StarCraft 2's biggest upsets

TeamLiquid Spencer Wightman

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In the still-early life of competitive StarCraft 2, we've seen hundreds of incredible, memorable matches. Many professional players' fame or infamy has been earned by toppling the giants who came before them. That shift in attrition, that expert pivot of micro-management or creativity in a single match can surge a single player's reputation—when an unknown kills a Goliath (no, not that one ) he becomes an Internet champion, epitomizing the wonderful parity that's emerging with competitive SC2. Everyone loves to root for the underdog and watch a good upset—here are StarCraft 2's top four.

#4: TLAF-Liquid`Nazgul vs EG.Idra

November 7th, 2010

TLAF-Liquid`Nazgul (Blue Protoss) vs EG.Idra (Red Zerg)

Nazgul used a 1-base, mass Blink Stalker build to overwhelm and defeat Idra.

At MLG Dallas 2010, the legendary pioneer and founder of Teamliquid.net , Nazgul, showed up to compete. Inactive since the end of beta, everyone expected him to be crushed and swept underfoot by the previous MLG champion and top foreign player, Idra. Even after a decade since the height of Nazgul's pro gaming career, he shocked everyone when he won the series 2-1 on MLG's livestream, using his now-trademark mass-Blink Stalker build.

#3: IM.Mvp vs Mill.Adelscott

March 26th, 2011

IM.Mvp (Red Terran) vs Mill.Adelscott (Blue Protoss)

Adelscott set the pace of the game early on and held it, outplaying Mvp until the very end.

Going into the TSL, Adelscott was a total unknown. The Frenchman had entered one of StarCraft 2's largest tournaments and found himself paired against a champion of Korea's most prestigious league--the GSL. A TeamLiquid bracket poll showed that only four percent of fans were confident that Adelscott's Protoss would win—but the odds meant nothing to Adelscott. Game 1 lasted 19 minutes, and Adelscott dominated every second of it. It took him another 20 minutes to win game 2. Defying all expectations, Adelscott swept the best Terran in the world in two straight-up macro games.

#2: ESC.Goody vs IM.NesTea

March 26th, 2011

ESC.Goody (Red Terran) vs IM.NesTea (Teal Zerg)

A strong timing push and miracle defense from Goody clutched him out the win.

As the GSL Open Season 2 champion and team anchor for Incredible Miracle, everyone knew NesTea would be invited to the TSL. Goody, on the other hand, was a player who had gained a modicum of infamy for his turtling mech style of play and low actions-per-minute. Only three percent of TeamLiquid chose Goody to advance. When NesTea won just one game by the skin of his teeth, StarCraft fans around the world began to question the dominance of Korean SC pros.

#1: TSL_FruitDealer vs Prae.Thorzain

March 19th, 2011

TSL_FruitDealer (Blue Zerg) vs Prae.Thorzain (Red Terran)

Thorzain's relentless aggression and well-timed expansions kept him two steps ahead of FruitDealer, ultimately winning him the game.

Going into the TSL, Thorzain was just another European Terran. There was little hope for him against FruitDealer, the hero Zerg who had cut his teeth on Terran bones, having demolished Korean Terran player Virus in the GSL only four days before the match. With the Korean-dominated IEM World Championship still fresh in memory, only eleven percent of TeamLiquid thought Thorzain would advance. But when the time came, Thorzain toppled the GSL Open Season 1 champion like a domino on a windy day. It wasn't even close.

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