2018 WCS Global Finals: Day 2 Results

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2018 WCS Global Finals: Day 2 Results

Inside of the spectator-filled amphitheater of Hall A, at long last, the StarCraft II 2018 WCS Global Finals reached its unbelievable conclusion. It was an awesome sight to behold – thousands of people had gathered together, packed densely inside of an enormous auditorium to celebrate the crowning of a new world champion.

Yesterday had been an emotional day as the quarter-finals took an unexpected turn with Maru's 3:0 defeat to sOs, and SpeCial's 3:1 loss to Stats, thus eliminating all the Terran's from the tournament. There had been so much expectation from Maru, and his loss was incredibly disappointing to many.

The day began with a PvP match between Stats and sOs, but the match everyone was waiting to see was the 2nd semi-finals between Rogue, the returning 2017 World Champion and Serral, this year's main challenger in a mirror ZvZ.

Semi-Finals 1 – PvP: Stats vs. sOs

In the first mirror match of the day, Stats faced off against sOs in a best-of-five to see who would advance into the finals for the chance to be crowned world champion. Going into the semi-finals, no one really knew what to expect but a knife-fight in a phone-booth was the farthest thing from anyone's mind.

Categorized by its non-stop aggression, this series was short, but action-packed as both players went straight for the others' jugular. With no game lasting longer than ten minutes, this was a series of highly chaotic, low-economy games where every unit mattered and the momentum radically shifted at the drop of a hat. sOs played well and it looked like he could've taken some games but ultimately Stats swept the series with a decisive 3:0 win without losing a map.

In a particularly memorable game 1, we got to watch sOs confidently start off the series with an unexpected and aggressive 1-base disruptor rush while Stats played it safe with a more standard opening. sOs definitely had the advantage in terms of tech and army, but Stats was able to hold on even from the back-foot as he showcased his well-known defensive strength with hot pick-ups from the warp prism while simultaneously executing a well-timed counterattack that devastated sOs' mineral line. After that, Stats easily won game 1 as he mopped up sOs' army and forced a GG.

To watch the full series, click here.

Semi-Finals 2 – ZvZ: Rogue vs. Serral

All eyes were on them as the highly anticipated match between Rogue and Serral kicked off to find out who was the best Zerg player in the world. It was an incredible back-and-forth series as both players were active on the map, vying for control and aggressively scouting, not taking any risks and paying each other the due respect that the other deserved.

It was like watching magic happen. Rogue was so on-point but Serral was simply unbreakable! Somehow, Serral will always manage to get a scout and somehow, he will always make the perfect decision and have the perfect response ready. Rogue tried again and again to find the chink in Serral's armor, but he simply would not go down. Serral's control and multitasking was simply too good!

After a “Standard” game 1 victory, Serral mixed things up with uncharacteristic aggression in game 2 just to keep Rogue on his toes. Even though Serral lost this match, it was worthwhile, at least psychologically, because now Rogue knew that Serral was not gun-shy and an all-in was a possible option. Then, Serral jumped right back into playing his usual, calm and defensive style and won with a convincing 3:1 against Rogue to advance to the grand finals.

This was ZvZ as it was meant to be played.

To watch the full series, click here.

Grand Finals ZvP: Serral vs. Stats

In the grand finals, Serral squared up against Stats and thus began the final showdown. The last time these two players had met in a tournament was during the final match of GSL vs. the World. Serral had won with a narrow 4:3 win, so Stats was looking for revenge. Both players are considered the best of their respective races and both players had fought long and hard to make it this far, but there can only be one world champion. The atmosphere was electric as the auditorium was packed full of people – people who had assembled from far and wide to watch history being made.

And they would not be disappointed.

Massive armies repeatedly clashed against each other in a best-of-seven between two conservative, defensive, macro-oriented players that are both known for having exemplary game sense and unit control. Earlier today, Stats had just all-killed sOs in the semi-finals while Serral vivisected Rogue in front of a studio-live audience.

The pair played very standard, very patient games that highlighted the player's respective strengths. Stats as the Protoss, took the initiative while Serral focused on defending against Protoss shenanigans. Both players would avoid taking any big risks and play conservatively while expanding behind it. Stats favored the stargate opening to try to do some damage before switching to archon drops while Serral just pressed D to drone. In the early game, Zerg can hold anything with only lings and queens and that's what Serral did. Unfortunately for Stats, he was unable to close out any games in the first 3 matches of the series and played with the specter of defeat hanging over him as Serral took the lead and looking absolutely dominant in the process.

Stats got his second wind in game 4 and 5 as he started to pressure Serral back with more aggressive openings. After harassing in the early game and pushing hard in the mid-game with a strong timing, he disrupted Serral's strategy, clawing his way back in the running. In game 6, Stats and Serral fought each other in a long war of attrition. Both players had strong unit compositions as Stats transitioned from a ground-based army to an air-based one while Serral transitioned from bane/hydra and teched to broodlords, vipers, and corruptors. With truly impressive control, patience and tenacity,  Serral defeated Stats once again on Para Site, the same map where he had previously defeated Stats three months earlier in GSL vs. the World, thus winning the series 4:2 and emerging as the very first non-Korean WCS champion and ending the previously unbroken South Korean reign in StarCraft's 20 year history.

Congratulations Serral! GG, very well-played.

To watch the full series, click here.

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Alex Mcalpine
Alex graduated from UWO with a degree in journalism. He is a Battle Royale and FPS guru. He often reads 'Winner Winner Chicken Dinner' as he is ranked in the top 100 on the PUBG leaderboards. Alex is also an Overwatch and CoD expert. You can learn more about Alex via our About page.