanwhile, is a three-time GSL champion, Kim "sOs" Yoo Jin is a two-time WCS Global Champion, whilst Park "Dark" Ryung Woo was runner-up at both the 2016 Global Finals and 2018 GSL Super Tournament 1. The road to the best-of-seven grand final is bound to be fiercely competitive at the Blizzard Arena, with quality players from all four groups hoping to go all the way towards the business end of the tournament. Good luck to all, and let us know on Twitter who you are backing!

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Updated on: 2018-10-23

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