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Yesterday was not a day for miracles. This past April 14, the finals of the 2019 Global StarCraft II League Season 1 took place. They put Kim “Classic” Do-woo and Cho “Maru” Seong-joo up against each other in a matchup that was poised to be legendary, but it was Maru who walked away the GSL champion.
For his part, Classic was desperately seeking for a title as he probably never had in his whole career. His last championship was already almost five years old, too far away to be more than just a happy memory. Now, the veteran Protoss player was running out of chances of tasting victory once again. As a 27-year-old Korean male, it was not going to be long until the military finally knocked on his door and requested him to join. (Military service is compulsory for Korean men.)
Knowing that this may very well be his last tournament, he had given it his all in order to make the impossible. Showcasing a wide range of resources and ways to approach each game differently, he had made it to the finals of the league. Now, he only had to take the last step. The effort he had to make if he wanted to do so, however, was simply titanic.
Standing in front of Classic, a well-known opponent confidently dared to challenge him for the title. Maru was in talks for being the GOAT of StarCraft II for the most part of last year. However, all of that ended when he bumped out of the WCS Global Finals round of 8 at the hands of fellow countryman and teammate Kim “sOs” Yoo-jin. He had not started the new year out too confidently, either. Against all odds, he had failed to put up a fight at both IEM Katowice and WESG Finals.
Throughout his run at the home tournament, however, he had seemingly recovered the spark that made him be called the best player in the world. Once the finals came around, he was definitely the favorite, at least in the eyes of the fans. The clash was one between ambition and actual prowess. This time, though, it was prowess that mattered the most.
Playing his fourth consecutive GSL final, Maru was familiarized with the situation. He ended up comfortably dispatching his rival in a 4-2 affair. That put him back up among the best of the best to ever play StarCraft. At the same time, it granted him a spot on the 2019 WCS Global Finals. Therefore, he can enjoy success as he pleases for the rest of the year. On the other hand, Classic will have to bid farewell to his life as a gamer in a bittersweet way. During his military service, he will surely be left regretting this last lost battle.
Regardless of personal stories, however, this was a clash between two of the most important StarCraft II players to ever touch the game. Moreover, it took place in one of the most coveted tournaments’ grand finals. As always, the GSL keeps on giving a huge spectacle to the fans. Today’s match, which will probably be remembered by all SCII followers, was just another example of that.