The lineup for the Summer StarCraft II Arena, airing live on majorleaguegaming.com on July 20-22, is an incredible mix of veteran players and up-and-coming talent. A lot of huge names are coming: players like Stephano, SaSe, Losira, Hero, Grubby, and many more. They'll be joined by some of the world's most exciting up-and-coming players; players who haven't won major titles yet, but whose skills promise great things. We can't wait to see what happens when these two groups of players meet on the field of battle. Today we're shining the spotlight on four players who you should be keeping an eye on when the action kicks off at 4:30pm this Friday.
Blast.Roof (see stats)
As a German Zerg player, Roof, aka Marvin Gebhart, has done incredibly well online but has only attended one LAN event. He had another chance back at the Spring Arena 2, but could not attend and was replaced. In Summer, he's made it to the Arena once again; will this be his time to shine?
In the Invite-Only Online Qualifiers, Roof was knocked down to the Losers Bracket by the eventual winner, SortOf. In the Losers Bracket, he faced Cytoplasm and defeated him 2-1, then lost 2-1 to Zerg badass Nerchio.
His team, the french organization BLAST, is counting on Roof to perform at this event. A ton of eyes will be on him, and one of the biggest tests Roof will face is surely being put on the spotlight. Nerves tend to come into play at these events–on Friday, we'll all see how Roof handles them.
AICytoplasm (see stats)
Sweden must have something in the water that breeds incredible SCII players. The newest player to make noise out of the country is Jonas Larsson, aka Cytoplasm. The 22-year-old Zerg from Alien Invasion made a splash at Dreamhack Summer, getting Top 16 and beating MorroW, PuMa, Dragon, and Fraer before being knocked out of the tournament by the eventual winner, MaNa.
Much of his recent success can be credited to living in South Korea after representing Sweden at the WCG 2011 Finals. He has small but important wins over huge names in the scene, but has never won or placed well in a major event. We’ll be watching him closely this weekend.
ESCDaisy (see stats)
Lee Jong Hyuk, otherwise known as Daisy, is a Korean Protoss living in Germany. As a former member of the Korean team Prime, Daisy's already got the chops to be a killer, and it's really starting to show as of late.
Daisy qualified for the Summer Arena by taking out Cytoplasm. He had some tough luck in the Online Qualifiers, though, going up against good friend TypeReal in the next round and then facing Nerchio when he dropped down to the Losers Bracket.
In a recent interview, Daisy mentioned that his opponents often come back and defeat him, saying that “you’ll find it entertaining to see me rage after I lose those kind of games." Can Daisy keep his cool this weekend? We'll all find out on Friday.
EclypsiaWelmu (see stats)
Welmu represents the Finnish scene as well as his team, Eclypsia. His Protoss play has netted him some huge wins; he took out Kas and Titan at Assembly Winter 2012 and, more recently, he qualified for TSL4 by taking out Major 3-2 in the Grand Finals.
In the Summer Online Qualifiers, he defeated Grubby and Goody, finally being eliminated by Zerg powerhouse Nerchio. His PvP win rate is an incredible 66%, so he’ll definitely be counting on that matchup to take him far at the Arena.
Welmu is a strong-willed player who's known for setting goals and then achieving them. Back in November, he claimed he would hit Rank 1 Grandmaster. Four days later, he'd done it. Welmu has the potential to cause a huge upset this weekend, and is definitely one to watch.
At 9pm ET on Thursday, we'll be airing the Arena Bracket Show live on MLG.tv; tune in as we announce who our top-seeded players have chosen for their Winners Round 1 opponents!
Arena action kicks off with the Pregame Show at 4:30pm ET this Friday. Get yourself an HD Viewing Pass to access the Premium-only stream, watch all streams in full HD without ads, and get DVR functionality to rewind and watch any of the matches you miss, and join us live for the best Arena yet.