IEM Shanghai 2017 – Group A preview and predictions


In this four-part series, we will take a deeper look at each group in the Ro16 at IEM Shanghai, including the stats, predictions and rivalries that could plague each player’s conscience as they prepare for an incredibly difficult task to be written in IEM history. We begin with the group that houses the King of Katowice, the most recent IEM champion TY.

Group A

  • TY
  • PenguiN
  • Bunny
  • Dark

The starting group of the tournament has two favourites – and rightfully so – as champions of IEM and SSL look to meet expectations and perform to advance in 1st and 2nd place. No doubt this group will be an entertaining way to begin the tournament with the defining match-up of StarCraft: TvZ action. However, there might be an upset hiding in this group.

  • Match1: TY vs PenguiN
  • Match2: Dark vs Bunny

PenguiN is the clear underdog in the group. We’d expect him to struggle unless he is able to shock his opponents and in doing so, the world. It is a great feat for the young player to have qualified for IEM Shanghai. His largest notable career result is that he qualified for GSL Code S in early 2015. As impressive as it is to qualify for IEM Shanghai, he did look shaky in the qualifiers with losses vs Neeb and a heavier 1-3 loss vs Byun, but he was able to secure a victory at the last leg, 3-2 vs Ryung to secure his spot.

PenguiN Expected finish: 4th

  • To advance: 9.41%
  • 1st place: 3.68%
  • 2nd place:5.73%
  • 3rd place: 24.50%
  • 4th place: 66.09%

Predictions by

PenguiN goes up against TY, a player who stood in front of thousands of fans in Katowice as he picked up his 2nd international tournament victory, cementing himself as one of the best Terran players in 2017. Since his victory in Katowice, it hasn’t exactly all been glamour and fame; he was stopped in the GSL quarterfinals by the eventual winner, GuMiho. The clear expectation is for TY to breeze through PenguiN to meet the winner of Dark vs Bunny in the winners’ match.

Dark vs Bunny could be a close game, as Bunny has shown quite some drastic improvements over the last six months. Many expect Dark to win, but it might not be that straightforward and we could see the first twist of the tournament happening here.

For Bunny to advance from this group, he is going to need to overcome TY or Dark, maybe even having to play one of them twice. This significantly reduces his chances of advancing but at the end of the day, the unlikely is certainly doable.

This is how we can see the group playing out:

Group game-by-game prediction:

  • TY vs PenguiN 2-0
  • Dark vs Bunny 2-1
  • TY vs Dark 1-2
  • PenguiN vs Bunny 0-2
  • TY vs Bunny 2-0

-Dark advances in 1st

-TY advances in 2nd

Statistical predictions

Dark – Expected finish 1st

  • To advance: 77.24%
  • 1st place: 45.78%
  • 2nd place: 31.46%
  • 3rd place 14.93%
  • 4th place: 7.84%

TY – Expected finish 2nd

  • To advance: 75.55%
  • 1st place: 37.53%
  • 2nd place: 38.02%
  • 3rd place 16.61%
  • 4th place: 7.84%

Bunny Expected finish 3rd

  • To advance: 37.81%
  • 1st place: 13.02%
  • 2nd place: 24.79%
  • 3rd place: 43.96%
  • 4th place: 18.24%

Penguin Expected finish 4th

  • To advance: 9.41%
  • 1st place: 3.68%
  • 2nd place:5.73%
  • 3rd place: 24.50%
  • 4th place: 66.09%

Predictions by

IEM Shanghai starting. 16 top players will compete for the chance to be crowned the 34th IEM StarCraft champion. You can find all tournament details, including the $25,000 prize pool breakdown, WCS point distribution and more here. With such a stacked lineup, this tournament is not to miss!