Another season of the Global StarCraft League comes to a close tonight (11PM Pacific), with some familiar faces in the finals.
Unlike the previous Open Season and Code S/Code A tournaments, this GSL season is billed as an eight-on-eight World Championship featuring Korea's best against the rest of the world. (Read the last installment of the eSports Update for more details.)
But to the chagrin of the GSL's international fan base, the last non-Korean players were eliminated in the quarterfinals, leaving MarineKingPrime (Terran) to square off against two-time GSL champion oGsMC (Protoss), while former GSL champion IMMvp (Terran) played NSHoSeo_san (Protoss, formerly known as "SanZenith").
NSHoSeo_san put up a good fight, but was ultimately overwhelmed by IMMvp's superior technique and matchup knowledge. The more interesting match of the night was between MarineKingPrime and oGsMC, the strong favorite going into the match. Their series started with a bang on Metalopolis, with MarineKing gambling on a successful early attack by immediately snatching the gold expansion--and while he didn't wake to the strategic switch until late, MC managed to successfully fend off MarineKing's attack and respond in kind, knocking MKP out of the game. MC proceeded to take the second game as well, but MarineKing rallied and took the last three games, putting him in the GSL finals for the third time and denying MC's bid for a third championship win.
That means the finals match tonight will be between MarineKingPrime and IMMvp--both of whom were our GSL finalists in the first Code S tournament. That time, IMMvp won handily in a 4-0 set, making it the third time MarineKingPrime's made it to the GSL finals only to lose. Can MarineKingPrime finally take a GSL title tonight? Or will IMMvp shut him out with another dominating performance?
My pick: The smart money's on IMMvp in this matchup, but my heart is with MarineKingPrime. Here's hoping that he's managed to step up his game these past few months.
North American StarLeague launches Tuesday
There's a new challenger on the North American StarCraft scene: The North American StarLeague. The league was actually announced months ago by Team Evil Geniuses' Geoff "EG.iNcontroL" Robinson, and their first week of play starts on Tuesday, April 12th (6pm PST) with several high-level players, including ROOT.KiWiKaKi, Artosis, LiquidTLO, and more. You can check it out at nasl.tv.
MLG Dallas has streaming issues
Last week's MLG Dallas was full of amazing matches, culminating in an unparalleled display of dominance by dignitas.Naniwa, who steamrolled his way through the massive Open bracket, Pool Play, and the final championship bracket without losing a game until one of his finals matches against ROOT. KiWiKaKi, who couldn't prevent Naniwa from snatching the title.
The only thing more painful than watching Naniwa stomp his way through North America's best was trying to watch the stream itself: Due to a combination of poor preparation, technical glitches, and Internet infrastructure issues, the live stream of the event was plagued with problems that made it unwatchable for much of Friday and Saturday. While MLG is offering to refund the people who paid for a high-quality pass, they may have a tough time winning their audience back for the MLG Columbus event on June 3rd. If you're one of the afflicted, CEO and co-founder Sundance DiGiovanni laid out the details in a statement.