Serral wins the StarCraft II GSL vs The World Tournament
Serral has dominated the international arena throughout 2018, winning some of the most important Starcraft 2 tournaments. The Zerg player from Finland joined the international team traveling to Korea for the highly anticipated GSL vs. The World tournament. Normally credited with the first chance against any opponent, Serral was expected to struggle again some of the best players from South Korea. His victory in Seoul came as a surprise and ended the dominance of local players over foreigners.
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Serral stages an incredible comeback in the final
Unlike most Starcraft 2 events, GSL vs. The World tournament had a very straightforward structure. Participants play directly in the round of 16 and there was no Loser’s bracket to provide the vanquished with a second chance. Serral was favorite in the opening round against Brazilian Kelazhur and swept his opponent in three straight games.
Arguably the most anticipated match was the quarterfinal against South Korean superstar Innovation. The Terran player secured an easy victory against countryman and Zerg player Rogue in the previous round, but Serral sent him packing in three matches. The Finnish player was pit against another player from South Korea in the semi finals and once again emerged victorious. He was defeated on Catalyst, a map he previously vetoed, but won the other three games to set the stage for an epic final.
Stats was waiting after winning nine games in the event and losing just once against Maru. The South Korean was regarded as favorite in the final and he took a 2:0 lead. Serral closed the gap after losing once again on Catalyst, but found himself on the brink of elimination at 3:2. Back-to-back victories on Lost and Found and Dreamcatcher made him the most recent winner of the GSL vs. The World tournament.
South Korean dominance in danger
The result of the 2018 GSL vs. The World tournament comes as a huge surprise for the international community of Starcraft 2 players. It reignites hope in the chances of non-Korean players to win major international events. The structure of the tournament, with best-of-five series and a final decided in seven matches, greatly reduced the role played by luck. Serral only won the equivalent of $26,000, but the prestige of triumphing in such a big event is equally important.
Korean players were stunned by the skill and ability of the Finnish player, but overall they dominated the tournament. Serral emerged victorious, but the next three players were all South Koreans and eight of the top 10 were also from this country. ShowTime and SpeCial were the only non-Koreans to qualify for the quarterfinals. For their performance, they received a prize of less than $5000, while the next eight players collected consolation payouts of $2600. An additional $3500 esd awarded to the region with the most wins, so not surprisingly, the players representing the hosts got something extra for their performance.