Day 1: Group Stages
As usual, the first group was largely a formality, with European favorites such as Harstem and Stephano moving on without facing much trouble.
The second group stage was a bit bloodier, but again the cream rose to the top. DeMusliM, Guru and MaNa were among the victims, but PtitDrogo, DnS and HeRoMaRinE topped their groups to reach the final group stage.
Group stage #3 was where the rubber met the road, with seeded players from regional qualifiers such as Nerchio and Neeb joining the fray. The latter finished second in his group, booking a ticket to the playoffs alongside Serral, TRUE, Bly and more. It was also the end of the road for 16 players including Cham, Kelazhur, Zanster, but most notably Code RO16 player Scarlett who went 0-2 against Namshar to drop out of the event.
Day 2: RO16 to Quarterfinals
With the brackets drawn, the round of 16 kicked off with a PvZ between Elazer and Nice. Elazer was almost upset by the challenger from Taiwan, but managed to pull out a 3-2 victory. Neeb advanced to face Elazer in their quadrant of the bracket after defeating HeRoMaRinE 3-1.
ShoWTimE beat Namshar 3-2 and TRUE took out Bly 3-1, setting up a second PvZ quarterfinal. Serral and Nerchio swept MaSa and SortOf respectively, while SpeCial and Snute rounded out the Round of 8 with a 3-1 win over uThermal and a 3-0 over Lambo.
The second day of WCS Leipzig was far from complete though as Elazer and Neeb engaged in a blockbuster match that saw Neeb come out on top 3-2. ShoWTimE glided past TRUE by a 3-0 score, while Serral required the same amount of games to send Nerchio home. The final quarterfinal went the distance, but it was SpeCial who endured over Snute to complete the Round of 4.
Day 3: Semifinals and grand final
ShoWTimE fell behind 2-1 in the first semifinal, but evened the series on Neon Violet Square in a phoenix vs phoenix battle. He closed out the series in game five on the back of faster attack upgrades and a chargelot heavy army that ran over Neeb's stalkers.
Serral jumped out to a 2-0 lead after a nydus worm full of roaches and queens caught SpeCial unprepared. SpeCial won the next game with ghost/lib/tank, but his attempt at mech in game four was slapped back by hydra/bane as Serral continued his charge to the finals.
Grand Finals: ShoWTimE vs Serral
Game one took place on Neon Violet Square. Serral’s lurkers were unable to do any damage as ShoWTimE ramped up to skytoss. Serral remained mobile with a lower tech army however, running ShoWTimE ragged with multi-prong attacks before finally adding on corruptors to deal the final blow.
Game two on Eastwatch played out similarly to the first. Serral failed to do critical damage early, but was able to pull ShoWTimE apart with roaches and hydralisks. Corruptors once more administered the coup de grace to ShoWTimE’s small fleet, giving Serral a 2-0 lead.
Backwater took even longer to decide a victor, with Serral building an advanced army full of infestors, corruptors and ultralisks after failing to break a four base ShoWTimE. Serral's minerals approached 10k as he plunged in one final time. ShoWTimE's army was vanquished and his attempt to remax with stalkers was met by brood lords, putting him in a 3-0 hole.
Serral went for a ling flood with drops on Catalyst, but was shut down by ShoWTimE who took a sizeable worker lead into the mid game. A failed counterattack allowed Serral to kill the German Protoss' third, but ShoWTimE was still ahead 20 workers. He teched into storm, immortals and archons, wiping out Serral's lurkers as they burrowed between ShoWTimE's third and fourth. From there it was a simple matter of mopping up the remnant of Serral's army as ShoWTimE got on the scoreboard 1-3.
Serral went for a low economy lurker/ling attack in game 5 on Blackpink, but ShoWTimE, who had immortals and charge, managed to hold up 20 workers. Serral reloaded and went for another, but ShoWTimE once more held fast. With zealots ravaging Serral's main on the other side of the map, the Finnish Zerg conceded.
A flood of roaches bought Serral a 40 supply lead on Acid Plant, putting ShoWTimE in a defensive posture. Serral never let his foot off the gas, adding hydralisks and lurkers. ShoWTimE tried to weather the ceaseless pressure with high templars, immortals and archons, but Serral was too much. ShoWTimE left the game soon after, making Serral the 2018 WCS Leipzig champion and the first person to earn a spot at the WCS Global Finals.