Excitement was in the air as the first eSports fans lined up the morning of the South America Finals. Conversations about the imminent WCS event buzzed as fans from all parts of South America met their Battle.net friends for the first time in real life. Finally, the doors opened and the auditorium where the battles would take place began to fill. The players were already on stage and the World Championship Series: South America Finals were under way!
The first round was between Tunico of Brazil, a crowd favorite, and xionS from Peru. At first, the players seemed evenly matched, and xionS managed to maintain a strong defense, but Tunico, with his macro style play, finally overcame the Peruvian after a relentless succession of attacks. The second match started slow and xionS decided to change his strategy a bit going for dark Templar drops with warp prisms, but Tunico was prepared and didn’t allow it to do any damage. Once again, this left xionS behind on macro, allowing Tunico to have a major advantage on supply. The last confrontation was epic: xionS decided to throw all his units, including workers, into a last ditch assault to grab a win against the odds, and his efforts were rewarded as he was able to destroy the more numerous zerg army and invaded Tunico’s base, forcing him to call it “GG”.
After two intense games, both players had risked their positions in the tournament, but Tunico took the lead in the tiebreaker in the final game and finally sent to the Peruvian player to the lower bracket.
Although most of the live spectators were Brazilian, there were fans who travelled from all over South America to support their countries’ representatives in the tournament. The energy of the event was felt all over, as people watching from home and attending Barcraft events also cheered on their favorite players and posted their comments on social media. They might not have been present physically, but they were there in spirit.
Argentina vs Brasil: a classic
Tunico took to the tournament stage once again to face Argentinian player Capoch. Just like in other popular sports in South America, the Brazil vs Argentina rivalry remained strong. Tension was in the air as the first match ended fast after a 7 gate rush from Capoch, and although Tunico fought the pressure with great micro, the protoss attack too strong to hold. Capoch’s swift victory earned the anger of the Brazilian fans in the audience, but they remained hopeful. Their hopes wouldn’t survive long: during the second match, both players decided to go for a more macro oriented style, with fast expansions. Capoch expanded to three base play quickly, though, and Tunico couldn’t keep up with the Argentinian’s excellent macro, crumbling under the pressure of a massive army of stalkers, zealots and sentries. Tunico, the crowd favorite, was now in the lower bracket.
Brasil vs Peru
The next round of the day was between Potiguar of Brazil, and Fenix of Peru, both of whom are long time veterans of the Latin American eSports scene. The history of competition between these players drew a crowd of spectators expectantly awaiting one of the biggest matches of the day. The game started and the crowd went wild. Both players started with fast expansions and Fenix followed up with a strong marine and SCV push against Potiguar’s first expansion. Potiguar held the attack and countered, but Fenix already had four bunkers waiting to keep the protoss army at bay. Potiguar tried to bust the entrance and this gave his terran opponent the opportunity for a drop that caught him off-guard. Potiguar lost most of his production facilities to the drop, which ultimately led to his demise: 1-0 Fenix. The second match was a back and forth battle that left the audience standing, amazed by both player’s displays of skill. Although Potiguar fought hard to protect his base, Fenix’s drop micro proved too strong and once again, and the protoss player had to concede defeat.
By the end of day 1, Fenix and KiLLeR had already guaranteed their slots in The Battle.net World Championship in China. There was only one more slot left and everyone was eager to know who would earn the third and final slot?
The second day of the tournament was also the most intense, since the strongest players in the tournament were poised to give their all to claim first place and the title of South American Champion. Favorites from every nation would be facing eachother, but the highlight of the day would be the matches between KiLLeR and Fenix.
The first match of the day started with some friendly smack talk between two Brazilian players: Levin and Tunico. When Tunico was asked what to expect from Levin’s game, Tunico said: “I don’t need to study Levin’s game because I know what he is going to do. He is the king of cheese”. Tunico would prove to be correct, as Levin started the day with a cannon rush that earned cheers from the crowd. Although the cannons were eventually destroyed, the protoss strategy was rewarded because it damaged Tunico’s economy enough to earn Levin the first win of the day. The second match started slow as both players focused on a more macro oriented style of play. It was a battle of attrition for a while, but this time, Tunico got the upper hand and emerged victorious.
With the series tied up and a trip to China to compete for the title of World Champion on the line, tensions were high moving into the third match. The match was incredibly intense and hotly contested, with the advantage shifting from one player to the other, and the end always in doubt. As it finally concluded, all the crowd could do was give both players a standing ovation for their efforts, but Levin, with teary eyes and sweat on his brow, claimed his victory.
The feeling that something big was going to happen was in the air. As the matches went by, more and more people filled the auditorium until it was time for the final match of tournament between KiLLeR and Fenix. KiLLeR ended up getting first place after two decisive matches, winning 2-0. Although first place was decided, the crowd roared their approval for all the finalists as they chanted over and over, not only KiLLeR’s handle, but also the names of Fenix and Levin who got second and third place respectively.
After the award ceremony ended, we could still see a lot fans hanging out at the venue and talking about the events that transpired throughout the day. We had seen a small scale of “La Ola”, the human wave that was popularized during the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. A very diverse audience had brought pride and national spirit to this celebration of South American eSports. It truly was something amazing to see.
Thank YOU eSports fans! We’ll see you at the other WCS Finals events and the Battle.net World Championship
To enjoy the South America Finals VO'Ds visit the ESL website.