HerO wins DreamHack Sapphire AMD 2011

General Gosu “GosuGamers” Gamers
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Korean Protoss HerO from Team Liquid defeated Evil Geniuses Terran player PuMa in the grand final at DreamHack Winter 2011.

The DreamHack AMD Sapphire Championship went on to seven games with HerO taking a 3-1 lead after the first four games. After three more games, HerO was finally able to seal the victory in his hands.

Puma took game one after baiting HerO into a deadly trap. The terran bio-pressured HerO's natural but as the quick colossus tech took care of Puma's army, the protoss counter-attack immediately. The colossus started blazing the outer defense of the terran base but Puma had already positioned some marauders north of his natural. Swooping in for the surround, Puma forced a gg.

The counter-strike of HerO was devastating in its grandeur. The Korean protoss came back to win three in a row, starting with a nexus first into 4-gate on Daybreak which Puma could not hold even with the help of his SCVs. The bigger upset, however, was Puma losing the third game on Dual Sight - one of his favourite maps for 1/1/1 and that was his build order indeed. Hero, however, was perfectly prepared knowing full well what was coming and went 2-gate stalker pressure into phoenixes. Hero started applying pressure to Puma's front wall and used his phoenix to snipe the first banshee. Puma's 1/1/1 and his entire plan was down the dumpster. That was 2-1 for HerO, who after a one-sided game on Altar increased his lead even more thanks to the astounding 3-gate pressure and superiour macro in the mid-game.

Shakuras was the first step towards Puma's comeback. The terran opened with a ghost rush but the sentry split of HerO saved his skin and the match entered the mid-game or "the war for HerO's third" as it will be known henceforth. The protoss fell in a similar trap as in game one as his colossus attack (although successful in terms of SCV deaths) was flanked and cleaned, creating a counter-attack opening for Puma. The terran turned his sight towards HerO's third knowing that its death will be an absolute turn-around and thus his bio army was commanded to march in and destroy the nexus. Now on just two base, HerO tried to build up a cost efficient army and engage in all the forcefield friendly places but the momentum was already in Puma's possession. The third of HerO died again minutes later and the score was 3-2.

The series got tied on Terminus with Puma opening 4-rax into SCV all-in. HerO was caught unaware of the all-in and the game ended instantly. A seven set was to be played.

The final game was a PvT work of art, going into the deep macro stages, which only fed more fuel the flames of cheer in the audience. HerO opened extremely safe, going 3-gate/nexus into perma chronoboosted double forge, the latter making Artosis point out with admiration how +3/+3 for HerO is almost done before Puma's +2/+2 is even halfway. The protoss then chose to pressure Puma's fourth but amazing EMPs made him reconsider this decision and not attack foolishly into a planetary. That was one of his best decisions in the game as Puma's next move was an attack at HerO's own third. Outupgrading his opponent and having just better control of his army, HerO dominates the battle and is two bases ahead of Puma. This advantage slides down to an overwhelming macro lead, giving HerO a sense of security which he displayed to the audience by going for a big ass mothership. The rest was a complete and total protoss domination, seas of psi storms and a crowd cheering so loud that we could barely hear the casters or even our own thoughts. HerO stepped out of the booth as DreamHack Winter champion - his first and greatly deserved gold medal coming after three days of tournament excellency here at Jonkoping, Sweden.

HerO wins 200,000 SEK (€21,704 EUR) and can finally take his first major tournament win.

PuMa will fly home with 90,000 SEK (€9,767 EUR).

Third and fourth place for NightEnD and Ret give the Europeans 35,000 SEK (€3,798 EUR) each.

1. Korea LiquidHerO (200 000 SEK)
2. Korea EGPuMa (90 000 SEK)
3-4. Romania FnaticNightEnD (35 000 SEK)
3-4. Netherlands LiquidRet (35 000 SEK)
5-8. Finland eSaharaNaama (10 000 SEK)
5-8. Sweden AiSeiplo (10 000 SEK)
5-8. Poland AcerNerchio (10 000 SEK)
5-8. Korea coLMVPDongRaeGu (10 000 SEK)