2017 Rewind: Masters of the Swarm

  • Blizzard Entertainment

WCS Jönköping was stacked with Zerg players, all of whom were incredibly talented and at the top of their game. However, no games came close to showing us top-tier Zerg play quite like the clash between Pablo "Cham" Blanco and Jens "Snute" Aasgaard. Their series heated up quickly as Cham took the offensive and dominated Snute’s mineral lines. His style throughout their series revolved around finding creative ways to deal consistent economic damage to Snute and then roll in with his main army to clean up. Snute responded with some of the most impressive holds we saw throughout the entire tournament.

Cham’s style lacked a great deal on unit efficiency, often trading poorly or attacking into less-than-ideal positions, but he made up for it with his overall strategy. Using deception to either lure his opponent into a particular location or to cause his opponent to invest in a specific army composition, he’d change things up to catch Snute completely off guard. For example, in their final game he showed his opponent a group of Mutalisks to convince his opponent to invest heavily in anti-air units like Spore Crawlers and Hydralisks, but then he swapped to a strategy involving a Nydus Worm and Lurkers. That made Snute’s preparations effectively useless and gave Cham a big edge. While his inefficiency is an obvious area for improvement going forward, Cham’s aggressive strategies and creative style have made him an impressive force to behold in 2017.