A field of mostly European StarCraft 2 pros compete in the DreamHack EIZO Open Bucharest tournament this weekend, the final DreamHack open event prior to the big season-ending DreamHack Winter in Stockholm. It begins tomorrow (Saturday) at 9 AM UK / 4 AM Eastern and will stream free via DreamHack.tv.
The Bucharest event does not boast a particularly strong lineup compared to some of the other Open events we’ve seen this year. One of its headliners, Ilyes “Stephano” Satouri, had to drop out due to being suspended by his team, Evil Geniuses, for remarks he made concerning child abuse and paedophilia. Furthermore, the tournament comes just two weeks prior to the MLG Fall Championship in Dallas, and just a month prior to both the Battle.net World Championship in Shanghai and DreamHack Winter. It’s no surprise, then, that many of the sports biggest names are skipping the travel to Bucharest and getting ready for what is sure to be a brutal November.
This also makes the Bucharest event an opportunity for some struggling European pros to make their mark on the tournament circuit and perhaps win a slot in the DreamHack Winter Grand Finals. Swedish Protoss Johan “NaNiwa” Lucchesi has underperformed of late, and the thinner field at Bucharest should give him an opportunity to notch another tournament victory in his belt... or reveal the depths of his slump.
Bucharest will also give Valencia semifinalists Kristoffer “TargA” Marthinsen and Choi “TheStC” Yun Sik another chance at an Open series victory and a chance to clinch slots at the Winter tournament. The full list of pros is available via TeamLiquid.
Bucharest’s comparative lack of star power may feed into growing concerns that StarCraft 2 has become oversaturated with tournaments that spread the professional community too thin. However, it is also a chance to watch a tournament where you can’t simply guess the probable championship bracket just by glancing at the list of participants. A lot of hungry, lower-profile competitors have a chance to gain some wins and some confidence in the absence of StarCraft 2’s regular superstars. It will be interesting to see if that urgency translates into great games, or whether the show will suffer from the lack of elite players.