ESL production makes its way to “oh Canada” this weekend in the second stop of IEM season IX: IEM Toronto.
The format at IEM this year is a new one. A Dual bracket consisted of qualified players will battle it out with the top 2 in each bracket making their ways into group play.
In the first of these dual brackets we have Brood War Legend EG.Jaedong, former MLG Champion now on Yoe Flash Wolves Leenock. Also in this group we have foreigner hope Liquid.Bunny who after an impressive set of results in WCS should be fairly confident in reaching group play, and EG.Huk a player who on his day can give the best of the best a run for their money. Its hard to look past EG.Jaedong topping this bracket. But that elusive second qualifying spot should be up in the air with anyone of the remaining entrants capable of taking it on their day.
In the second bracket the pulling out of the tournament of local Sasquatch and JinAirMaru has meant the tantalizing additions of CJ Entus’ herO and former GSL, MLG and IronSquid champion Life. Add in WCS and Dreamhack Summer champion Stardust and the homestory cup winning European Liquid.Snute and your truly set for a strong start to a tournament. This bracket at first glance looks even more open than the first, and if you look past the first set of matches, the winner bracket round 2 set of games could be composed of games worthy of any finals of a tournament.
My pick for the winners of the dual tournaments are EG.Jaedong, Liquid.Bunny, CJherO and MYI.Stardust
And then we move onto the main event. With groups drawn already and just 1 slot from the dual brackets to fill them we can already look forward to a high standard of games.
All of the groups offer potential classic games, our pick from these groups so far;
- Group A – Polt beat Taeja 3-0 in the finals of RedBull Battlegrounds Detroit last week. Will the Taeja get his revenge by knocking Polt out of this tournament? Or will Zest find a way back to winning form and once again reign supreme as he did in the GSL
- Group B – YoDa fresh after joining uk based TCM-Gaming has his opportunity to repay his new team by going up against the IPL Fightclub (remember that?) winner HyuN
- Group C – First the other player now on TCM-Gaming faces $O$ who is looking to once again take the money to the bank with another high profile win
- Group D – Holds our featured match Scarlett vs Flash
Featured Match – Acer.Scarlett vs KTRolster.FlaSh
In her time Acer.Scarlett has taking many high profile scalps against Korean opponents but on Saturday she may well have to face her biggest challenge to date. FlaSh, the broodwar legend has been on a rampage recently. The list of his recent conquests has been impressive to say the least. In the Asian qualifier for IEM Toronto alone he went through a whole host of strong opposition
Look at the run Flash has had through a ridiculously stacked Asian qualifier for IEM Toronto:
- 2-1 Reality
- 2-1 GuMiho
- 2-0 Dear
- 2-1 Maru
- 2-0 soO
- 2-0 Sorry
- 2-1 Classic
- 2-0 herO
- 2-0 Pigbaby
Add into that his win against SKT.Parting in the finals of the ProLeague (queue ceremony GiF) FlaSh vs Parting Ceremony Scarlett seems to participate is some of the greatest games in recent memory in foreign tournaments. In particular her game vs Bomber at red bull battlegrounds with the proclaimed “baneling bombs that shook the world”. Could we see Scarlett take another and maybe her biggest victory vs Korean opposition? Or could we see FlaSh once again prove why, when he said “Give me 2 years and I’ll be as dominant as I was in broodwar”, he may not have been lying.
The action unfolds from Thursday 28-8-14 until Sunday 31-8-14
See it on Twitch TV live