What began with 76 players was down to the final four on Championship Sunday. Classic, teammates Rogue and Maru, as well as the lone remaining foreigner, Serral, entered the day with a mere seven victories between themselves and the title of IEM World Champion.
Semifinal 1: Classic 3 - 0 Serral
- Game 1: Classic kicked off the series by opening gas first and delaying warpgate, an indication that he would head into stargate play. Serral took the bait, only for Classic to switch gears into a two base chargelot all in. Serral tried to defend with queens and zerglings, but it was an impossible task in the face of eight warp gates as the series got off to a brusque start for the Finn.
- Game 2: Serral’s ling flood failed to pay off, as Classic held a worker lead by the time Serral was ushered away. A pair of oracles along with a void ray and phoenix forced spores and queens. Classic followed that up by forcing a large number of zerglings with archon drops and zealot warpins. All the while he was collecting storm, immortals and archons. Ahead on supply, Classic moved across the map, easily crushing Serral who didn’t even have baneling speed ready.
- Game 3: Game three took place on Eastwatch. The game got off to a more passive start than the first two, with Serral slowly assembling an army filled with roaches, hydralisks and lurkers. Classic managed to snipe off Serral's gold base by killing the rocks, but Serral still had more bases and a thriving economy. He maxed out with his fifth base in production, but Classic moved out. His archons and immortals got caught in a choke, but he forced his way through, routing Serral’s army as the Finnish Zerg crumbled against Classic's more technologically advanced force. His concession gave Classic the match by a 3-0 scoring, raising his record on the weekend to 16-2 heading into the grand final.
Semifinal 2: Rogue 3 - 2 Maru
- Game 1: Maru opened the series with the out of favor 2/1/1 to minimal effect, with the most noteworthy contribution being the fact that it pushed Rogue into single evolution chamber play and held the creep spread back. Rogue tried to expand as the game progressed, only to lose three bases to Maru's marines. His run-by wiped out Maru's fourth base, but he had no answer to Maru's final push which featured the full Terran menagerie of ghosts, liberators and tanks.
- Game 2: Maru's proxy 2 rax blocked Rogue's ramp on Neon Violet Square, but the Jin Air Zerg managed to get up a gold base. Behind on workers, Rogue went for a ling/bane all in and, while he killed 20 workers, Maru survived with the worker count even. Killing both of Rogue's bases with banshees elicited the Zerg's concession.
- Game 3: Rogue went for a 17/17/17 in game three which succeeded in slowing the orbital at Maru's natural. His typically aggressive self, Maru pressured Rogue with hellions and drops while the latter defended with roaches. Having deflected Maru's double drop at his fourth base, Rogue morphed 15 ravagers and took the offense. He crashed into Maru's third base while keeping Maru's marines at bay with corrosive biles. The flood of units never stopped for Rogue, who pulled the score back to 2-1.
- Game 4: Maru appeared to have deflected Rogue's nydus worm without even knowing about it when his viking sniped Rogue's overseer, but the wall in his natural was anything but tight, allowing Rogue to run in and plant a nydus in Maru's main base anyway. Maru had no response to the roaches and queens, bringing the series to a fifth game.
- Game 5: Rogue went for pool/hatch/hatch on Backwater, even managing to kill some of Maru's SCVs with his first four zerglings. Rogue's decision to make eight mutalisks didn't net much damage, but his subsequent attack with an innumerable horde of zerglings and banelings put Maru at a 40 worker deficit. From there it was a simple matter of reloading before dealing the killing blow that sent Rogue to the finals.
Grand Final: Rogue 4 - 0 Classic
- Game 1: Rogue took game one with the same roach/queen nydus all-in that Elazer used to defeat Classic earlier in the tournament.
- Game 2: Rogue played a more standard game on Blackpink, defending against Classic's archon drops with zerglings and queens. Classic postured on the map, but finally decided to pull the trigger when mutalisks arrived in his main base. Classic lost most of his army as well as an entire mineral line, setting up a final attack of hydralisks along with 54 banelings that easily overran Classic.
- Game 3: Classic's three base chargelot/archon pressure put a slight kink in Rogue's economy on Neon Violet Square, but he continued into hydra/bane, largely unfazed. Classic begun to prod at Rogue who defended with minimal losses. Killing Rogue's gold base brought the base count from four to four, with Rogue going into brood lords while Classic had tempests in production. The players eventually split the map, with Rogue's runbys and zergling doom drop unable to do crippling damage. Rogue amassed a daunting army of brood lords, corruptors and vipers below which he erected a forest of spore crawlers. Classic was steadily bled dry, until he was forced into a hopeless engagement that gave Rogue a 3-0 lead.
- Game 4: Rogue's low economy ling/ravager all-in did substantial damage to Classic’s economy, but Classic survived due in large part to void rays. He added on oracles and a second stargate, doing economic damage and killing queens before adding a robotics facility. He managed to squander whatever lead he did have, however, losing expensive stargate units without getting anything in return. Rogue put the queens he had been building to good use as he walked them across the very small Abiogenesis. Queens, roaches and zerglings proved to be too much as Rogue took his fourth win, making him the IEM World Champion.
Rogue is your 2018 IEM World Champion!
Recaps by: Mizenhauer