In association with Alienware
As we're closing in on the final series of the second night for DreamHack Summer 2012 two of the best foreigners square off for a chance to reach the playoffs. With his back against the wall, can Stephano beat the Canadian powerhouse HuK and save his tournament life?
Stephano has been looking uncharacteristically shaky during this DreamHack Summer. The uncrowned best foreigner of the world has been dropping maps, especially in his worst matchup ZvZ, to opponents who should stand only a little chance against the French Grandmaster. Losing to Infused's very own Ziktomini in the first group stage 2-1, meaning Stephano only took second in his group, was the first of a couple of hiccups which made Stephano look particularly shaky. While he recovered in the second group stage, going a perfect 6-0 including a flawless win over PuMa, he has now once again been outdone by none other than Russian Zerg sLivko. With his tournament life on the line it's time for Stephano to show his colours, in an all or nothing ZvP against EG's Chris "HuK" Loranger, who himself isn't sure of qualification, as an impending three-way-tie between himself, Stephano and sLivko could spoil the fun for the Canadian. With three players fighting for 2 spots, who will be able to advance? Let's find out.
Things have been known to go better for the somewhat ZvZ shaky French Zerg. Pic courtesy of DH.
Game 1: DayBreak
Stephano showed he was serious right from the get go, double expanding into 3 bases while taking map control with a group of zerglings and roaches. With his active scouting and aggressive army movement Stephano is able to deny every single forward pylon by HuK. Knowing that his bases are safe, Stephano pushes up to HuK's side of the map and denies the protoss' third base. In this effort Stephano also snipes all of HuK's very expensive sentries.
With the damage dealt Stephano double expands again, going up to five bases, while defending some of HuK's harass, mainly in the form of warp-prisms. Down two bases and about 60 supply HuK is forced to play defensively while Stephano builds up an incredibly strong Infestor-Brood Lord army. Although HuK fought valiantly Stephano re-maxed way too fast for HuK to keep up with. After a high-speed chase across the map all HuK's efforts were in vain as Stephano crushed him basically from start to finish. Being down 4 bases and having Brood Lords (literally) dance at his door step, HuK is forced to GG.
Game 2: Antiga Shipyard
After a standard opening in which Stephano once again took 2 quick expansions, while HuK semi-walled off his natural, Stephano opted to go with his trademark roach-ling style of play. Incapable of recognizing the danger that HuK was in, the Canadian threw down an ill-advised third nexus. As Stephano maxed on roaches and zerglings at the 12 minute mark HuK had no way he was ever going to win. A short and decisive game for the zerg from France, just as he likes it, ensured himself place in the round of 16. For HuK on the other hand everything was in the hands of mousesports MorroW. The terran/zerg hybrid player, who had no hopes of advancing after losing his first two matches, was now facing sLivko in a TvZ, to close off his DreamHack Summer run.
In a negative twist of fate HuK dropped from first to third in the group following his own loss and a 2-0 win by sLivko. This means the two zergs from France and Russia respectively now move on while HuK is left to pick up the pieces, going out in the third group stage.
With day 3 in the books tomorrow, yes strangely enough on a monday, the playoffs will be played out and a new victor will be decided after today's early demise of EG's ThorZaIN. Check out Cadred's DreamHack Summer Coverage Hub for all the latest and more on DreamHack Summer 2012.