Two exciting days of play are over and we know now which two APAC players qualified for the huge WCA event in China. Some super close matches and results could be witnessed both, in the round robin group stage on Thursday and in the playoff rounds on Sunday. You missed it? No problem.
Read here what happened and watch all important matches again on Back2Warcraft.
Group Stage (April 21st)
The qualifier started with the nine best players from the APAC region, all being from South Korea. Five of them were invited ( Moon, Lyn, LawLiet, FoCuS and ReMinD) and the other four ( ReprisaL, Check, Bany and MinHyuk) had to fight their way through another open qualifier beforehand. What made the group stage particularly special was the round robin modus in the beginning, with each player playing a best-of-three against every other in the grid. Only four of the nine players would proceed to the playoff stage. The group stage resulted in an incredible eleven hour casting marathon of Neo, Remodemo and yAwS.
Seven hours after the start ReprisaL was the only positive surprise amongst the top favorites of this qualifier, leading the grid convincingly. Already at the very beginning he showed off his new gained strength by countering LawLiet's Warden as noone else has ever done. At that time, unexpectedly ReprisaL was not followed by players like FoCuS, Moon, LawLiet or the legendary Lyn, who just returned to the scene, but the underdogs Bany and MinHyuk. Both players scored win after win and it looked good for them. Almost another Cinderella story, but only almost. On the finishing straight it came to a sudden end when LawLiet, FoCuS and Lyn recovered and each of them won their last two matches. Especially Bany was hit hard, dropping out due to a slightly worse map score, although he had the same number of wins as three of the players to move on.
Playoffs (April 25th)
ReprisaL, Lyn, FoCuS and LawLiet found a way out of the group stage, only a small step away from winning a bunch of money (1. USD 7,700 / 2. USD 4,600 / 3. USD 3,100) and qualifying for the WCA main event in China. Everything back to zero, each of the four players had the exact same starting position, no matter how their performance was in the group stage. Only the opponent for the first match was determined by the players position in the grid. ReprisaL, who left no doubt in the prior stage that he'd found the magical essence against the Warden, had to face LawLiet once again. It turned out essence isn't that magical after all. The latter reminded us why he is the best night elf player there currently is on this globe. Making the Warden happen two times in a row, playing it safe and convincingly. Raining knifes turned out to be ReprisaL's Waterloo.
As on the Thursday before, Lyn was defeated by FoCuS and therefore sent to the losers round. Micro on point, but not fully in his routine yet, which becomes especially visible in these kind of Orc mirror matches. What followed was an epic clash between ReprisaL and Lyn in the basement. The first two matches were the two absolute highlights in this APAC Qualifier with endless fights, micro on point and countless turnarounds. The third and deciding map was Ancient Isles, not known to be a particularly good map for the human race. Lyn proved it, putting an unworthy end to ReprisaL's WCA dreams.
Meanwhile, LawLiet making a short process with his buddy FoCuS also, even playing talons on Twisted Meadows. The convincing performance of the elf player reminded a bit of the second last day at WCA 2015, where he seemed simply unstoppable. Therewith he had secured his spot in the 2016 event as well, whereas FoCuS had to face Lyn a third time in this qualifier. "All good things come in threes" one could say, but rather for Lyn this time, who played unimpressed and still in the flow of his victory over ReprisaL. The Orc player who just returned to the game after years of abscence still able to deliver and securing the second spot at WCA 2016.
The final of this qualifier will be held in May, hopefully with amazing matches between the two players who will then proudly represent their region in China.
All important information can be found on Liquipedia.