Starcrafts first quarter of 2017 was all about IEM and GSL – and here are the best players of the first three months.
870,000 dollar prize money were given away in Starcraft 2 tournaments and league from January to March. Half of it was paid right at the start of the new year at the World Electronic Sports Games. Another 250,000 dollar were to be won at the IEM World Championships in Katowice and 142,660 dollar at the GSL Season 1 of 2017, both in March.
870,000 dollars is by the way an increase of 88 percent in prize money compared to the first three months of 2016. Here’s who was most successful in this time period.
TY had fantastic three months and thus is the best player of 2017 so far. He won two out of the three major tournaments: WESG in January and the IEM in March. Plus, he made it to the round of 8 at GSL. The 22-year-old consequently improved a lot in the World Ranking. He is now the second best player in the world, whereas he held rank 16 back at the start of the year.
Stats is a player that has constantly improved over the years, so it’s no wonder that he appears so high on this list. The 24-year-old won the GSL and was runner-up in Katowice in March. He also won one of the BaseTrade TV Map Testing Tournaments. Stats is now the third best player in the World Ranking, an improvement of six ranks since last year.
The career of one of Starcrafts prodigys has been a lot of ups and downs – currently he is one of the best players again. Maru was second to TY at WESG in January and fifth at GSL. These were the only tournaments he participated in this quarter. It was enough though to boost him from World Rank 38 to 20.
I don’t know if it’s funny anymore, but soO was second at GSL this season for the fifth (!) time in his career. He hasn’t been this close to the title since 2014 however. This time he lost to Stats in the Grand FInals, before it was against Dear, INnoVation, Zest and Classic (kdw). Besides GSL, he won the Wardi TV Finals in March and improved his World Rank from 45 at New Years Eve to 24 now.
Neeb is the best foreigner of 2017 so far. He earned this title with a third place at WESG, the fourth best performance at NationWars IV and by winning a BaseTrade TV Map Testing Tournament. It didn’t have much effect on his World Rank though. The 19-year-old improved from rank 6 to 5 and thus remains one of the best players in the world.
Alive is one of the most decorated Starcraft players of all time. His vita lists 131 tournaments so far. But he hasn’t been as good as this quarter since 2013. Third at IEM and 13th at GSL, he improved from World Rank 40 to 23.
Ryung tells a similiar story to Alive. He now has the experience of 111 tournaments, but with his current World Rank 26, he is as good as he was back in 2014 for the last time. This is due to his performance at GSL, where he finished third. It’s the best effort he ever showed at this tournament.
Scarlett, the only woman in this list, is another comeback-story. The 23-year-old had her prime back in 2014, but now she shines even brighter. The Canadian was the best player of NationWars, fifth at WESG and made it to the round of 32 at GSL. This is very rare for foreign players. She hold World Rank 13 now, which is the highest she has ever been in her career.
When it comes to the best players not from Korea though, Nerchio has to be named. He played more than 200 tournaments in his career and is the second most successful foreigner of all time and 13th best player worldwide in the history of Starcraft 2. Since June 2016, the Polish is constantly among the top10 of the World Ranking. This quarter he was the second best player of NationWars and ninth at IEM in Katowice. Besides, he won the Grand Finals of the BaseTrade TV Map Testing Tournaments.
Byun leads the World Ranking for five months with a large lead. But January to March wasn’t his best quarter. He didn’t participate at WESG, was ‚only‘ fifth at IEM and just 17th at GSL. He won two minor tournaments though. But his lead in the World Ranking is still astonishing.