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.