MLG Fall Championships: A tale of comebacks, creativity, and god slaying
This weekend's MLG Fall Championship was one of the most hyped in the Pro Circuit's history, and proved to be one of the most dramatic. Some of the best StarCraft 2 and League of Legends players clashed in down-to-the wire brawls and unexpected comebacks. Now that the dust has settled, here's a recap.
The question on everyone's lips (or pincers, or telepathic mind-waves, not to leave out Zerg and Protoss) for this tournament was whether Lee "Flash" Young Ho, the "God of Brood War," would be able to remain undefeated at major StarCraft 2 events and win his first premiere tournament. He certainly seemed set to, until he came up against Sweden's Johan "NaNiwa" Lucchesi in the Group B winner's finals. Naniwa pulled an upset, laying low the Korean star in a 2-1 victory.
MLG's double-elimination format assured that wasn't the end of the story, however. Flash fought his way up from the Loser's Bracket into a rematch with Naniwa, which went to a full, 7-game extended series. Flash managed to triumph in game 7, putting the record between the two titans at 4-3 in his favor. Naniwa would go on to be eliminated in the Loser's Bracket, meaning the two would not meet again.
Flash seemed set to sweep the tournament after overcoming the hurdle that was Naniwa, winning 2-0 over the most recent GSL champion, Life. But just as Flash forced a rematch with Naniwa, Life emerged victorious in the Loser's Bracket and made a stunning comeback, defeating Flash in four consecutive games in the extended series and eliminating him from the tournament. Life would go on to face and defeat Leenock, who would have been the first ever three-time MLG champion, in a very close series.
League of Legends
The Asian teams reasserted their dominance after a spectacular showing at Riot's world championships earlier this year. San Francisco-based fan favorites, Team SoloMid, disintegrated surprisingly early. After losing 2-0 to South Korea's NaJin Sword in the second round, they would be eliminated in the lower bracket with a 2-0 loss to Europe's CLG EU. The European team went on to be knocked out by South Korea's Azubu Blaze, pitting the latter against NaJin Sword in the grand finals.
The two Korean teams squared off in a nail-bitingly close series, but Azubu Blaze proved their ability to come from behind even when their opponents have a significant upper hand in a game to take the tournament.
MLG will be back next year, but StarCraft 2 eSports fans have one more major event to look forward to, in the form of Blizzard's World Championships later this month.