WCS Global Playoffs and Finals Preview – Statistics, info-graphics, and analysis

Sc2ReplayStats BlizzCon Preview

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Disclaimer about statistics

  • A lot of predictive statistics by Aligulac are listed. You might disagree with what the statistics predict. The good thing about statistics is that they aren’t biased, but on the other hand even though when I used Aligulac to predict WCS 2014 it got 5 out of the first 8 matches correct, it still isn’t perfect — if you had Aligulac predict the Kespa cup before Neeb won it, it probably wouldn’t have thought his chances were very good.
  • Sometimes readers also forget that a high percent chance of something is still just a chance — if there is a 60% chance for a player to win, the other 40% is still a possibility!
  • With that said, we hope you enjoy the theory-crafting as much as us!

 Intro – WCS Global Playoffs

During October 27–30 the top 16 players from the StarCraft® II World Championship Series8 from WCS Korea and 8 from the WCS Circuit, battle it out to determine the 8 players who will advance to play on the big stage at BlizzCon (November 4-5), battling for their share of a $500,000.

During this post, we’ll be taking predictive statistics from Aligulac. Aligulac creates skill ratings for every player based on their competitive matches, and then uses this data to predict who will win tournaments based on their skill. You can read more at their FAQ. The chances to advance listed in the graphics are not our opinions, they are the statistical likely-hoods generated by Aligulac, although you may see our editorial opinions below. Let’s get started!

Note: Due to seeding changes from Polt and Hydra dropping out as well as one incorrect seeding, this entire post had to be re-written several times. I apologize if there are any mistakes as a result!

Statistics rounded. See spread-sheet for full numbers.

Statistics rounded. See spread-sheet for full numbers.

 Sc2ReplayStats Opinions

Don’t be fooled by the placement positions: Even Aligulac places the top three players within a few percentage points of each other. As far as that goes, I think Aligulac’s prediction is pretty good here: it will probably be a close competition between the top three players, with viOLet perhaps taking maps but not advancing.

Although Snute’s statistics show ZvZ is his weakest matchup, if he takes care of that with preparation I wouldn’t be surprised to see him advancing instead of Dark or Stats.

Of course, I mean no disrespect to PtitDrogo, anyone qualified for BlizzCon is clearly a skilled player. He always has a chance to turn heads with a surprise performance, but when put in a group with Korean titans like Dark, Stats (winner and runner-up of StarLeague) and Snute things don’t look great for Drogo.

Statistics rounded. See spread-sheet for full numbers.

Statistics rounded. See spread-sheet for full numbers.

 Sc2ReplayStats Opinions

Two players from the WCS Circuit advancing over two players from WCS Korea in a BlizzCon group? It sounds too good to be true!

Yet, looking at it on paper, it looks not only possible but perhaps probable. Both TRUE and Neeb have been on fire lately, and Neeb in particular has been performing well versus Protoss lately.

But it seems ignorant to only look at recent results when looking at a tournament of this scale. For many players, it’s a once in a life-time chance at winning $200,000 and there are only three players attending who have won that much in their entire careers. Every single player attending will be putting in their maximum amount of practice and preparation and will be more motivated than they ever have been before.

A player’s skill during the past few months is not necessarily going to be indicative of their skill going into BlizzCon — it’s going to be their peak form.

And peak form Zest is a GSL winner just earlier this year. It’s true his performance lately hasn’t been stellar, but Zest has always been sporadic and he did beat Byun in Kespa Cup. If the Kingslayer Zest shows up at BlizzCon, this group — and even the whole tournament — could be turned on it’s head.

As for Patience, Aligulac gives him the second-lowest skill rating of all players in the tournament. While I don’t know if I would put him that low, it does seem unlikely he will advance from the group.

Statistics rounded. See spread-sheet for full numbers.

Statistics rounded. See spread-sheet for full numbers.

 

 Sc2ReplayStats Opinions

While Byun looked shaky at Kespa Cup proving he isn’t invulnerable, this isn’t a particularly difficult group — an advantage of having a high seed.

Byun should get an easy first place as predicted but the rest of the group is in the air.

I think Dear is undervalued. He doesn’t have as many results lately as most of the other players in the tournament and what few he has might seem statistically bad, but if you look at them he lost to top players like ByuN and Solar, but also beat some very high level players like Maru and TY. His recent losses haven’t been to low-level players.

On the other hand, ShoWTimE has recently lost to players like Elazer, one of the lower ranked players in the tournament. ShoWTimE’s chances were likely put 2% ahead of Dear because of his exceptional vP win-rate, the third-highest in the tournament at 79%.

As for viOLet,  I don’t think he’ll get much further in the tournament but it is still possible he could steal second place from ShoWTimE or Dear as vs Protoss is his best match-up.

Statistics rounded. See spread-sheet for full numbers.

Statistics rounded. See spread-sheet for full numbers.

Sc2ReplayStats Opinions

Mostly, I agree with these predictions: TY and Nerchio are most likely to advance. This group works out well for TY, with TvP being his weakest match-up, but the only Protoss in the group, PtitDrogo, also struggles in PvT. Likewise, Nerchio’s weakest match-up is ZvP, and the only Protoss in the group is the lowest rated player in the group. The match-ups working out well aren’t the only reason Aligulac predicts TY to win, though. It just straight up values him as the second most skilled player qualified for BlizzCon, after Byun.

Solar and Nerchio are close for second place, which may surprise some: Solar is an SSL winner and most people would always favor an SSL (or GSL) winner when pitched against any foreigner. But Nerchio is no slouch and his recent results have proven he can beat even the best Koreans.

Elazer,  like the others who barely qualified from the WCS Circuit, could take a surprise victory off of one of the other players but is not likely to advance from this tough of a group.


 

Statistics rounded. See spread-sheet for full numbers.

Statistics rounded. See spread-sheet for full numbers.

 

Player Name                                                                                                                     Chance to Win

ByuN 32.60% 10.80% 23.40% 33.19%
TY 14.43% 12.57% 36.00% 37.00%
Neeb 12.27% 14.21% 23.70% 49.82%
Stats 9.82% 15.32% 24.68% 50.18%
Dark 9.13% 13.56% 24.60% 52.72%
Nerchio 9.01% 9.11% 15.07% 66.81%
TRUE 8.19% 17.51% 27.03% 47.28%
ShoWTimE 4.54% 6.93% 25.53% 63.00%

As you can see, it’s quite close. Sure, ByuN has more than twice the chance of anyone else to win. But that chance is still significantly less than 50%. A few things stand out, such as how it predicts TRUE to beat Dark, but its really impossible (and sort of pointless) to predict games this far into the tournament.We like to say that anyone who qualifies for BlizzCon is a great player, but truly once the weakest players have been winnowed out through groups, it’s anyone’s game!

Either way, we’re excited to see how the groups play out on October 27–30!

– Sc2ReplayStats.com Staff

Written by Justin “TheSkunk” Purdy


Thanks so much to the following people for player photographs:

Liquipedia, R1CH, Kevin “Silverfire” Chang, and others of Teamliquid (Snute, Patience, Polt, PtitDrogo), Robert “GHOSTCLAW” Nakamura (Stats), Kim “kenzi” Yong Woo (Nerchio, Dear), Patrick Strack  and Helena Kristiansson of Turtle Entertainment/ESL (Dark, Elazer, Zest, TY), Adela Sznajder of Dreamhack (Neeb, ShoWTimE), Shayla Conway (Byun, TRUE, Solar), GHOSTCLAW of MLG (viOLet)

 

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