That being said, Europe is still the stronger region. Needless to say, Europe comes in as the favorites, and with no small amount of pressure to win, but more importantly, we come into this event with a formidable roster that should and will crush anyone in our path. The European powerhouse roster boasts no fewer than 5 premier titles and 9 more finals appearances.
Our roster consists of Champions. Of heroes and villains. Of rivals come together to defeat a common enemy. Of King Artur and his Disciples.
Before I unveil my selections, I have to give an honorable mention to Showtime. Obviously, the recent WCS champion should be on this list, but unfortunately due to prior commitments, he will be unable to represent Europe. Despite this, I have full confidence in my team.
King Artur and his Disciples
The Hero: Liquid.Snute
Few people embody the term “fan favorite” as well as Snute. Snute has been one of the standardbearers for foreign Starcraft for a long time, more often than not vying for the title of “best foreigner.” He has already shown with two finals appearances and a top 4 finish that he is clearly well acclimated to Legacy and ready to take names.
His Majesty: Euronics.Nerchio
Nerchio has sometimes been seen as somewhat of a villain. Not afraid to talk some smack and never one to shy away from voicing an opinion, no matter how polarizing, he’s always been an interesting character to watch. Personality aside, Nerchio has been one of the absolute best in Europe for many years, and with his recent 2nd place finish in WCS, he’s shown that he is on top of his game, and capable of beating absolutely anybody.
The Baguette: mYi.PtitDrogo
Known in Heart of the Swarm for being a Zerg Killer, PtitDrogo became an everyone killer when he took home the title at Dreamhack Leipzig. Despite a couple of hiccups lately, he’s back on a tear online and raring to prove that he’s still at the top of Europe. He’s a man on a mission, and nobody will stop him.
The Prodigy: TeS.Elazer
Still often overlooked because of the performances of some of Europe’s other Zergs, everybody in the EU scene knows just how strong Elazer has become. When I asked for opinions from some of the earlier picks on who should fill out the roster, the vote for Elazer was unanimous. While he may still be waiting for his “big break,” his consistent results in 2016 speak for themselves. He’s not yet as much of a household name as European compatriots such as Nerchio and Snute, but he should be feared just as much.
The Bad Boy: Mill.Marinelord
The French Terran has become somewhat known for his “give no f*cks” attitude. He’s caught some flak for some of his comments in the past, but no matter how you slice it, Marinelord is one of Europe’s finest. Just a reminder: This badass all killed Korea in Nation Wars. Good luck, Americas.
That Other King: Inv.Harstem
Kevin De Koning. For those of you who haven’t heard, Harstem’s name literally means Kevin The King. At the very least, he proved that he was the king in China two months back, taking the gold at the GPL. He’s been a staple of the Starcraft scene for many years, and is one of the most popular players we have. The Americas are stronger than they’ve been in years, but no matter how strong they are, they can’t stop the #yearofharstem.
The fulltime streamer who just so happens to sometimes destroy people’s dreams at tournaments when he feels like it. Despite his name, there is nothing Schlappi about uThermal’s play, as he proves time and again as one of Europe’s premier Terran players. A top 4 finish at Dreamhack Leipzig earlier this year showed how strong he can be. Be scared, ‘muricans.
The Newcomer: dPix.Namshar
Some people may view this as a strange pick, but I have full faith that Namshar will prove that he deserves this spot. A recent top 8 Dreamhack finish showed just how good he can be, and I felt like this was a great opportunity to give him some well deserved exposure. Few people can match the passion and work ethic of Namshar, and I know he will put in the preparation necessary to take out whoever he is matched against.
The Mad Scientist: Bly
Just about the only thing you can predict about Bly’s play is that it’s going to be unpredictable. Somebody like Bly is invaluable in a team league setting, especially if you give him time to prepare a specific build. Bly has won the ESL Americas Open 9 times. If they can’t defend their home turf, who’s to say they will be able to stand up to Bly’s tricks in this event?