Best of 2019: Starcraft KSL Season 3 Finals
We look back on the best of esports in 2019 from StarCraft's KSL Season 3 Finals.
Starcraft is a real-time strategy game in which players take control of one of three distinct races and go head to head in 1v1 battles to determine who is the greatest general in the Koprulu sector.
Professional Starcraft emerged as an esport 2002 and has continued to this day. It is generally considered to be the progenitor to all modern esports that are popular in South Korea and beyond. In 2017, Blizzard Entertainment released Starcraft Remastered, a high definition remake of the classic game.
On the June 8 the grand final match of the 2019 Korea Starcraft League Season 3 took place. It was a best-of-seven mirror match between two great Protoss players.
Hyun Je “Mini” Byun, was forced to retire in 2015 to complete his mandatory military service. In 2017, Mini returned to the game he loves and has been competing with solid results ever since. His opponent in the finals would be Yoon Jong “Rain” Jung; a Protoss prodigy known for his prowess in the mirror match up.
Rain opened up game one when he elected to go for a Dark Templar build. Dark Templar are high damage stealth units, if your opponent neglects to invest in detection you can just outright win the game. Unfortunately due to Mini’s three gateway timing attack he was forced to forgo investing in the detection and was forced to concede after Rain got one of his Dark Templar’s into Mini’s resource line.
In game two, Rain quickly expanded up to a second base while Mini elected to get a Robotics bay which allowed him to get the powerful Reaver unit. Pushing out with a formidable force of Dragoons to support his Reaver, Mini looked like he was in a perfect position to catch Rain off guard. Unfortunately, miss management of the attack saw Mini get decimated when he should have easily defeated Rain.
Game three saw the tables turn when Rain miss-controlled his timing push and lost all of his Dragoons in a skirmish across the midfield. Without many units left to defend himself, Rain was forced to pull Probes, but it was too little too late and Mini won his first game of the match.
Mini opened up game four by faking that he was going to rush Rain with cheap Gateway units. When Rain responded by building more Gateway’s of his own, Mini’s plan was to then aggressively expand and gain an economic advantage. However, thinking quickly, Rain moved his scouting probe up into position and built a Pylon to block Mini’s expansion. Rain instantly started building his own expansion and guaranteed himself the economic advantage. From there Rain established a blockade and contained Mini within his base. With Mini starved of resources, Rain was able to push into his base with superior numbers and took the game.
Rain was now on match point, one more win would see him crowned tournament champion. Once again both players opened up by taking early expansions. Rain once again found himself establishing a blockade. However this time Mini responded by building a formidable army and pushing out, forcing Rain's Blockade to retreat. The two armies clashed and both sides took heavy losses, but Mini eked out a minor advantage and pushed on through to the front of Rains base. Due to Rain's superior economy, Mini was unable to finish him off.
With Rain's army reinforced he moved out across the map and destroyed Mini’s third base. With dwindling resources, Mini was forced to push out with his army for one final attack, but it wasn't enough.
The win earned Rain $26,000 and the title of Korean Starcraft League Season 3 Champion.