In the end, none of the pre-fabricated storylines coming into this StarCraft II tournament mattered, as Choi “Bomber” Ji Sung stomped through the group and bracket stages to take his place as the WCS Champion for Season 2. The list of pre-tourney favorites included dethroned kings (Lee “INnoVation” Shin Hyung) and red hot players with legit winning streaks (Choi “Polt” Seong Hoon, Kim “duckdeok” Kyeong Deok). Even the two unfolding Cinderella stories of the Season 2 Finals didn’t get a chance to really enjoy their dances. Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn and Yoon “Taeja” Young Suh played remarkably well to get through the group stages only to run into Bomber in the quarterfinals and semifinals respectively, on what seemed to be his inevitable climb to the mountaintop.
The high level of play expected at a WCS Season Finals was evident early in the weekend with some of the best matches of 2013 featured during group stage play. The second match between INnovation and Taeja was a 50-minute gem that saw two competitors playing at peak efficiency. Dissecting and learning from their Terran v Terran skirmish wouldn’t necessarily make you a better player because the two Korea-based players showed you what to do but not how to do it. Expert usage of Medivacs, Marines, Hellbats and Siege Tanks brought nonstop action with Taeja and INnoVation engaging each other all over the map on multiple fronts in any given minute. After such a prolonged, intense battle, the end came quickly for the Season 1 Champion as Taeja clinched victory with a final Hellbat drop as available resources on the map dried up.
Jang “MC” Min Chul vs Lee "Jaedong" Jae Dong was another fantastic matchup in the group stage. The aggressive attacks and equally aggressive counterattacks made for a seesaw Game 2 with both players a finger snap away from losing and winning for about 36 of that game’s 40 minutes. Unlike the TvT battle between INnoVation and Taeja, MC’s Protoss play against Jaedong’s Zerg tactics was a difference in substance as well as style. Power units like Ultralisks, Vipers, Collossi, and Archons dominated the field late into the game with resources dwindling and every corner contested. It was MC’s efficient use of Archons and Zealots late in the game that ultimately helped him survive the 72 Mutalisks and 440+ Zerglings Jaedong threw into the fight. Jaedong’s waves and waves of cheap Zerg units were slowly chopped up by MC’s deft micro control of his powerful, but expensive Protoss pieces.
The knockout brackets brought an excellent semifinal matchup between the streaking Teaja and your eventual champ Bomber. After going up 2-0 in their best-of-five with aggressive all-in moves, Bomber dropped the next two games after realizing Taeja wasn’t going to fall for the same SCV rush attack again. Proving that he was not going to be denied in the Season 2 Finals, Bomber dug in for Game 5 dispatching Taeja with slick Marine play to move on to the Finals. Meanwhile, Jaedong made excellent use of his power units throughout his semifinal win over First. When First seemed to blink his Protoss army into a rolling herd of Jaedong’s Banelings, the announcers called it a “mis-click” but it seemed to be the kind of forced error that stemmed from Jaedong’s relentless pressure and Zerg mastery. Too many talented players had bounced back from the brink of elimination throughout Finals weekend for Jaedong to take any chances. A mistake of any kind—forced, unforced, or gift-wrapped—was an opportunity to move on quickly.
When the Finals came around it was Jaedong vs. Bomber and the table was set for an epic struggle between competing styles and two confident players ready to grasp the ultimate prize. Instead, Bomber steamrolled Jaedong in their best-of-seven matchup 4-0 using nifty Marine tactics that he seemed to take out of his mental file cabinet. As one of two Zerg players in the entire tournament, Jaedong had seemed to catch other opponents off guard enough to reach the finals, however, Bomber was having none of it. Bomber deployed bunker rushes and multiple Medivac/Marine combos all over the field to keep Jaedong on the ropes until all four games were won.
Bomber now stands as a WCS champion, joining Season 1’s INnoVation, and has the inside track to the WCS Global Finals in November at BlizzCon. His haul of WCS points puts him third overall behind the aforementioned INnoVation and the recently conquered Jaedong. Korea’s Season 3 is just around the corner though, and with the fight for WCS points in its final stretch, Bomber likely won’t be resting on his laurels.