The player lineup at Intel Extreme Masters - New York is a mix of stars and hopefuls, some of whom are in the middle of a desperate fight for WCS points and many more hoping to play spoiler. The 28 players competing in New York’s Jacob Javits Center will arrive by invite, battling through qualifiers and, in the case of Kim ‘Revival’ Dong Hyun, last minute replacement for dropped players.
Park ‘ForGG’ Ji Soo waited until the very week of IEM-New York to forfeit his place in the tournament, opening the door for Revival to slip into ForGG’s spot in Stage 2. That means the Korean Zerg player doesn’t have to play in the preliminary round and is guaranteed a small WCS point award just for accepting the invitation to join the tournament. With Revival currently ranked 15th, the players crowded around the Top 16 cutoff line for the WCS Global Finals will surely be watching IEM-NY with intense interest and clenched fists.
At the very least, Johan ‘NaNiwa’ Lucchesi and Dario ‘TLO’ Wünsch will be able to play StarCraft II and actually do something about their situation as they’re currently ranked 16th and 22nd, respectively. The issue for those two players is that they’ll have to do a lot, as in win IEM-New York, to keep themselves in the BlizzCon conversation. They’ll have to watch out for in-form players who, while not threatening a run to the Global Finals, are nonetheless playing very well right now. Son ‘StarDust’ Seok Hee is coming off of the Europe Premier League Finals weekend where he just got a crash course in high pressure, high level StarCraft II. Chris ‘HuK’ Loranger still has quite a ways to go if he wants to earn his way into the Global Finals but he’s been hot enough that he still has WCS points from America Premier League available to him next week, in addition to whatever he can haul away from IEM-New York. We just saw Mun ‘MMA’ Seong Won rack up 1800 WCS points in 10 days, going from 21st to 7th in that span. To make a move like that, all it takes is a championship.
With a heavy North American flavor to the tournament, IEM-NY could also offer a preview of players taking their first steps toward WCS America stardom. Remember, for a lot of players and their fans it’s time to start thinking about 2014, now.You can catch the live event on starcraft2.com/wcs beginning October 10 at 12:30 p.m. PDT and 7:30 a.m. PDT each day following through Sunday, October 13. As we creep ever closer to the remaining Premier League Finals, Season 3 Finals, and the WCS Global Finals, IEM-New York will change the fates of several players in the running for each of those competitions.