StarCraft II WCS Global Semifinals: Reynor and Dark emerge on top
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BlizzCon’s StarCraft II WCS Global Finals are underway. The quarterfinals were action-packed, and the WCS semifinals were just as exciting. It was Joona “Serral” Sotala versus Riccardo Reynor Romiti and Kim “Classic” Doh Woo versus Park Dark Ryung Woo to decide who among them would battle in the finals.

StarCraft II WCS Semifinals: Serral vs. Reynor

Map 1 – Triton

Four minutes in, Serral got two Banelings into Reynor’s base and took out seven Drones, setting the tone for the rest of the match. Reynor was stuck playing catch-up from then on, and Serral didn’t give any quarter. He won every single skirmish between them and took the map in under 10 minutes.

Map 2 – World of Sleepers

Serral started this WCS semifinals match off by making a lot of Zerglings while Reynor went for Roaches, and by the 5-minute mark Serral was starting to fall behind. Not only that, but Reynor was doing a good job of intercepting Serral’s harassment, taking the economic lead as well. Serral managed to catch up in workers again before the map’s big fight, but when it happened Reynor’s Roach army was too much for Serral’s Zerglings and Ravagers, and Reynor took game 2.

Map 3 – Ephemeron

Reynor brought Zerglings, Banelings, and Mutalisks in another short, furious battle between the two Zerg players. Serral went for Infestors and tried to use Fungal to put a stop to Reynor’s massive amount of Banelings, but despite some excellent connections on Serral’s part, it wasn’t enough to stop Reynor, who took game three as well.

Map 4 – Acropolis

Serral made it clear from the very beginning of Acropolis that he wanted to take map 4 into the long game. Reynor wanted to win before that happened with his Mutalisks, Banelings, and Zerglings, while Serral was going for Lurkers and Vipers, along with Roaches and Ravagers. Despite Reynor’s best efforts though, Serral defended against Reynor’s army as he built up his late-game army. It was a messy back-and-forth, with Reynor knocking out Serral’s Hatchery a couple times and Serral doing the same in return while continuing to defend. But eventually Serral succeeded in taking it, tying up the score for round 5.

Map 5 – Disco Bloodbath

The first four minutes were fairly standard. Both Serral and Reynor built three bases each and didn’t deviate from one another until Serral built a Spire. Reynor went Infestors in response when he scouted the Spire, and Serral began harassing with his Mutalisks and sending in his Banelings, taking out 14 Drones and a Hatchery in one go at one point. Then he followed that up with another devastating Baneling hit. Although Reynor’s army could win in a head-to-head fight at that moment, his worker count was much lower, and Serral’s economy was much, much better. Serral pulled ahead, punishing Reynor over and over with his Mutalisk harass.

StarCraft II WCS Global Semifinals: Reynor Dark Serral Classic
Serral vs. Reynor game 5

But shockingly, despite Serral being ahead at the 14-minute mark, building Hatcheries even on Reynor’s side of the map and clipping along on his tech upgrades, the tides started to turn after a few skirmishes went badly for Serral. Reynor’s army had been a threat all game, and it was noticeably bigger than Serral’s at the 19-minute mark. Not only that, but Serral was also down in supply and workers. His Mutalisk strategy couldn’t stand the test of time, and by this point Reynor had a truly obscene number of Lurkers in play. Serral had nothing that could counter that. He tried to hold on with Ultralisks and Zerglings, but they weren’t enough. Reynor won, moving on to the finals!

wcs semifinals
Serral vs. Reynor game 5

StarCraft II WCS Semifinals: Classic vs. Dark

Map 1 – Acropolis

Acropolis began with an early cannon rush by Classic that, unfortunately for him, only took out three workers due to Dark’s unflappable response. This gave Dark a head start, one more base than Classic, and, surprisingly, even left him with more workers despite Classic’s attack.

wcs semifinals Classic vs Dark game 1
Classic vs. Dark game 1

Classic went for a 2-Stargate Phoenix build over a standard Protoss build. Dark Nydus Wormed into Classic’s base and tried to take down his Nexus with Queens and Roaches, but the Phoenixes gave Classic the mobility to make it back across the map in time and focus down the Queens, taking out Dark’s army before it could knock out his Nexus.

But everything went wrong when Classic doubled down and made a third Stargate and Void Rays. Dark built up his anti-air army and whittled Classic down, finally taking the match around the time when he teched up to Vipers.

Map 2 – Thunderbird

At 6 minutes into Thunderbird, Classic had a dozen upgraded Adepts shading around Dark’s base doing a ton of damage to his workers. Classic took advantage of his lead to press forward and try to mess up Dark’s progression. Dark went with Swarm Hosts and Nydus Worms and built up Lurkers. Classic went with the Korean Protoss counter of Immortals and Stalkers, and he started on Archons.

Classic vs Dark game 2
Classic vs. Dark game 2

But Dark was relentless. Despite the fact that Classic kept trying and seemed like he might manage to secure a good position, the damage from Dark just got out of control. Dark had nerves of steel and let himself take wave after wave of damage from Classic, not backing down no matter how hard Classic pushed and continuing to Nydus Worm into his base and attack with his Swarm Hosts while trusting his Lurkers and Roaches to keep his base defended. His strategy paid off, and Dark won a tense and thrilling game two.

Map 3 – Disco Bloodbath

Disco Bloodbath was the third map of the series and another very dominant match for Dark against Classic. In the most one-sided game of the match, Classic went all-in and it didn’t work out for him. Dark was just too strong. He won his third and final WCS semifinals game against Classic, taking a decisive 3-0 victory and ending the Protoss player’s last big tournament run.

It is now Reynor vs. Dark for the StarCraft II WCS Global Finals. Stay tuned to Daily Esports for finals results!