First, they cheer him. Then, they doubt him. And then they ask if perhaps he could let someone else win for once.
Such is the fate of Joona “Serral” Sotala, StarCraft II’s reigning world champion. The Finnish Zerg player has been number one in the WCS standings for two years straight. This year he occasionally shared the gold with others, but last weekend’s WCS Fall was not such a time.
It did look like a close bout for a moment, as he met his chief rival Riccardo “Reynor” Romiti in the finals. The Italian had bested him at WCS Summer and took the first game in this series as well. Serral countered his opponent’s initial air attack too hard with Corruptors, resulting in a base-race which he lost. It was the first map the champ dropped this tournament and it would be the last. Game two saw Reynor attempt a Speedling all-in which failed. From there it was all Serral and his (Nydus) Worms.
The finals were (another) ZvZ which Serral handily won
More than a Zerg buffet
Some fans will not have been thrilled with another ZvZ finals, something even Serral apologized for. Fortunately, the weekend had more than enough action for fans elsewhere on its menu. This event was the last chance for players from the non-Korean WCS regions to qualify for the 2019 Global Finals at BlizzCon. Eight slots were available, with the top three of Serral, Reynor and Alex “Neeb” Sunderhaft already locked.
Below them, however, a lot could happen. Juan Carlos “SpeCial” Tena Lopez and Li “TIME” Peinan seemed fairly safe, but numbers six and seven, Gabriel “HeRoMaRinE” Segat and Tobias “ShoWTimE” Sieber, needed a good showing. They gave us that, with the two Germans coming to a head in the round-of-16 in one of the best series of the tournament.
ShoWTimE and HeRoMaRinE played an epic PvT
HeRoMaRinE played very well, only losing his next series to Serral because of a comeback by the latter. Both HeRoMaRinE and ShoWTimE will be in attendance in Anaheim, California, later this year.
The bottom of the barrel was interesting too. Mikołaj “Elazer” Ogonowski, Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn and Théo “PtitDrogo” Freydière all vyed for the last available spot. It was Elazer, the Polish Zerg, who took matters in his own hands, defeating Scarlett in the group stage and 3-0-ing PtitDrogo in the playoffs. Despite his eventual defeat by finalist Reynor, this allowed Elazer to end the season number seven, placing him in Group D of next month’s $5 hundred thousand USD tournament. Full standings after WCS Fall are below and known groups at this time can be found here.
Now, the wait is on for the Korean leg of WCS to conclude. Currently, the last regular GSL is in its quarterfinals, with one more Super Tournament to follow in early October. The Global Finals themselves will take place a month later, from October 25th through November 2nd.
Credit to Xander Teunnisen