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Meet our WCS Toronto finalists! How four days of WCS action unfolded in Cologne

Hans Oelschlägel's picture
Hans Oelschlägel
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Last week, we had the pleasure of hosting the WCS round of 32 group stages at the ESL studios in Cologne, Germany. For four days straight, some of the most renowned StarCraft II players clashed against dynamic young newcomers, and together with the roaring fans we witnessed some spectacular matchups. Check out who advanced to the round of 16 in Toronto!

Group E: Who saw this coming?

1. Lilbow 2-0 4-1
2. Hydra 2-1 5-3
3. Kelazhur 1-2 2-4
4. Snute 0-2 1-4

There may have been a few fans that looked at group E and expected some clear-cut results, but they were in for a surprise right from the start. Seen by many as one of the favorites to advance out of the round of 32, Snute drew the short straw on day one and became the first player to be eliminated after dropping his matchups against Kelazhur and Hydra. And it wasn’t all fun and games for the Korean either, with him having to take a backseat to Lilbow in the group standings before eventually securing his ticket to Toronto after his 2-0 decider match victory over Kelazhur. Nobody is safe this thrilling WCS season!

Group F: Home court advantage

1. TLO 2-0 4-1
2. Polt 2-1 5-2
3. Elazer 1-2 2-5
4. MajOr 0-2 1-4

With fierce backing from the (largely) German crowd, Team Liquid’s TLO delivered quite the show on Friday. Even though all eyes were fixed on group favorite Polt, the German managed to overcome the WCS Season 1 champion in an impressive 2-1 series and followed up by making quick work of 17-year-old newcomer Elazer shortly thereafter to secure his trip to Toronto. Polt would go on to recover from his earlier setback, much to the dismay of MajOr and Elazer, who both suffered 0-2 defeats at the hand of the Korean. While TLO and Polt advancing is not a huge surprise, TLO’s remarkable performance against Polt surely caught many fans off guard!

Group G: Icing on the cake

1. FireCake 2-0 4-1
2. iaguz 2-1 5-3
3. MaSa 1-2 2-5
4. MaNa 0-2 2-4

In our WCS preview, Apollo picked Firecake and MaNa as his personal favorites in this pretty even group on account of them not having to deal with any timezone hassles due to traveling unlike their Root Gaming opponents iaguz and MaSa. However, even though iaguz had to fly in all the way from Australia, the Terran was more than ready for group G. While Firecake dominated the group on his way to a slot in the round of 16, iaguz ended up being the only one to take a map off him before punching his own ticket to Toronto after a splendid showing against his teammate MaSa in the decider match.

Group H: Home court advantage (part two)

1. Jaedong 2-0 4-2
2. GunGFuBanDa 2-1 5-3
3. elfi 1-2 4-5
4. Has 0-2 1-4

Talk about home court advantage! Following TLO’s spectacular performance on Friday, our second WCS German GunGFuBanDa managed to punch the very last ticket to the round of 16 in Toronto after surviving the tightly contested group G. Nobody had it easy in this group, not even first place finisher Jaedong. The Tyrant had to come back from a 0-1 deficit in both his matchups against Elfi and GunGFuBanDa, who were both eyeing the final qualifier slot for Toronto in the last decider match of the round of 32. Elfi would end up as the only player in the round of 32 to play a full nine maps, and perhaps his stamina was at its limit as he ultimately could not push the final map in his favor, allowing the German to advance to the next round in his first ever WCS appearance.

You can relive all the remarkable WCS action by checking out the group stage VoDs and our Flickr gallery from the games in Cologne.