2020 GSL Code S Seasons 2 Ro8 Preview
We took a look at the GSL Code S Season 2 a few weeks ago before the Round of 24 and after a few weeks we've reached the playoffs! let's ...
As per usual, the HomeStory Cup event to end the year was a smash hit for the community. The starting Prize Pool of $25,000 was doubled on the first day by Tobi “Lorax” Lutke, CEO of Shopify. Then Chris “HuK” Loranger donated $3,000 as a bounty for the best match of the tournament. Along with the great quality of the event with bountiful content, some even unrelated to the game, HomeStory Cup 20 offered viewers the perfect balance of professional play and LAN party esque antics.
The event was never and has never been about deciding the best of the best and maybe that is part of what made it so successful as well, it has always been about celebrating a game that as a community we have all grown up with and loved for as many years as HomeStory Cup peaked at 46,869 viewers with a total of 1,492,434 hours watched between viewers! With nearly half the viewership of the WCS Global Finals they managed to almost match the hours watched. Of course the numbers for both are a little inflated due to how long the tournaments went on for, but these numbers a breath of fresh air for anyone doubting the future of StarCraft in Esports.
The four day tournament never failed to impress, whether it was the content, games, or the after hours poker tournament. The Group stage set up everyone for an exciting double elimination Playoff Bracket with some of the best players leaving early, and others fighting through every step of the way.
Cure (T) took the group as number one with an 11-3 map score. Trap (P) had the same 11-3 map score but came out in second due to the first match of the day, Trap v Cure ending in a 2-0 for Cure. Taeja made a surprise entrance with a 9-5 map score in third place. Solar rounded the group out in fourth with an 8-6 map score.
The Korean robot himself, INnoVation (T), made it out in first with a map score of 11-3. Second place was taken by Reynor (Z) after a tiebreaker match with PartinG (P) where both had a 10-4 map score. MaNa (P) took fourth with a map score of 9-5.
The best in Zest (P) showed as he took the group with a 13-1 map score to the surprise of many. soO (Z) and Stats (P) tied for second with 11-3 map scores but due to their own series being 2-0 for soO, they took second and third respectively. The young prodigy Clem (T) took fourth with a 6-8 map score.
Serral (Z) managed to take the group uncontested at 11-3. SpeCial held second in the group with a 9-5 map score with uThermal and ShoWTimE taking third and fourth respectively with the same map score of 9-5.
The Playoffs were especially volatile, Reynor was the Winners Bracket player to make it all the way to the finals, knocking Cure, Zest, and INnoVation to the Loser’s Bracket. INnoVation managed to knock Serral into the Loser’s Bracket but was unable to do so a second time resulting in another Reynor v Serral Grand Finals match.
Some fan favorites were knocked out early, or managed to put up a big fight only to be stopped short. Taeja fell 2-3 to MaNa Round 1 of the Loser’s Bracket, PartinG fell to Cure 2-3 in Round 2. MaNa was able to upset SpeCial as well with a surprising 3-0. Zest fell to Reynor in Winner’s Round 2, 3-0 but ultimately fell 3-0 to Serral after beating Solar in the Loser’s Bracket.
Everyone showed their best games and each one felt just as competitive as the last all the way through. This was literally StarCraft at it’s best, even while missing some of the biggest names in modern times.
Serral vs Reynor, the story of 2019 WCS for the better part of the year. This could not have been a more fine matchup to end the year with. The Grand Finals were played with a Best of 5 maps, should the Winner’s Bracket player (Reynor) win, he would be crowned Champion, if the Loser’s Bracket player (Serral) won, they would play another Best of 3 to decide.
In the Bo5, games were incredibly back and forth. Serral took Disco Bloodbath, and Reynor took Ephemeron after Serral tried the same build Alphastar beat him with earlier in the year. Reynor then took Winter’s Gate but fell in Acropolis and Triton. The Bo5 went to Serral.
In the Bo3 Disco Bloodbath, Ephemeron, and Triton remained in the map pool. This time around Reynor traded his Disco Bloodbath loss for one on Ephemeron, leaving Triton to decide the Champion of HomeStory Cup 20.
On Triton the two Zerg players went almost the exact same build order, the first differences were an early Lair for Reynor and some extra Lings, and +1 melee for Reynor with +1 Ranged for Serral. The early game Ling/Bane from both filtered out into Muta/Lings for Reynor and Corruptor/Roach for Serral. With the perfect counter to Reynor for the final game of the tournament, Serral takes his 3pete HomeStory Cup Championship Title.
Reynor looked a little disheartened after the loss but his run was incredible and he really seemed to be the only one the entire year that was able to challenge Serral. It was an amazing tournament and if you missed any of the games or are interested in how the tournament went in some of the other aspects, make sure to check out the VODs at TaKeTV and stay tuned to Esports Vikings for the next update on the StarCraft 2 competitive scene!
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