The top 16 StarCraft II players in the world faced off last weekend at the WCS 2013 Global Finals in Korea. The winners of all three regional tournaments met to challenge each other for the title of WCS Season 1 champion, and the Korean-favorite INnoVation walked away with the gold at the end of two days of amazing and creative matchups. With Season 2 just around the corner, players are already gearing up for their second chance at global victory, and I’ll be bringing you recaps of all Season 2 Premier League matches in the Americas region.
Following is a recap of the action for those who missed it live. Final scores are shown in parenthesis, and you can check out the VoDs of the grand finals via the link below.
Quarterfinals (Round of 8)
RorO (2) vs. SoulKey (3) (Quarterfinals Match #1)
In the first match of the Round of 8, RorO and SoulKey faced off in a series of Zerg timing races. Games 1 and 2 were decided based on Roach + Hyrdalisk upgrade timings and truly impressive micromanagement, and SoulKey took game 3 quickly with superior Zergling play. Neither player wanted any game to go late, and they both got their wish. Both players were neck and neck in supply and build timings throughout the series, with the smallest nuances giving one just enough of an advantage to pull ahead in each game. SoulKey took the series in an awesome game 4 featuring a Braveheart-style mega-battle between both players’ Roaches, Hydralisks, and Swarm Hosts, in which SoulKey proved himself the better Zerg.
Alicia (0) vs. sOs (3) (Quarterfinals Match #2)
The second quarterfinals match was a sad spectacle for WCS America fans, as sOs scored a convincing 3-0 victory over Alicia. Unlike RorO vs. SoulKey, both players showcased completely different builds and strategies in each game. Fortunately for sOs, he was always three steps ahead of the fifth place Americas finalist, moving ahead to the semifinals against SoulKey.
ForGG(1) vs. Mvp (3) (Quarterfinals Match #3)
ForGG entered his quarterfinals match against Mvp with an unprecedented 94% win rate in Terran vs. Terran matchups. Both players showed creative Terran play in the first two games, as ForGG took game 1 with superior bio micromanagement and Mvp won game 2 with a perfectly-timed switch to Thors. Mvp showed phenomenal harassment in game 3, knocking his opponent down to a total of 5 SCVs late in the game before successfully defending against an all-in to force the GG. The European champion Mvp delighted fans from his region by taking a fast and decisive victory in game 4, taking three games in a row to secure his place in the semifinals.
INnoVation (3) vs. aLive (0) (Quarterfinals Match #4)
INnoVation brutally dashed America’s last hope in a gut-wrenching and very fast 3-0 sweep of aLive. Each game progressed the same way: INnoVation raced to the perfect number of Hellbats too quickly for aLive to respond, using them to utterly destroy aLive’s economy to the point of no return three games in a row. Astonishingly, INnoVation took game 3 without losing a single unit — a flawless victory.
Semifinals (Round of 4)
sOs (3) vs. SoulKey (2) (Semifinals Match #1)
sOs came out swinging with very unconventional Protoss play against his teammate and long-time practice partner SoulKey. sOs scored two quick wins in games 1 and 2 with wicked mindgames, leading his opponent down dead ends by making unpredictable tech switches. Just when sOs could taste a game 3 victory, SoulKey used huge Corrupter + Mutalisk armies to take the next two games, adding untouchable Swarm Hosts into the mix in game 4. The two started the final game immediately, both eager to finish the series quickly. Surprisingly, sOs pulled out a natural-expansion Cannon rush in the pivotal final game. The rush devasted SoulKey early, but he managed to hold on almost all the way to the late game before conceding victory to his Protoss teammate.
Mvp (2) vs. INnoVation (3) (Semifinals Match #2)
INnoVation started the series the same way he did against aLive the day before, taking a convincing victory by never allowing Mvp to gain an economic foothold. Mvp came back to win game 2 with an amazing show of resilience, coming back in the late game after being on the ropes from the start. INnoVation surprisingly relied on bio forces a bit more than pro Terrans have lately. Game 3 started off with a few thrilling early engagements as Mvp counterattacked effectively after spotting INnoVation’s early proxy Barracks attempt. After coming back in game 4 to tie up the series, INnoVation forced Mvp into a desperate last-ditch all-in at 11 minutes into game 5, easily holding it off to earn his place in the grand finals against sOs.
WCS Season 1 Grand Finals
sOs (0) vs. INnoVation (4)
WCS Season 1 finished with the first grand-finals PvT in a very long time. As many predicted, the match was a complete INnoVation blowout, as the new champion took out sOs 4-0. sOs fell apart from big-stage nerves, making more visible mistakes with each passing game and never quite putting up the fight he was fully capable of. Nevertheless, the finals made for a few very entertaining games, especially for Terran players and INnoVation fans. If you missed the action live, you can check out the matches directly on OSL’s Twitch channel.
Season 1 Standings
Players stack WCS points throughout the three seasons in 2013, meaning that WCS America players still have a chance to earn their spots in the 2013 Grand Finals at Blizzcon. Here’s where the top players from America stand after Season 1:
HerO – Rank 5, 2650 WCS Points
aLive – Rank 6, 1850 WCS Points
Revival – Rank 6, 1850 WCS Points
Alicia – Rank 10, 1600 WCS Points
Ryung – Rank 13, 1500 WCS Points
CranK – Rank 19, 600 WCS Points
mOOnGLaDe – Rank 19, 600 WCS Points
Snute – Rank 19, 600 WCS Points
To view the full leaderboard, visit Battle.net’s regularly updated standings.