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StarCraft II WCS America Season 1 – Premier League Round of 16 Results
The World Championship Series America capped off the Round of 16 last week, as eight of America’s best StarCraft II competitors moved on to the quarterfinals and eight others dropped down to the Season 1 Challenger League. Everyone stepped up their game last week as they fought for their tournament survival in the MLG studios in New York City live in front of a worldwide audience.
Group A took to the stage on Monday. Snute started off the night by beating NesTea 2-1 before Alicia defeated Sen 2-1, leaving Snute and Alicia to face off in the Round of 16’s first winners’ match.
Both players chose high-tech, high-economy builds in game 1 of the winners’ match. Snute took solid map control by sending a mass of Swarm Hosts through a Nydus Network, but couldn’t do enough damage to take the game. Alicia held strong to earn the surrender. In game 2, Alicia attacked early with six Zealots via a cleverly placed Pylon. However, Snute survived to keep Alicia on his toes with a large Roach + Hydra army with Viper support. In the end, Snute’s brilliant Viper abducts destroyed Alicia’s Colossi to take the win. Alicia tried another proxy-Pylon attack early in game 3 to no avail, giving Snute ample time to win the game with more excellent Viper play, making him the first player to enter the quarterfinals in America.
NesTea redeemed himself with a 2-0 sweep of Sen in the fourth match of the day, placing him against Alicia in the final match. NesTea relied on Corrupters to hold off Alicia’s sky-toss composition in game 1, but Alicia’s mass Void Rays easily ate through them. With no resistance left, Alicia systematically took down base after base with his uncontested Void Rays to win the game. As he did all day, Alicia opted for a sky-toss build again in game 2 on Belshir Vestige. NesTea added Mutalisks to his composition in this game, but it wasn’t enough to stop Alicia. Unwilling to admit defeat, NesTea held on until every base and Overlord was destroyed before finally surrendering and sending Alicia into the quarterfinals.
Moving to Quarterfinals: Snute, Alicia
Falling to Challenger League: NesTea, Sen
CranK, mOOnGLaDe, Apocalypse, and TheStC showed their skill in Group B on Tuesday, as TheSTC and CranK opened with 2-1 victories over Apocalypse and mOOnGLaDe.
Tuesday’s winners’ match is my pick for match of the week. Check out the videos below to see this highly unconventional match for yourself. TheStC turned up the heat early in game 1 with a proxy Barracks leading into a Bunker in CranK’s main base, but CranK responded with some effective Mutalisk harassment to even the score. After pulling off an amazing defense at 20 minutes in, CranK took the win by out-micromanaging his opponent with beautiful High Templar storms. Game 2 was one of the most creative and entertaining games I’ve ever seen – hands down. It’s an absolute must-see. Recounting the action would take an entire page, but CranK’s creative positioning of High Templars and relentless counterattack pressure eventually gained him the win, securing his place in the Premier League quarterfinals.
mOOnGLaDe showed great skill in a 2-0 victory over Apocalypse in the losers’ match, pitting him against TheStC in the final match of the evening. mOOnGLaDe created momentum early in game 1 to get ahead all the way to the late game, where he took a decisive victory with fully upgraded Ultralisks and effective Zergling + Mutalisk play. PC issues forced both players to take an extended pause in the middle of game 2 before restarting the game from the replay, testing their concentration. TheStC gained a huge economic advantage when the game resumed to secure a late-game win and tie up the series. In game 3, mOOnGLaDe used nearly 100 Creep Tumors to gain amazing map control and vision. TheStC held off the encroaching swarm with smart Widow Mine play while gaining a foothold with relentless drops all over the map. Both players traded bases well into the late game, taking it past 35 minutes before mOOnGLaDe secured the win with an absolutely massive Zerg army, sending him to the quarterfinals.
Moving to quarterfinals: CranK, mOOnGLaDe
Falling to Challenger League: Apocalypse, TheStC
Group C took to the stage on Wednesday, not to be outdone by the action of the preceding two days. HerO began the day by taking out Scarlett 2-0 before Suppy bested Revival 2-1, placing Suppy and HerO in the night’s winners’ match.
HerO took a fast third base to gain an economic advantage in game 1 of the winners’ match on Akilon Wastes. He used the opportunity to quickly build a large Gateway army and attack before Suppy was ready, gaining an early win. HerO dominated game 2 from the start, practically putting on a PvZ clinic. He showed great creativity by sending Hallucinated Warp Prisms to separate bases while sending a real Warp Prism into another, creating multiple advantageous engagements that secured his victory and his place in the quarterfinals.
Revival kept his spot in the Premier League by besting Scarlett 2-1 before moving on to face Suppy in the final match of the night. Revival held off Suppy’s constant attacks in game 1 with well-placed fungal growths despite an upgrade disadvantage. Revival continued to grind Suppy’s forces down over time to eventually take the game. In game 2, Revival easily secured his place in the quarterfinals with a massive Roach timing attack at 12 minutes.
Group D presented a shorter evening than planned, due to Violet’s unfortunate visa-related forfeit of his matches. Violet’s forfeiture landed aLive directly into the winners’ match to face Ryung, who had just beat Polt 2-1.
In game 1 of the winners’ match, both players decimated each other’s economy with early cloaked Banshees. aLive kept the pressure on longer, taking just enough of an advantage to win with 12 Marines and two Siege Tanks in Ryung’s moment of weakness. Ryung came back in game 2, taking the win through sheer determination and superior Siege Tank micromanagement. Ryung displayed very impressive multi-tasking in the final game, splitting aLive’s army in three different places to take the win and secure a place in the quarterfinals.
Polt was given a freebie in the losers’ match, since he was paired up with the absent Violet, placing him directly into the last match with aLive. Game 1 saw a few major Siege Tank showdowns in the middle of the map, but neither player emerged with a clear advantage. Both players barely limped into the late game, but aLive gained an advantage with constant Hellbat drops to eventually secure the win. aLive tried a brave proxy 2-racks all-in to start game 2, but Polt’s single Reaper spotted aLive’s SCV’s as they traveled across the map to join the charge, giving Polt just enough time to build two Bunkers at home to force the surrender. In the last game, aLive gained the upper hand with a massive main-base drop at 13 minutes before launching two solid followup attacks to take the victory and move on the quarterfinals.
Moving to quarterfinals: Ryung, aLive
Falling to Challenger League: Violet, Polt
Mvp Crowned Season 1 Champion in Europe
WCS Europe rounded out Season 1 with an explosive finals event last weekend, culminating in a best-of-seven showdown between France’s Stephano and South Korea’s Mvp. Mvp was crowned grand champion after winning 4-1, taking home $20,000 and 1,500 WCS points. The finals are just around the corner for America and Korea, and I’ll be bringing you play-by-play action of the finals in America as it happens.
That does it for this week’s recap. Check back at the end of this week for continued coverage of the WCS America Challenger League, and stay tuned for updates on the quarterfinals leading into the America Season 1 Grand Final, starting June 1st. Check out the Team Liquid Wiki for more information on game outcomes, the quarterfinals matchups and current WCS standings.