Season 1 of the Starcraft II World Championship Series 2013 kicked off with a bang in America this week, sending eight of the region’s top Starcraft II professionals into the Round of 16. The Americas region boasted some of the most varied and unique games in the circuit this week, and next week we’ll see the final eight players advance to the next round before kicking off the Challenger League tournament.
Group F broke the ice on Monday as the first group of four in Premier League tournament play. After Snute beat theognis 2-0 and TheSTC took down ViBE 2-1, Snute and TheSTC faced off in the week’s first winner’s match.
In game 1 of the winner’s match, Snute pulled off an impressive win at 23 minutes with an unstoppable ultralisk + infester push. Not to be denied, TheSTC came back in game 2 with early hellbats and a midgame attack with mass bio and widow mines. TheSTC mixed things up in game 3, taking the winner’s match with an early proxy 2-racks build to move on the the Round of 16.
In the final match of the day, Snute redeemed himself against ViBE by racing to mutalisks and dominating game 1, then racing to a roach + baneling composition in game 2 to take the second spot in the Round of 16.
Advancing to Ro16: TheSTC, Snute
Falling to Challenger League: ViBE, theognis
Tuesday saw impressive play in Group E, adding another two players to the Round of 16. NesTea started the day by going 2-0 against Minigun before Apocalypse took a similar 2-0 victory over Fenix.
The winner’s match against NesTea and Apocalypse began with unusual openings from both players in game 1, but NesTea’s stronger economy and constant harassment won the fight. In game 2, NesTea wiped out Apocalypse’s economy early and kept the pressure on throughout the game for an eventual victory and a place in the Round of 16.
Apocalypse found himself facing a redeemed Minigun in the final match, taking game 1 through excellent micromanagement of two immortals and a mixed gateway army. Both players launched massive main base attacks simultaneously in game 2, with Apocalypse eventually earning the win. In a tense game 3, Apocalypse displayed great defensive tactics and used intelligent counterattacks to gain the upper hand, taking the match and entering the Round of 16.
Advancing to Ro16: Apocalypse, NesTea
Falling to Challenger League: Minigun, Fenix
Wednesday brought about Group H’s turn, which included some of the most exciting matches of the week. Alicia took out Maker early with a 2-0 win, before Illusion defeated mOOnGLaDe 2-1.
In the winner’s match, Alicia took game 1 with an archon + zealot + colossi army after surviving Illusion’s ghost attack. Illusion took game 2 with a fast hellbat timing against Alicia’s double-forge opening. Illusion tried to seal the deal with a quick proxy 2-racks build in game 3, but Alicia swiped it away and took the win with a quick 2-stalker + mothership core counterattack to land himself in the Round of 16.
The final Group H match on Wednesday is my pick for the match of the week. Check out the video below to experience this epic battle between Illusion and mOOnGLaDe for yourself. mOOnGLaDe’s perfect micro took a mid-game win with speedlings, banelings, and mutalisks in game 1. Game 2 was an all-out war that went far into the late game. After a brutal back-and-forth brawl, mOOnGLaDe pulled out a win to secure a place in the Round of 16.
Advancing to Round of 16: Alicia, mOOnGLaDe
Falling to Challenger League: Maker, Illusion
The final day of this week’s Premier League matchups in America started with Group A’s KiLLeR taking out aLive with a 2-1 win before HerO devastated MajOr 2-0.
The winner’s match between KiLLeR and HerO began with HerO overwhelming his opponent at 17 minutes while KiLLeR neglected his drone production throughout the entire game. HerO displayed flawless phoenix harassment throughout game 2, effectively hunting down probes, queens and overlords well into the mid game. Game 2 went the distance, with HerO pulling out a win with a heavy skytoss + high templar composition with a few colossi and gateway units peppered in.
After working his way up through the losers’ match, aLive was determined to redeem himself against KiLLeR for this week’s final spot in the Round of 16. In game 1, aLive’s favorable unit trades gained him the upper hand against KiLLeR’s constant third-base denials, earning him the win. aLive’s relentless drop harassment in game 2 was more than enough to defeat KiLLeR’s desperate mass ultralisk push, earning aLive the win he was looking for.
Advancing to Ro16: aLive, HerO
Falling to Challenger League: KiLLeR, MajOr
Dreamhack Open: Stockholm
Before league play began in America, Dreamhack Open 2013 awarded the year’s first WCS points as the first Blizzard-approved non-Premier-League tournament. Leenock faced up against NaNiwa in the Grand Finals in Stockholm. After trading matches all the way to game 5, Leenock’s strong economy and his mutalisk + ultralisk army took the tournament gold. Four players walked away with the first WCS points of the season, with one player representing the America’s region.
WCS Points Earned
For the full roster and standings of WCS America 2013 so far, head on over to the Team Liquid Wiki.