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eSports: Starcraft 2 Neeb, America’s Hope at Katowice

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Neeb The Lone American At Katowice

By Christian Bullock

eSports has been dominated by the South Koreans and this year at IEM Katowice [Poland] it has been no different.  Blizzard’s Starcraft 2 is one of the best eSports games.  It’s an RTS game [Real Time Strategy] where each player builds an Army to defeat the other players.  There are three Races to play and each offers different strengths and weakness.  The Races are Terran [Human], Zerg [Alien], and Protoss [Alien].  The game can be best described as an elaborate Chess Match between two players.

American Starcraft 2 programmer Neeb was poised to go far in this weeks Tournament at Intel Extreme Masters Katowice [Poland].  As the only American to win a major Korean Tournament, there were high hopes for him this week.  The Protoss [Race] player has shown flashes of brilliance in the past.  His microing ability is top notch, he is a top tier pro player, and he is on par with the dominant Koreans who are the best in the world.  The South Koreans have dominated the Starcraft scene for over a decade.  Neeb looked like he would have a break out, as a real challenger to top Koreans.


Sadly our hopes were dashed in Day 3 of the Tourney [Group Stage Round of 24].  During the Group Stage players are grouped into four groups and play 5 best of 3 matches.  Wins come at a premium especially in the more elite player groups.  Neeb went up against his group which was Group B which included players: TY [South Korea] [Terran], aLive [South Korea] [Terran], Stats [South Korea] [Protoss], Harstem [Netherlands] [Protoss], and jjakji [South Korea] [Terran].  His games against Stats [Protoss] were memorable but little mistakes caught up with him as he was eliminated early in the Tourney.  One game stands out in particular, against TY [Terran] where he didn’t research Warp Gates [Upgrade] fast enough.  He was then quickly overwhelmed by TY’s [Terran] early rush.  Neeb’s play against aLive [Terran] was disappointing.  His overall play during Group [Round of 24] was 1-4.  Although it should be noted that he was in one of the toughest groups, nicknamed a “Group of Death”.

Neeb didn’t play as well as expected but we are hoping to see him later this year in Intel Extreme Masters.  The Tourney in Katowice [Poland] continues on with Groups C and D playing Today.  Players will be trying to make it to the Round of 12 [Elimination Bracket] and on to Semi and Grand Finals this weekend.  There are still many exciting games left to play, with a 250,000 dollar prize pool.  We will be following the rest of the Tournament streaming live on Twitch [ESL] Starcraft 2.

Tanner founded Trifecta Network in Spring of 2016 and has been the Chief of Content for the Network since that time. Currently Tanner covers all the sports teams in Boston and has contacts in many of the teams in the city. Before starting Trifecta, Tanner was a Site Expert for the FanSided site Chowder and Champions before leaving to cover Boston teams on the ground as a member of the media for Trifecta.

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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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