The third and final day of competition in Texas began in the semifinals, where the American Protoss Alex ‘Neeb’ Sunderhaft took on Mexico’s star Terran player, Juan Carlos ‘SpeCial’ Tena Lopez. SpeCial used his signature aggressive style to put serious heat on Neeb and took an early one-game lead. In a tense, back-and-forth series, it seemed whoever started putting pressure on their opponent first ultimately pushed for the win. In the fifth game, SpeCial relied a little too heavily on Widow Mines, and didn’t manage to get the big hits he needed to secure an advantage. With excellent game sense and positioning, Neeb was always in the right place at the right time with just the right number of units to ultimately take the series.
Next, South Korea’s Bang ‘TRUE’ Tae Soo did battle with Poland’s Artur ‘Nerchio’ Bloch in a top-tier Zerg vs Zerg match. TRUE started the series with Zergling aggression and got crazy value, which he spun into a convincing win. The rest of the series didn’t quite go his way as Nerchio deftly put together the perfect army composition to deal with everything the Korean Zerg brought to bear. In a particularly thrilling second game, Nerchio barely managed to take the victory in a base race.
The final match between Neeb and Nerchio was predicted by nearly all of our casters after yesterday’s quarterfinals, and the series they gave us was well worth the hype. The first four games were a master class in what makes each of these players excel. With flawless early aggression, perfectly timed scouting, and elegant tech transitions, they each took two games from one another. Then in the fifth and sixth games, Neeb brought out his secret weapon—Disruptors. Up until this point, he’d mostly used Immortals and Archons with some air support to achieve his victories, but now he was ready to show off his exceptional Purification Nova control. In both matches, Neeb poked at and pulled back from his opponent repeatedly to get a good shot off on the enemy forces. It was this talented play that allowed him to clinch the final two games and take home the trophy.
Along with the World Championship Series (WCS) title, Neeb also goes home with $25,000 USD, 3,000 WCS points, and a guaranteed spot at the Global Finals at BlizzCon. If you missed any of the games this weekend, check out the VODs right here on the WCS website, and make sure you tune in to the next WCS Circuit event on June 17 in Jönköping, Sweden.