All the preparations were done, the initiative was announced via our social media channels, the final players line-up was confirmed, and the casters were ready to entertain. It was July 23rd and it was time for the Group A Round 1 broadcast of our first ever StarCraft 2 event - the QLASH SC2 Invitational.
We had very high hopes of course, but at the same time we knew we still had so much more to learn about how such an event should be run and all the small details that need to be taken care of for a smooth production. Already before the start we had to pull the first broadcast to one day earlier because of a conflict with a WCS Qualifier event that all of the top players were going to participate in. This in turn led to the 'Stephano' vs 'DnS' match having to be postponed and then streamed via replay. It was a learning curve for all of us but…
The first broadcasts were a great success! The feedback we received from fan chats, SC2 forums and even professional articles was overwhelmingly positive. Even though some very small technical bumps were present during the stream, the Twitch chat seemed very positive and seemingly enjoyed it. Furthermore, the event format, which includes a prizepool for each match, seemed to have really clicked with the audience. The SC2 community, which is in its nature very mature, appreciated our efforts and this was the best indicator that we were going the right way.
Group A Round 1
The casters we have are certainly one of our biggest assets and for the first stream we had Kevin ‘RotterdaM’ de Kooi and Jos ‘Retjah’ de Kroon behind the camera. Since both of them are from the Netherlands, ‘Retjah’ travelled to Rotti’s house so they could cast from the same place and both we and the viewers really loved their commentary and insights.
The Bo5 matches for the day were 3 instead of 4 due to ‘Stephano’ vs ‘DnS’ being postponed. Still, we had ‘Serral’ vs ‘Hellraiser’, ‘Snute’ vs ‘Zanster’ and ‘PtitDrogo’ vs ‘Lambo’ to kick off the event.
‘Hellraiser’ had been in fine form recently taking down some big names in important matches. However, 'Serral' dominated in their match and managed to get a clean win with his usual stellar performance. Link to full match video.
The second match was the only ZvZ for the day and after a lot of slaughtered lings, banes and hydras from both sides ‘Snute’ finally prevailed, taking his name to the top end of the group bracket. Link to full match video.
Last we had our own Team QLASH's ‘Lambo’ who seemed comfortably ahead and on road to his first victory after winning the first 2 maps, but then 'PtitDrogo' switched gears and pulled out an incredible comeback from losing 0:2 to taking down the series 3:2 in his favor. In the 5th and last game of the series he mustered a stunning play by catching 4 queens coming out of a nydus network in his main with a stasis trap. This blocked further units from using the nydus network and was the main reason he managed to hold the attack without incurring any major losses. Subsequently, ‘gg’ was called from his opponent - well played! Link to full match video.
Group B Round 1
A few days later, on Thursday July 26th, Group B was about to kick off. This time it was Rotti solo casting and he did an amazing job commentating almost 4 hours of high-level StarCraft 2 games. We had a full 4 matches schedule all of which was played live.
‘Bly’ vs ‘Namshar’ was the first match and the only ZvZ for the day. It was an unusual series with the tournament veteran ‘Bly’ using more than one drone pulls and all-in strategies which surprised his opponent. The unorthodox tactics brought him success and he managed to close down the match 3-1 after less than 15 min of game time in total. Link to full match video.
The ‘Nerchio’ vs ‘souL’ match was dominated by the Zerg player who found his rhythm and did not leave a lot of breathing room for ‘souL’. ‘Nerchio’ applied constant pressure and this led to a rather quick victory for him and top spot on the Group B table. Link to full match video.
One of the youngest and most perspective Terrans in Europe - ‘Clem’, was facing the already accomplished ‘Elazer’ in the third match of the group. The greater experience of ‘Elazer’ certainly played a role in the match-up and even though he dropped a map, he won the overall battle with a score of 3-1. A tough day for our Terrans. Link to full match video.
Last but certainly not least was the much expected ‘Harstem’ vs ‘Reynor’ match. The young Italian prodigy ‘Reynor’ has been creating some waves in the StarCraft 2 world and the overall opinion is he could become one of the very best in the near future. ‘Harstem’, on the other hand, has already proven his worth on so many occasions there could be no doubt about his top tier qualities. They did not disappoint, as every single game was extremely tight and skillful plays were happening everywhere on the map. At some point ‘Reynor’ had 100+ drones, at another Harstem was using time warp with his mothership while spamming psionic storms on his opponent units. At the end, the series ended with a very narrow but well deserved victory for the Protoss player and ‘Reynor’ will have to climb up the table in the coming matches. Link to full match video.
The postponed match between the two Frenchman ‘Stephano’ and ‘DnS’ was played over the weekend and 'Stephano' continued his recent good form by taking down his countryman without dropping a map. The Zergs in the QLASH SC2 Invitational are proving to be a real powerhouse, but there is a lot of StarCraft 2 to be played still! Link to full match video will be provided soon!
Our next broadcasts will be on Tuesday, July 31st and Thursday, August 2nd when Group A and B will play their respective Round 2. Join us on our official English Twitch channel for the live stream and don’t forget to follow us on our Social Media channels for updates about the tournament!