The RTS Shark vs the Seasoned Vet
SeleCT battles White-Ra
After nine weeks of division play, sixteen of the world's best SC2 players will travel to Ontario, CA, to compete for their share of a $100 000 prize pool. In the first round of the NASL Grand Finals, two experienced players will meet. The first is a young Korean living in America with an extensive RTS background and numerous impressive titles. The second is the oldest professional player with extensive SC experience and numerous impressive titles. As these two gaming legends meet, who will advance the victor?
The RTS Shark
Unlike the many NASL competitors who made the switch from Brood War to SC2, SeleCT is on of the few in the tournament who came to SC2 from other RTS games. This Korean RTS legend won the WCG twice for Dawn of War, and he has become an NA fan favorite since moving to the US and competing on the MLG circuit.
SeleCT was in Division 4 of the NASL and had to face incredible players like Ret, Ace and MC. Both Ace and SeleCT came out of the division play with 7-2 series win records, but SeleCT’s 4 match win advantage secured him a spot in the Grand Finals. Although Ret or SeleCT were favorites to make it out of the division with MC, it came as a surprise when both Ret and SeleCT made it out of Division 4 without MC. Select lost to Ret in Week 5 and to MC in Week 9 but maintained a consistent win rate throughout the division. With his experienced RTS mind paired with his aggressive, abusive and drop-heavy play style SeleCT has mastered the strategy and isn’t afraid of aggression and mind games. SeleCT often rushes vs Zerg, avoiding the dreaded TvZ late-game. He takes conventional Terran play and puts unique twists on it.
The Seasoned Vet
This Ukrainian Starcraft legend is one of the highest earning professional players outside of Korea and has an impressive wins under his belt including Homestory Cup II. In his thirties, White-Ra is the oldest professional player, but he has proven that he hasn’t lost his game in an industry full of young pups.
Despite his extensive SC experience and special tactics, White-Ra did not have an easy time in his division, and his guaranteed spot in the NASL Grand Finals was only secured in the last week of play thanks to a walkover from Ensnare. White-Ra’s first NASL week started off on the wrong foot with a forfeit loss from July due to scheduling problems when he made it to the finals of the Dreamhack Invitational. After his first loss, he came back strong to win 5 straight games in a row before losing to iNcontroL weeks 7. In week 8, White-Ra lost another match due to a walkover to MoMaN which could have cost him his chances at making the NASL Grand Finals. White-Ra is a solid player and is not afraid to use creative builds. A prime example of White-Ra’s creativity is his first NASL match vs. TT1, where dictated the game with warp prism play which is uncommon. He is named as the first player to use voidray rushes and uses an unconventional mix of units masterfully to win matches.
The Match Up
There is no significant match history between these players, and neither of these players have rivalries with anyone. These two players actually have much in common: White-Ra and SeleCT are well-manned, entertaining to watch and fan favorites. They are both solid players who add unique twists to conventional play. The games have the potential to be packed with excitement but as we all know, a highly anticipated game can disappoint. With no real underdog in this match-up, it could be anyone’s game but SeleCT seems like the player more likely to advance. The match should boast some creative play from the Protoss corner and aggressive play from the Terran corner. With SeleCT's abusive play, it is likely that after multiple drops and attacks, White-Ra will simply be unable to keep up.
Will White-Ra prove once again that you don’t have to be a fresh faced twenty-something to be at the top of your game? As an RTS legend and a SC legend clash, who will come out on top?
by Jacqeuline Geller