Joona “Serral” Sotala of ENCE eSports made history earlier this month by becoming the first player to ever sweep all four WCS circuit events since the format began in 2016.
Serral’s historic win came on the back of a seven game finals series against Exeed Esports’ Riccardo “Reynor” Romiti. Serral’s win netted him another $20,000 and placed his 2018 winnings at nearly $190,000.
Montreal was the toughest WCS Circuit event for Serral in terms of map score, as he dropped eight maps throughout the event. Those eight maps are just one fewer than he had lost at Leipzig, Austin and Valencia combined. While always a headliner, Serral was joined in bracket play by many other talented players.
Zerg players took up almost half of the spots in bracket play, but one of the biggest storylines of the tournament was the performance of the Chinese Terran player Li “TIME” Peinan. The 18-year old Terran had seen some prior success including a semi-final appearance in the Master’s Colosseum, and two wins at GPL events.
TIME fought his way through all three group stages only to find himself against the unorthodox Taiwanese Protoss player Ke Yu “Has” Feng. The match went all five games including what many consider a must watch game four.
After taking down the WCS Valencia runner-up, Peinan Swept a Terran versus Terran match-up in the quarterfinals before finally falling to Romiti 3-0 in the semifinals.
This was the last event for WCS Circuit players to earn qualification points for the Global Finals at the end of October. Now that the event is over, the Circuit side of qualification is complete. A full list of the rankings can be found here.
The highlights of the Circuit side of qualifying are Serral, who amassed a staggering 14000 points, along with Alex “Neeb” Sunderhaft and Juan Carlos “SpeCiaL” Tena Lopez who came in at significantly lower point totals but both qualified for the last season of GSL.
Reynor, who was unable to play in the first two WCS events of the season, came in 10th, missing the final BlizzCon spot by about 200 points, a gap he would have closed with a win in Montreal.
The WCS Global Finals begins Oct. 26 and will conclude on Nov. 3, with $700,000 on the line.
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