Team league action returns to Starcraft 2 with the World Team League (WTL) at the end of March and will last three whole months as one of the longest events of the game’s competitive calendar.
For those who haven’t seen a team league event before, it’s a little different from the usual Starcraft competition. The players still play 1-on-1, but they are in teams and must reach an overall score to win; it’s an exciting format where a little more than just individual performance matters.
Let’s take a look at who’ll be playing at the WTL and the specifics of the team league format.
Who’s Playing at Starcraft 2’s World Team League?
The World Team League is one of the biggest events in SC2, featuring over 50 players and 12 teams. We’ll see some of the best players competing, with the likes of Zest, Rogue and Dark forming a super-team, as well as old legends like TaeJa returning, and even up-and-comers in MaxPax and Prince. Overall, the event is a mixed bag and primed for some unexpected results.
Things are quite different when it comes to the format, as each series will be played over three best-of-twos, all of which will reward points. Teams gain three points for winning a match 2-0, and if the teams are tied in map score at the end of the first three matches, an “ace” match is played.
The ace match is a single best-of-one that rewards two points for a win and one for a loss. It’s essentially a tiebreaker as it’s possible for matches to tie in this format, but rewards teams with more points for bringing the series to the distance.
|Dragon Phoenix Gaming||+160|
|Good Game Gaming||+10000|
Odds as of March 23 at Sportsbook
Dragon Phoenix Gaming Creates SC2 Super-Team
The team to watch at this event is definitely Dragon Phoenix Gaming. When it comes to prestige, this team outshines them all. Featuring Cure, Dark, Rogue and Zest, the team is made up of three world champions, a championship finalist and a ton of experience.
All four players are also currently some of the best in their race, with Dark and Rogue most notably being the two best Zergs in the world right now.
Overall, the individual skill of these players is no doubt among the highest at the event and having them all on one team makes Dragon Phoenix the definite favorite. However, the team league format does leave room for upsets, with teams getting to plan for specific matchups where stealing just one map can make all the difference.
Shopify Rebellion Carries Western Hopes
When it comes to western Starcraft 2, there is unfortunately a lack of the best of the best. Serral and Reynor are both missing from this event, putting Europe and North America at a clear disadvantage.
However, a promising team has been formed to represent the West, with Lambo, Scarlett, TLO and ByuN putting together Shopify Rebellion. Lambo and Scarlett are two very strong western players who can definitely put up a fight against anyone here. TLO is semi-retired but could still steal away a map, and the key star is ByuN (who’s actually Korean but we can ignore that), a superstar who has a good claim to being mechanically the best in the world.
Shopify Rebellion’s chances are actually pretty decent. They have a solid core and they should be able to earn a place in the playoffs, where anything can happen.
Is Team NV Being Underrated?
Looking at the odds, there is one key surprise factor: Team NV comes in at +900 for the event, despite featuring one of the better lineups.
With Maru, sOs and DonRaeGu, NV actually has some of the strongest players at the event. Maru is arguably the best player in the world at the moment, sOs has always been a top-tier Protoss, and DRG is making a massive comeback on the pro scene. The team even has the likes of Bunny and Creator, two strong players more than capable of preparing for and surprising a specific opponent.
If anyone is looking to back a team at huge odds with a chance to win, then NV is the way to go.