There's no rest for the wicked--or Starcraft II players, apparently. Not two days after the epic Jung-Hoon "Boxer" Lee vs. Jae-Duck "NesTea" Lim finals, the qualifying rounds for the next season had already started, and some notable names have already been knocked out. Read on for the recap.
GSL Season 2: NesTea Beats Boxer
The highlight of the weekend was undoubtedly a nail-biting best of seven series between Boxer (Terran) and NesTea (Zerg). Boxer came out strong with two early wins, one by way of an all-in Marine/SCV rush on Shakuras Plateau and the other on Lost Temple with some excellent Thor drops.
Not only was he able to pull ahead early, he also showed NesTea that he was capable of using units besides Marines--something which we hadn't seen much of prior to this match.
NesTea rallied back, however, winning two straight on Scrap Station and Jungle Basin. Scrap Station already favors Zerg players, and all it took was a heavy Roach/Baneling army with some Nydus Worms to harass Boxer's island expansion and wreck his main base.
Zerg typically doesn't do quite as well on Jungle Basin, but Boxer over-committed to an early Marine/Bunker push with a proxy Barracks, lost early, and succumbed to a Baneling bust, tying the series 2-2.
Boxer took the fifth game on Steppes of War, a small 1v1 map that favors early aggression. Boxer's early aggression almost cost him the game, though--his early Marine/Bunker push was overwhelmed by early Roaches. Fortunately, Siege Tanks arrived just in time to stop NesTea's Roach/Baneling counterattack, bringing the count to 3-2 and taking the series into the championship rounds.
When the dust settled from the final two games, the battlefield (and the $87,000) belonged to the Zerg once again. NesTea took the sixth game on Xel'Naga Caverns and the seventh on Metalopolis by decisively shutting down Boxer's early Marine pressure, winning the GSL's second season and marking the second consecutive GSL win by a Zerg player. You can watch the first match for free at gomtv.net.
Also noteworthy: Word on the street is, Boxer announced that he's changing his handle from "Boxer" to "Optimus". Since he belongs to the Prime clan, his new handle will be "OptimusPrime".
GSL Season 3 Qualifiers Have Begun
NesTea and Boxer may have just finished season 2, but everyone else is starting on season 3. "motbob", from the Team Liquid forums, has been reporting on the GSL qualifying rounds as they happen, so check the thread for the full results.
So far, the list of qualifiers includes notable players like Hayder "HayprO" Hussein and Jonathan "Jinro" Walsh from Team Liquid, GSL season 1 finalist Sung-Je "HopeTorture" Kim, and Jung-Min "Zenio" Choi (who knocked Greg "IdrA" Fields out in the last season).
Meanwhile, the list of players who didn't make it includes Geoff "iNcontroL" Robinson, Jonathan "KiWiKaKi" Garneau, GSL commentator Dan "Artosis" Stemkowki, and perhaps most surprisingly, Brood War legend Yoon-Yeol "NaDa" Lee. Qualifiers continue through November 16th. We'll keep you posted on the final qualifier list and the round of 64.
- EDGE Magazine has a great piece about some of the legal and cultural hurdles surrounding Starcraft II's slow adoption in Korea.
- Germany's Electronic Sports League TV interviews Dario "TheLittleOne" Wunsch (German, with subtitles).