Since the announcement of the seeds and the groups there has a been a lot of drama and excitement. I share a great deal of this excitement and spent some time looking at the groups and pondering what they will bring. It would have been an amazing tourney regardless but with the extra prize pool gathered by the community it might bring out some more hidden resources of players and even a more fierce competition.
Group A I think is right off the bat the best one to look at. With maybe not the very top of the top seeds toxjq & fazz and some of the stronger high seeds like dem0n, Fraze. With the top and high seeds being so close, unless you are ins, it will be very hard to tell the ordering of the top four. From toxjq & fazz we have nothing less to expect than highest quality games. dem0n and Fraze while they seem to share some mutual respect I think they might have developed a healthy rivalry during Fraze's last stay in Europe.
It doesn't end at the top four however. bpatela has played everywhere and all the time. Really solidifying as a household name in quake. I would say he is a very solid defensive player that can hold up to the very best, although in some games I have noticed some lack of decisive action, which is certainly needed to challenge the bigger names in the group.
sothis became the hot topic overnight after defeating strenx and making him forfeit the match and allegedly retire. Although the game was sub par by strenx and the retirement part probably mostly made up by the community. I bet sothis will still be most eager to attend the DHW as he was rather upset the last one didn't happen and we can be sure he is excited to play and hungry for some high profile player retirement money.
I'm sure that if it wasn't for zeun's lengthy absence from the quake scene we would have seen him most likely in the mid seed. First time zeun appeared on the radar he took the whole quake community by storm, when he defeated Cooller with plays and aim that lead to a widespread hackusations, no solid evidence was ever provided and it seemed it mostly stemmed from wild fanboys, I'm sure that zeun wants to put his skills beyond doubt on LAN. Will he cause any upsets as in the past?
Lastly we have brescia, a quake veteran but mostly a TDM player. His latest duel appearances were not highly impressive so I hope larslarslars can become a one man army in the spirit of a TDM'er and cause some havoc.
When the seeds were first announced and people saw k1llsen and Spart1e seeded as high, many pointed out that they would be group of death material. However, having them both in the same group makes it the group of death.... on the Death Star..... undergoing a black plague. As dramatic as it sounds the most excitement seems to be on predicting how the top four will divide the qualifying spots. I would say Cypher and Spart1e are sure to advance and both land somewhere in the top three spots.
I'm somewhat baffled by the DaHanG praise. He sure is good and with the prolonged periods rapha seems absent from the scene, he usually holds the undisputed 1st in USA, rarely dropping as much as a map. However, there are many, in this group alone, to challenge him and with his aura of invincibility shaken I am eager to see if he will be able to keep his A-game and what in general it might do to his confidence.
k1llsen is just starting his preparations. This zadrot ebaniy will just have to blow off some dust of his rail gun and he will be in top shape, don't worry about that. With k1llsen's game it always seems his performance is directly proportional to the accuracies he hits, he has just one gear and if that fails he is not doing so well. It will surely be enough to get him past the group stages but the chances that he will blunder once before taking the grand prize are high.
I feel somewhat sorry for both kRoNic and Camma, both are great talent but I am afraid that against such opposition they might not be able to show their full capabilities. As of late kRoNic has really stepped up his game and has shown better play and going further stages of competition. This will be the first big appearance of Camma in an international setting. His brother Fraze has always spoken very highly of Camma's ability but it will be his quake that will need to do the talking soon. I wish both the very best of luck as I fear they will need plenty of it to make out of the group.
Laskij is another player who has shown great growth over the last months, but he also has expressed mild disappointment over the latest map pool which as he says has hurt his motivation to practice. In all honesty _gory is someone who has been floating under my quake radar. Apart from a few appearances in early stages of Faceit cups he has not done much to raise attention. However, I am sure as being a replacement for some of the drop outs he will be eager to show that he is not simply a filler.
With a lot of poles in the lineup it was inevitable that some will land in the same group but this really is quite something... I would have imagined that the Polish players would have attended Dreamhack as sort of a team. Practicing together, discussing the players etc but now that they are mostly in one group as rivals I am curious to see what dynamics it will bring to the tournament preparation.
av3k announced his retirement from LAN events last Dreamhack and after his increased participation in online cups lately it just makes it all the sweeter to see him back in DHW'13 as one of the most anticipated tournament ever.
STING has shown spectacular play as of late and has surpassed his brother matr0x. He is expected to go out of the group quite comfortably.
twister commented after the South African Showmatch that the players are of etty's skill level. Not sure of what to think of that but with the results etty is showing that can't be an insult. So I am looking forward to the Detrony and etty games to see how much truth that statement holds.
Finally we have gienon, luukets and Aeol. While gienon plays in a very entertaining way in both TDM and duel, I think he lacks some final quality to back his aggressive play style to show consistent results. For luukets and Aeol I think this will be just an amazing opportunity to take part in such an event. Especially Aeol being a community pillar, I'm sure he will bring lots of enthusiasm to his game having traveled so far to participate.
Oh right... There is also evil, not hard to forget him as he as disappeared like the devil himself. The story regarding evil is known to everyone. Veteran player who over the last two years has risen to the very elite of QuakeLive, taking last Dreamhack, placing second at QuakeCon and countless online events. He has enjoyed the most spotlight time of all players... and he has suffered from him. His demos must have been the most analyzed ones as an attempt to understand and combat his style. Recently we have not seen much of evil, but rumors are that he is practicing and aborting all his games to hide his preparations and his level of play. Cooller mentioned that he knows the 'key' to beating evil's style. Has he breached his vow of silenced and shared the knowledge or will evil just come back with a fresh lock and again dominate?
Although I was happy with how the seeds were distributed there were some seeds that raised a few questions. Most of the players in question have landed in Group D. Which will bring a lot of interesting games and maybe some of the more unpredictable results, all with an icing of delicious ESR drama!
Cooller vs rapha. I am rather new to quake and I remember exactly how I got hooked on it. It was ESL Classics Video, where rapha analysed his game against Cooller on dm6 for the IEM World Championship. When I first saw that video with little to no experience to quake it felt like some one was trying to explain to me the Quantum Field theory of Coherent Path Integrals. Yet as I played more and revisited the video once in a while I seemed to grasp more and more of what he says and still I can sometimes see some deeper meaning in it even today. A timeless classic for me. It will be a delight to see them two go at each other again, their mutual knowledge of their play styles will bring a vibrant and dynamic match, no doubt!
Ph4ntom, twister, matr0x. These three will be interesting to watch. Mostly when paired up with Ph4ntom. We really don't know enough of the South African Players to comfortably seed them in either mid or high. So my guess would have been that they were seeded high optimistically and in hopes to utilize the rare opportunity and to see as much of them as possible. However, matr0x had other thoughts, he seemed in disagreement that some ZEF Side kids come up to our neighborhood and take our sweet sweet seeds. Plenty has been said and quoting Ph4ntom: let their quake do the talking in just over a week from now.
I'm sure plazmaistar will bring his rail and plenty of tape to record for his newest TAORITDH. Although he has shown that he has more than just his rail in his arsenal there is also a lot of inconsistency surrounding him.
With the last two being replacements for some recent drop out's as well I have not much faith in no_il and
jewRo, but it is good to see jewRo playing some more again, the little I have seen of him he seemed like a diamond in the rough.
If you read all this I am in awe if not - TL;DR- HYPE HYPE HYPE
Edited by Badb0y at 01:06 CST, 22 November 2013 - 53661 Hits