The 5 StarCraft 2 players you should be watching – America & Europe

#2 - Idra

The Bad Boy of StarCraft

Team: Evil Geniuses (EG)

Name: Greg Fields

Hometown: Kalamazoo, Michigan

Age: 20

Race: Zerg

Notable wins: 1st MLG D.C. 2010, Quarterfinalist GSL January 2010, 2nd IEM Global Challenge Gamescom 2010

Style of play: Conservative, safe. Macro and economy is the centerpiece of Idra's style. With the exception of the odd timing attack, Idra's strategy revolves around build orders polished down to the second, designed to give him as many Drones as possible. If left unchecked, Idra's economy-maximizing style will quickly spiral out of his opponent's control and produce an enormous army. In the blink of an eye, the map will be filled with a Zerg army too large and powerful to stop.

Known for: Stylish leather jackets, rage-quitting, his mechanics, having been arguably the best foreign StarCraft: Brood War player, cracking under pressure, being dubbed “Grack” by the world-famous Korean SC1 champion, BoxeR.

“Real” sports counterpart: Wayne Rooney, the brilliant but bad-tempered prodigy on Manchester United who signed to a professional team at age 18.

Why he's worth watching: Idra is the bad boy of StarCraft. His often rude antics have made him the rival of many players and in the GSL Open 2, earned him the famous back-hand ceremony from Zenio. Idra's vented frustrations often become popular memes in the StarCraft community, and his persistent complaints about StarCraft 2's balance garner both criticism and support. Cocky and controversial, Idra has some of the best mechanics in the industry and a solid defense. He is known, however, for going on tilt after a tough loss, a factor which is thought to have cost him more than one important series.

Top matches: Idra vs. Mvp , Idra vs. Twilight

Other links: Liquipedia page , Twitter , Live stream , Interview , Fanclub

#1 - Jinro

The Olympian

Team: TLAF-Liquid`

Name: Jonathan Walsh

Hometown: Stockholm, Sweden

Age: 22

Race: Terran

Notable wins: 1st MLG Dallas 2010, Semifinalist GSL Open Season 3, Semifinalist GSL January 2011

Style of play: Robust, refined. If Jinro did not invent the macro Terran style, he certainly popularized it. From the outset, Jinro was known for creating safe, robust strategies that were impossible for his opponents to exploit. It was through meticulous build orders and crisp execution that Jinro secured two back-to-back semifinal finishes in the GSL. Jinro ignored the popular, flimsy Terran strategies of Fall 2010 and created a powerful, constricting style that many struggle to replicate.

Known for: Being “the nicest guy I've ever met,” a moderator on TeamLiquid, the most successful foreign player in Korea, having an intense practice regimen, build orders tailored specifically for his opponent.

“Real” sports counterpart: Michael Phelps, the smooth and stamina-filled swimming phenomenon who achieved unprecedented success in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Why he's worth watching: Jinro has it all. With an iron fist and the beanie hat his mom made for him, Jinro is the world-crushing Terran champion that you also wouldn't mind having as your babysitter. He has the clutch factor to carry his builds through even the most desperate situations and is good enough to upset top Korean players like Jang Min Chul, the GSL Open 3 champion who Jinro unexpectedly defeated in GSL January. His admirable, praiseworthy strategies and the fact that he is one of the most well-mannered, considerate gamers you'll ever meet make him a fan favorite in any tournament he attends. He also talks in his sleep.

Top matches: Jinro vs. True , Jinro vs. Socke

Other links: Liquipedia page , Interview , Fanclub