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General12 years agoRadoslav "Nydra" Kolev

Stephano, Sase among the group winners of Red Bull Battlegrounds

Photos by: Team Dignitas, Fragster.de

Stephano and Sase are the only non-Koreans that made it to the second day of the Red Bull Battlegrounds in Austin. The fight for $41,000 continues today with the 8-player single elimination bracket.

Right from the start, Group A was destined to end dramatically one way or another. After getting a 2-0 against Ganzi and securing a good lead for himself, Stephano went on to play Violet in an MLG Spring Arena 2 revenge match, where he lost 0-2 in his worst match-up. The beginning of the Red Bull series once again tilted to Violet's favor as after thirty minutes of ultralisk versus brood lord action, the Korean took the lead. The prospects for Stephano were bad to say the least but the Frenchman endured and turned the series around, winning 2-1 and getting the top spot in the group which he would hold till the end.

More from Group A, the young terran Illusion also recovered from a 0-1 disadvantage to eventually eliminate Ganzi with a spectacular speed reaper/hellions into banshee build. Violet was presented as Illusion's next challenge and the Korean was soon a map down thanks to Illusion's overaggressive style. Just as the rumble about Group A ending in an upset began to arise, Violet quickly shut it down by beating Illusion and taking the runner-up spot in the group.

Sase's grand repertoire of playstyles helped him immensely on his way to the leader position in Group B. He had a rough competition in the face of Taeja, however, as Liquid's terran had close to zero problems crushing both Sheth and DreamHack Stockholm champion Thorzain with 2-0's. But as the direct battle between group's strongest went into Sase's favor, the Korean had to settle for a top two spot.

Group C saw a Canada versus Korea nation war but it wasn't much of a thrilling fight. Completely unopposed, Bomber and MC steamrolled through HuK and Ostojiy, leaving them out of the competition. A close 2-1 series with Bomber as victor saw the terran occupy the leading position, tied for first with Stephano as the best performing player of the tournament thus far.

Not much was different in Group D as Squirtle and Parting conquered the foreigners and advanced to the Ro8 - a more or less expected result from two of the best Code S players last season. But the waters were not fully peaceful in group D. As it approached completion, the first Red Bull Battlegrounds playday saw a curious turn of events and a mild e-Drama was born as LastShadow forfeited his last game against Parting, left the tournament grounds and erased all his social media.

Red Bull Battlegrounds Group Stage Results
Group AGroup B
France Stephano6-1Sweden Sase5-3
Korea Violet5-4Korea Taeja5-2
United States Illusion3-5Sweden Thorzain3-4
Korea Ganzi2-6United States Sheth2-5
Violet 2-1 Ganzi
Stephano 2-0 Illusion
Illusion 2-1 Ganzi
Stephano 2-1 Violet
Stephano 2-0 Ganzi
Violet 2-1 Illusion
Thorzain 2-0 Sheth
Sase 2-0 Taeja
Sase 2-1 Thorzain
Taeja 2-0 Sheth
Sheth 2-1 Sase
Taeja 2-0 Thorzain
Group CGroup D
Korea Bomber6-1Korea Squirtle6-2
Korea MC5-3Korea Parting5-2
Canada HuK3-4Netherlands Ret3-4
Canada Ostojiy0-6United States LastShadow0-6
MC 2-1 HuK
MC 2-0 Ostojiy
HuK 2-0 Ostojiy
Bomber 2-1 MC
Bomber 2-0 Ostojiy
Bomber 2-0 HuK
Squirtle 2-1 Parting
Ret 2-0 LastShadow
Parting 2-0 Ret
Squirtle 2-0 LastShadow
Squirtle 2-1 Ret
Parting W.O. LastShadow

The games resume at 20:00 CET with the drawing of the playoff match-ups.

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