Eight players made it to the playoffs for the first GCS live audience to enjoy.
The cast of qualified players is probably one of the highest level ones we could have hoped for: Foggy, Infi, Lyn, TH000, LawLiet, Moon, 120 and Fly100%.
Sadly we had to lose four of them in epic BO5 series! Foggy was the first to take the stage against Infi, an opponent whom he had never eliminated online nor offline.
Worries about the room not filling were quickly swept as all seats were taken one hour prior to the first match. More and more fans came in sitting wherever they could. It was just so cool to see!
Hunter met some fans as well. It was overall a very friendly atmosphere - fans, casters and players alike all excited about Warcraft III rebirth.
Signs to support Moon, Lyn, 120, Fly, TH000 and Infi were distributed but none for Foggy and LawLiet!
We had the pleasure to receive the visit of David who is this very website's creator. Nothing too eventful but I have to mention it to keep my job around here!
It was a nice media family reunion here in Shanghai since the replays.net manager was also here in the studio.
Infi shows very early that he is world class player on LR, losing none of his hurt peasants due to his perfect towers positioning despite of the DH harass. He then cancels Foggy’s Huntress Hall, kills the Alchemist and gets an easy early lead.
Foggy picks TM for game 2. While Foggy has a good opening forcing the Tinker to tp, it turned sour as his expansion could not come up twice in a row. Infi had perfect scouting and was tp staffing to his footmen. With the economic disadvantage and tanks dropping in Foggy's main, it looked dire for the Ukrainian. Infi took a third base, killed the panda, destroyed the entangled gold mine while also shackling two hyppos. It was already [0-2].
Foggy was powerless in the last game as well. He couldn't contest the expansion once more, always under pressure. Infi was just on another level [3-0].
TH000 stumbling in the group stage had him face Group B winner and best player in 2018. Lyn has won most of the online cups in 2018 with impressive performances.
The first map is Turtle Rock, and once again we get close positions. Cool Map! One tower rush later and despite Lyn's impressive resistance, the Human is up [1-0].
Lyn picks LR as the second map and uses an interesting TC second with wyvern strategy. He gets a few pickups but cannot get his expansion up. The finish got the crowd to cheer and applaud, the Archmage surviving with little hp while he takes the Blademaster down. And it’s already [2-0].
EI is next and TH000 goes for the Bloodmage with banish and siphon mana. In one of the highlights of the game, TH000 even surrounds and kills the Blademaster with four footmen. Another unexpected beating and a fast [3-0] series.
Chinese fans were actually delighted to have their two favorite players showing how China keeps dominating the scene. The two friends and co casters, TH000 and Infi, will meet in the semi finals.
With Foggy out, one Korean NE would become the best of his race this season.
On AI both go DH/Naga/DR with Moon investing in talons while LawLiet goes for faerie dragons. What is a good counter on paper does not prevent the DH from constantly flying. Moon gets the first round.
We then moved on to TM, an ambitious map pick by LawLiet as Moon is known to have mastered this map. The game is really entertaining with funny zeppelins crashing on islands, bear drops, alchemists and base race. Trees are being hidden and found, this is actually fun to watch! Moon’s alchemist actually gets level 6 while LawLiet loses all his army in a last effort.
LawLiet bring the light of hope in the third game on TS by winning a key bears fight right after losing his expansion. His zeppelin play was just impressive. Moon still leads [2-1].
On LR Moon went for a naga push and nearly managed to do a wisp surround on the DH. Did not quite work though and the naga died before reaching moon wells planted in LawLiet’s part of the map. [2-2] !
After an interesting cat and mice game with LawLiet tracking and blocking Moon’s zeppelin, Moon tricked his opponent to come out of his main and destroyed his tree of eternity. This very smart move seemed like the nail in the coffin for LawLiet but he did not give up and won the next fight and ultimately the match!
Nobody expected Fly to beat 120 for the last 1/4 finals but since my predictions were wrong for the three other matches, let’s just see what happened.
We actually started on Fly’s favorite map pick - EI! It looks very much like his last game against WFZ. Expansion holds up, Fly gets a food advantage, catches reinfocements while 120 tries to hold his own expansion. That's a 101 Orc play that should be taught in Warcraft schools.
AI was the equalizer for 120. The best UD map worked out for him, going DR.
Fly got the last two maps on TS and AZ without too much trouble. Another DL third failed in the 4th game, maybe this new meta is not viable in the end.
Fly100% won [3-1]. Ugri0% - cannot predict one game right.
This was a cool day though. LawLiet was actually the only group winner making it to the semi finals. I was really surprised on how fast TH000 eliminated Lyn. Nobody had the right prediction anyway!
LawLiet asked me to predict Fly’s victory for tomorrow so here you go: Fly will win [3-0] for sure!
Before that, Infi will play his friend and co caster TH000. I have no idea what will happen! Just tune in on Back2Warcraft tomorrow 11:00 CEST.