Baek ‘Dear’ Dong Jun romped through the field on this way to the WCS Season 3 Championship and forcefully invited himself to the WCS Global Finals at BlizzCon with an amazing pair of championships over the last eight days. The WCS Korea champ for Season 3 also propped open the door for both Revival and NaNiwa with his 4-0 finals sweep over Soulkey in Toronto, ensuring that the race for the final spot at the Global Finals continues for at least another few days.
After having collected only 25 WCS points during WCS Season 2, Dear’s run through WCS Korea in Season 3 ended up being a preview of the dominance he would unleash in Toronto. The list of players he’s taken down in the last few weeks reads like a collection of WCS all-stars. Jang ‘MC’ Min Chul, Kim ‘Soulkey’ Min Chul, Kim ‘sOs’ Yoo Jin, Song ‘HerO’ Hyeon Deok, and Cho ‘Maru’ Sung Choo (twice) have all fallen to Dear’s Protoss tactics in the most recent Korea Premier League and Season Finals. He’s a surprise champ in the sense that nobody predicted this level of success so soon, yet his talent is undeniable. In dashing through Korea and Toronto, Dear showed clever builds and an amazing ability to respond to almost any threat. Drops, fast expands, and maxed-out “death balls” rumbling toward an unprotected third base only seemed to bring out the best in Dear. He’d successfully hold and counter attack against players who are known for their ability to hold and counter attack. It made for some of the most entertaining games of the 2013 WCS season and makes Dear a red-hot favorite for the Global Finals at BlizzCon.
At the other end of the Top 16 list, we have the Swedish Protoss player Johan ‘NaNiwa’ Lucchesi. His 3200 WCS points will be enough to send him one step closer to the Global Championship after what had to be an anxious weekend of livestream viewing. He is now guaranteed a trip to Southern California to either play in the Global Finals outright, or face Kim ‘Revival’ Dong Hyun in a play-in battle at Blizzard headquarters on the eve of BlizzCon. That second scenario will become reality if Revival can make it out of his WCS America Challenger League group this Thursday, which promises to be one of the most interesting days in Challenger League this season as there’s never been more at stake. And let’s not forget the clutch work NaNiwa put in at IEM-New York to snag 450 WCS points. That ended up being just enough to put him in the position he’s in now: on the way to Blizzard or BlizzCon with a shot at $100,000.
Lee ‘INnoVation’ Shin Hyung owned the #1 spot in the Top 16 throughout most of 2013. His 4000 WCS points from Season 1 put him in a lead that he wouldn’t relinquish until the final day of the final season. Soulkey’s run to the finals in Toronto moved him into the #1 spot on 6250 WCS points. That means he’ll face NaNiwa to open the Global Finals at BlizzCon unless Revival can fight his way into the tournament by winning his Challenger group and then stealing that play-in game against NaNiwa.
A lot of drama has been settled at the Season 3 Finals. Thanks to some of the best players on the planet, and their clutch performances over the weekend, the best StarCraft II action is still to come.