Korea vs China round of the World Batoo League
Korea suffered from a painful setback in the just-ended Korea-China Round of the World Batoo League – Season I, losing all four matches against China. Korea, which had largely been expected to dominate the national matches, could not taste the sweetness of even a single victory in the event, which ended up a feast of Chinese players.
Four Chinese professionals – Pan Wei (潘非), Cui Can (崔灿), Teng Cheng (腾程) and Meng Fanxiong (孟繁雄) – earned the tickets to the Round of 16 scheduled to begin in early August, beating all of their Korean opponents in the Korea-China Round. On the contrary, Korea has only one player that has earned the seed in the Round of 16, Heo Yeong-ho, who got the ticket as the champion of “Batoo Invitational.”
In particular, the defeats of Park Jinsol (朴進率) and Kim Jinhun (金鎭薰), both of whom were considered to have the potential to win the champion of WBL Season I, were more painful for Korea. Korean Batoo users also seemed quite surprised and disappointed at the good fights of the Chinese players, which even experts did not expect. On the other hand, China is heralding yet more outstanding performance in the upcoming Round of 16, as Chinese users account for one-third of the Top 50 best players in the ongoing online primaries in addition to the sweeping victory in the Korea-China Round.
In the meantime, in the last match of the Korea-China Round on Sunday, June 7, Kim Jinhun suffered a complete defeat from his Chinese counterpart, failing to be true to his nickname “Hidden Factory Manager” in the face of Mengfanxiong’s proficient capability of defense. Kim suffered a reversal in the first set, failing to defend Mengfanxiong’s Hidden. Embarrassed at the loss, he gave up the second and third set in a row.
“The loss in the first set had a great psychological impact on Kim,” Batoo commentator Kim Seong-ryong said. “He seemed to have lost confidence after suffering an unexpected reversal in the first game, which he believed would be winning.”
Commenting on the results of the whole Korea-China Round, the expert found the cause of the sweeping defeat from the Korean players’ overconfidence. “I think the Korean players lost the matches because they underestimated the potential of their Chinese counterparts and got simply off guard,” he said. “They should have conducted more accurate analyses of the opponents. Also, it is true that the Chinese players were stronger than expected. Most of all, their marvelous capability of defense against Hidden was admirable, indeed.”
In the meantime, the four Korean players who were dropped out of the Korea-China Round including Kim Chanwoo, Lee Yongchan, Park Jinsol and Kim Jinhun will proceed to the offline primaries scheduled to open in early July, skipping the ongoing online primaries.
Half of the participants in the Round of 16, or eight players, are decided outside of the online and offline primaries. It means that there are a total of eight seeds for the Round of 16, which will be joined by another eight players to be selected through online primaries. In addition to the four seeds given to the winners of the Korea-China Round, there are four more seeds for the Round of 16. One seed already went to Heo Yeong-ho, the “Batoo International” champion early this year. Two seeds are allocated to the players invited by the host, while one seed is given to the best amateur player. In the Round of 16, which will start in early August, the 16 players in four groups will have matches in the full league for each group to decide the qualifiers to the quarterfinals, or the Round of 8.