In case you missed it, here's links to our coverage of the event thus far:
MLG Orlando is now complete, but let’s take a look back at the run up to the finals and the awards ceremony that followed. Strap into your seats, kids, these matches were out of this world:
EG.IdrA vs Bomber – Zerg vs Terran – Deciding who would get into top 4
Game 2: After an extremely intense game 1 macro battle in which IdrA won, Bomber came back with a vengeance in this 35 minute match – Though he was mostly outplayed by IdrA at every turn, Bomber took the match simply because IdrA prioritized units early on rather than getting upgrades such as Zergling’s Adrenal Glands (which would’ve sped up their attack rate) or Baneling Movement Speed, which would’ve then been able to catch Bomber’s force out of position. At the end of the match, IdrA was absolutely ripped apart by cloaked Ghost units with Snipe, as a result of him not being prepared for all contingencies.
IdrA with his manager between matches
Game 3: Bomber opens with an unorthodox 9 Barracks build, streaming out nothing but marines, at least 18 at a time. Despite this impressive display of macro and economy, IdrA is simply able to outplay Bonber here, whittling his economy down little by little, base by base. Bomber just did not have the unit diversity he needed to deal with the army of IdrA until much too late in the game, and by that point, IdrA was at critical mass – so IdrA took the match, sending the defending champion Bomber home with a crushing defeat.
EG.IdrA vs oGsMC – Zerg vs Protoss – Top 4, Losers SemiFinals
The rivalry between these two is legendary – for several months in the GSL, these two went toe to toe, trading games back and forth, so as you can imagine the situation here was tense as the loser of this match went home.
Game 1: IdrA attempts a hydralisk/roach drop build on MC which is ultimately thwarted simply because of good building placement within MC’s base – the buildings, combined with well placed forcefields, created a perfect barrier for MC’s collusus and stalker based army to rip IdrA’s army apart. It was all downhill from there as IdrA simply could not hold back the counterattack from MC.
Game 2: MC, looking for the quick win, attempted a dark templar rush against IdrA. However, he was more than ready for it, as he lost very little in the rush and was able to counterattack with an impressive maxed out army of roaches and hydralisks – and, since MC was so focused on teching directly to DTs, he didn’t have enough resources to match IdrA, making the score 1-1.
Game 3: There are no words to describe this game, really – an epic macro game with a brilliant unit composition from MC just smash straight through the Zerg player IdrA, giving him 4th place in this tournament and a ride home.
MC celebrates his win over his rival, IdrA
oGs.TheSTC vs EG.HuK – Terran vs Protoss – Winners Finals
Game 1: STC opens with a close off to make HuK think he was going for a much slower build or to expand, but instead he went for a proxy (or built in another location) barracks, completely bamboozling HuK and though HuK displayed some rather impressive micro, HuK ultimately just delayed the inevitable after not scouting the proxy barracks.
Game 2: Pure insanity. STC opened with a proxy barracks to attempt some sort of reaper harassment but HuK countered with a 4 gate build, a build that is traditionally not good against Terran and is mostly used in Protoss vs Protoss situations. STC obviously wasn’t expecting this and was unable to hold the line against so many units in the first 10 minutes of the game, making the score 1-1.
Game 3: Some unorthodox play = both playes trying to throw each other off early, the commentators were in a state of shock and awe, as both of these builds are very different from what we see usually. HuK uses an 8 gateway, two base build to start and STC uses a 2 base, 9 barracks build giving both of the players insane macro in this game. STC transitions into ghosts to supplement his marine/marauder army and HuK goes robo using colossus to give him superior range in this matchup and in the end just divide and conquer STC’s army with impressive forcefield placement, sending the STC to the loser’s bracket to fight the Kratos Protoss, MC.
oGs.TheSTC vs oGs.MC – Terran vs Protoss – Loser’s Finals
This match comes with quite a lot of drama behind it – The people who make it to the finals get automatic entries in the GSL’s code S tournament. This is a huge deal, as HuK is already in Code S, the winner here is the only other one to qualify. And, as normally you would not only have to go through an open qualifier just to qualify for code A, then you have to win, or be close to winning, Code A just to qualify for Code S, this is quite the shortcut and a huge prize for either of these teammates on team oGs.
Game 1: This match mostly came down to one very defining moment – as the two armies collided in the middle of the map, MC managed to launch forcefields to divide STC’s army in half just milliseconds before EMPs (which would’ve prevented these FFs) hit MC’s army. A truly astounding play which swung the match in MC’s favor, making the score 1-0
Game 2: STC took this match using multiprong attacks and harassment from marines/marauder drops that pulled MC’s army in too many directions to deal with, making the score 1-1.
Game 3: MC opens with a 2 base, 7 gateway strategy, while STC expands to 3 bases, taking the gold expansion. While MC did not know about this, he pushes out relatively early catching STC somewhat offguard with some excellent sentry play, Forcefielding off bunkers so they cannot be repaired by SCVs and ultimately STC crumbled under that push, sending MC to Code S in the GSL and the Grand Finals here at MLG Orlando.
oGs.MC vs EG.HuK – Protoss vs Protoss – Grand Finals
This is the first time there’s been a Protoss vs Protoss Grand Final in any tournament for a very long time, several months in fact. As well, since the MLG signed the Korean Exchange agreement with the GSL, this is the first time it’s been a “foreigner” vs. a Korean in the Grand Finals, so it was quite the night for firsts, to be sure. HuK starts this extended series with a 2-1 lead due to his performance in Pool Play vs MC, so all he needs to win is 2 matches, while MC needs 3.
Game 1: The match opens with some friendly banter between the two players, as they mirrored each other’s builds almost exactly, however, HuK decides to push out earlier than MC slowly pulling ahead. This initial push proves to be too much for MC as he crumbles beneath excellent micro putting MC on notice, HuK on match point.
HuK just after MC GG'd out of the second game
Game 2: I’m not sure what exactly MC was thinking here, maybe it was desperation. Maybe it was the fact that all he really wanted was that code S spot. Who knows, but whatever the reason, MC decided it would be a good idea to attempt to cheese here with his tournament life on the line – he attempts an opening cannon rush which is thwarted by excellent worker placement to prevent the warping in of a pylon. Next, MC goes for a Dark Templar build, which HuK was also expecting and had an observer out to deal with. This put MC so far behind that HuK was able to easily push out and defeat the Kratos Protoss, MC, taking his second MLG championship in Starcraft 2, the first person to ever do so!
Crowd Reaction to the HuK victory!
During the awards ceremony for Starcraft 2, Chris “HuK” Loranger had this to say:
“My dad flew in for this event from Canada, I missed his 50th birthday, so, this one’s for you Dad! Also, I grew up in Florida, so I’d like to thank everyone for coming out and supporting Starcraft 2 and eSports, as well as the fans around the world watching, so thank you.”
When asked how he felt having to fight MC, who had been a long time friend:
“I think we can all just say that we’re glad the Protoss President (another of MC’s nicknames) is back in Code S again.”
Photos from Day 3!
Here are some photos of the crowd and the other competitions that were going on during day 3 with a brief caption describing them
Some folks making signs
Dynasty, the Halo Reach MLG Orlando 2011 Champions
Eon Optic Gaming the Call of Duty Black Ops MLG Orlando Champions
A great shot of White-Ra that I missed yesterday
Another shot of HuK with the MLG Orlando SC2 trophy
HuK with casters Artosis, Tasteless, Day, Husky, and JP McDaniels
That'll do it for MLG Orlando 2011 – from all of us here at GameZone we hope you enjoyed our coverage of this event. I'd like to take a moment and thank all of those who helped me out here in Orlando: My photographers Louis Malortigue and Dakota Bennett, I couldn't have done all of this without you; Drew Dillulo and Krystal Perkins, thank you for the moral support! So until next time, stay gold, go out and win, gamers! This is Dustin Steiner, eSports Correspondent for GameZone, signing off!
Follow Dustin on Twitter @SteinerDustin