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Underdogs strong in all-foreigner DreamHack semi finals

Posted by Julian "hattfatt" Koch 2 years, 22 weeks ago
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Fresh out of school and now slaying Koreans: MaNa.

With HerO, the last of the Koreans, losing ground to MaNa, we see the premier tournament completely in the hands of Europeans. Tournament favorites like Stephano, Naniwa and Sase also faced elimination to deliver additional dozes of upsets.

DH Summer Ro8
France Stephano2-0Poland Nerchio
Korea Hero1-2Poland Mana
Sweden Naniwa1-2Ukraine Dimaga
Sweden Sase0-2Ukraine Fraer


Stephano, managed to destroy Nerchio in his shockingly strong ZvZ, avoiding a potential surprise. He showed his solid grasp of his own race as the mirror match didn’t seem to provide much trouble to his advancement to the semi finals. Even though both players denied each other’s thirds and created a nice match, the French Zerg lived up to his name and pulled through.

Upsetting, however, was MaNa’s win over Liquid’s HerO, one of the top favorites coming out of the quarter finals. Their PvP face off culminated in a tense third map on Daybreak, where HerO’s dominant army was ultimately defeated by MaNa’s Dark Templars, and, prior to that, a tremendous as display of game sense as the observer was gunned down by the Polish up-and-comer’s Stalkers. Said Stalkers later picked up the rest of HerO’s initially superior army.

After NaNiwa picked up the first game with an impressive display of base defense against Dimaga’s Zerg forces, the Ukrainian pulled back in the second game. The decider was a show of great Colossus placement to diminish the Zerg’s supply advantage before baneling drops, which were seen in the first two games as well, hailed down on NaNiwa’s units to negate the Swede’s head start and eventually taking the game.

Underdog fraer took out SaSe in an intense PvP, that could have scared NaNiwa, too, had he progressed to the semi finals. Having lost, or at least struggled to every somewhat prominent Zerg player in the tournament so far, his match against Dimaga will require the absolute best he has to offer.

DH Summer Semi Finals
France Stephano0-2Poland MaNa
Ukraine Dimaga2-1Ukraine fraer


Praised as one of the top ZvP players in the entire world, Stephano entered the semi-final match against Mana backed up by everyone's convictions that he'll cut his way to the grand finals dominantly. Mana, however, who was already responsible for the elimination of the until then flawless Hero, had something entirely different in mind and two immortal timing pushes later (garnished with series of perfect forcefields) the Polish protoss was a DH Summer grand finalist, dropping a friendly "hahaha" before Stephano surrendered the second game.

In the second semi final, Dimaga's baneling drop build got him an easy lead but Fraer was quick to even the series with a +1 gateway push that took advantage of Dimaga's very late ling speed and nonexistent centrifugal hooks. Thus, the two spawned on Daybreak for their final set and again Fraer went for the early aggression, opening with a +1 4-gate. As Dimaga timely identified that, however, he was able to repel the initial wave and engage in a nail-biting battle that never took pause until the very end. With a surge of lings and infestors, Dimaga fungalled, surrounded and swept the blink stalkers of Fraer and advanced to the grand final of the tournament in a rematch from Assembly Summer.
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