Not many people could have predicted that the Grand Final would take place between DIMAGA and MaNa as, despite strong performances in the past, neither have found themselves in the limelight lately. This final took the fans right back to the final of Assembly Summer from last year where the pair faced off. In Finland DIMAGA took the match 3-2, but this year in Sweden it would be MaNa who triumphed, seizing the day 3-1.
Although heavily delayed MaNa started the final brightly and took a very quick 1-0 lead on Ohana, the first map. Utilising a seven gateway attack with archon support MaNa essentially bulldozed his way through DIMAGA’s front, relying on superior weapons upgrades and brute force more than finesse and cute micro. But a win is a win however you take it and MaNa looked relieved to be off to such a good start, banishing the daemons of last summer. Game two was also over rather quickly and in MaNa’s favour, although this time it was DIMAGA who instigated the action. Having been sold a fake attack by a proxy pylon DIMAGA converted his huge surplus of Zerglings into Banelings in an attempt to bust MaNa’s front. However, with a huge warp in of Sentry’s MaNa was able to force field out the attack, keeping DIMAGA from doing damage and leaving him on a low economy. For a moment when MaNa moved out it looked as if he had made a fatal mistake as DIMAGA’s hordes surrounded his army but with a very fortunately timed Warp Prism drop in DIMAGA’s main base he was able to knock out the Ukrainian’s economy almost entirely, forcing the GG.
However memories of Assembly Summer must have come flooding back to MaNa in Game 3 on Daybreak when DIMAGA completely annihilated his Gateway/Immortal attack that had worked so well against Stephano earlier in the day. In the pair’s Assembly bout MaNa had been up by 2 games before falling 3-2 to DIMAGA and losing the title. With his push stopped dead in his tracks MaNa looked a little desperate and resorted to ill-fated Warp Prism drops to try and get back into the game but DIMAGA had hit his stride and with total map control and awareness he was able to prevent anything more than superficial damage being done by MaNa. With a bulging economy and a hive tech army on the way it was really only a matter of time and MaNa was eventually forced to tap out of the game. DIMAGA looked to be back in the game.
Be that as it may, any thought that MaNa would choke away his victory were quashed quickly on what would be the last map of the Grand Final – Antigua Shipyard. Returning to his successful strategy of Game 1 MaNa readied up 7 Gateways and a Templar Archives. Having faked an expansion successfully to DIMAGA, MaNa was able to hit at a timing just before the Overlord Drops research was complete, negating the risk of Baneling drops that had caused havoc on Daybreak. Knocking down the rocks to the third base and zoning off the other entrance with force fields MaNa was able to decimate the expansion of DIMAGA reducing his production capacity severely. Not content with that and smelling blood in the water MaNa immediately went for the jugular. With an unstoppable march of upgraded Stalkers, Zealots and Archons MaNa ravished the remaining forces of DIMAGA and, with one last cheeky force field on the ramp from the main to prevent reinforcements, the game was sealed. The crowd jumped to a standing ovation and MaNa emerged from the booth to an electric atmosphere as the Dreamhack Summer Starcraft 2 Open Champion.
With the win MaNa has earned himself not just the $14,000 grand prize but his first major title in Starcraft 2. The win will come as a huge relief to the king of silver who has made podium finishes at Dreamhack Winter, Assembly Summer, IPL2, IEM Cologne, ESWC and Gamers Assembly. MaNa has marked himself back on the Starcraft 2 map and, with hints at a move to Korea on the horizon, will surely be a force to be reckoned with for the foreseeable future. Congratulations to MaNa, your Dreamhack Summer Champion.
|Graham Kirkup // BigLighthouse|
Posted 11 months ago: Tue, 19 Jun 2012 02:36:27 +0100
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