Next week will have the most anticipated group of Starcraft players battle it out in the GSL (now WCS Korea). The format of the GSL starts with 8 groups of 4, with top 2 advancing to the next round, which is another 4 groups of 4, before reaching a straight knockout stage.
The group plays out as a mini tournament, where the 2 pairs play each other then the winner plays each other, and then the losers of the first games play each other to fight for their right to play the final match vs the loser of the winner match. Hope that makes sense... sounds really complicated =D
So pretty much the best 4 players in Korea (and the world) picked each other and now we see the craziest group of death in Starcraft history (however long that is).
To put this in non Starcraft perspective, lets say that in some weird situation the [Football] World Cup decided that the top teams would pick their opponents in the group. Whoever gets selected can pick the next team. Imagine the team ending up like this; (yes i know they're not no.1-4th in Fifa World Rankings...)
I cant wait to watch this group! And I'm sure that many others cant wait too...
But what I'm really interested in is how doing this as a strategy works in the long run?
In choosing their opponents, Parting actually started out by wanting to play vs Life, so it was more of an ego driving / rivalry thing. Then Life chose Innovation... which was also kinda the same thing. Then Innovation chose Flash... coz why the hell not! At this point it was pretty clear that non of the remaining players wanted to be chosen for this group, so why not just go full out? Misery loves company, right?
Strategically it can seem like a pretty good idea. Its almost certain that the winner of the whole tournament is probably going to come out of this group. So why not make a group of death, where you can eliminate 2 of your biggest rivals? In fact you can eliminate one and have them eliminate each other!
It kinda has the attitude of doing something hard now, so that the journey to the end can be easier. Another point to make is that from a psychological standpoint, if you completely destroy this group, you have the confidence to win the whole thing and other players might be scared of you.
I doubt that during the picks these players were thinking this strategically, but it certainly brings up some interesting game theory style strategies into not going for the "norm" of choosing easier opponents. Or you could just win vs everyone and you don't have to think about any of this at all LOL. But i like it...
Bring it on!!