The World Championship Series (WCS, check out an overview of the series) had two major events culminate this weekend: the South Korea National Championship and the North America Continental Championship. The South Korea national championship is perhaps the most competitive national tournament, rewarding the top 10 players with large cash prizes and a full trip and seed to the WCS Asian Championship. The tournament had a strong showing for Protoss players; the top 3 finishers all played Protoss, and every round saw more than a third of the participants play the enigmatic race. All-in-all, seven Protoss and three Zerg players qualified for the Asian Championship from South Korea, including such popular players as HerO, Squirtle, Rain, and Parting.
The North America Championship in Raleigh, North Carolina featured the winners from the national championships in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The top 9 players secure their spot at the World Championship. Acer.Scarlett, the winner of the Canada National Championship, was favored by many to take the tournament. A newcomer to the scene, she has only a couple of tournaments under her belt, yet has defeated some of the strongest players in her WCS run. She went 2-0 versus HuK in the Canada National, and again took 2-0 against him in the quarterfinals of the North America Championship. After defeating Vibe, she secured her spot in the finals. Currently 10-1, she will again play Vibe in the final match. The winner of the tournament wins a hefty $24,000 in addition to the World Championship trip, while second place takes home a cool $9,000.
Other favorites with strong showings include Eg.IdrA, who placed third overall. He had many tough matches, including a memorable match against Vile.Illusion. Illusion put on some early pressure that IdrA handled well, but a mis-click sent his queens to finish off his own hatchery. Despite his fumbles, he was able to pull out a victory, with his loses to State in round 3 and Vibe in the loser’s bracket finals.
In contrast to the South Korea National, the players at the North American national were mostly Zerg, with nearly half of the players at each round and the top three players choosing Zerg. It certainly seems like there is a different meta-game in North America than Asia; the World Championship will be an interesting mash-up of play-styles indeed.
Will Scarlett take the National Championship? She was very confident when Gamespot interviewed her: but she’s lived up to the big talk so far.
The WCS North American Championship is streamed live and free in conjunction with the MLG Summer Championship, so be sure not to miss the exciting end to this nail-biting tournament tonight, August 25th, at 8PM EST!