Intense Premier League action continued this week in the StarCraft II World Championship Series, as the final eight players in the Americas region earned their places in the Round of 16 kicking off May 20th.
Group D kicked off the night with consecutive 2-0 victories as Suppy defeated Heart and Ryung shut down hellokitty, leaving Suppy and Ryung to face each other in the week’s first winner’s match.
In game 1 of the winner’s match, Suppy masterfully held off an early Hellbat drop to take the win with a fast Roach + Baneling timing attack. Ryung put the pressure on early again in game 2, building a proxy Barracks to harass with three Reapers. Suppy was undaunted by the pressure, responding and winning with another Roach + Baneling timing attack. Suppy earned his place in the Round of 16 without losing a single map all day.
In the loser’s match, hellokitty took down Heart 2-1, earning him a second chance against Ryung in the final match of the day. In game 1 of the final match, Ryung took a late-game victory with a strong economic advantage, a perfect army composition, and flawless micromanagement. Ryung’s textbook scouting in game 2 kept him one step ahead of his opponent at all times, leading to a comfortable 2-0 win and a place in the Round of 16.
Moving to the Round of 16: Suppy, Ryung
Falling to Challenger League: Heart, hellokitty
Group B opened up with another set of 2-0 victories with Scarlett beating State and viOLet taking down Oz.
In the winner’s match, viOLet quickly took game 1 with a Roach + Baneling timing attack moments before Scarlett’s Spire finished. Both players showcased the same build in game 2, but Scarlett won the day by constantly harassing viOLet’s third base and out-microing her opponent with a larger Mutalisk army. Both players stuck to mirror builds again in game 3, but viOLet used relentless Speedling + Baneling pressure to keep Scarlett’s economy down until he eventually overwhelmed her to earn a spot in the Round of 16.
After State earned a win over Oz in the loser’s match, he went on to face Scarlett in the final match of the evening. State came out swinging in game 1, holding off a massive Hydralisk attack after heavily investing in Phoenixes. Scarlett was undaunted, responding with a savvy Swarm Host + Viper followup to take the win. Scarlett laid out a relentless siege in game 2, spreading creep all the way across the map, setting up 24 Swarm Hosts, and relying on great Viper micro to keep her opponent on his heels until he surrendered, moving Scarlett to the Round of 16.
Moving to Round of 16: viOLet, Scarlett
Falling to Challenger League: Oz, State
Polt began the day for Group C by taking a 2-0 victory over IdrA before Goswser scraped away with a 2-1 victory over Revival.
Polt dominated Wednesday’s Group C winner’s match, beating Goswser’s larger army in game 1 with perfect micro, a strong upgrade advantage and a smaller army with a superior composition. Game 2 was extremely one-sided as Polt pressed every advantage with bio + Widow Mines + Siege Tanks for the entire 22 minutes, eventually sealing the win and landing himself in the Round of 16.
Revival blasted through IdrA’s defenses to take a 2-0 victory in the loser’s match, setting up an epic rematch between Revival and Goswser for the final match of the night. Goswser chose to stay on two bases in game 1, allowing Revival to take an economic lead and win the game with his Roaches and Mutalisks against Goswser’s Roaches, Swarm Hosts, and Hydralisks. Revival changed things up a bit in game 2, winning and moving to the Round of 16 with an early Roach attack bolstered by quick investments in Roach speed and burrow.
Moving to Round of 16: Polt, Revival
Falling to Challenger League: IdrA, Goswser
Thursday’s Group G presented some of the most exciting matches of the week. Following the theme of the week, the night began with back-to-back 2-0 victories as Sen took down Capoch and CranK defeated HuK.
Group G’s winner’s match between Sen and CranK is my pick for match of the week, and you can check out the action for yourself in the videos below. CranK withstood attack after attack in game 1, slowly building a high-tech army that Sen couldn’t stop. Trying to take a quick win, CranK moved in with a quick 2-Colossus timing attack in game 2, which Sen held off with brilliant army positioning before winning with an immediate counterattack. In game 3, both players gave each other enough breathing room to build high-tech armies before engaging in a few Wings of Liberty style mega-battles in the center of the map. CranK’s Colossi-heavy composition eventually won the day, making CranK the second-to-last player in WCS America to move on the Round of 16.
HuK redeemed himself against Capoch in the loser’s match, setting up a PvZ showdown between HuK and Sen in the final match. Reeling from his recent defeat, Sen attacked relentlessly with Roaches in game 1, easily holding off HuK’s eventual Stalker-heavy counter with perfect Viper abducts on HuK’s Immortals. HuK took game 2 with a very early Gateway timing executed via a proxy Pylon outside of Sen’s new third base. Sen broke through HuK’s virtually impenetrable defensive position in game 3, using the momentum to force the surrender and secure the final spot in the Round of 16.
Moving to Round of 16: Sen, CranK
Falling to Challenger League: HuK, Capoch
Next Week – WCS America Challenger League
Just before the week’s Premier League action kicked off, Major League Gaming hosted the final invite-only qualifier tournament for the Season 1 Challenger League. Sixteen players qualified for next week’s tournament, joining the 24 players who were bumped down from the Premier League in the past two weeks.
Next week all 40 players will tackle the Challenger League tournament to earn a place in the Premier League of Season 2. Check back next week to find out who will have a second chance at WCS tournament victory, and who will have to try their hand at another Challenger League tournament next season for a top starting spot in Season 3.
Visit the Team Liquid wiki for the full lineup of the WCS America Premier League Round of 16 beginning May 20th or the Challenger League tournament beginning on Monday.