Taeja Takes StarCraft II Championship at DreamHack

Taeja Takes StarCraft II Championship at DreamHack

Liquid Taeja takes his second DreamHack Champion title with a decisive 3-0 win over INnoVation.

The StarCraft II tournament finals at this past weekend's DreamHack Open Bucharest pitted Terran against Terran in a series of nail-biting games. Liquid Taeja's win makes him the second player, after teammate Liquid HerO, to win two DreamHack Champion titles. The first place finish comes with a prize of 60,000 Swedish Krona, or about $9,200 USD, and qualification for the Grand Finals at DreamHack Winter 2013. Taeja had previously qualified for the Grand Finals at the DreamHack Open: Summer tournament, so the qualification went to the 5th place player, Woongjin sOs.

The favorite to take the tournament was INnoVation, who is currently the top ranked player under the World Championship Series (WCS), a tournament series organized by StarCraft creators Blizzard Entertainment. INnoVation made quick work of his opponents, losing only a single game between the round of 16 and the finals (the round of 16 begins when the original pool of 96 players has been whittled down to just 16 fierce competitors). That single loss was to MMA, another Terran player and a veteran of professional StarCraft. Taeja's path from the round of 16 to the finals was similarly impressive, defeating his opponents YugiOh, sOs, and Life without a loss. Each game in the finals was a narrow victory for Taeja, but he managed to take the series in three consecutive wins.

The DreamHack Open consists of five events held yearly across Europe. Each tournament sees 96 StarCraft II players compete for prize money, qualifying points for the WCS, and four qualifications for the Grand Finals at 2013 DreamHack Open: Winter tournament. The tournament format begins with round-robin group stages, progressing to a single-elimination bracket for the round of 16 and beyond.

Source: DreamHack

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Good for him, he played well.

I wonder if MMA would have done better against Taeja. MMA had Innovation dead to rights in game 2 of their semi-final series, having taken a very large series of small advantages which added up to a big lead in that game. He was set to take the series 2-0, but made a very large and ill-advised attack into Innovation's defenses which allowed Innovation to turn the game around and push for a very unlikely win. From there, the third game went to Innovation with basically a build order win (MMA's tech timing was too late to defend Innovation's marine, tank, and medivac pressure.) Other than that weak build order choice in game 3 and the drastic mistake that ended his lead in game 2, MMA looked like the stronger player in TvT compared to Innovation. The movement around the map, the aggression, the micro, all of it looked like it was going MMA's way. On the other hand, Taeja had beaten both MMA and Innovation just the night before in the SC2L TeamLiquid vs Acer final, and looked even more dominating against Innovation-- in game 3 Taeja even chose to play a mech style, which is not his usual forte but is Innovation's bread and butter in the Terran v Terran matchup. Taeja's TvT might well be the best in the world at the moment. I'm not sure who could really dispute that other than perhaps Bomber. Ryung? No. Mvp? Not lately. Flash? Not in SC2. Maru? Not this month. Hopefully Taeja can keep his edge and his hands from hurting too much. He's been the toast of TL.net and widely recognized as one of the best (if not the best) before but never managed to win a Code S (though he's taken basically every other championship known to man at least once.)

$9,200 is nothing to sneeze at. I could easily live off that for a year where I'm at. Congratulations to him! I sure wish I was even remotely decent at Starcraft II. xD

Bogus seems to like finishing in second, channeling the spirit of Yellow? The reincarnation of kong?

Seanchaidh:
snip

I don't play Starcraft (or many RTSs in general), but reading that, I suddenly want to watch one of those matches...

NeutralDrow:

Seanchaidh:
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I don't play Starcraft (or many RTSs in general), but reading that, I suddenly want to watch one of those matches...

Well, ask and you shall receive. Here's the first match of the finals being talked about here cast by HuskyStarcraft.

I found the tournament quite enjoyable overall.

Although Innovation remains best ranked played in the world, he clearly needs to learn more TvT plays. Taeja simply showed that he is the better player and he didn't care that he was facing one of the supposed "best player in the world".

He beat Innovation before and he did it again, congrats to him!

NeutralDrow:

Seanchaidh:
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I don't play Starcraft (or many RTSs in general), but reading that, I suddenly want to watch one of those matches...

Cool. eSports!

Furbyz:

NeutralDrow:

Seanchaidh:
snip

I don't play Starcraft (or many RTSs in general), but reading that, I suddenly want to watch one of those matches...

Well, ask and you shall receive. Here's the first match of the finals being talked about here cast by HuskyStarcraft.

That was a great game! But it actually wasn't any of the games being talked about here. That was a WCS game that isn't quite as recent. :)

Here are the games I was talking about, also introductions and interviews, starting with MMA and Innovation:

And here are the games of Taeja and Innovation:

What's this?! SC2 on The Escapist?!

I see Tito's hand already. <3

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GG. No protoss in the finals though, which makes me sad.

 

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