WCS Global Finals: Kings and Tyrants
By Patrick Rippon
This Saturday, sOs defeated former Brood War teammate Jaedong in a 4-1 PvZ BO7 to become the Starcraft 2 WCS Global Champion. One unfortunate consequence of a win against an eSports personality as big as Jaedong the Tyrant is that much of the focus will be on who lost rather than who won. In many fans' minds, there can be no better player than Jaedong. Accordingly, the results mean that Jaedong must have done something to lose. This mindset betrays the subtle reality of the situation. In terms of numbers, sOs was by far the dominant figure in the tournament. With 76% of sOs’s matches going in his favour, there is no doubt that sOs was at the top of his game regardless of which race he played against. His record of 14-4 far surpassed Jaedong’s 10-7.
Of course, there are three types of lies: Lies, damn lies, and statistics. Despite sOs’s domination, Jaedong certainly made quite a few mistakes in the final that he did not make earlier in the tournament. In Game 1, Tasteless commented that it was “looking like probably a Jaedong win.” Nonetheless, sOs took the first game when Jaedong failed to commit to a base-trade. Game 2 was won when Jaedong surprisingly failed to clear out cannons at his natural until the 14-minute mark, meaning sOs could warp in zealots to harass non-stop. Game 4 was lost to a fairly standard Immortal/Zealot push. The final game may have been the most telling: Jaedong lost to a build that Artosis called, “completely standard, the thing you hit on ladder all the time.” His drones were devastated by a standard nine-minute zealot timing attack. He left a proxy pylon unscouted for fourteen minutes. He engaged poorly. All-in-all, it was not a championship performance.
The Man with a Thousand Builds
sOs, on the other hand, was the man with a plan. By the time he defeated Terran players Polt and Bomber, everybody should have known that sOs was as skilled as any player at the tournament. His relentless mind games and impeccable performance gave him commanding victory after victory. sOs kept Jaedong on his toes with warp prism openings, late-game DTs, hidden expansions, old-school zealot/immortal timings, and even just standard zealot/phoenix timings. With a hundred-thousand dollars on the line, what player besides sOs open a series with two cannon rushes? In the end, sOs was able to throw his opponent off his game and exploit every opportunity given to him to emerge victorious. That would seem to be the mark of a champion. And in the tournament of tournaments, giant killers reign supreme.