StarCraft II WCS Challenger World Championship Series

As we approach Blizzcon and the StarCraft II WCS Global Finals, every WCS event becomes more and more important. There are only a few events left this year that reward WCS points, and every point matters. One thousand WCS points are on the line this weekend for both NA and EU StarCraft players, which could make the difference between them getting to compete at Blizzcon or having to watch from home. Players like Elazer, MaNa, HeroMarine, and uThermal are right on the line. This is the final StarCraft II WCS Challenger event before WCS Montreal, so the pressure is on. We have a recap of the EU Regional tournament below, in case you missed any of these potentially season-ending games.

Semifinals

Serral vs. Namshar

Final Score: 3-0 Serral

Serral must have had plans for after the tournament because he clearly wanted to end this series as fast as possible. He used Banelings and Zerglings to end both games before the five-minute mark. Namshar was the aggressor in the third game. He attempted two Baneling and Zergling attacks on Serral’s second base, but Serral’s defenses held spectacularly. After the hold, Serral used his superior upgrades and Tunneling Claws to attack Namshar at several bases at once. Namshar, without detection, was caught with his pants down and lost many workers to the attacks. Serral pushed his advantage with a final attack to seal his victory.

Lambo vs. MaNa

Final Score: 3-0 Lambo

It seemed like no matter what he tried, MaNa could just not find a solution to Lambo’s Lurkers. The Lurkers were a key unit for Lambo, which he used to great effect to secure victory in the first two games of the series. In game 3, I guess MaNa decided that, if he couldn’t defeat the Lurkers, he would just have to kill Lambo before he got them. To this end, MaNa opted for an early Stalker rush, supplemented by the Blink upgrade and a small cluster of Shield Batteries on the edge of Lambo’s Creep. Unfortunately for MaNa, Lambo was prepared and deflected the all-in attack with ease, securing his spot in the Semifinals.

uThermal vs. HeroMarine

Final Score: 3-0 uThermal

uThermal looked very solid in this series. Despite the 3-0 scoreline, it was not a very flashy stomping either. uThermal just played a very strong, defensive game of StarCraft II and focused on countering what HeroMarine would throw at him. In game 3, HeroMarine opted to play Bio against uThermal’s defensive Mech strategy. His plan was to find holes in uThermal’s defenses and attempt to pick him apart. uThermal never allowed him the luxury though as he covered his base in defensive Siege Tanks and Sensor Towers. Mech players who go undisturbed are capable of building terrifying armies, and that’s exactly what uThermal did. After assembling a large troop of Siege Tanks, Thors, and Vikings, he basically just walked over to HeroMarines base. Since HeroMarine was busy devoting resources to attempting to harass uThermal, he could not muster the army required to defeat uThermal’s ball of death, leading to a final victory for uThermal.

Elazer vs. Nerchio

Final Score: 3-0 Elazer

The final match of the Quarterfinals went by just as quickly as the previous three. Despite Nerchio playing aggressively and consistently, doing decent economic damage, Elazer seemed to pull ahead in every game of the series. A great example of this was in game 2, where Elazer held off a massive Roach attack from Nerchio even after losing his fourth base several times in a row. Nerchio started the fight with an upgrade lead and around twenty more Roaches than Elazer. With superior micro and defender’s advantage though, Elazer manage to deflect the attack without taking any more economic damage. Nerchio had invested a lot of resources into that attack, so he was not prepared when Elazer counterattacked moments later and had to bow out.

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Quarterfinals

Serral vs. Lambo

Final Score: 3-1 Serral

Finally, we get the first match of the day that wasn’t a 3-0 sweep, which is surprising considering Serral was involved. This could have easily been a 3-0 victory for Serral, but Lambo made him work for it. Even though Serral did lose one map in the series, he really showed how strong of a StarCraft II player he has become.

In game 2, Serral went for a very early Zergling rush that failed to do much of anything, putting him very far behind Lambo. For most players, the game would be over right there. Serral, however, decided he wasn’t ready to bow out just yet. Even though Serral was a whole base and several workers behind Lambo in the early stages of the game, he decided his path to victory was to quickly advance into Mutalisks. Serral managed to exploit his masterful Mutalisk control to regain map control and eventually catch up economically. The constant threat of Serral’s Mutalisks also prevented Lambo from leaving his base without taking annoying economic damage. Eventually, both players maxed out their armies and the bases started falling left and right. Serral even managed to lose his Hive twice!

Serral kept his calm, and eventually, Lambo took a terrible engagement and lost his entire army to a swarm of Lurkers. With both players on such low economies, there was no way either of them could rebuild a full army. After almost 30 minutes, Lambo had to surrender.

Elazer vs. uThermal

Final Score: 3-2 Elazer

This was a very even and very straightforward series. Elazer secured an early 2-0 lead, but uThermal struck back with his powerful Mech play to tie the series up at 2-2. In the ace match, Elazer elected to end the game quickly instead of playing another long, evenly matched macro game. Elazer did a quick attack using Roaches and Ravagers before the Terran even saturated his second base. uThermal might have stood a chance if he had scouted this attack and prepared for it. Unfortunately, he didn’t have any clue the attack was coming until it was practically at his front door. With only a couple Hellions and Marines, there was very little hope for uThermal and he surrendered accordingly.

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/301758753

Grand Final

Serral vs. Elazer

Final Score: 4-2 Serral

Serral’s reign of terror in StarCraft II seems endless. Top Koreans struggle to beat him. His fellow Europeans can’t beat him. I’m not really sure who can stop him at this point. To his credit, Elazer played well in this Grand Final, even taking an early 2-0 lead against Serral. Both of Elazer’s wins were in full-on macro games. I think this caught everyone, even Serral, off guard. Serral is known for his great macro and late game control, so seeing him lose two macro games in a row was surprising.

In game 3, Serral used an aggressive Roach push in the early stages of the game to kill Elazer quickly and get himself on the board. This win must have given Serral the confidence boost he needed to close out the series. Nothing seemed to faze him. Elazer even threw a Nydus Worm attack at him, but Serral deflected it confidently. In the end, Serral won four games in a row and secured the #1 spot of the StarCraft II WCS Challenger EU Series.

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/301797808

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Tyler Scott
Lover of tacos, Starcraft, and craft beer. When I'm not busy getting crushed on the ladder, you can find me beating my head against a Dark Souls boss or rocking out to The Sword.

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