Season 3 of the StarCraft II WCS ANZ Challenger series has come and gone as we crowned two players to represent our region over in WCS Valencia: Ethan ‘iaguz’ Zugai and Sean ‘Probe’ Kempen.
As we look forward to Season 4 coming in August this year, let’s take a moment to look ahead at the action to come.
Assuming the format remains the same, iaguz and Probe will be immediately qualified for the live event, and an online qualifier will determine the six players joining them.
If this season’s performance is anything to go by, Sheldon ‘Seither’ Barrow and David ‘MightyKiwi’ Gore will be assured to make it through the qualifying bracket on skill alone. They have consistently produced top-four performances in tournaments this year and their form continues to improve at a rate higher than their peers.
Predictions get a little trickier when we look further at the remaining spots.
Ashley ‘Frustration’, Tran ‘MeomaikA’ Hong Phuc, Ben ‘Crimson’ MacDonald, Craig ‘Azure’ MacKechnie, Ryan ‘NXZ’ Jones, and Noah ‘nOtOriOusPiG’ Krensel rounded out the top 10 in Season 3. However, if history has taught us anything it’s that each season is capable of producing wildly different results – even weeks apart.
The likelihood that we will be re-joined by some players who have previously retired or not participated in recent qualifiers makes Season 4 that much more tantalising.
If Hayden ‘Wally’ Bell and Varun ‘Demilove’ Immanuel are fit and ready to participate next season, we may have a vastly different bracket dynamic.
The rest of the available bracket spots are almost impossible to predict as a solid month of practice for our heroes remains between now and the next event.
A fire will be lit beneath the feet of Azure and Demilove who always perform well. NXZ is undoubtedly practicing harder than ever. Crimson wants to capitalise on his momentum. MeomaikA wants another chance to travel overseas and broaden his horizons.
While Australia and New Zealand have a wealth of talented players in fighting form, not all will be capable of making the cut.
So one thing’s for sure — next season will be the most competitive, exciting and unpredictable yet. It’s going to be a treat to watch. Make sure you don’t miss any of the action.