From November 2–4, the Dallas Convention Center housed over 200 professional and amateur StarCraft II players for Major League Gaming’s 2012 Fall Championship. Live and online audiences were treated to a three-day weekend of blockbuster StarCraft II eSports as their favorite teams and players went head-to-head for a chance at the $25,000 grand prize. Today, we look back at just a few standout performances from the Fall Championship event. Be warned—spoilers abound!
Lee "Life" Seung Hyun (Zerg)
Photo credit: Kevin “Silverfire”Chang of Liquidpedia
As the reigning GSL Champion, Life proved to be one of the must-watch players heading into the Fall Championship in Dallas. Life made the group stage at MLG look easy, dropping just a single game as he defeated Juan Carlos ‘MajOr’ Tena Lopez, Kim ‘viOLet’ Dong Hwan, and Yoon ‘TaeJa’ Young Suh on his way to securing a top-8 slot for Championship Sunday.
Sunday played host to one of the most anticipated matchups of the entire weekend as Life squared off with the legendary former Brood War pro, Lee ‘Flash’ Young Ho. Life made a number of critical errors in this Zerg vs. Terran series, which cost him both games and sent Flash to the semifinals. After making quick work of Kim ‘Heart’ Min Hyuk in the next round, Life moved up to face Flash once again, this time to determine who would challenge Lee ‘Leenock’ Dong Nyoung in the Grand Finals.
Starting at a two game deficit from their previous match, Life went on to mount an incredible comeback in this extended series. Life looked absolutely unstoppable. His now-famous early game aggressive tactics and solid late game plays helped him earn a seat in the finals as he eliminated the Brood War superstar with four straight victories.
All that remained for MLG Dallas were the Grand Finals: a nail biting best-of-seven Zerg vs. Zerg series between Leenock and Life. The first two games saw each player take a win in what was shaping up to be an evenly matched contest. However, Leenock managed to take a back-and-forth game three, and had a great comeback in game four to lead the series three games to one. Though Leenock now needed just one game to earn his third MLG Championship title, Life would not be denied. A flurry of Zerglings, Banelings, Mutalisks, and Infestors would see him resurge and win three hard-fought games in a row. Life had managed another epic comeback to take his second major championship title in just two weeks.
Battle.net World Championship Competitors
Players competing at the Battle.net World Championship later this month turned out in force at MLG Dallas—fourteen of the thirty-two BWC participants made their presence known in Dallas over the weekend. Twelve of them managed to battle all the way to the championship bracket, with four taking home top-twenty finishes.
Jung ‘Rain’ Yoon Jong (Protoss)
Among the BWC players, one of the more exciting narratives to unfold included that of Jung ‘Rain’ Yoon Jong, who gave up his Code S seat in GSL Season 5 to compete in Dallas this weekend. Coming off a semifinal run in GSL Season 4, as well as his recent OSL victory, many fans favored him to take first place at MLG Dallas in one fell swoop.
Though he did not fulfill these lofty expectations, he did manage to dominate the open bracket, dropping only one game before qualifying for group play. Rain moved on to beat Danny ‘ViBE’ Scherlong, Choi ‘Polt’ Seong Hoon, and Johan ‘NaNiwa’ Lucchesi, among others, on his way to the Championship Winners Bracket. In Winners Round 1 however, Choi ‘Bomber’ Ji Sung finally managed to put a stop to Rain’s tournament run with two back-to-back victories. In the end, Rain put on an excellent performance at his first MLG Championship event, taking home fifth place overall.
Andrew ‘mOOnGLaDe’ Pender (Zerg)
Australian teams Immunity and Gamecom Nv came out in force for the Fall Championship, sending seven players in total off to Dallas, which for most, was their first major international competition. Many fans were excited to see what these Australian heroes could accomplish over the weekend, and players from both teams made their presence known in the daunting Open Bracket. In the end, though, Andrew ‘mOOnGLaDe’ Pender would make the biggest splash.
Gamecom Nv’s star Zerg player, mOOnGLaDe, entered open bracket competition with a bang by toppling Jang ‘MC’ Min Chul. He then took down two-time MLG Champion Chris ‘HuK’ Loranger in the next round. With these victories, Pender managed to secure a spot for himself in Group Play.
Though Kim ‘viOLet’ Dong Hwan defeated him in the first round of Group Play, mOOnGLaDe would rally back to drop Juan Carlos ‘MajOr’ Tena Lopez, and Kim ‘Revival’ Dong Hyun, before falling to viOLet once again in extended series play. Pender then met his demise at the hands of Lee ‘Daisy’ Jong Hyuk in Loser’s Round 4 of the Championship Bracket, walking away from his first MLG Championship event with an impressive top-twenty finish.
These outstanding performances at MLG Dallas could be telling indicators of what we’ll see in BWC competition, which is only two short weeks away. Take another look at the info graphic in the “Who Will Be at BWC” blog to find out who among your favorite professional StarCraft II players will be attending the World Championship in Shanghai, China from November 16–18.
If you missed MLG Dallas, or want to relive the exciting moments from last weekend, check out some of the event photos. In addition, Fall Championship VODs are available to MLG Gold members, as well as those who purchased a Fall Championship HD pass. Make sure to keep an eye on the official MLG website in the coming months for 2013 event news.