It is already the last group of this first edition of Iron Squid, the preceding group still brought an unexpected turn of event but will have especially reduced the hopes to see a foreigner making it through. From now on only two non Korean are still in the competition, German HasuObs and Polish Nerchio. It is useless to say that their task is expected to be at the very least complicated.
HasuObs, the German effectiveness
Captain of the Mousesports team, HasuObs is a player who is extremely respected by his pairs, but who is less recognized by the fans because of his very discrete nature. However the German is one of the veterans of the scene, and is powerful on the European scene. His style of play is precise and methodical and therefore very few strategies are able to get him off balance. The Protoss has however a true challenge which awaits him, he will have to face three of best Korean in the world. His best chance lies in the fact that for two among them - aLive and Leenock - the match up against Protoss is where they are the least at ease, the German will have to take advantage from it.
The Polish wiz kid
If he has for a long time marked the spirits more for his bad temper than his performances, the Polish is now clearly established like one of best Zerg out of Korea. Nerchio has showed that he was able to compete against the Koreans during the HSC IV. The Polish has the advantage of not having a true weak point, as a former random player, he has a very deep knowledge of each match-up. With such a group, Nerchio will have to play his maximum to hope to pass, because three Korean monsters are standing on its way. More at ease on Internet than far from at his place, Nerchio will be able to play the way he likes has thus a chance to be the foreigner which will come to defy Korean in the Ro8.
The most consistent player
Until one week ago, aLive had realized the prowess never to leave the GSL Code S, whatever the system, whatever the group in which he played, the Terran always survived. The last was also his best season as he reached the semi-finals. The player who signed with Fnatic at the beginning of the year and dropped to GSL Code A and now has to requalify for Code S. In spite of this day off, aLive is one of the toughest Terrans in Korea, and has good chance to get back in Code S. It is nevertheless wise to note that the Korean falls into a group with two from his compatriots playing Zergs, if Leenock is a Master of the match-up, NesTea showed more sign of concerns, the door is thus open for aLive.
The heir of the god of war
Leenock was revealed to the world’s eyes by winning the MLG Providence and then reaching the final of GSL Code S. Since then, he is awaited each event in which he attends and his opponents are better prepared to his particularly aggressive style. In spite of that, the Korean remains one of the Masters of ZvT and a good player of mirror matches. His problem always was against the disciples of Aiur, and with HasuObs for only Protoss, the FXO player is in a group that fits him rather well. The match against NesTea will be surely decisive, he will have to give his best to score a map to the genius of ZvZ.
The Zerg legend
Even if it was sometimes shadowed by his team mate even greater year, NesTea dominated the year 2011. He is today the only player to have won a GSL Code S without losing a single the map. After a difficult end of the year, the Zerg seeks to find his glory of the great time, and has in Iron Squid a perfect occasion to gain a first title out of Korea. First he obviously has to make it through by the qualification in a group where his compatriots will give him a hard time, NesTea is however largely able to dominate this group if he is in a great day.
This group is probably the closest call to make regarding who is going to make it through. It is likely that aLive could beat NesTea but lose to Leenock who would himself lose to NesTea, the map average would decide the players’ fate. The two foreigners still have a chance though.