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Canadian Scarlett Shines as American Neeb Dominates Starcraft 2 in WCS Montreal 2017

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Canadian Scarlett Shines as American Neeb Dominates Starcraft 2 in WCS Montreal 2017

It was a long day yesterday [Saturday] at WCS Montreal.  The action was non-stop and fierce.  As the Round of 16 was being played for the Quarter Finals Spot.  This is the last Major Tournament of the year before the Global Finals in November.  Everyone was climbing the ladder to get the final spot of 8.  Lets get right into the action.

One of the most amazing Match Ups of the day was the Canadian [Zerg] Scarlett vs the Polish [Protoss] Harstem.  It was an epic match.  As Scarlett [Zerg] lost 2 in a row and looked like she might be eliminated if she lost again.  In Game 3 she played aggressive and used a Nydis Worm to tunnel into her opponents base.  It worked Beautifully!  She would win that Game, and right there you just knew that these 3 Games were the ones to watch.

In Game 4 of the Match Up the hometown heroine Scarlett [Zerg] did an early “Cheese” play where she made a Proxy Hatchery.  It was gutsy, to say the least!  She made it just outside of her Opponents base and it stunned the crowd.  What she did next was just unthinkable.  She rallied Queens and Spine Crawlers to trap the Protoss player in his own base.  Yeah that’s right no expansion for you!  It was ridiculous and then after the blockade was brought down she easily transitioned into Zergling/Roach.  It was something not many could do and she ended up winning the Game 4 making it [2-2].

In Game 5 of this remarkable best of 5 Scarlett [Zerg] went for an early Queen Drop.  She loaded her flying Overlords and dropped her massive amount of Queens right on top of her Opponent’s base.  It was spectacular as well as extremely gutsy!  One miss click and it all could have been over for her.  She would end up wining the Game and the Match [3-2].  Whoa, talk about nerves!

There were several other games to watch but the Premier Match Up of the day turned into Canada’s [Zerg] Scarlett vs America’s [Protoss] Neeb.  Neeb is hands down the best foreigner in the WCS Circuit Ranked #1.  Scarlett is a great North American player Ranked #10 in WCS Points.  This was the Match Up to see who would advance to the Semi Finals of Dreamhack Montreal.

The first 2 Games were quick and also quickly forgotten as the Zerg Rush couldn’t break the back of a sturdy Protoss Defense.  Neeb counter each attack with his own Rush of “Charge” Zealots and Oracle harass.  Neeb was so Dominant in the early game that it looked doubtful for Scarlett to win a Game.  At the end of Game 2 it was Neeb [2-0].  Scarlett needed another miraculous comeback.

Then Game 3 happened and it was the Game that everyone was talking about.  The back and forth Game started similar to the others.  Scarlett held her own turf with massive amounts of Creep Spread.  She took her time to assemble a multitude of Spore Crawlers.  Yep that’s right it became Spore Crawlers vs “Sky Toss”!  Neeb had assembled the Golden Armada, just like in the Campaign.  It was awesome!  But Scarlett was playing things very differently than other players.  She marched her Spore Crawlers across the Map and went Corruptors/Infestors.

What we ended up seeing was the highest Tier of tech being played against one another.  It was incredible and really amazing to watch.  Neeb had Carriers and a Mothership.  Scarlett attacked them with Corruptors and Infestors.  She “kited” the Golden Armada into the Spore Crawlers and then she “Neural Parasite” the Mothership and several Carriers.  It was another gutsy move from the female fetale.  She actually took out the Golden Armada twice this way.  After about an hour of this she won Game 3.  It was Awesome!  And I was on the edge of my seat cheering for her all the way.

Unfortunately she couldn’t take the next game against Neeb, he was just too dominating.  She would lose [3-1] to Neeb but not before winning over the hometown crowd at Montreal.  Wow what a match and what a Tournament this turned out to be.  Neeb will continue on the Semi Finals today [Sunday] as the only American who has ever won two Majors in a year.  He will be looking for his 3rd Major today if he wins.  Look for some outstanding play from him as he faces True [Zerg] first then the winner of Elazer [Zerg] and Snute [Zerg].

Coverage begins today [Sunday] at 11:00 am ET live from Montreal on Twitch.tv

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eSports: Starcraft 2 Will Headline IEM PyeongChang South Korea Ahead of the Olympics

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So last Saturday everyone watching Blizzcon, Blizzard Entertainment’s Yearly Convention, found out that eSports will be coming to the Olympics.  Well they won’t be medaling just yet.  The Intel Extreme Masters will take place just before the Olympics start.  It was an incredible announcement for several reasons.  First off can you believe eSports has grown this big!  I mean seriously, its come a long way from your local Internet Cafe or average LAN Party!  This is huge news for us gamers out there and Millennials!  It tells the world, “yes this is a sport.”

Secondly I think that this is a great way to give a nod to eSports’ “roots”.  South Korea has had a long standing eSports Scene and in point of fact they started the movement back in 1998-1999.  Starcraft: Brood War was the very first eSport on the Korean Scene.  With it’s integral Internet Service Bnet, Battle Net, allowed players from around the world to play against each other over the Internet.  It was incredible when it first came out and it changed gaming forever.

Starcraft: Brood War shipped with Bnet included free to play.  So it’s so fitting that with the announcement of Starcraft 2 Headlining PyeongChang, Blizzard Entertainment is allowing anyone to play for free.  Yup you heard me!  Starcraft 2 will be free to play starting November 14th.  Not only that but the first Campaign will be available, free to play!  Already have Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty, fine then you’ll get a free upgrade to Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm Campaign.  This is unbelievable and unprecedented!  So basically you can jump right in to Bnet and start laddering for free.

Now back to the Olympics; there has been some discussion as to whether or not eSports should be in the discussion as an “official” Olympic sport.  Is it a Sport?  The answer from the IOC, International Olympic Committee, is that “yes this is a sport.”  “Players practice as much as real Sports Athletes,” which is what they have stated.  Yet there still seems to be a cloud concerning whether or not it “should be” an Olympic Sport.  Their argument is always the same, “Video Games are Violent.”  But let me tell you that they are no more Violent than any other “Sport.”

Listen some Sports like the Shooting Sports are all well and excepted in the Summer Olympic Games.  Which are in all actuality much more dangerous than anything done in eSports.  I mean seriously, why can’t we get past this?  I mean if there are 15 Shooting Events that are well and excepted by the IOC, why not eSports?  Growing up on Video Games, I feel like me and most other Millennials can relate to eSports becoming a Sport.  It just makes sense that this is where we are headed.  And I’m all for more people taking up the discussion.

Lastly with the Olympics being in PyeongChang it just feels like the right time to have Starcraft 2 Center Stage as the main eSport.  This is where the movement began.  This is where eSports became a “Sport”.  This is also where Starcraft became “Starcraft”.  The Koreans perfected the way Starcraft is played and it, “just makes sense” that they host the best in the world, not just in Olympic Sports, but eSports as well.  Congratz South Korea, for the very respectful nod at Starcraft’s “roots”, and for the very exciting time it will be in PyeongChang this February!  GG! HF!

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eSports: Starcraft 2 WCS 2017 Global Finals Recap – Rouge Wins Big

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Rouge Wins Big

It was so quiet that you could hear a pin drop.  Everyone watching was holding their breath.  soO [Zerg] was rushing with his Roaches into Rouge’s [Zerg] base.  It looked like he might not have enough Units but he plunged into and forced a GG out of Rouge [Zerg].  The crowd erupted with excitement.  They were so loud that they drowned out the Casters who were going over the “play by play” of the game [Map].  Yep, you guessed it this was Blizzcon!  But more important, ly this was the pivotal game [Map] between soO [Zerg] vs Rouge [Zerg].  This was the Grand Finals!  And soO, the heavy favorite had just gone up [2-1] in the Best of 7 Match Up.  Unfortunately for him this was the year of the upset.  But how did we get to here?

Well there were some huge upsets which turned this Tournament upside down.  First off Neeb [Protoss] the heavy foreign favorite who had won 3 Majors this year couldn’t move on from the Group Round of 16.  He won big during Day One of the Group Round but on the Second Day he played his worst games of the year and ended up getting double eliminated.  It was a sad day, last Sunday, to watch America’s best hope at a Global Title fade away.

The foreign scene now looked like Poland’s Elazer [Zerg] and Mexico’s SpeCial [Terran], up against the best Koreans in the world.  Luckily they faced off against each other in the Round of 8 Bracket, ensuring at least one of them would make it to the Semi Finals.  Elazer [Zerg] looked good and he was a favorite in this Match Up but once again we would see an astounding upset.  As SpeCial [Terran] would beat Elazer [Zerg] without losing a single game [Map], [3-0].

On the other Round of 8 Bracket there was soO [Zerg] vs GuMiHo [Terran].  This was a nail biter of a Match Up that went to 5 games [Maps].  GuMiHo was pretty even with soO and it looked like either one could take it.  One of the most improbable comebacks of the Tournament was GuMiHo [Terran] in Game 4 [Map 4].  He got attacked during an early Zergling Rush but some how managed to stay with it.  He had one Bunker with 4 Marines up against countless lings but some how managed to save the Bunker and mount a Counter Attack.  It was something to watch!  If you haven’t seen it yet, go watch it!  Unbelievably he would win that game [Map] and put soO on the ropes for Game 5 [Map 5].  soO would once again attack aggressively and would end up winning the Match and move on to the Semi Finals.

On the next Round of 8 Bracket herO [Protoss] vs Rouge [Zerg] was another Match Up to watch.  Rouge [Zerg] would go on to beat herO [Protoss] another heavy favorite in the Tournament.  Lastly there was INnoVation [Terran] vs TY [Zerg] in the Quarter Finals.  The two heavyweights went at it and the all time favorite, nicknamed “the Machine”, INnoVation [Terran] lost.  It was unbelievable how so many good players lost.  I mean seriously, no one saw this coming!

soO [Zerg] would go on to beat SpeCial {Terran] [3-0], which was simply total domination.  And Rouge [Zerg] would beat TY [Terran] in a surprising Match Up.  Rouge [Zerg] really went on a hot streak and by the time the Grand Finals rolled around he was ready to play.  This guy looked scary as heck!  I know most people were wondering if he could actually do it.  The main storyline though was about soO’s [Zerg] consistent 2nd Place Finishes.  He has come in 2nd place so many times and has never won a Tournament.  It looked like he might do it as he was up [2-1] in the GF Best of 7.

Yet we would witness the rise of a new star of Starcraft 2 Progaming, Rouge [Zerg].  After Game 3 Rouge recouped himself and began to engineer one of the great ZvZ that Startcraft 2 has ever seen.  Rouge [Zerg] came at soO [Zerg] with the ling/bane Rush, with the Roach/Ravenger Rush, with the Muta/Hydra Rush, with Droppling Rush, yet all of that doesn’t compare to the mind games that he played.  His masterful and now patented Swarm Host Attack that he used against his other opponents showed that he has a great mid to late game.  I’d also like to point out that he isn’t afraid to be aggressive.  I mean holy cow, this guy attacks with Roaches/Ravengers nearly every game!  He was all over the map and no one could stop him.  Some games [Maps] looked like some kind of bizarre scenario out of the SC2 Campaign!  These games are ones to watch over and over again.  They are that good.  And I’m not even a ZvZ fan, and I’m saying this!

Rouge [Zerg] would win 3 straight games [Maps] and would claim the $280,000 1st place prize and the Title of 2017 World Champion.  soO would once again finish 2nd and continue his streak of losing in the Grand Finals.  Wow what an amazing Tournament it was at Blizzcon!  If you want to see replays you can watch them at Blizzcon.com or on the Blizzcon Mobile App.  The 2017 Starcraft 2 Season has now concluded but we are all excited for 2018!  Oh and what is this I hear, Starcraft 2 at the Olympics?  Yeah more on that in another blog.  Congratz to Rouge for the best Swarm Host play I have ever seen!  GG! HF!

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eSports: Neeb Spectacular in the Starcraft 2 WCS Global Finals 2017 Day One Group Stage

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It’s a mouthful, the Starcraft 2 WCS Global Finals, started yesterday with the Day One Group Stage.  Where the best in the world faced off against each other.  There are 8 spots up for grabs, for the BlizzCon Finals on November 3-4.  Two Groups played yesterday with double eliminations.  Groups A and B were rock solid with the 4 best out of, 8 WCS Circuit Winners and 8 GSL Korean Circuit Winners.  4 Pro Players for each Group.  Yesterday we saw the match up of the Weekend so far.  The American Neeb [Protoss] vs the Korean Rouge [Zerg].

It was so epic that I’m covering most of this Match Up exclusively.  I mean hey you want to hear about the best of the best right!  You want to follow the history making games!  And you want to see which ones that will be watched over and over again.  Well this Match Up had it all and it was only a best out of 3.  Mind you everyone will be saying, “game 3″.  ‘Enuff Said”!

Talking about each player just gives me goosebumps.  These two Pro Gamers were headed for one of the great epic games of 2017.  Neeb and Rouge come off having an incredible year in separate Circuits.  Neeb in point of fact is the heavy favorite foreigner to going up against the Koreans.  He is America’s best hope for a Global Finals Win, something that no North American has ever done.  Rouge is one of the best Zerg Players coming out of Korea and in point of fact he was a heavy favorite to beat Neeb in their first Match.

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