After fierce competition during the online qualifiers, the best StarCraft II players from Belgium and the Netherlands gathered at the ESL TV studio in Cologne, Germany for two exciting WCS tournaments. The top three Belgian players battled it out in the Belgium Nationals, while the top three Dutch players competed in the Netherlands Nationals.
Stakes were high as the Dutch finalists fought for two coveted slots in the WCS Europe Finals, while the Belgian players vied for one spot at the prestigious tournament.
Belgium: Orly Leads the Swarm to Victory
Without dropping a single map before the event, zerg player Olivier "Orly" Bellemans met Corentin "Makouni" Lacroix in the Championship Bracket. Orly surprisingly lost the first game to his protoss opponent, but he managed to fight back and turn the score around. He finished 2-1, moving on to the Grand Final.
Makouni faced Antoine "Elvis" Paquay in the Consolation Bracket and fell to his opponent's zerg swarm a second time, paving the way to a ZvZ final between Elvis and Orly. After a quick but ferocious battle featuring a devastating baneling hit from Orly, he took the victory and with it the Belgian championship.
Congratulations Orly; we'll see you again at the Europe Finals!
Netherlands: Flawless Victory for Grubby
The Netherlands tournament opened with the Championship Bracket in which fan favorite Manuel "Grubby" Schenkhuizen faced terran player Marc "uThermal" Schlappi. While mech-heavy armies managed to threaten Grubby a few times, the tournament veteran kept his cool and earned a 2-0 victory.
uThermal went down to the Consolation Bracket, where he met the winner of last year's European Battle.net Invitational, Jos "Liquid'Ret" de Kroon. uThermal managed to surprise the crowd by securing a quick 1-0 lead. However, Ret turned the series around on the next two maps, winning 2-1 and advancing through to the finals.
The showdown between the two best players from the Netherlands ended with a fairly quick and clean 2-0 score for Grubby, earning him top place for the Netherlands. But Ret may yet have his chance for a rematch, as both finalists have earned slots in the Europe Finals.
Congratulations to them both! We agree with Grubby and hope this means that his curse is lifted.
Showmatch: Netherlands vs. Belgium
Though this wasn't part of the competitive WCS action, with a few minutes to spare at the event, all six finalists from both nations faced off in an epic 3v3 friendly showmatch. This unique clash between the Netherlands and Belgium ended 1:2.
Belgium National - Video
Netherlands National - Video
3v3 friendly showmatch