The road to the World Championship Series (WCS) North America Finals has been long, but the action has been unforgettable. From the first Qualifier to the Grand Finals, we’ve seen countless StarCraft II games and hundreds of players competing for their chance to represent their country at the Battle.Net World Championship (BWC) in November. The final North American event wrapped up this weekend as thirty two of the continent’s best competed in Raleigh, NC, at the WCS North America Finals.
The road to Raleigh began on April 21, 2012, with the Playhem Qualifier #1 for the USA WCS Nationals. Between Mexico, Canada and the United States, 46 Qualifier events were held, and 128 players advanced to compete in the National events for their respective countries. Thirty two players competed at both the Mexico Nationals and Canada Nationals, and 64 for the USA Nationals. All three took place earlier in the summer, starting with the USA Nationals on June 8-10.
At the USA Nationals we saw a lot of young talent rise to the occasion with players such as Sky “iS.Insur” Xu, Devan “Quantic.Hawk” Subramaniam and Chris “Quantic.Illusion” Lee finishing in the top 16. It was underdog Dan “ROOT.ViBE” Scherlong, however, who was crowned champion. While the zerg player has been a staple in the American scene for quite some time, ViBE had operated largely under the radar of most eSports fans. He proved himself as he climbed through the upper bracket of the WCS USA Nationals, taking out player after player to secure his spot as the USA Champion.
As our attention turned towards the Great White North, all eyes were on the young zerg player, Sasha “Acer.Scarlett” Hostyn. After she received a bit of attention for her incredible breakout performance at IPL4, the community couldn’t wait to see how Scarlett would place at the WCS Canada Nationals. Living up to the expectations, she smashed through the tournament, effortlessly taking out top talent and fan favorites such as Andrew “ROOT.Drewbie” Moysey and Chris “EG.HuK” Loranger.
In Mexico, it came as no surprise that established player and long-time community staple Juan “ROOT.MajOr” Carlos Tena Lopez came out on top, as the best in the country battled it out in Mexico City at the start of August. The former Brood War player is no stranger to competition and dominated the tournament, not losing a single game all weekend. When the last National event concluded, attention turned to Raleigh, NC, where the top finishers would compete to see who would advance to the BWC in Shanghai.
Upsets were the name of the game at the North America Finals this past weekend. Over the two-day tournament we saw a number of established players lose to fresh talent. In the first round of the event, fan favorites like ROOT.MajOr and ROOT.TT1 were knocked to the Lower Bracket. We saw veteran American player Greg “EG.IdrA” Fields lose 2-1 to Ryan “Quantic.State” Visbeck in the third round of the Winner’s Bracket. The competition was fierce, but two players in particular refused to admit defeat. Both MajOr and Christopher “ItsGosu.Ostojiy” Ostojic worked their way through the lower bracket, winning game after game to earn their spots in the Global Finals.
At the end it was the Canada and USA National Champions who rose to the occasion of defending their titles. After winning the Nationals for their respective countries, Scarlett and ViBE came into the North America Finals looking strong. Both zergs played consistently well over the weekend and ended up meeting each other in the Grand Finals. Despite his best efforts, ViBE was unable to defeat Scarlett and lost in the Grand Finals with a score of 0-2.
Congratulations to HuK, Ostojiy, Illusion, State, Insur, MajOr, IdrA, ViBE, and Scarlett who now advance to the Battle.net World Championships this fall! In the upcoming months, we’ll be turning our attention to the rest of the world with only three World Championship Series events remaining. Our next stop is the Europe Finals in Stockholm, Sweden, and it’s an event that you won’t want to miss. Be sure to stay tuned to StarCraft2.com for more information.
Photos provided in part by teamliquid.net