A look back at the 2006 release, Sonic Riders. A very polarizing things, we look at what the game excelled at, while noting how some of the flaws may have led the game to be overlooked.
StarCraft II WCS America – Season 1 Finals Results
Season 1 of the World Championship Series America wrapped up this past weekend with a series of amazing best-of-5 showdowns between the strongest competitors from the Americas region. The global finals is taking place this weekend, as the top five players from America do battle in Korea against the top five players from Europe and Korea. Following are game recaps and final scores from the American quarterfinals through the explosive grand finals match.
Final scores shown in parenthesis.
Quarterfinals – Round of 8
Ryung (3) vs. mOOnGLaDe (0) (Quarterfinals Match #1)
The quarterfinals opened with a drawn out three-game sweep by Ryung against mOOnGLaDe. Even though the series did not go the distance, each map went well into the late game, even going past 40 minutes on one map. Each game looked similar, but “boring” or “standard” wouldn’t come close to describing them. Each game could have gone in favor of mOOnGLaDe or Ryung, but in the end Ryung showed superior late-game focus and multi-tasking to wear down mOOnGLaDe’s nearly impenetrable defenses. Ryung never let up on his relentless aggression, using a slew of Widow Mines to back up his smaller armies while forcing his opponent to sacrifice hundreds of Zerg units to keep his bases alive game after game.
HerO (3) vs. Alicia (1) (Quarterfinals Match #2)
HerO and Alicia took to the stage next for a PvP series between two of my favorite players. I felt like a giddy fanboy watching this match, but I did my best to maintain my professional composure. HerO opened up strongly in game 1, taking a fairly quick victory with superior planning and micro. Alicia fought back hard in game 2, forcing HerO to give his first GG of the entire season. All of the games in this series were tense, with constant back-and-forth action showcasing how PvP has evolved since the release of Heart of the Swarm. The final game came down to a series of massive Phoenix showdowns, as both players raced to gain an advantage in numbers. In the end, HerO’s Phoenix range upgrade was just quick enough to destroy his opponent’s air army at the perfect time win the game and the series.
Snute (1) vs. Revival (3) (Quarterfinals Match #3)
The series between Snute and Revival opened up with very unconventional ZvZ strategies. More than one game was decided with a few absolutely massive, up close and personal Roach engagements, with both players waiting until the later mid-game to tech up to Hydralisks. Surprisingly, both players completely skipped Zerglings and Banelings in the first two games, and neither spared a thought for a Spire throughout the entire series. Revival switched things up with an early win in game 3 with a surprise Zergling speed timing attack to take an advantage in the series before rolling over Snute in another Roach on Roach war in game 4.
CranK (0) vs. aLive (3) (Quarterfinals Match #4)
aLive dominated his best-of-5 against CranK, showing off his versatility as a Protoss player with a variety of builds and strategies, including a mass Voidray composition to easily take game 2. These games were textbook examples of how to utilize the unique options available to Protoss players against Terran rivals, as aLive had an answer for everything CranK could come up with.
Semifinals – Round of 4
HerO (3) vs. Ryung (2) (Semifnals Match #1)
HerO opened game 1 by destroying Ryung with virtually no resistance, building a Nexus directly in his opponent’s natural expansion just to show that he could. Ryung showed why he was in the semifinals by coming back and dominating game 2, building a Command Center of his own right outside HerO’s natural expansion in a virtual “Oh no you didn’t!” HerO sensed a crucial game 4 win with Colossi, High Templars, Archons, and fearless Zealots, but in the end Ryung’s upgrade advantage led his Marines, Marauders, and Hellbats to victory and took the series to a decisive game 5. HerO finished the series the same way he started it, with a powerful two-base timing attack, this time following it up with brilliant High Templar storms before building Nexuses in Ryung’s third and second base locations as the ultimate taunt.
aLive (3) vs. Revival (2) (Semifinals Match #2)
Two Evil Geniuses stars went head to head in the second semifinals match. As expected, aLive came prepared to showcase his signature Terran drop play, continually dropping units in two, three, or even four bases at a time with perfect micromanagement. Revival showcased a few interesting early Roach timing builds, not moving into Lair tech until game 3, when he teched up to Ultralisks to barely gain enough of an advantage for a late game win. Revival sealed the deal in game 4 with relentless low-tech attacks, ordering hundreds of Zerglings and Banelings into his opponent’s forces while using a Mutalisk squad to poke in and out and keep aLive on his heels.
WCS America Season 1 Finals
HerO (4) vs. Revival (2)
Revival took the first two games quickly with perfect Zergling micro to penetrate HerO’s walls. Not to be deterred, HerO came back in game 3 with an upgraded sky-toss force, and the match really started to heat up. Both players pulled out every trick in their arsenals, and mind games started to come into play once the series tied up 2-2 in game 4. Game 5 was one of the most intense battles I’ve ever seen, as both players relentlessly attacked each other in the middle of the map, never letting the other rest easy for more than a minute at a time. Interestingly, both players stuck to Wings of Liberty builds and strategies in game 5, with the exception of a failed early Oracle harassment from HerO. With an impressive early victory in game 6, HerO took four games in a row to earn the title of WCS America Season 1 champion, earning himself $20,000 and 1,500 WCS points.
The Season 1 grand final match was well worth the wait. If you haven’t seen it for yourself, you can check out the games below from Major League Gaming’s Youtube channel:
The top five players from WCS America have earned their spots in the global WCS Season 1 finals in Korea on June 7th, where they will face off against each other and the top five players from Europe and Korea. Here are the final standings of the five American stars who will battle for the pride of their region in the global finals:
1st – HerO ($20,000, 1,500 WCS Points)
2nd – Revival ($12,000, 1,000 WCS Points)
3rd/4th – Ryung ($7,000, 750 WCS Points)
3rd/4th – aLive ($7,000, 750 WCS Points)
5th – Alicia ($3,500, 500 WCS Points)