NASL Division 1 Preview: Clash of Legends and Rising Stars

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Division 1 Preview: Clash of Legends and Rising Stars in the North American Starleague

The North American Starleague (NASL) is gearing up for an exciting inaugural season, and Division 1 promises to deliver gripping storylines and intense matchups. While some may consider it one of the weaker divisions, the mix of sentimental favorites, established players from around the world, and the revival of a legendary Warcraft III rivalry guarantees a captivating viewing experience for Starcraft enthusiasts. In this article, we’ll delve into the key players and dynamics of Division 1, highlighting their accomplishments, potential, and what to expect as the season progresses.

Rainbow: The Favorite to Win Division 1

Kim Sung Je, known as Rainbow, is widely regarded as the frontrunner to conquer Division 1. As one of the two Korean players in the group, Rainbow has a remarkable track record in Starcraft II. Formerly playing under the handle “HopeTorture,” he made an impressive debut, securing a second-place finish in GSL1 and reaching the Round of 4 in GSL2. Maintaining his Code S status and consistently performing at a high level, Rainbow is a force to be reckoned with.

Foreign Players Bridging the Skill Gap

Foreign players have made significant strides in closing the skill gap with their Korean counterparts. Stefan “Morrow” Andersson is a prime example, having displayed consistent results and the ability to compete with the best players in the world. Morrow’s victory in the IEM Season V Global Challenge, defeating formidable opponents like TLO, Dimaga, and Idra, showcases his potential to shine in Division 1.

Dario “TLO” Wünsch is another foreign player who has experienced success in Korea, qualifying for the first two GSL events as a Terran player. Despite returning to Germany for personal reasons, TLO continued to excel in events outside of the GSL, securing victories in the Invitational and the Poker Idol EU Championship. His versatility, switching races multiple times between Terran, Zerg, and Random, adds an extra layer of unpredictability to his gameplay.

Fenix and the Rise of Foreign Teamhouses

Jian Carlo Morayra Alejo, known as Fenix, aims to establish himself as a top foreign player. As a member of Fnatic, Fenix has already tasted victory in Gamegune 2010 and the IEM American Championships, triumphing over notable opponents like TT1 and qxc. Joining other Fnatic members and ROOT players in one of the first foreign teamhouses, Fenix aspires to emulate the rigorous training environments of top Korean players, with hopes of achieving remarkable improvements in skill and results.

Kiwikaki and the Legacy of Warcraft III

Jonathan “Kiwikaki” Garneau, a former competitive Warcraft II player, is determined to build on his success in Starcraft II. With impressive showings in various tournaments, including victories in the ROOT Challenge North American Invitational, Kiwikaki has demonstrated his potential to challenge top players. Although his accomplishments in Warcraft III may not compare to those of Jang Jae Ho, also known as “Moon,” Kiwikaki’s skill and dedication make him a player to watch in Division 1.

The Rivalry Continues: Moon and Grubby in Starcraft II

The transition from Warcraft III to Starcraft II brought forth two legendary players, Jang Jae Ho and Manuel “Grubby” Schenkhuizen. Moon, a five-time world champion and renowned for his innovative play, aims to make a mark in Starcraft II, despite recent setbacks. Similarly, Grubby, with an impressive record of six world championships in Warcraft III, has the potential to ascend to new heights in Starcraft II. Their journey in Division 1 will undoubtedly captivate fans as they seek to rekindle their storied rivalry.

Underdogs Sheth and ViBe: Rising to the Challenge

Sheth and ViBe, considered underdogs in Division 1, have proven their mettle and ability to compete with some of the best players in the world. Sheth’s victory in the GosuCoaching Weekly #7 and notable performances in the FXO Path of Ascension showcase his resilience and skill. ViBe’s solid gameplay at the TSL Open and MLG Dallas 2010 has caught the attention of both fans and fellow players. While they may be overlooked by some, their capabilities should not be underestimated.

The Return of Artosis: Commentator Turned Competitor

A noteworthy storyline in Division 1 revolves around Dan “Artosis” Stemkoski, a well-known Brood War player and current commentator for GOMTV in Korea. Artosis caused a stir in the community when he announced his return to competitive gaming and submitted his application for the NASL. Despite limited practice time and a recent switch from Zerg to Protoss, Artosis’s wealth of knowledge and established skill make him a formidable threat in Division 1. Counting him out would be a critical mistake.

As Division 1 of the North American Starleague unfolds, fans can anticipate thrilling matchups and captivating storylines. From Rainbow’s quest to maintain his dominance to the resurgence of foreign players like Morrow and TLO, the competition promises to be fierce. Grubby and Moon’s transition from Warcraft III to Starcraft II adds another layer of intrigue, while underdogs Sheth and ViBe aim to prove their worth. Lastly, Artosis’s return to competitive gaming generates excitement, as fans eagerly await his performance. With Division 1 shaping up to be a battleground of legends and rising stars, Starcraft enthusiasts are in for a treat as the season progresses.

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