Underdogs take the win at the Red Bull Battlegrounds Starcraft 2 Toronto Qualifier

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Underdogs take the win at the Red Bull Battlegrounds Starcraft 2 Toronto Qualifier

Things were looking bright for the Canadian Starcraft 2 team of Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn and Chris “HuK” Loranger during last weekend’s Red Bull Battlegrounds Toronto Qualifier tournament. The pair were sweeping through the competition like wildfire and they felt so confident in their chances at winning that, when their first semi-finals match came up, Scarlett invited HuK to take a break as she operated solo for a while, an offer he graciously accepted.

Scarlett’s offer was a crowd-pleaser for several reasons. Not only did she make it during the semi-finals, a series of matches where teams usually try to bring their absolute A-game, but it also left her operating alone while playing a match of Starcraft 2’s new Archon mode (a mode being introduced in the game’s upcoming Legacy of the Void expansion in which the duties of a single army are split between two players). Scarlett’s Zerg forces managed to hold their own against the opposing Terran team of NoRegreT and Bloice at first but when her opponents made it clear they weren’t pulling any punches, HuK stepped back in and the pair of crowd favorites scraped out a match point win.

PartinG celebrates his victory over sOs in the final of Red Bull Battle Grounds, at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, NY, USA on 24 November, 2013.

PartinG celebrates his victory over sOs in the final of Red Bull Battle Grounds, at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, NY, USA on 24 November, 2013.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the bracket, the Terran team of Kim “viOLet” Dong Hwan and Maru “MaSa” Kim were laser-focused on claiming the qualifier’s top spot. The pair put the screws to every team they faced, outplaying teams such as ChrisLogan and Tozu, Bones and AprilTerran, and finally desRow and NaNiWa to secure their place in the qualifier’s finals against HuK and Scarlett. The team’s no-frills antics were a stark contrast to those of their opponents’ and everyone expected Scarlett and HuK to take the win once the final match was set. However the finals proved that bravado and confidence are no match for master-level coordination as MaSa and viOLet swept the game with a 3-0 decisive victory.

Both teams showed an extraordinary amount of skill during the qualifier but while HuK and Scarlett did their best to operate as independent players working cooperatively, MaSa and viOLet truly embraced the “one mind” mentality behind Archon Mode. It was clear not only in the finals match but throughout the entire qualifier that Scarlett and HuK each felt more comfortable operating as a solo player, a strategy which ended up being their downfall when they went up against the synchronized efforts of viOLet and MaSa.

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