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Day 1 of BlizzCon was filled to the brim with exciting announcements, like new heroes for Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch and the announcement of WarCraft III: Reforged. Even though StarCraft II didn’t have a huge announcement of its own, StarCraft fans got some of the best esports action of the year. If you missed any of Day 1, you’ve still got time to binge all of the quarterfinals before the semifinals begin later today. If you’re short on time, check out this recap we prepared just for you!
Maru vs. sOs
We started BlizzCon off with quite a surprise! Maru unceremoniously lost all three of his matches against sOs. Maru’s domination of WCS Korea made him the most-watched player in the world. Despite this, he wheeled out the same proxy-based strategies he’s been using all year. SOs came prepared and was having none of it, deflecting all the early attacks with relative ease.
Maru was a favorite to win all of BlizzCon.He’s been dominating the StarCraft II scene in South Korea all year, literally making history as the only player to win all three seasons of GSL in a row. To see him be knocked so early and in such poor fashion is disappointing, to say the least. However, seeing sOs progress to the next round is very exciting. He will face off against Stats at 2 p.m. PDT.
Special vs. Stats
The 3-1 scoreline of this series doesn’t tell the full story. Don’t be fooled — Special played some excellent StarCraft II. All the games in this series were absolute bloodbaths. Both players lost an insane amount of workers and bases to constant harassment and two-pronged attacks.
Unfortunately for Special, Stats was favored as the games got longer and longer. Special would take excellent engagements in the mid-game but just couldn’t find a way to shut the door. On the other side, Stats’ great Warp Prism harassment kept Special’s attention on his own bases. This prevented Special from moving out and taking the fight to Stats when he had the advantage. In the end, Stats secured the 3-1 victory and will go on to play sOs at 2 p.m. PDT. This will surely be a PvP for the ages.
TY vs. Rogue
TY opened both game 1 and game 2 with proxy Barracks attacks. Maru and TY have ridden this style all the way to BlizzCon, so why fix what isn’t broken? Unfortunately for TY, Rogue came prepared. Neither of these rushes worked. Frankly, Rogue deflected both attacks with ease. With Maru losing 0-3 earlier in the tournament, has the Terran proxy style been figured out?
The following two matches, especially game 4, were probably the best StarCraft II games from today. One of the games went on for over a half hour! If you only watch one series from today, make it this one. TY and Rogue both gave us everything they had. Rogue was even rubbing his shoulder after game five. Clearly, TY had pushed Rogue to his breaking point. However, Rogue held on and will advance to the semifinals. Rogue will face Serral today at 3:30 p.m. PDT.
Serral vs. Dark
These two players have only met once in 2018 before Global Finals this year. Serral looked solid back then, defeating Dark 3-1. If he looked solid at GSL vs. The World, then he’s absolutely on fire at BlizzCon. Dark looked excellent as well. If Dark had been against a slightly lesser player, all of the games could have Dark’s way.
However, Serral’s performance in all three games in this series was superb. In games 1 and 2 specifically, Serral showcased two very different builds. In the first game of the series, Serral made great use of the highly mobile Mutalisks. Dark had opted for a less mobile army composition of Roaches, Ravagers, and Corruptor air support. Serral abused the low mobility of his opponent’s army by attacking in several places at once. Dark, who was not keen on getting picked apart for 20 minutes by Mutalisks, decided to hit back with a huge attack, but couldn’t quite shut the door on the Finnish Phenom. Serral, with his cheaper army of Mutalisks and Zerlgings, was able to rebuild his army and snowball his way to victory.
Unfortunately for Dark, Serral was forged in the frozen tundra of Finland. If there’s one thing European Zerg players are known for, it’s their excellent ZvZ skills. Serral will go on to yet another ZvZ matchup, this time against Rogue, at 3:30 p.m. PDT.
Day 2 of BlizzCon starts in just a few hours. The semifinals for the WCS Global Finals begin at 2 p.m. PDT. However, there’s plenty of great StarCraft II content for BlizzCon Virtual Ticket holders before then.
At 11:30 a.m. PDT, be sure to catch a very special live episode of The Pylon Show. Hosts iNcontroL and Artosis are joined by special guests Day and Grant Davies to talk about all things StarCraft.
At 12:30 p.m. PDT, be sure to check out the “StarCraft: What’s Next” panel to get a sneak peek at what we can expect from Blizzard going forward. The year 2018 was so great for StarCraft; I can’t wait to see what lies ahead in 2019.
Of course, we’ll continue to cover the WCS Global Finals as they happen. Stay tuned for more!