After a delayed start and continued lag issues, the World Championship Series Tiebreaker between Revival and NaNiwa took off with an exciting 3-0 shut out by NaNiwa.
The two players, who played at the Blizzard Irvine Campus played a best-of-five match, broadcast live over Twitch.
Swedish NaNiwa is a strong Protoss player, though he has had a rough year in the Premiere League, and usually does fantastic in Protoss vs. Zerg. As commentator James “Kaelaris” Carrol put it, “He’s really having the best success of anyone we’ve seen outside of Korea.” He’s considered to be a fairly predictable player, though he seemed to play unexpectedly in this match.
Revival is a Korean player who recently had a four row sweep against fellow Evil Genius teammate Oz and is considered exceptionally good against Protoss.
Right off the gate, possibly because of a map choice that seemed geared against him, NaNiwa went off as aggressive. His method of resource collection and build was considered “greedy,” and commentators and fans alike worried that he was overdrawing himself. However, as Shaun “Apollo” Clark (another commentator) put it, “An aggressive stance is necessary if he wanted to win that map.”
Revival probably saw this coming as he went straight defensive for the opening match, attempting to build up his resources and defenses so that he could make it to the late game where he is strongest.
“Quick and cutthroat,” as Kaeleris put it with what would be his match winning strategies of controlled shield placement and proper utilization of blink.
General feeling was that NaNiwa would back down a little in Game 2 as this was a more defensive map, but he once again went for the throat. Revival is considered championship caliber, but he over drew his resources and didn’t seem to read the game well. He executed a somewhat successful attack against NaNiwa, throwing waves of zerglings and roaches on the Protoss player, but this proved to be his undoing.
NaNiwa was just killing on the forcefields, pushing back waves of Zerg attacks. Commentator Kaeleris put it best. “I have to come back to those forcefields. He’s executed this so well considering the position he’s in.” Ultimately, Revival couldn’t come back from the failed attack, and was lambasted across the Twitch stream comments for “over droning.”
The final match initially seemed like more of a open field for the two players. It’s difficult for a player, no matter the quality, to come back from a 2-0 loss, but Revival put together a solid opening play, choosing to wait and not over extend himself, allowing his creep to slowly seep down the middle. Initial NaNiwa attacks were successfully thwarted by Revival, but after taking a base, Naniwa cleared up all of the roaches and the game was pretty much over, even though Revival had a better economy.
The whole three game match ended up lasting only about 30 minutes, discounting technical delays, and really showed what a force NaNiwa can be in the right situation. How he plays at Blizzcon remains to be seen.
What did you think of the match?