From the minute the WCS tiebreaker procedure was unveiled there was a mix of emotions from Johan ‘NaNiwa’ Lucchesi and his fans. Sure, it’s great to have a shot at the Global Finals and the $100,000 grand prize, but a trip to Blizzard headquarters to play a high stakes game against Kim ‘Revival’ Dong Hyun is hardly an ideal American vacation. Just a few weeks ago, the likelihood of the Swedish Protoss even coming this close to the Global Finals at BlizzCon was barely worth a mention. As results continued to roll in from each WCS Region, however, it soon became apparent that that NaNiwa’s slim chances were still in play. NaNiwa’s precarious WCS point total stood at 3200 at the end of Season 3 and it took a Challenger League result for Revival to force a tie. Now, just one series stands between NaNiwa and Revival as they battle to determine who will earn the final competitor slot in the biggest StarCraft II event of 2013. We had the chance to get NaNiwa’s thoughts about his situation just ahead of his play-in match against Revival.
Blizzard: What are your thoughts on the tiebreaker procedure itself?
NaNiwa: I had to fly 25 hours just to play a tiebreaker? If you lose this match then you have to go home another 25 hours and you don’t get anything. I think it would be even better being online on a US server. But it is also good that it’s offline and there are equal conditions so that’s pretty good.
Blizzard: What went through your mind when you saw Oz and soO come up short in the Season 3 Finals, clearing the way for this opportunity you have now?
NaNiwa: Obviously this is still a very lucky chance for me. There were many times when I could’ve been knocked out and not even have gotten this chance. So I am grateful. There are always better things you can do about it but it’s still very nice.
Blizzard: How are you preparing for Revival?
NaNiwa: Zerg players, they always have some of their own things. Some of them are more aggressive. Some of them are more defensive and they all have their own style. It’s really hard to prepare for one Zerg, so I’m just trying to practice with a lot of Zergs so I don’t get surprised by what he’s going to do. I’m mostly practicing on my own stuff which I know I can change when I need to.
Blizzard: You don’t know what’s going to happen after your playoff game, so how did you pack for this trip?
NaNiwa: Like any other event. Lots of clothes and that’s about it (laughs). If I manage to make it to BlizzCon I will go out shopping on one of the days (off). I’m not really thinking about that, though. I just want to play my best and regardless of how it goes, I can accept it.
NaNiwa and Revival played at Blizzard headquarters, November 5 at 11:00 a.m. PST.
It’s official: Revival tied with NaNiwa for 16th place in the 2013 World Championship Series Global Standings. While only 16 players can compete in the 2013 StarCraft II WCS Global Finals at BlizzCon, 17 have qualified due to this tie in WCS points. As we previously stated, a tiebreaker match will be played between Revival and NaNiwa prior to BlizzCon to determine who will compete in the Global Finals.
Both players are already at the Blizzard Irvine Campus and the best-of-five match will be played on Tuesday, November 5 at 11:00 a.m. PST. The match will be broadcast live with commentary on StarCraft2.com/WCS in free 720p and VODs will be available as soon as possible after the match concludes.
Update: James "Kaelaris" Carrol will cast the match live from ESL Studio Two, and he'll be joined by Shaun "Apollo" Clark.StarCraft2.com/WCS.