With the World Championships of Warcraft finishing today there is no better time to tune in to a live stream. For anyone who may have missed all the action yesterday, here is a quick recap of day one of the GCS Championship playoffs.
An exciting game on AZ, Infi chose to press with a tier two timing push. Despite not being able to take Fly’s shop down leading to a Shadow Hunter drunk on clarity potions and near infinite heal waves, the Iceman managed to wear Fly down and claim map one.
After staying on one base for map number one, Infi took a quick expansion on TR that Fly was not able to punish sufficiently. Infi played the remainder of the game wonderfully scouting well and always pressuring Fly’s counter expansion attempts. Lady luck blessed both players with great drops, but in the end Infi realized that a BM with only damage items can be lacking in survivability and kills the first hero of Fly with a nice bolt surround and wand of mana stealing usage to prevent the heal wave.
Foggy took map one of this NE mirror in impressive fashion, starting with a strong early game netting him a hero kill which lead to better creeping and a faster expansion on EI. Foggy ended the game with a better army composition, going for magic immune/resistant dryads and mountain giants against Xixi’s DoT’s.
Foggy attempted to take the next game by force as well going for a tier two DoT/archer push on AZ. Despite stealing the zeppelin and the shredder from Xixi’s goblin laboratory, Xixi managed to repel Foggy’s push and ended the game with druid of the claw master training.
Foggy managed to pull off a win in game three getting two bears ahead before the final fight and ending the game with some nice zeppelin tier three micro.
120 enters this match with an 80% winrate against elf, the highest of any player for any matchup on the B2W stats database and did not disappoint. Life came in with some strong tier three micro to focus down 120’s fiends, giving space for his hippos to go wild on the UD air units to great success. 120 held on throughout the game, pulling back to his base where he was able to repel Life’s onslaught with the help of blight regeneration and his black citadel. The gold mines ran out for each player and 120 capitalized on the fact that neither player could reproduce, focusing down Life’s hippos so his air units could dominate the rest of the fight, ending the match with a panda kill to ensure the gg.
After a scrappy early game 120 managed to pull off a surround on Life’s Demon Hunter on map number two, giving him space to get ahead and eventually win the game with strong hero focus.
Despite TH’s strong name in the Warcraft scene, Romantic enters this series the favourite, due to his strong mirror match up and intense preparation for the tournament. On the first map of the series Turtle Rock we saw these factors show as Romantic’s excellent micro and use of the staff of teleportation on his AM gave him a strong early mid game. He then followed this advantage up with a naga second, allowing him to focus down TH’s priests, leading to more healing and dispel for the twenty two year old. Some good shop control to secure the scrolls of healing and hero focus on the panda secured Romantic the gg on map one.
Twisted Meadows was the map where Romantic would knock TH down to the lower bracket after faster creeping gave Romantic earlier troll shadow hunter support for healing and water elemental dispel. This gave Romantic the advantage in the early game fights which helped Romantic gain the critical mass needed for a push before TH had time to make a comeback.
Picture taken by Ugrilainen, he called Romantic "man on the day" and applauded him for his hard work
The Iceman Infi has been having a strong showing all tournament and did not stop in the winner bracket semifinal against Foggy.
Foggy plays a risky game against Infi and finally equalizes 1-1
After losing the first map Foggy managed to equalize in an intense macro game with thanks and chims on TS. In my opinion, map two is a must see (you can watch it here at 55:00). Ultimately, Infi proved too strong and knocked Foggy to the lower bracket after winning the final game on LR.
The reigning world champ has had an incredible tournament so far not dropping a single map in the tournament against any player except Infi who managed to defeat him two to zero in the groupstages. 120 will now have his chance for revenge in the winner’s bracker final after disposing of Romantic two to zero on Twisted Meadows and Echo Isles. GCS has never been won by the same player twice in its three year history, but 120 and Infi are working hard to change that.
In a map reminiscent of Blade vs Sonik in the second GCS Western Qualifer of this year, Life gets the win on AZ after creepjackng TH’s attempt to creep his natural in a mere four minutes and twenty five seconds.
Life attempted continue his aggression on LR with a tier two DoT push, but TH managed to be a very elusive mouse in the game of cat and mouse that ensued until he had enough towers and spell breakers to break Life’s timing push and even the series and one map a piece.
Close spawn on TM makes for an interesting early game for two races that take advantage of high-risk high-reward early creeping, and in this case TH managed to get the better deal, aggroing creeps onto Life’s AOW before it finished construction causing a cancel and massively delayed creeping for the NE. Despite what appears to be some macro mistakes, TH manages to pull off a tier two timing push with some excellent kiting and hero focus to eliminate Life from the tournament.
A very exciting match that most people expected Fly100% to take, but after three maps the last orc player was eliminated in his first match of the lower bracket. Perhaps it was not being aggressive enough, perhaps it was some early game mistakes. Whatever the reason the last hope for the horde is eliminated from the tournament, but not before providing a very enjoyable series.
After pulling off a stunning victory against Fly100%, Xixi’s GCS dreams were cut short in a convincing fashion by Romantic, taking the series two to zero. After going all the way to the very late game on TS (gold mines were mined out and heroes hit level six), the second game was relatively short, with Romantic countering Xixi’s DR/naga combo with mass storm bolts.
— Ugrilainen (@UgriWC3) August 21, 2017
What an exciting series! On the first map, nothing seemed to go right for Foggy and he lost horribly to TH. He also had a rocky start on TM where TH tricked him into believing he was going for the fast expansion even though he wasn't. In an interview later he told us that at this point he said to himself: "Foggy, what are you doing? You won against TH the last time." Foggy managed to find redemption and ultimately overpowered TH - 1:1.
Foggy is relieved after equalizing against TH on TM
The final map, LR, saw Foggy pressure a TH000 expansion with immolation and Naga support to send the human legend home and allow Foggy into the LB finals. Everything went perfectly on the last map, it was a pure peasant carnage!
Here are the updated standings. Our top 4 players are Infi, 120, Romantic and Foggy. We are all looking forward to find out who will claim the title!