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So long, and thanks for all the fish!

MLG Columbus starts today (and who said Ohio was just full of corn?)

MLG Columbus

Get ready E-sports fans, because you are in for a treat.  MLG Columbus starts streaming live today at 5PM EST with newly expanded stream bandwidth. Fans that tuned in to MLG Dallas may remember some of the traffic issues that resulted in down time during the broadcasts, but higher capacity infrastructure should eliminate that threat this time around.  MLG co-founder Sundance DiGiovanni has promised fans a smooth viewing experience, as well as HD quality up to 720p.

As if that weren’t enough, there are going to be some huge firsts this time around!

MLG’s new GSL partnership is about to pay its first dividends. They’ve brought in some of the top Korean players, as well as the top Korean broadcasters (well the top Korean English broadcasters…).

We have oGs_MC (replacing ST_Bomber), SlayerS_MMA, FOX.Moon, IM_LosirA, and ST_July (winner of CSN’s Clash of the Houses) making appearances.  With the exception of July, each of the Koreans will be seeded 17-20.

One of the more anticipated match ups is in the very first round of group play. MC, the dominant but slumping Protoss world champion, and IdrA, the controversial Zerg animal, will face off in what I’m sure will be a great clash of styles. MC tends to favor risky, aggressive plays that have net him several crushing victories; while IdrA tends towards more precise, calculated macro play.

I’d give the edge to MC here, he may be in a slight slump (I’d call it more a lull), but he has the advantage of coming in as a replacement for Bomber(T). Idra hasn’t been practicing his ZvP as much as a matchup with MC would normally entail. Their group C also includes SeleCT, Ret, and Tyler, making it indisputably the group of death for Columbus.

KiWiKaKi, a crafty Canadian Protoss pro, is in a group with MMA, the double expanding Terran GSL player. As Tasteless put it, whenever someone takes one base on MMA, he makes two more. How will the MLG Dallas second place finisher fare against a Code S player?  Will the Korea > the rest of the world formula be turned on its head?

IM_LosirA’s group has top 8 MLG Dallas finishers iNcontrol (P) and TLO (T). I can’t say who’ll come out on top there, but I CAN say I would hate to be Haypro or Machine (the other members of that group).

Last of all we cannot dismiss MLG Dallas winner NaNiwa. In the past, NaNi was known for his occasionally improper conduct and one-base, cheesy play. More recently, though, he’s branched out, showing that he can play a mean standard game and becoming far more professional in his conduct.  He has also mentioned a desire to play in Korea, and is probably chomping at the bit to try his hand against Moon. He should easily top his group.

No one can be sure what will happen, but the matchups are looking pretty incredible. I’m more excited than a group of Banes in a cluster of Marines… Oh and did I mention Tastosis?  Yea, MLG landed the most dangerous casting archon in pro gaming. We may even see a 3 templar morph as Day9 will also be in attendance… dare I say Daystetosis?

Get stimmed up nerds and tune in at 5:00pm EST for some fun filled rounds of Zerg roasting, marine exploding, and… Toss fading out into blue mist animation?

It’s gonna be a blast!

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