Group of Death

A Group of Death is a term used to describe groups of players in competitions, specifically the OSL and MSL Starleagues, that have a disproportionately large number of strong performing players in the same group. In the two main Starleagues, groups of four players are formed at certain points (specifically the Ro32 in the MSL and the Ro16 in the OSL) where two players will advance and 2 players will be eliminated. The advancing players will then usually be organized into a normal bracket-style progression for the rest of the tournament. When the groups are formed, generally the big stars of the tournament (players who are either considered to be the very best at the time or are just the most popular among fans) are usually spread evenly among the groups in a proper proportion. However, if a group is filled with many big stars (for example the four best players in the tournament are all in the same group) it is generally considered a group of death because two players from the group will be eliminated far earlier than expected.


The following examples have been considered groups of death:

  • Group F of the 2009 Lost Saga MSL (Flash, Jaedong, Firebathero, Hwasin): the top Zerg (Jaedong) and top Terran player (Flash) at the time, as well as Firebathero who is notorious for always beating the two in the games. Surprisingly the underdog of the group Hwasin passed through 2-0 upsetting both Flash and Jaedong.
  • Group A of the Incruit OSL (Flash, Bisu, July, Much): the top Terran player of the time (Flash), the top Protoss player of the time (Bisu), and the most recent OSL winner (July) in the same group.
  • Group D of the 2011 ABC Mart MSL (Flash, Jaedong, Bisu, Sea): the top player of each race of the time all in the same group.