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eSports Starcraft 2: Elazer Upsets Snute In WCS Valencia

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Elazer Upsets Snute In World Chmpionship Series

It was a wild day in Valencia, Spain where the 3rd of 4 Premier Starcraft 2 Tournaments was being played.  The Winner would advance to the Global Finals and take home $25,000.  Today was the Quarter Finals, Semi Finals, and Grand Finals.  Best of 5 Games then Best of 7 Games.

Let me tell you the heavy favorite was Neeb [Protoss] going into the Quarter Finals.  The American Pro Gamer was on a tare, literally.  He won back to back WCS Premier Starcraft 2 Tournaments earlier this year.  Neeb secured his ticket to “the big show” of the Global Finals and he leads the World in Starcraft 2 Points/Rank.  He was looking to make it 3 in a row till he lost against his rival Mexico’s SpeCial [Terran].  It was a close loss that ended his run but it drastically changed the Tournament. Now everyone was wondering who would make it to the Grand Finals.

Well, there just happens to be a fan favorite, Norway’s own Snute [Zerg] from Team Liquid.  He is known as one of Europe’s best [Zerg] Players.  Snute is also one of the highest earners in Pro Gaming, raking in over $300,000 in prize money.  He has been having an up and down year in 2017 but doesn’t tell him that; as he improved his World Ranking to 7th, during the Tournament.

Snute [Zerg] played extremely well today.  He came out of one of those “Groups of Death” on [Thursday] at the beginning of the 3 Day Tournament.  He ended up in the Semi Finals facing off against SpeCial [Terran], who had just beat the World’s Best [Protoss] Neeb.  It was a gripping Semi Finals.  Snute [Zerg] did everything right to win the TvZ Match Up.  He looked to be the new favorite to win it.  His [Zerg] play is masterful.  I have watched how he plays and I like his style.  At times it can be mesmerizing!  His unit control, Micro, is just so good its like watching a more advanced game of Chess.  He easily moved on to the Grand Finals Best of 7.

On the other side of the bracket Poland’s Elazer [Zerg] was making a name for himself.  He powered through the Quarter Finals, beating Nerchio [Zerg].  Then he defeated South Korean True [Zerg] in the Semi Finals.  Back to back to back ZvZ.  He was ready to play against Snute [Zerg].  You could tell that he really wanted it.  Elazer [Zerg] was all pumped up and he mentioned during interviews that he was eyeing this Tournament all year.  He wanted to prove that he could win the European Tournament.  Where his real goal is on making GSL verses The World Tournament.  Today he proved he could make it that far.

Snute [Zerg] vs Elazer [Zerg] Grand Finals

In this ZvZ Match Up Snute [Zerg] got ahead winning the first 2 Games.  It was early rush Zerglings and Banelings, something that we always see from Zerg vs Zerg Match Ups.  What it comes down to in Games like this is Resources and Micro Control.  It is essentially a Mirror Match Up.  Each player’s units are the same so they need to get ahead by denying the other player Resources.  And that is exactly what we saw today from Snute [Zerg].  He was playing the Mid-range Game, forcing long battles over “Map Control”.  He played well but had a few short comings.

Elazer [Zerg] went down [3-1] in the Best of 7 and it didn’t look to good for him.  But he really persevered and came back strong.  His Micro became better than Snute’s [Zerg].  I mean it was sensational what he was doing!  He was just out performing Snute [Zerg] in every way.  If you want to see a great ZvZ come back than you have to see these last 3 Games of Elazer [Zerg].  He was just out thinking Snute [Zerg] he had an answer for every battle, every encounter.  He won “Map Control” every time!  There were two weaknesses of Snute’s [Zerg] play which were “Vision” and “Map Control”.  Snute [Zerg] just didn’t expect Elazer [Zerg] to be so aggressive.  And it showed with a bit of a desperate attack in the final Game 7.  Elazer [Zerg] just held his ground and exploited his opponent’s weaknesses.

In the end, Elazer [Zerg] came up with a huge upset, winning 3 straight Games in a row, against Snute [Zerg] and winning his 1st WCS Tournament.  Congratz Elazer on making everyone in Poland proud!  Woot, woot!

The up and comer, Zerg player, is looking to be part of the international conversation of Starcraft 2 Pros.  Today he showed that he has what it takes to win a Major.  I can’t wait to see more of him in the weeks to come as more Starcraft 2 Tournaments are on the way.  It will also be good to see him in the Global Finals at the end of the year.  I think he will be a real crowed pleaser as he will be representing Europe.

Up Next

The next WCS Tournament will be Dreamhack Montreal on September 8th.  It will be covered on Twitch.tv with VODs on WCS Starcraft 2 YouTube.

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Starcraft 2 WCS Dreamhack Montreal 2017 Neeb Wins His 3rd Major of the Year

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Starcraft 2 WCS Dreamhack Montreal 2017 Neeb Wins His 3rd Major of the Year

It was another action packed day of Starcraft 2 at WCS Montreal on [Sunday].  Yet the most exciting thing to talk about was the American [Protoss] Neeb.  He just played out of his mind, crazy good!  It was like watching a master at work.  He did all the little things right during game play.  He took his Microing to the next level. Let’s jump right into the action and see just how Neeb [Protoss] won this tournament.

American [Protoss] Neeb faced off against South Korean [Zerg] True in the Semi Finals, and it was a blow out.  Neeb [Protoss] did his Adept Harrass early on.  He caught True out of position several times.  The first Game ended quickly for True [Zerg], with Neeb [Protoss] winning.

Then in the 2nd Game Neeb [Protoss] Massed Oracles.  He used his Oracles to harass the Drone Mineral Lines.  It was great!  He even used Phoenix’s to clean them up.  At one point in the game, he even picked up his own Adept off the ground to protect it from Zerglings.  Talk about incredible Micro, this dude does it all!  Neeb [Protoss] would get the win [2-0] in the best of 5.

In Game 3 of the Match Up, Neeb [Protoss] did some early “Cheese”.  He Cannon Rushed the Zerg and boy was it unpredictable.  True [Zerg] did his best to survive it which was amazing because it looked like the Game would end there.  True [Zerg] got his bases established finally after several minutes.  Then Neeb [Protoss] transitioned for his counter attack and it crushed True [Zerg] hopes at advancing. Neeb [Protoss] took the Match [3-0].

The Norweign [Zerg] Snute vs the Polish [Zerg] Elazer was easily forgettable.  ZvZ is fun to watch sometimes and this Match Up was probably the best Series to watch ZvZ.  Me personally I’m not a huge ZvZ fan.  Yet I can say that you can pick up a lot of good strategies watching these 5 Games.  I mean seriously, they had everything.  Snute [Zerg] would go on to beat Elazer [Zerg], who is the only other WCS Major Champion this year, [3-2].

Now on to the Grand Finals where it was Neeb [Protoss] vs Snute [Zerg].  In Game 1, of the best of 7, Neeb [Protoss] went right into “Charge” Zealots.  He did decent harass early on but his Micromanaging of units was just out there.  This is a guy who can beat you just with a handful of units, never mind a Golden Armada!  He took Game 1.

Then in Game 2 we saw Neeb [Protoss] push his Microing to the limits.  He started out with his typical Probe scouting and went immediately for Air and Templar Archives.  The way he played next left me speechless. He Microed 2 Prisms with 2 Arcons each at the same time.  He would attack with both of them and pick them up when they got low on shields.

It was something that I had only seen the Koreans do.  And wow, it was masterful!  He saved as many units as he could during the heat of battle. He would do the same things like this in the other Games but here in Game 2 is where he found his confidence and groove to do this over and over again.  It was just so good, and let me remind you he was up against Snute, one of the best European Zerg players!  Snute had no answer to this follow up and ended up losing the Match to Neeb [Protoss] [4-0].

Neeb [Protoss] literally dominated WCS Montreal 2017.  His record for the last 20 Games, or Maps, was [17-2].  This is something that we have never seen from an American in the Starcraft scene.  This was his 3rd Major Championship Win this year, out of a total of 4 WCS Circuit.  I mean seriously his win here in WCS Montreal puts him up there with some of the best in the world. And I think it is safe to say that he is ready for the Koreans.

Neeb [Protoss] will be playing for it all, in the Global Finals in November at Blizzcon.  He will be up against the Top 8 Ranked Players in the WCS Circuit as well as the Top 8 Ranked Players in the Korean GSL Circuit.  Expect him to do great things at this last Invitation only Global Tournament.  He will have to beat some of the best Koreans to get that Title of World Champion.  It would be the first time an American had one it.  I’m thinking he can do it, Go Neeeeb!

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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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ShoWTimE Wins WCS Starcraft 2 Challenger Europe as 2 More Qualify for Dreamhack Montreal 2017

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ShoWTimE Wins WCS Starcraft 2 Challenger Europe as 2 More Qualify for Dreamhack Montreal 2017

It was a lengthy Saturday of Zerg “Stomp” Competition for WCS Starcraft 2 Challenger Europe, on Twitch.tv.  As 5 out of 6 Contenders played as the Zerg Race.  It was mostly Zerg vs Zerg and in these match ups its all about Map Control and denying your opponent resources.  Micro managing your units is essential in ZvZ’s.  As each unit carries a net weight of resources spent.  If you lose too many units early on, your resources spent will be worse than your opponent.  ZvZ is actually a very delicate balance between attacking and mining resources.  Its like a Chess Game!  You want to be able to position yourself for a Check Mate.  Which usually entails having the upper hand on your opponent.

In the Lower Bracket Nerchio [Zerg] faced off against Guru [Zerg].  Guru [Zerg] took 2 games on Nerchio [Zerg] and it looked like he would make it through to the next Round but Nerchio [Zerg] staged a real comeback and won 3 straight games in a row.  He would clinch the 3rd Qualifying spot for Dreamhack Montreal, winning [3-2] in the best of 5.

In the other Lower Bracket was Snute [Zerg] vs Serral [Zerg].  In this ZvZ Serral [Zerg] really showed what he can do with Roach/Ravengers.  He out performed the heavy favorite Snute [Zerg] by continually pressuring him into unlucky engagements.  For his main attack, he used Roaches and Ravengers.  Behind them he used Hydralisks.  It was a potent combination as he successfully fought off Snute [Zerg] in nearly every counter attack.  Serral [Zerg] just played better.  He had the Micro to beat Snute [Zerg] and it was kind of astonishing.  I’m used to seeing Snute [Zerg] execute better against opponents.  Serral [Zerg] would clinch the 4th Qualifying spot for Dreamhack Montreal, winning [3-1] against Snute [Zerg].

The next Round was Nerchio [Zerg] vs Serral [Zerg] and it was a quick ZvZ with Nerchio [Zerg] winning [2-1] in the best of 3.  Nerchio [Zerg] would face Namshar [Zerg] in the Semi Finals.  It was more of a Zerg rush type style that they played in the match up.  These games were decided early on as Units came at a premium.  Both players rushed each other with Zerglings and Banelings.  It was typical ZvZ cheese.  Namshar [Zerg] would go on to win [2-1] in the best of 3.

The Grand Finals was something to watch.  As undefeated ShoWTimE [Protoss] faced off against Namshar [Zerg].  Finally something better to watch than just ZvZ!  It did not disappoint as ShoWTimE [Protoss] played out of his mind good!  He had a [1-0] win under his belt for going undefeated yesterday.  He decided to play very aggressive in the first game and it played out perfectly for him.  He massed Oracles early on then followed it up with Charge Zealots and High Templars.  It was a build that had no weaknesses.  In fact, I was writing as much of it down so that I could practice the build!  It was just that good and he would end up winning that game.

The second game came down to Macro play and ShoWTimE didn’t hesitate to get a Mothership and mass Carriers.  It was something that we saw him do against Serral [Zerg] yesterday.  It played out beautifully for him and he would use Mass Recall to control the entirety of the map.  Going base to base by teleporting.  It won the game handily and he won the Grand Finals going undefeated in 2 Days of Tournament play!  Wow, what a turnaround.  It was nice to see a Protoss win WCS Challenger Europe.  Congratz to the German Pro ShoWTimE [Protoss] on the win!  I’m happy to see him triumph over so many Zerg.  He’ll be someone to watch for in next month’s Dreamhack Montreal 2017.

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