StarCraft II Ace Serral crushes competition at 2018 WCS Valencia
StarCraft II fans were in for a treat last week when the third of the four 2019 WCS circuit events took place. The best non-Korean players in the world got together for the 2018 WCS Valencia, a tournament organized by DreamHack. There were a total of 64 participants, divided into 16 groups of eight players each. After the dual tournament format concluded and the winners were decided at the end of best-of-three series, the top two players advanced to the next stage.
The 2nd and 3rd group stage followed the same format and 16 players from qualifiers joined the fray. The most exciting games were the ones in the playoffs, where players compete in a single elimination bracket. To minimize the role luck plays at this stage, the games were played in a best of five series and the finals required up to seven matches to the term in a winner. With a guaranteed prize pool of $101,000 and 12,600 WCS circuit points, 2018 WCS Valencia was the highlight of July for Starcraft II fans.
Serral cruises to victory in Valencia
Right from the start of the tournament, one player stood out from the crowd as favorite to lift the trophy. Serral didn’t have to play during the first group stages and won all four games in Stage 3. When the playoffs started, he was pit against one of the toughest possible opponents, another Zerg player, Scarlett. This proved to be the most difficult series and the player from Finland was on the brink of elimination. After winning the opening match he lost two matches in a row, both of them in less than 10 minutes.
Serral survived a massive scare in the first round of the playoffs, but from that point onward it was a smooth ride for him. He swept his next two opponents, another Zerg player and then a Terran to set up an epic confrontation with Has. His dominance against Protoss players in the group stage and his overall performance in 2018 made him big favorite ahead of the finals. There was no need for seven games because Serral only lost the second and claimed the trophy in five matches.
Prize and point distribution at 2018 WCS Valencia
€20,000 and 3000 WCS circuit points went to Serral, while the finalist Has got $10,000 and 1400 points. Two players from Germany finished in the third and fourth places and both of them received the same amount of $6500 and 900 points. HeroMarine and ShoWtime didn’t even play for the third place and the points and money were automatically distributed to them. The first 32 players got paid, but a significant amount of $4000 and 600 points went to the ones who finished inside top eight.
2018 WCS Valencia exceeded expectations and reconfirmed Serral’s supremacy on the StarCraft II stage. GSL vs the World starts on Thursday, August 2 and the Zerg player from Finland will return into the spotlight. This time however, he will be the underdog against the best players from South Korea.