As you may or may not know, one of the stops on the StarCraft II WCS stops was eliminated and replaced with WCS Winter, an online tournament that anyone can watch on the StarCraft II Channel on ESTNN TV. The competition is broken into two divisions – WCS Winter America, and WCS Winter Europe. The matches themselves are broadcast every Thursday to Sunday for two weeks, starting from January 31st until February 10th. Last week, the Round-of-32 officially began and while not all of them were amazing, a few of the matches were, and I'm going to go through the results.
Note: This is a double-elimination tournament, so each win represents a series played out on a Bo3.
uThermal secured a 2:0 by winning all his series matches against goblin and Rail, while Rail barely squeaked by his matches with a 2:1 thanks to winning a rematch series against Bly. Bly was eliminated 1:2 while goblin was eliminated 0:2. It was surprising that Rail would win against Bly as Bly was favored to win, but Rail just did Protoss timings again and again until he won.
MaNa won 2:0 in his games, while HeroMarine barely came through with a 2:1 thanks to SKillous. SKillous was eliminated 1:2 while ShaDoWn was eliminated 0:2. Overall, everything went exactly as expected as MaNa and HeroMarine were both very much favored to win in this group.
Elazer won 2:0 in the group, while Harstem picked up the #2 with a 2:1 because he lost to Starbuck. Starbuck picked up the 1:2, which was close but no cigar. Brat_OK, on the other hand, got swiftly eliminated without winning a single game. There were no surprises here in Group C as Elazer and Harstem were highly favored to win, and they did exactly that.
Lambo finished on top with a 2:0, while Hellraiser got the 2:1. Denver picked up third place, and Gerald ended with a 0:2. Lambo won convincingly against his opponents while Hellraiser just barely managed to cross the finish line. It was really touch and go; if 1 game had gone differently, Hellraiser would've been eliminated.
And those are the results for WCS Winter – Europe. Groups E through H are scheduled to play this Thursday and will continue through until Sunday, at which point the qualifying players will advance to the Round-of-16. Group F and G, in particular, are something to look forward to, as Reynor, an up-and-coming Zerg player from Italy will be in Group F and Serral, the world champ, will be in Group G.
In addition to this, I'd like to remind everyone that there are a LOT of professional games scheduled for February and March, with WCS Winter ramping up in earnest and GSL starting up again on afreecaTV.
And that's not to mention IEM Katowice 2019 happening on February 25 and all the way through March 3rd, and WESG 2018 happening almost immediately after that.