WTL 2023 Winter – Week 2 Results/Week 3 Preview

by: Nakajin

The World Team League season is still young, but we can already see what storylines keep unfolding all the way to the playoffs. At the top, ONSYDE looks just as dominant as last season, and they’ll be the team to beat until proven otherwise. As for BASILISK, the 50-50 man Reynor is once again in the spotlight, with his erratic form being a major factor in his team’s attempt to win a title.

There’s still plenty of chaos toward the middle and bottom of the table—the only thing we know for sure that this is a ‘playing with house money’ season from the rather casual Kwangdong Freecs. Otherwise, it’s anyone’s guess as to which of the mid-table teams will get hot and have a strong season—PSISTORM and Shopify are the top candidates for now, but that could easily change in the next few weeks.

Let’s take a look back at what went down in Week 2 of the WTL, and then check out what matches are coming up this week.

Week 2 Recap

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Top 7 teams qualify for the playoffs.
Bottom 2 teams must requalify.

Points are awarded as follows:

  • 3 points for a victory in a series that does not require an ace match
  • 2 points for a victory in a series that requires an ace-match
  • 1 point for a loss in a series that requires an ace-match
  • 0 points for a loss in a series that does not require an ace match

Team Liquid 4 – 2 瘦死骆驼 (SSLT/Starving Camels)
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TL’s flagbearer Clem set the tone early against TooDming and SSLT as he gave the newly patched Cyclones a whirl. Clem’s early Cyclones didn’t actually do any damage, but they did scout TooDming’s 2-base Roach-Ling all-in. That gave Clem all the time he needed to prepare an impenetrable defense, after which he rolled to an inevitable victory on the back of his vastly superior economy. In game two, Clem took advantage of Radhuset Station’s pocket natural to open with triple-CC, greeding so far as to not even make a Bunker at his natural. Thus, the situation briefly looked dire when TooDming showed up with a flood of lings, but Clem’s greed meant that he could absorb some SCV losses and still come out ahead. TooDming tried his best to keep up with Clem in a head-to-head macro game, but despite catching some of Clem’s reinforcements and taking a couple of good fights, he found Clem’s macro to be simply too strong. Once again, the Liquid ace was able to produce an overwhelming force and rid the metro station of its infestation.

Cyan looked to level the score in a more winnable match for SSLT against MaNa. Starting on Solaris, MaNa chose light aggression with a Blink Stalker opening, but couldn’t deal much damage. On the other hand, Cyan’s DT’s hit their mark, taking advantage of MaNa’s lack of detection. Even though Cyan lost terribly in a clash between main armies, he did enough economic damage with his DT’s to ensure a win in the next few minutes.

The best game of the week can come in unexpected places, and that was certainly the case here as game two of MaNa vs Cyan produced a serious banger (VOD). Both players went for nearly identical two-base Blink openings on Oceanborn, diverging when MaNa went for Robo while Cyan went for a Forge and +1. Cyan continued into a +2 Gateway unit timing, which seemed like it could be enough to win the game. However, MaNa’s first Disruptor arrived just in time to hold the attack off, putting Cyan and SSLT on the back foot.

With a head-on fight being out of the question, Cyan was forced to use his more mobile army to engage in hit and run tactics. After a bit of that cat and mouse game, MaNa got fed up with it all and triggered a full-on base trade. Now, from the best game of the week designation, you can probably guess this is where things got weird. Indeed, the catastrophic basetrade settled with both players being in similarly precarious positions, trying to rebuild from scratch while their armies eyed each other. The two pugilists circled the map cautiously until Cyan found a surround he liked, charging at Colossus-Disruptor with a pure Gateway-Archon army. It was a costly attack, and it ended with Cyan retreating his 2 Stalkers away from MaNa’s 12. HOWEVER, MaNa had also expended all of his Probes in the fight, leaving him with only a single Nexus, a Probe, and no other buildings. On the other hand, Cyan was left with 20 Probes and some vital Gateways that could gradually replenish his force.

MaNa was put on the clock, needing to deal game-ending damage with his larger army before Cyan used his economy to overtake him. The veteran Liquid player gave it his all, trying to micro his Stalker force to victory. Unfortunately for MaNa, Cyan’s Battery Overcharge and Probe pulls bought enough time for a couple of critical warp-ins, forcing a GG once Cyan fully stabilized.

With the score all tied up, Elazer came in and swept up the pieces with a clutch 2-0 against Silky. Game one saw Elazer take his third base at the gold minerals on Aclyone, which was immediately scouted by his opponent. Trying to punish the greed, Silky made a couple of big rounds of lings, but Elazer won the knife fight in the phone booth to take the win. Game two was less tense, as the Camels’ Zerg tapped out after his 22-Drone Ling-Bane-Roach all-in was easily held.

Platinum Heroes 2 – 4 BASILISK
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Platinum Heroes signing FireFly was the biggest move of the off-season, as the rising Protoss had taken maps off Reynor, Maru, and Cure for SSLT during WTL Summer. FireFly’s momentum didn’t stop just because he changed teams, as he succeeded at taking the biggest scalp of them all: Serral’s.

FireFly is no stranger to all-ins and deception, but he opened game one with a relatively middle-of-the-road build by going 3-Oracles in three bases. His early Oracles and Adepts combined to get a decent number of Zergling, Drone, and Queen kills, setting himself up nicely for a three-base Immortal all-in. As for Serral, he made the… …interesting choice to make Swarm Hosts on defense. I’m not good enough to understand what kind of misread one needs to make to arrive at that decision, but we’ll assume it was still somehow a very smart misread since it’s Serral. Anyway, it was clearly wrong, and Firefly sliced through a weak Zerg defense to give Platinum Heroes the 1-0 lead. The second game didn’t start nearly as well as well for FireFly, as his bread-and-butter Glaive Adepts were shut down by Serral’s great defense. Serral then tore down FireFly’s third base with a counterattack, which was pretty much the nail in the coffin for FireFly (he did try an amusing triple-Stargate Phoenix transition as a last-ditch strategy, but it didn’t do much against Serral’s Hydra-Viper).

DnS tagged in with a chance to really make BASILISK sweat, and gambled on a DT-Rush combined with a Stalker attack in game one. However, he made a costly string of mistakes, losing track of Trigger’s Oracle and allowing it to get a number of massive Stasis Ward procs in his mineral line. Trigger must have been very thankful for DnS’s poor awareness, as the DT-Stalker combination was applying some serious pressure that could have been game ending with a real economy behind it. Eventually, Trigger stabilized, and forced the GG with his tech and economy advantage. Game two was much more standard as both players opened Stargate before going through the usual checklist of Protoss macro progression. DnS proved to be the better player in the big picture macro game, being much more active with Zealot-DT runbys and at repositioning his army to key flashpoints. DnS eventually won with his sound play, keeping BASILISK on the ropes headed into the third match-up.

Unfortunately for Platinum Heroes, the 50-50 man didn’t make his expected appearance. Game one saw ShaDoWn trick Reynor with an off-tempo attack of mass-Glaives off of three bases, which seemed to put Reynor significantly behind headed into the mid-game. However, Reynor was able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, hitting a perfect Hydra-Ling-Bane attack just before ShaDoWn could consolidate his lead. Reynor finished the job in game two, shrugging off ShaDoWn’s proxy Oracle harass and finishing him with a cute Queen-drop + Ravager-Zerging timing.

After an early scare, Basilisk still left with the full three points, while Platinum Heroes could only rue their lost opportunity.

Matcherino Esports 4 – 3 Kwangdong Freecs
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Matcherino had bopped the Kwangdong Freecs during their Code A/prelims meeting, taking a 4-0 victory that cast much doubt on the veteran Korean team’s abilities. While Matcherino prevailed once more in this Code S rematch, the Freecs managed to keep things respectable this time around.

Astrea got his team out to a strong start with a 2-0 over soO. Game one was a fairly mundane macro victory on Oceanborn, with Astrea slowly assembling a deathball which clobbered the notoriously Hive-impaired soO. Game two on Equilibrium saw Astrea get away with a fast expand to the Rich Mineral/Vespene base, which he used to set up a throwback 2-Starport Void Ray opener. This retro strategy worked perfectly for Astrea, as his Void Rays kept soO at bay until Carriers arrived to finish the job.

NightMare got a quick and easy win to start things off in the second match-up, beating Stats’ fast expansion build with one base all-in of Stalkers + a Warp Prism. Game two saw Stats open Oracle against NightMare’s Blink, and he jumped ahead to a lead after his Oracle killed over six Probes in NightMare’s empty main. Stats tried to go for a quick killing blow, but the cautious NightMare shut down the proxy Gate and beat back Stats in a Blink Stalker skirmish. However, these moves only delayed NightMare’s demise, as Stats was still slowly snowballing his economic advantage behind all this. Even though Nightmare made a game out of a near-unwinnable starting situation, he had to GG out against Stats’ vastly superior army in the end.

Commander KeeN kept the hope of a comeback alive in the next series, defeating Future with a Marine-Cyclone elevator followed by a two-base push. Moving on to Goldenaura for game two, Future got the build order advantage with his 2-Rax Reapers against KeeN’s Barracks-expansion. However, KeeN still managed to hold on defense, even sneaking one of his Reapers across the map to slow down Future’s already ailing economy. The American Terran used Liberator harassment to muck up the game and make things annoying for KeeN, but he never truly closed the gap and eventually GG’d to multi-prong attacks.

Somewhat surprisingly, NightMare and Stats were chosen as aces (one would expect Astrea for Matcherino, while it’s anyone’s guess as to which Freecs player is in the best form right now). Stats went back to the proxy Oracle that won him a point in the prior series, but NightMare scouted the proxy with a Zealot and protected his Probes this time around. Stats tried a double Gateway proxy as a follow-up, but NightMare scouted and thwarted it as well.

Stats’ offensive maneuvers were failures, but he hadn’t invested all that much into them at that point. The two players got into a mid-game standoff with Blink Stalkers making up the bulk of their forces, but neither was able to make a game-changing move. Nightmare took advantage of his superior micro to stay on pure Stalkers for a long time, gradually adding Disruptors to his primarily Stalker force. Stats added Zealot-Archon to his mix, but that didn’t swing the tide in his favor.

The two players eventually worked their way up to Carriers, which is when NightMare’s ground troops proved to be the far superior supporting force. His mass Stalkers were able to aggressively Blink forward and gun Stalkers down, while his Disruptors forced Stats’ own Stalkers to keep their distance. This led to NightMare launching a devastating direct attack on Stats’ army, smashing it handily and taking the ace match victory.

Starlight Twinkle 1 – 5 PSISTORM Gaming
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Gerald got a solid result for PSISTORM in his first match, splitting a 1-1 tie with Nice. Game one went his way thanks to his powerful Disruptor-Stalker army, but he gave up the tying point against a three-base Gateway timing.

With Nice being held to a 1-1, Cham and Wayne really needed to pop off in order for the Starlight Twinkle to have a chance. Cham went first against Spirit on Solaris. Perhaps expecting the new Cyclones into mech, Cham decided to rush a Spire but was promptly scouted. This led to a pivot into Roach-Hydra, which went up against the Bio-Tank that Spirit was going for all along. Despite Cham getting to Lurkers, Spirit abused Cham’s lack of mobility and forced the surrender with a simple two-prong maneuver. Moving on to game two, Cham went for a Queen-drop-assisted Roach all-in on Equilibrium. Spirit sensed something fishy was going on and made sure to be well fortified, and ended up dealing with the attack handily. After that, Spirit knew the proper closeout sequence by heart, bulking up on three bases for a lethal 2/2 Marine-Tank push.

Finally, PSISTORM ace MaxPax clinched the full three points against Wayne. In game one, his 3-Oracle macro opener went perfectly, as he kept the Zerg bay with his airborne raiders until he could assemble an unstoppable army. The three Oracles struck again in game two, though this time MaxPax was more aggressive with a Chargelot-Archon-Sentry follow-up. Wayne was able to surround and eliminate the push at a reasonable cost, but his Mutalisks follow-up didn’t improve his situation further. Before long, MaxPax had plenty of Phoenixes to counter the Mutas, and he rolled forward to another macro victory to seal the 5-1 victory for PSISTORM.

ONSYDE Gaming 5 – 1 Mystery Gaming
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Strange opened the ONSYDE-Mystery match with a fairly standard 4-Gate Glaive Adept attempt against Solar, but with a fake +1 air upgrade thrown in to try and fool his opponent. The Adepts did manage to kill 8 Drones, but that wasn’t enough to make the investment worth it against a macro Zerg of Solar’s caliber. Solar zoomed ahead in economy, crushed the follow-up 10-Gate all-in, and gave ONSYDE the 1-0 lead.

Strange went back to Glaive Adept play in game two on Solaris, but this time Solar took advantage of an open wall to backstab and balance out the damage he took. Once again, with plenty of breathing room, Solar amassed a big ball of Ravagers, Roaches, and Banelings for the killshot. Strange displayed some pretty fantastic Force Field usage to protect his numerous Colossus and survive this attack, and even gave himself a window to launch a counterattack. He seemed to walk into a deadly concave, but once again his Sentry usage allowed him to take a great fight and put Solar on the ropes. Strange might have pulled off the upset if he kept forcing the issue, but he backed off to regroup his forces. Alas, time was actually on Solar’s side, as he had plenty of more units and Viper support when Strange attacked again. The defense wasn’t exactly easy for Solar, but once Solar pulled it off, he was able to close out the rest of the game without much trouble. Despite the loss, it was a valiant game two effort from Strange.

Bunny had to take at least a map off Maru to keep Mystery Gaming alive, but the reigning champs proved to be too strong for the newcomers. Game one on Solaris saw Bunny try a Reaper-Cyclone-Marine elevator play—a novel build enabled by the new patch. However, Maru wasn’t fazed, and played out a normal Marine-Tank game with faster tech and upgrades than his opponent. Maru almost ended the game with his first big push after he was faster with his Interference Matrixes, but Bunny managed to hold the line. However, it was just a temporary reprieve, as Maru soon after hit his 2/2 timing to win the game. If I didn’t know Maru better, I’d say he decided to style on Bunny in game two. After a bit of 2-base pressure, Maru transitioned into a quadruple starport mech on Equilibrium. He bullied Bunny with mass Viking-Liberator-Tank before transitioning into Battlecruisers to win in style.

ONSYDE already had the victory in hand when it was Ryung and SHIN’s (aka RagnaroK) turn to play, but the champs at least had a record to play for: they could become the first team in the SCBOY Team League history to open a season 12-0 in maps.

Ryung got ONSYDE 50% of the way toward that record in game one, as he defeated SHIN with defensive Ghost play in the late game. However, his attempt to clinch the sweep in game two fell short, as his Cyclone mech was easily handled by the capable SHIN. Mystery Gaming ended up preserving a shred of their honor, but they’ll need some actual points soon after a 0-2 start.

Shopify Rebellion 4 – 2 Dragon KaiZi Gaming
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We had a quick call back to November 2016 with ByuN making FIVE early Reapers against Dark, but it was ultimately a minor variant on his recent 2-Barracks play (not the 3-Barracks play of old). ByuN’s follow-up push didn’t make much headway against Dark’s Roach-Ravager, and the two players progressed into the late-game. Dark added both Brood Lords and Ultralisks to his army, while ByuN put together the usual Bio-Ghost-Thor deathball. ByuN kept Dark’s expansion count under control, but had to be wary of losing the game in an instant if he got caught in a poor engagement. Indeed, it seemed like that might happen after Dark got a huge Fungal on ByuN’s ghosts, but the Shopify Terran was able to survive the crisis. ByuN didn’t commit any major errors after that, and was able to close the game out through attrition.

Game two saw ByuN try a Radhuset Station special with a CC-first at the pocket third, but Dark was not left too far behind after going for his own greedy opener. As ByuN geared up for a big 3-base push, he seemed to underestimate how quickly Dark had gotten his economy online and shifted to full army production. He moved out with Bio-Tank before he was maxed out, and while 2/2 upgrades were still halfway done. That invited Dark’s maxed out Muta-Ling-Bane to utterly crush the force and move on to ByuN’s bases for the finish.

The middle match featured an all-Protoss clash between herO and Harstem. Both players went for two-gate into proxy-Stargate Oracles in game one, but herO went for double Adepts while Harstem went for double Stalkers as his initial Gateway units. herO sacrificed his Adepts to try and get some Probe damage in, but he didn’t achieve nearly enough to justify the investment. Harstem ended up getting away with a faster Nexus, AND actually dealt more Probe damage with his Oracles on the other side of the map. From there, it was simple enough for Harstem to compound his advantage, and he forced the GG out of herO after thwarting a last ditch all-in.

Game two saw Harstem try out his own Oracle-Adept opener as he went up against herO’s one-base Prism-Immortal opener. herO’s all-in build had the potential to do serious damage, but uncharacteristically bad micro from herO prevented him from taking the lead. Unwilling to transition into a macro game from behind, herO reloaded for another round of attacks. He tried to split Harstem’s forces between the natural and main with Force Fields at the enemy ramp, but Harstem was too alert to fall for such tricks. Eventually, herO ran completely out of steam, and he GG’d out to the Dark Templars the Captain snuck into his base.

Thus, Oliveira was handed the unexpected task of needing to get a 2-0 against Lambo in the final match. His WTL-clutchness was on display in game one, as he played a relentless Marine-Tank style on Alcyone for a convincing win. However, he disappointed Terran fans everywhere by using the completely useless Hellbat-timing in game two (or at least that’s how it feels in important matches). The attack did nothing (I know, what a shocker), putting Lambo ahead going into the Muta-Ling-Bane vs bio phase of the game. Lambo played his advantage out well, pinning Oliveira on three bases while safely teching up to Ultralisks. Oliveira tried vainly to go into a turtle-style, but it was too late—he was swarmed over by Lambo’s Ultras.

Shopify Rebellion took the 3 points and jumped ahead to a surprising 2-0 start. After being ranked 8th in the TL power ranking by the foremost WTL expert, the Rebels instead returned to being the top 3~4 team they were in previous seasons. Truly, a turn of events no one could have seen coming, and I mean not a single person, not a soul.

Weekly MVP: SR.Harstem

Harstem takes home this week’s MVP award for his huge 2-0 upset over DKZ.herO that led to a 4-2 win for Shopify.

I have been fairly critical of Harstem in recent WTL seasons, and even now I feel like this had more to do with herO’s poor play than anything else. However, a win is a win, and regular season wins are rarely bigger than this. Harstem was able to keep his composure against the tricky, aggressive strategies of herO, responding to every move with alacrity and precision.

It’s undeniably the most impressive performance of the week, although I also want to give a shoutout to Nightmare for his 2-1 against the Freecs and Stats.

Weekly MVP’s:

  • Week 2: SR.Harstem
  • Week 1: BASILISK.Serral

Match of the week: Liquid`Mana vs SSLT.Cyan – Game Two

For those who don’t have time to watch or read about roughly nine hours of team StarCraft each week (what’s wrong with you?), I’ll try to bring you a small selection of the best from each week’s competition for bite-size entertainment. Our first match of the week is a PvP full of twists and turns with an exciting basetrade finish.

Watch VOD: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1943962563?t=72m40s

Preview: Regular Season Week 3

After two weeks full of high-profile matches and three ace finishes, Week 3 looks to be more straightforward at first glance. However, three years of WTL Liquibet has taught me that no week ever goes as planned, so let’s go down the list and try to figure out where the surprises will come from this time around.

Friday, Oct 13 12:00pm GMT (GMT+00:00) Matches

Sadly enough, the Freecs have only 1 point after two matches, and it looks like any ‘they were all practicing hard in secret’ hope can be put to bed. At the moment, they sure look like a ‘’get-well game’’ for DKZ.

aLive has played a total of two professional matches in the last 14 months: a 1-1 split against Taiwanese Terran Lemon and a 0-2 loss against Astrea. Unless he was a deep state agent on the Balance Council that programmed several backdoor hacks into the new patch, it sure seems like he’ll be in no form to challenge herO.

The Freecs can put some more hope in Stats’ PvT. The former GSL champion recently beat Oliveira 2-1 in an online cup, and some optimists would argue his TvP has looked decent even in defeats. From limited interviews, he seems to be the Freec who’s most motivated at the moment, and maybe he can turn their season around if he has a Classic-esque revelation in the coming weeks.

Dark and TY will close the match out (not really seeing a chance of an ace match here), perhaps even with Dark not needing to get any wins at all. TY didn’t seem up to the task against Solar a couple of weeks ago, and Dark will be a similarly difficult opponent.

Prediction: Dragon KaiZi Gaming 5 – 1 Kwangdong Freecs

Now, this match looks a lot more unpredictable. It’s hard to tell what match-ups PSISTORM preferred—they might wanted to draw MaxPax against Reynor and Serral since he’s one of the few players who has a realistic chance of getting a 2-0, but a PvP against Trigger isn’t bad either if you want a safe two wins. MaxPax is currently on an out-of-this-world 32 MAP winning streak in PvP, something that defies all our preconceived notions about the volatile mirror match-up. Will Trigger stop this streak of invincibility? Probably not, to be honest, but it sure would make Rotti very happy if he was able to rattle the Danish prince.

PSISTORM’s ace in the hole will be Spirit taking on Reynor. For years, Reynor had the clear head-to-head edge, but Spirit became a much more challenging foe in 2023. Notably, he eliminated Reynor in the RO8 of the last EPT Europe regional. When you throw in the fact that Reynor hasn’t completely shed his 50-50 man reputation in the WTL, we have all the ingredients for a 1-1.

In any case, I think PSISTORM are content to send Gerald out to be brutally dismembered by Serral. It’s not the worst thing in the world to ‘waste’ the enemy ace’s firepower, and FireFly’s 1-1 against Serral last week suggests the Finnish Phenom may be slightly more vulnerable this season.

Still, if everything goes as I envision, Serral and MaxPax would face off in an ace match. MaxPax has been victorious against Serral in various other events, and a BO1 win is hardly out of the question. The Danish Dynamo has always been in the mix for best Protoss in the WTL—a win over Serral could push him into the MVP conversation.

Prediction: PSISTORM Gaming 4 – 3 BASILISK

Saturday, Oct 14 12:00pm GMT (GMT+00:00) Matches

This confusing duel between SLT and SSLT could have a huge impact on the relegation-avoidance race in a couple of months. Starlight Twinkle got a big win over Platinum Heroes in Week 1, and a victory here could create all the buffer they need to avoid what initially seemed like a very likely trip back down to Code A.

Two of the matchups, Nice vs Toodming and Cham vs Cyan, do not have a clear favorite, although I would slightly favor SLT in the first and SSLT in the second. However, the recently surging Wayne has a favorable draw against Silky in the final match-up, so I’ll give Starlight Twinkle the edge in this prediction.

Prediction: Starlight Twinkle 4 – 2 SSLT/Starving Camels

Mystery Gaming had a hard start to the season with matches against DKZ and ONSYDE Gaming, and they’re in real danger of falling to 0-3 against Shopify. Even knowing that the schedule will ease up later, it can’t be good for morale to have a big fat zero in the points column.

The series starts off with a pair of mirror matches that could really go either way. Bunny has recovered somewhat from his summer slump (although not to his late 2022 levels), and is probably the toughest draw for ByuN out of anyone on the Mystery squad. Lambo vs SHIN (aka RagnaroK) is another close duel, even with SHIN looking to be in shaky form as of late. Any outcome here seems reasonable except a clean 4-0 for Mystery; I’ll put it down as a 2-2 split headed into the third match-up.

Scarlett would have been a strong favorite against Strange a few months ago, but the Russian Protoss has come up as a surprisingly good third option for MYG. Not only was he pretty solid in the qualifiers, but he really impressed against Solar last week (despite losing 0-2). I’m going to say this one ends 1-1 as well.

Shopify would surely send ByuN as their ace, but Mystery’s choice is more… …mysterious. The WTL hierarchy between Bunny and RagnaroK isn’t clear at all, with both players having had strong seasons in the past. To the outsider, Bunny looks like the stronger player at the moment, but the internal evaluation could be quite different. Personally, I see ByuN as being a big favorite against RagnaroK while only holding a small edge against Bunny. In any case, it’s enough for me to predict a narrow Shopify victory.

Prediction: Shopify Rebellion 4 – 3 Mystery Gaming

Sunday, Oct 15 12:00pm GMT (GMT+00:00) Matches

ONSYDE have predictably climbed to the top of the WTL standings with dominating performances against Mystery Gaming and the Freecs. A friendly early schedule makes it seem like they’ll stay on top as they face newcomers Matcherino in Week 3.

Every day brings Ryung closer to the moment he’ll have to face someone born after he started to play professional SC2—it won’t quite happen on Sunday, but facing arrogfire will certainly make Ryung feel old. The young French Protoss was just three years old when Ryung played his first pro SC2 match—maybe that’s something arrogfire should bring up in chat to try and cause a mental breakdown. A veritable lifetime separates the two players, and one expects this to be a learning experience for the youngster.

In the next match-up, NightMare has a demoralizing 4-27 lifetime match record against Solar, which is probably predictive of what will happen in this next duel. Even with NightMare improving greatly to become a solid WTL rotation player, he’s still outmatched by one of the best competitors in WTL history.

Normally we’d say Maru was going to run roughshod over Astrea, but Maru’s had a very bad last couple of weeks. The 7-time Code S champ got run over by MaxPax in the WTL Korea vs the World invitational, and then got eliminated from the Code S RO16 for the first time in two years. I still give him the edge over Astrea, but if there’s an upset brewing, I actually think it will be in this match-up.

Prediction: ONSYDE Gaming 6 – 0 Matcherino Esports

With ONSYDE around the corner in week 4, Platinum Heroes would really love to get any kind of positive result against Team Liquid.

ShaDoWn has his work cut out for him against Elazer, but DnS could absolutely take SKillous if he’s having a good day.

In the end, it will probably come down to whether or not FireFly can work his magic once more in a match against Clem. The Liquid ace is 11-1 in maps against FireFly, but the mercurial Protoss has made a whole WTL career out of defying crazy odds. In fact, his one map win against Clem came in the WTL—maybe he can repeat that feat?

Prediction: Team Liquid 4 – 2 Platinum Heroes

Source: https://tl.net/forum/starcraft-2/617285-wtl-2023-winter-week-2-results-week-3-preview

Source: https://webfulnet.com/

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