HerO continues the string of Protoss IEM champions, 4-2's Polt in Cologne
Song "HerO" Hyeon Deok overcame a myriad of tough opponents to become the new IEM Champion. The Liquid Protoss won against CMStorm's Choi "Polt" Seong Hun in six games and walked away with a $10,000 cheque.
28 players flocked to Cologne, Germany this weekend for not only the most stacked but arguably the most entertaining IEM tournament to date. Featuring community favorites, premier champions and rising stars, the line-up of IEM Cologne spanned to include Grubby, TLO, MaNa, Jaedong, Polt, HerO, ForGG, MC, Innovation, Dear, Patience and more.
The group stages were relatively easy for the two eventual finalists. Losing only the PvP to Rain, HerO finished second in Group A after goin 4-0 against ForGG in two series to eliminate the Millenium Terran and move on to playoffs. Polt, on the other hand, was flawless: a 2-0 against StarDust and 2-0 against MaNa (the only foreigner to take a series off a Korean) advanced him further.
The playoffs were a tougher ordeal for both players. Polt was put on a TvP road and had to fight tooth and nail against Classic and Rain - the latter of which is a recommended series to watch - to be eligible for the grand final.
HerO started with an easy 3-0 win against Innovation but his semi-final opponent in Jaedong was almost his death. The two StarCraft legends went the full distance of five games before the Protoss could prevail, ensuring there's a Protoss player in every premier grand final this year.
While fans expected the final series to be close, they likely did not anticipate this very beginning. What started with early-game domination by HerO saw a comeback from Polt to eventually lead to a draw as the Terran lift off his buildings to prevent being killed during an intense base race.
Once the series was given a fresh new start (including a very long pause between games one and two to fix technical issues on HerO's side), it followed the paradigm of HerO being extremely strong past psi storm upgrade and Polt trying to circumvent direct engagements by implementing a succession of drops.
Though Polt's hit-and-run Marauder antics did yield him two games, by game six HerO had figured out his opponent completely. Taking a very passive and safe posture on Polar Night, HerO was able to repel whatever Polt threw at him and held his ground until the Terran was in a disadvantage. The $10,000-winning attack then came easy.
HerO's success makes him the third Protoss in a row to win an IEM event after herO[join]'s back-to-back victories at Singapore and Sao Paulo. HerO is also the third Protoss to win a premier 2014 event, maintaining race's dominance.
1st - HerO - $10,000 and 750 WCS points
2nd - Polt - $4,000 and 500 WCS points
3rd/4th - Jaedong - $2,000 and 375 WCS points
3rd/4th - Rain - $2,000 and 375 WCS points
5th/8th - Innovation - $1,000 and 250 WCS points
5th/8th - Patience - $1,000 and 250 WCS points
5th/8th - Jjakji - $1,000 and 250 WCS points
5th/8th - Classic - $1,000 and 250 WCS points