By Galen Andress

MLG's live professional gaming competition in Anaheim is just around the corner, with the best StarCraft 2, Halo: Reach and Call of Duty: Black Ops players in the world looking to make their mark in the third Event of the Pro Circuit Season. With so much great competition in one venue, it can be hard to know which players to keep an eye on. Who will make the best plays over the course of the weekend? Don't worry, we've got you covered. Here are 10 of the best, most exciting and highly skilled players to watch on July 29-31.

 

Tsquared

Name – Tom Taylor
Age – 23
From – Orlando, Florida
Game – Halo: Reach
Team – Str8 Rippin
Sponsored By – Dr. Pepper
Fun Fact –  Appeared in an episode of MTV’s True Life entitled “I’m a Pro Gamer”

Tom Taylor (Tsquared) is an icon in the world of professional Halo. His face graced 175 million bottles of Dr Pepper, and he has several 1st Place tournament finishes under his belt. In Columbus, Tsquared's squad took home a very respectable 2nd Place finish, and he is at the head of a revamped Str8 Rippin squad heading into Anaheim. Tsquared is well known for his ability to dominate with power weapons, so when he gets his hands on a Rocket Launcher or Sniper, keep an eye out for big plays.

 

Enable

Name – Ian Wyatt
Age – 17
From – Newark, Delaware
Game – Halo: Reach
Team – Status Quo
Fun Fact – Enable is missing the tip of one of his thumbs

 

Enable is one of the scariest players in Halo: Reach, as his raw slaying power leaves opponents questioning whether they want to enter a one-on-one battle with him. He boasts one of the most accurate shots in the game and has superior in-battle decisionmaking. He is also a great communicator on a team that's made its mark for amazing communication, constantly calling out enemy positions and coordinating attacks with his teammates on the fly. His squad, Status Quo, are heading into Anaheim as the #1 overall seed, and they’ll be looking for their second win of the Season. Look for Enable to make plenty of highlight-reel-worthy plays all weekend long.

 

DongRaeGu

Name – Park, Soo-Ho
Age – 20
From – South Korea
Game – StarCraft 2
Team – coL.MVP
Fun Fact – Winner of the LG Cinema 3D Special League

 

DongRaeGu is one of the most feared Zerg players in Korea. He burst out onto the scene in the Korean Global StarCraft Team League (GSTL) with shocking wins over StarCraft legends Nada and Boxer, and a laundry list of other great players. He also recently won his first major Korean tournament, the LG Cinema 3D Special League, in front of thousands of fans at the GSL Super Tournament Finals. DongRaeGu has made a name for himself as a Zerg vs Terran specialist, displaying a deep understanding of the timings and tactics in the matchup. Many of the top contenders (MVP, MMA, Boxer, Ganzi) in Anaheim are Terran, so look for DongRaeGu to make a very noticeable splash in his Pool, and the tournament in general.

 

Roy

Name - Justin Brown
Age - 21
From - Urbana, Illinois
Game - Halo: Reach
Team – Instinct
Sponsored By: Old Spice
Fun Fact – Has a twin brother (Lunchbox) who also plays on Instinct

Roy was named the MLG Columbus MVP,  and for good reason. He is arguably the best all-around player in the game, showcasing great slaying ability, communication and objective play. In Columbus nearly two months ago, he led all players in Kill-to-Death ratio on the way to Instinct's 1st Place finish. Look for Roy and his team, Instinct, to threaten a repeat in Anaheim.

 

Assassin

Name – Robert Walsh
Age – 19
From – Middle Village, NY
Game – Call of Duty: Black Ops
Team – Fear
Fun Fact – Assassin will be taking over the role of captain of Fear in Anaheim after Moho’s retirement following Columbus

 

Assassin is so new to the scene we haven't even got a headshot yet, but he's already making his mark. Assassin's squad, Fear, took 3rd Place in Columbus coming out of a very difficult Pool. Assassin made some clutch plays in a deciding Game 5 against CheckSix Resistance, bringing the team back from an 0-2 deficit to take the series 3-2 and advance to the Winners Bracket Semifinals. Although Assassin and Fear wouldn't be able to make a run the Finals, they emerged as one of the teams to beat coming into Anaheim.

 

Jkap

Name – Jordan Kaplan
Age – 17
From – Marlton, New Jersey
Game – Call of Duty: Black Ops
Team – Optic Gaming
Fun Fact – Columbus 2011 Champion

 

Jkap is a member of the Optic Gaming team that took 1st Place in Columbus. Despite ending up on the wrong side of a tiebreaker at the end of Pool Play and having to fight through the Losers Bracket to get to the Finals, Jkap and his team were able to sweep Force 6-0 in the Finals to take home the title. Jkap is a well-rounded player that can fill any role on his team, whether he’s taking on a slaying role or locking down an objective, and he has nerves of steel when playing on the big stage. Keep an eye on him as the Black Ops action heats up.

Idra

Name – Greg Fields
Age – 21
From – New Jersey
Game – StarCraft 2
Team – Evil Geniuses
Fun Fact – Considered by many to be the bad boy of gaming

 

Idra's 4th Place finish in Columbus was the best among non-Korean players. He became a legend in the community for being one of the only non-Korean pro gamers in StarCraft: Brood War, and he has been one of the best players in the world throughout the course of StarCraft 2. He ‘s earned a reputation for being the bad boy of pro StarCraft, known for leaving games early and disrespecting opponents during pre-game and in-game chat. He always provides entertaining games, win or lose, and in a tournament stacked with great Korean players, look for Idra to be one of the only players that can hang with them.

 

Heinz

Name – Richie Heinz
Age – 19
From – Port Jefferson, NY
Game – Halo: Reach
Team – Dynasty
Fun Fact – One of the biggest sports fans in the League

 

Lots of players make their name in Halo: Reach by racking up kills and making big plays with power weapons. The unsung heroes of the game, however, contribute to the team in other ways—and they’re often the most fun to watch. Heinz is one of the best objective-oriented players on the Pro Circuit, making great plays to capture flags, plant bombs, and assist teammates with kills. A great objective player must always be a good communicator, and Heinz is this and then some. He is constantly calling out enemy positions and coordinating moves with his teammates. And with one of the best slayers in the game, Snipedown, at his back, look for the map to open up and give Heinz plenty of opportunities for jaw-dropping plays.

Huk

Name – Chris Loranger
Age – 22
From – Canada
Game – StarCraft 2
Team – Liquid
Fun Fact – First non-Korean to win an international SC2 competition over Korean players

Huk was the first MLG StarCraft 2 Champion back in Raleigh 2010, and has provided some of the best moments in MLG SC2 since then, despite having only had one Top 3 finish on the Pro Circuit since his win in Raleigh. The competition had better be ready, though, because Huk is on a tear lately and is set to make a run at 1st again in Anaheim. For the past eight months, he has been training in Korea as a full-time pro gamer, and over the last month he has taken 1st Place in two of the biggest tournaments outside of Korea, Dreamhack and Homestory Cup III. Don't be surprised if Huk is fighting strong in the later stages of the tournament.

 

Boxer

Name – Lim Yo Hwan
Age – 30
From – South Korea
Game – StarCraft 2
Team – Slayers
Fun Fact – Arguably the most popular pro gamer of all-time

 

Since the early 2000s, Boxer has been a figurehead of the competitive StarCraft scene. He is considered by most to be the icon of the game, much like Michael Jordan is for professional basketball. He has millions of fans worldwide, Korean television stations have done documentaries on him, and DVDs of his greatest moments can be found on shelves in Korea. He is known for his amazing unit control and for revolutionary strategies that changed the way the game was played forever. Although he isn't the player he once was, keep an eye on this legend of professional StarCraft as the tournament moves on.

These are ten of the best, the players who are highly likely to do interesting, extreme, or surprising things. Over the course of the weekend, however, you can expect a cavalcade of incredible play to take place. The brackets are larger than they've ever been, and the level of talent is even higher than that of MLG Columbus, the previous high water mark for the Pro Circuit. Tune in to majorleaguegaming.com starting at 5:30pm PDT on July 29 to watch as we kick off the best weekend in competitive gaming!