Over three months ago, Season 4 of the NASL began with four single-elimination, 128-slot qualifier tournaments. A single player from each advanced to the group stage, joining those who already earned a seat based on past NASL performances. The resulting pool of 45 players was then split into five 9-slot divisions for round-robin group play.
Over the course of the grueling, nine-week group stage, eight players managed to rise to the top, which earned them seeds in the 16-seat main bracket. Those who placed 9 - 22 in division play then joined the first and second place finishers in this season's open tournament for a 16 slot wildcard playoff. The competitors who overcame their opponents in the best of five wildcard matches received the final eight slots in the main bracket.
Now that the main bracket was loaded with high-caliber StarCraft II talent, playoff competition could finally begin. Last week, the 16 remaining Season 4 players squared off to determine who would reach the quarterfinals in Long Beach. Players showed their opponents no mercy, as more than half of the matches ended in decisive 3-0 or 3-1 victories. At long last, the 'elite eight' roster was confirmed, leaving NASL fans with a very exciting grand final to look forward to this weekend.
Saturday's quarterfinal action kicks off at 12:00 p.m. PST with matches in a best-of-five format. Watch live as Choi 'Polt' Seong Hoon (Terran) takes on Cho 'Golden' Myung Hwan (Zerg), Yoon 'TaeJa' Young Suh (Terran) and Song 'HerO' Hyeon Deok (Protoss) face off for a team kill series, Kim 'viOLet' Dong Hwan (Zerg) challenges Benjamin 'DeMusliM' Baker (Terran), and Rickard 'SortOf' Bergman (Zerg) attempts to topple GSL Season 5 runner-up, Ko 'HyuN' Seok Hyun (Zerg).
Throughout this weekend's events, casters Andre 'Gretorp' Hengchua, Dan 'Frodan' Chou, Ben 'MrBitter' Nichol, and Kevin 'RotterdaM' van der Kooi will bring you the action, and you'll hear from tournament hosts Sean 'Day' Plott and Salome 'Soe' Gschwind Penski as they conduct interviews and provide player insight between matches.
It gets better: Sunday’s show will blast the venue doors off their hinges with two Heart of the Swarm showmatches. The first will pit fan favorites Jos ‘Ret’ de Kroon and Aleksey ‘White-Ra’ Krupnyk against each other in a best-of-five series, while the second features a Free For All game with as-yet unannounced players.
Don't forget to tune in to the official NASL website to catch the free broadcast all weekend long. The show begins at 12:00 p.m. PST both Saturday, November 8, and Sunday, November 9. The full event schedule is available here, and you can find more specific details on how to watch or attend the NASL Season 4 Grand Finals here.
Finally, many fans will be excited to learn that the NASL will be giving out Heart of the Swarm beta keys to both live and online audience members throughout the weekend. There will be plenty of opportunities to win a key.