So after two events, 18 men have competed, some would-be Finale contenders have been eliminated from contention, and it looks like it may be the kind of series where there are a lot of winners(which can often make it hard for anyone else to qualify, except that assumes all the winners qualify or are even contending, possible not at all the case here). The prospects the for men, starting with the top finishers of the first two events:
1. Tatsuki Machida: Need only medal in Russia to qualify, where it won't be the easiest thing in the world to beat Evgeny Plushenko(assuming he shows) or Javier Fernandez. In fact, even if he delivers here(and he doesn't always), his fate may not be in his own hands, since Artur Gachinski could always put it together, and its not like the likes of Kevin Reynolds or Brian Joubert couldn't do the same. But since nobody besides the top two can actually be relied upon to beat him, and even if he gets knocked down to 4th his chances aren't that bad, his making it seems likely enough.
2. Adam Rippon: Unfortunately, his second event is Japan, where the field is ridiculously stacked, Javier Fernandez, three Japanese guys, two countrymen, and even the two Russians could easily beat him. Though he wasn't expected to win silver here, so perhaps he can at least grab a surprise bronze and have a chance(though it remains to be seen if this will be the kind of series where silver and bronze is enough).
3. Max Aaron: Similar situation to Rippon, except to have a shot he'd need to win at least silver, which despite his quads ultimately makes it harder.
4. Daisuke Takahashi: Would probably have to win Japan, which he is perfectly capable of doing, but Fernandez and his countrymen won't make it easy, and he might even have to worry about Jeremy Abbott-that's still assuming he skates better there than he did here. With silver he might still have a chance, but he'd need things to go a very certain way.
1. Patrick Chan: Need only medal in Paris, where Yuzuru Hanyu seems the only guy with a serious chance of beating him.
2. Yuzuru Hanyu: Would need to win Paris to seal it, which is not impossible, but he'd need his best and help from Chan. He'd probably make it with silver, though(especially if below Chan, two golds going to one skater makes it very easy to qualify with two silvers). He skates well, that won't be a problem, though he starts having trouble and Brezina, Amodio, or the Chinese guys could beat him. One of them does and he still has a chance with bronze.
3. Nobunari Oda: Would need to win Japan to seal it, which is far from impossible, but he'd probably need help from Fernandez & Takahashi at least. He'd need help even for silver and a chance, but that is even further from impossible. He needs to skate well and cross his fingers hard.
4. Michal Brezina: Would probably have to win Paris, which is not impossible, but he'd need help from Fernandez & Hanyu, if not necessarily from anyone else. Not impossible either that one of them lets him grab silver.
Out of contention, but could determine the fate of other men:
Evgeny Plushenko-Only competing in Russia, if he doesn't withdraw from that, but whether he wins and takes 15 points out of contention could be extremely important in this race
Denis Ten-Withdrawn from Skate America and looking like he might have to withdraw from China, but were he to compete there and skate well he'd definitely be a factor
Takahiko Kozuka-6th at Skate America, but the on-paper favorite to win in China
Jeremy Abbott-6th at Skate Canada, could be a factor in Japan's stacked field
Artur Gachinski-8th at Skate America, but might always put it together in time to be a factor in Russia
Ross Miner-9th at Skate Canada, but the Paris field is such that it's just possible he'll knock someone there out
Takahiko Mura- 10th at Skate Canada, but has shown himself perfectly capable of blowing it at one event and then winning another, could also takes points out of contention, even in stacked Japan
Contenders yet to compete: