The Battle Begins in Jönköping

  • Blizzard Entertainment

The World Championship Series (WCS) Jönköping started with a long day full of great games and some incredible upsets. The best players in Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia entered the group stages on June 17, and now 16 will prepare for the second day of competition. Let’s take a look at the highlights of the opening day of the tournament.

Killer Kelazhur

The biggest story so far is the incredible performance of Diego ‘Kelazhur’ Schwimer. Earlier this year, Kelazhur showed off an unexpected level of skill at WCS Austin with his aggressive style of Terran play. After leading an inspiring charge through exceptional players like Jens ‘Snute’ Aasgaard and Alex ‘Neeb’ Sunderhaft, Kelazhur narrowly fell to Artur ‘Nerchio’ Bloch in the quarterfinals of that event. Today, he showed us that his performance in Austin wasn’t a fluke.

Having won the Copa América 2017 Season 2 to guarantee his place in the top 32 here at WCS Jönköping, he squared off against Tobias ‘ShoWTimE’ Sieber in his first match of the day. ShoWTimE has been at the top of the European StarCraft II scene for years, and having him as an opponent right out of the gate is a tough break. Kelazhur responded to the challenge by defeating the German Protoss player 2-0. While he fell to Marc ‘uThermal’ Schlappi in a close series after that, he faced ShoWTimE one last time in the decider match. In this rematch, Kelazhur used his signature drops and map pressure to remove his powerful opponent from the tournament and advance to the round of 16.

Latin America Stays on Top

Kelazhur isn’t the only high-performing Latin American player repeating his remarkable performance from WCS Austin; both Juan Carlos ‘MajOr’ Tena Lopez and Pablo ‘Cham’ Blanco won their groups over some stiff competition. MajOr managed to defeat both Snute and Lambo without dropping a single map, while Cham took down JonSnow and Namshar with equally powerful play. Both of these players will join Kelazhur in the round of 16 again, so chances are high for Latin America to take a place in the quarterfinals and beyond.

WCS Jönköping continues Sunday at 3:00 a.m. PDT / 11:00 a.m. CET, so make sure you tune in to the StarCraft Twitch channel to see which players will move on to Monday’s quarterfinals. As always, you can keep an eye on the official schedule to keep up to date on all upcoming events and watch live games on the WCS website.