Recap: StarCraft World Championship Series Opening Week

It was a battle for the ages – and the world was watching. When the best sixteen players from around the globe have been culled and are matched against each other, fans unite, as they did in the pinnacle Starcraft II competition at the World Championship Series (WCS). This year’s final matchup went from October 27 through November 4 at BlizzCon, and it was an event few will forget. The prize may have been $700,000, but the win was the glory for these players and their fans.

The Players

This year, Korea’s Kim ‘Stats’ Dae Yeob and Lee ‘INoVation’ Shun Hyung were expected to place in the top. Their past accomplishments speak for themselves: Each won impressive Global Starcraft League (GSL) championships earlier in the year and were looking to claim a Global Finals trophy to their growing collections.

Alex ‘Neeb’ Sunderhaft was the highest ranking non-Korean. The 19-year-old comes from the United States and has earned a total of $272,308 from previous tournaments. He’s also got good backing – Neeb is currently sponsored by Ting. With wins for three of the last four World Championship Series circuit championships, it’s no surprise that he was the crowd favorite.

The Champion

Despite the talent of Neeb, Yeob, and Hyung, it was a Lee ‘Rogue’ Byung Ryul who stepped up his game to win the title of world’s best Starcraft II Player. The 23-year-old competitor from South Korea has earned almost $400,000 from his previous 61 tournaments with most of his wins in the past year.

The event started Friday morning with last year’s winner Mikolaj ‘Elazer’ Ogonowski facing off against Juan Carlos ‘SpeCial’ Tena Lopez. Elazer later caved under the prowess of Korean Park ‘Dark’ Ryung Woo. Eo ‘SoO’ Yoon Su has participated in more GSL finals than any other player on the planet, but – to the frustration of his many fans – he continues to come in second place.

This year SoO lost to Rogue, 4 – 2, in the grand finale. It was a painful loss for a guy who also seems to be a bridesmaid, but it made for an exciting matchp.


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