The World Champion Is Crowned

  • Dave Oliver, Blizzard Entertainment

The World Championship Series (WCS) Global Finals have ended, and a new world champion for 2017 has been decided. Lee ‘Rogue’ Byung Ryul has had an incredible second half of the year, but today he really stepped it up to achieve the title of best StarCraft II player in the world by besting Eo 'soO' Yoon Su 4-2 in the grand final.

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While he’s been a solid player since his days playing Brood War, Rogue really made a name for himself starting at this year’s Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) tournament in Shanghai back in July. There he took out top Korean players Kim ‘herO’ Joon Ho, ‘ByuN’ Hyun Woo, Park ‘Dark’ Ryung Woo, Kim ‘Stats’ Dae Yeob, and Koh ‘GuMiho’ Byung Jae to earn his first premier championship ever. To follow that, he faced the gauntlet yet again at the Global StarCraft II League (GSL) Super Tournament 2 in October. He did battle with Cho ‘Maru’ Seong Ju, Baek ‘Dear’ Dong Jun, and Lee ‘INnoVation’ Shin Hyung before facing herO yet again in the finals. Just like IEM Shanghai and here at BlizzCon, he was herO’s kryptonite.

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With two championship titles already under his belt in 2017, he arrived on the global stage at BlizzCon as a favorite to win the whole tournament. He was less than confident in his chances. “I didn’t expect I’d be able to win,” he says. “But now that I’ve been here and I’ve seen how to win, expect to see me again next year.” His uncertainty is understandable since he barely beat out Kim ‘sOs’ Yoo Jin to make it into the eighth and final spot in the global playoffs. But once he got warmed up in the round of 16, he showed us all that he definitely deserves the title of World Champion.