StarCraft 2 Recap: 2019 WCS Global Finals
After years of coming close, Dark is finally an StarCraft champion.
Every year thousands of fans from across the world flock to Anaheim, California for Blizzcon - two action packed days that celebrate all things Blizzard Entertainment. The event is focused on major updates and new releases for the companies fan favourite franchises.
It’s also the location for the annual championship tournaments for several of Blizzard's biggest esports titles.
The story for the 2019 Starcraft 2 WCS Global Finals actually began 12 months ago when the Korean player Dark was defeated at the hands of the Finnish prodigy, and world's best player, Serral.
Dark spent 2019 grinding through Korean and international competitions in search of claiming StarCraft's world number one rank, and while he fulfilled a career achievement by finally winning a GSL Code S Title, Dark himself even admitted that the win only made him a “little bit” happy as he, more than anyone else, realised that the title of “worlds best player” that had come with the GSL Code S trophy for so many years, had well and truly been transferred to another.
Dark entered the 2019 WCS Global Finals as the number one seed from Korea and in the top eight destroyed Maru, the strongest Terran player on the planet, with a decisive three zero sweep.
Classic, a frequent rival, suffered the same fate as Maru in the semifinals with Dark looking completely unbeatable. But it would not be the world champion Serral awaiting Dark in the grand finals.
Serral had blocked Zerg player Raynor from qualifying for the 2018 Global Finals with victory against the Italian at WCS Montreal. Raynor had long lived in Serral’s shadow as the greatest non Korean Zerg player, so it was fitting that he would be the one to defeat Serral and advance to the grand finals.
Only one player will lift this beautiful trophy and cement themselves in the hall of honour. So I ask all of you here today, are you ready?
The stage was set, two players often left in the shadows emerged in the Grand Finals at the peaks of their powers, with a shot at eternal StarCraft glory.
Dark opened the series up with a devastating Mutalisk-focused composition that saw him have the mobility needed to run circles around Raynor’s stronger, but much slower army.
In Game 2, Dark employed an unorthodox army composition that he had only shown a few times before. After securing three bases with Roaches, Dark transitioned into the now infamous Swarm Hosts, which allowed him to attack multiple fronts. Raynor was well prepared to deal with this, but was caught out when Dark managed to sneak a single undetected Nydus Network filled with Roaches and Lurkers into Raynors base. With his base in tatters, Raynor was forced to surrender the second game.
In Game 3, Dark decided to mix it up and employ his signature aggressive style that had made him a fan favourite. But Raynor would not succumb to the pressure of being two games down, defending Dark’s all-in aggression with ease and securing his first win of the series.
Game 4 on the map Disco Bloodbath saw Dark once again employ his Mutalisk-based harassing focused army. While Raynor mitigated his losses at the hands of the Mutalisks, he wasn’t able to defend against Darks follow up. Dark was now on tournament point and opted to play straight up.
An exhausted Raynor miscalculated in Game 5 and didn’t have the defense needed to protect himself against Dark’s initial scout of his base. Smelling blood in the water, Dark attacked with a formidable Roach based army en route to victory.
So after years of coming close but ultimately falling short - always being in contention, but never the best - Dark has finally become the world champion and greatest StarCraft player on the planet.
With the trophy in hand and the $210,000 first prize, fans across the world knew that they would be seeing even more of Dark for years to come.
Congratulations and GG Dark.