Week 3 of the StarCraft II World Championship Series America saw the beginning of Challenger League play. Thirty-two players faced off throughout the week, and only 16 remain after four days of intense competition. The 16 remaining players will be joined by eight additional players who will drop down from the Premier League Round of 16 when the Challenger League picks back up on May 27th.
Eight players were set to face off per day for four days this week in the single-elimination Challenger League bracket, but an unexpected forfeit ended one match before it began.
Monday, May 13th
MajOr took down Xenocider 2-0 on Monday, as Fenix defeated Bails 2-1 and ViBE bested Sage 2-1.
In the first match of the evening, theognis faced Jaedong in a 2-game TvZ matchup. Jaedong opened game 1 with a two-base Roach timing attack that didn’t phase Jaedong. Both players traded attacks throughout the mid-game without either gaining a clear advantage. Near the late game, theognis pulled off a relentless siege with a fully upgraded bio army with well-played Siege Tank support to take the game.
Both players forced expansion delays early in game 2. Theognis survived brutal punishment from a mass of Banelings and a subsequent mass of Ultralisks, holding on for a full 34 minutes and scraping away with another victory via excellent multi-tasking drop play.
Tuesday, May 14th.
DeMusliM kicked off the action on Tuesday by earning a 2-1 win over Maker. Ian pulled out a similar 2-1 victory over Minigun before fans were treated to a third 2-1 match as Top took down KiLLeR.
Illusion and Macsed faced off in Tuesday’s second match, and their extremely entertaining battle is my pick for match of the week. Check out the videos below to see this riveting match for yourself. Illusion put the pressure on early in game 1 on Akilon Wastes, delaying Macsed’s economy with smart Widow Mine play. Illusion followed up the early pressure with round after round of heroic and suicidal bio units against his opponent’s Phoenix- and Colossi-heavy defense force. In the end, Illusion’s constant bio pressure was enough to secure the win.
In game 2 on Belshir Vestige, Illusion launched a devastating Hellbat timing attack and followed it up with more Hellbats and Siege Tanks to win game 2 and the match.
Wednesday, May 15th
Wednesday only saw three Challenger League matches, as puCK was given a bye week due to IdrA’s recent retirement from StarCraft II. TaeJa took on Heart in the first match of the day, winning 2-1 to advance to the next round. Goswser defeated HwangSin 2-0 in the final match to earn his own spot in the next round.
In Wednesday’s second match, State and Drunkenboi took it all the way to game 3 with back-and-forth action. State had an answer for all of Drunkboi’s continual drop play throughout the early- and mid-game, keeping his opponent at bay. After a pivotal engagement at 29 minutes, Drunkboi’s Ghosts gained the advantage over State’s unlikely mix of Dark Templars and High Templars to earn him the win.
State had an answer for each of Drunkenboi’s drops and early attacks again in game 2, making him pay for every engagement. State launched a flawless 3-3 upgrade timing attack to pull out a win with perfectly placed High Templar storms.
Drunkenboi held off on the drop play longer than usual in game 3 to build up a large bio and Viking army, but it wasn’t enough to defeat State’s excellent micromanagement with Colossi and more High Templar storms.
Thursday, May 16th
Capoch took down Tilea 2-1 on Thursday, followed by XY’s 2-1 win over hellokitty and Neeb’s 2-0 sweep of HuK.
In one of the rare Protoss vs. Protoss matchups of the week, Oz faced off against Jim in the first match of the day. Oz took a very quick win in game 1 by sending a single Dark Templar into a main base with no hope of detection. Jim came back in game 2 with an impressive Phoenix + Voidray + Immortal army at 12 minutes, and Oz’s handful of blink Stalkers didn’t stand a chance. Jim won an epic Stalker showdown at 10 minutes into game 3 and took the win with superior blink play.
Next Week and Current Standings
Next week WCS America will jump right back into Premier League play with the Round of 16. All of the remaining players will be live in the MLG studio in New York City for the events, and only eight players will remain at the end of the week to head into the quarterfinals.
Five players from the Americas region currently stand in the Battle.net 2013 WCS Leaderboard:
HerO – Rank 4, 500 points
TaeJa – Rank 17, 325 points
HyuN – Rank 17, 325 points
Jaedong – Rank 17, 325 points
HuK – Rank 23, 250 points
Check out the full leaderboard at Battle.net.