Written By: Steve Vegvari
The Canadian Finals of the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG) concluded at the Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto. After covering a wide array of games during October’s EGLX, the WESG Canadian Finals officially wrapped up with Starcraft II and the Hearthstone Woman’s and Co-Ed games. Each player to win the finals would not only receive a grand prize but also advance and represent Canada in the World Finals in China next year.
Scarlett went up against TheRiddler to kick off the event. TheRiddler, was looked at as the underdog in this semifinal series. Scarlett, who leans on her Zerg plays is widely considered one of the more competent Starcraft II players in Canada.
Knowing he was going up against Scarlett, TheRiddler threw curveball after curveball. In the first game, TheRiddler began creating builds that were a bit unconventional to trip Scarlett up. Even though there was a bit of a rocky start, Scarlett was able to pull herself together and win the first game.
Knowing that these games were not going to be as cut and dry, Scarlett reacted accordingly and began playing more reactively. In a more aggressive game, Scarlett covered all her bases and made an early push which panned out. Scarlett was able to disable TheRiddler’s defence and took the second game.
Into the third match, both players were poking and prodding each other in an attempt to get the other to break their resource grind. TheRiddler, focused on a more offensive strategy, had Scarlett in a couple tight spots. Scarlett was able to build out her Infestor and Corruptor army, which was crucial to her victory in the finals game. With a 3-0 sweep, Scarlett pushed forward and secured her spot in the finals.
The second semifinal matchup saw MaSa go up against Bioice. MaSa was looking like the strong contender, with a stronger win rating over Bioice. MaSa, playing Terran against Bioice’s Zerg, made an early and quick push towards Bioice’s bunker build. Without any pushback, MaSa ran a small marine army uncontested and put some pressure on Bioice. Bioice retaliated by building out a large Baneling army. Playing methodically, Bioice was able to make a sizeable push before MaSa had a chance to react. MaSa brought a huge Siege Tank army and made a destructive push, winning the first map.
Onto the second map, Bioice began with an early scout, gained the field advantage. MaSa, played very defensively off the bat. MaSa utilized Widow Mines to counteract Bioice’s Baneling plays long enough to build out a cleanup crew big enough to run through Bioice’s builds. This strategy ensured MaSa took the second game.
In game three, Bioice came back with an offensive push right from the get-go. In an unfortunate event, MaSa sent out his offensive units at the exact moment Bioice sent a wave of Banelings into MaSa’s main base. Without a secure defence, MaSa quickly fell and Bioice got on the board.
In game four, MaSa played a slower game. Grinding out a resource play, he built a strong army of Reapers and Hellions to swarm Bioice’s base. Though it was a slow start, MaSa picked up steam and quickly won the fourth, and final game. MaSa would continue into the finals and go up against Scarlett.
Scarlett and MaSa are among the best in the country. Scarlett herself noted that if put up against MaSa, it would be a tough matchup. While Scarlett is a very strong player, she seems to falter whenever she goes against MaSa.
Heading into game one, it looked like Scarlett may have found her footing, playing as Zerg against MaSa’s Terran. Though both teams quickly ramped up production of both army units and bunker bases, Scarlett was able to round herself out and adequately defend against MaSa. Countering MaSa, Scarlett was able to rush his base and efficiently took the lead.
Moving onto the Dreamcatcher map, MaSa came back with a vengeance. MaSa began with a strategic poxy build, unbeknownst to Scarlett. While Scarlett concentrated on building out her drone count, MaSa chipped away Scarlett’s builds with Hellion and Banshees. Throwing enough distractions, MaSa quickly made use of his proxy build and broke Scarlett down and got on the board.
In game three, the paranoia of proxy builds grew. Both players spread their builds out and took the expansion out to all four corners of the map. Scarlett and MaSa both slowly built their economy and ensured their armies were fortified. As Scarlett began a full-fledged push into MaSa’s territory, MaSa brought out his Battlecruisers and put a swift end to the game.
MaSa felt very confident leading into game four. Having to only win one final game, MaSa went for a strong economy play rather than a cheeky proxy finish. MaSa was methodically building out his expansions, while Scarlett expecting the worse; expanded deep into the map. Once MaSa’s push began, it came aggressively. Scarlett quickly began to fall and could not regain her composure. Giving Scarlett no time to rebuild, MaSa ran through all her builds and cleaned up game four.
MaSa effectively became the first WESG Canadian Finalist winner of the day. Winning a respectable $8,000CAD, he will continue to play in the WESG in China next year.
To begin the woman’s side of the Hearthstone semifinals, Shadowmisstep went head to head against EmillyyyS2. Shadow began with a slight advantage. Her Druid deck placed Emillyyy’s Odd Paladin deck. As Emilyyy attempted to build out any defensive play, Shadow quickly took the first game when using her Savage Roar, forcing Emilyyy to concede. Into game two, Emilyyy fell into a fantastic position. After a running out of minions, Shadow was out of options as Emillyyy drew her Raider Leader. As she used it alongside her line of minions, quickly won game two.
Game three saw Emillyyy continue her momentum. Her Druid deck was built out well and allowed her to apply a ton of pressure onto Misstep. Emillyyy’s aggressive strategies paid off as she won the third game will little pushback.
In game four, Shadow regained composure and found herself with a powerful lineup. Despite Emillyyy’s best effort, Shadow tied it all up 2-2, forcing the two into game five. The last game of this matchup saw Shadow continue to play aggressively. Her Warlock deck was well rounded enough to not give Emilyyy the edge she needed. In the end, Misstep was the play to advance to the finals.
The second matchup brought Teebs and JennBunns to the stage. Teebs is a longtime player, but one who has not found herself on stage. While JennBunns is more commonly known for their streaming presence. Both players looking for their breakout moment, during the WESG. From the jump, Teebs seemed to have the advantage with her Druid deck against JennBunns’ Paladin. Teebs played a few aggressive hands which helped her pick up the first game.
In game two, both players went in with their Paladin decks. After coming off a loss, the pressure was on JennBunns and her Odd Paladin deck. JennBunns threw her minions onto the field to continuously block Teebs’ pressure. Into the late game, Teebs drew the winning line up and won the second game.
Onto the third game, the weight of this series was on JennBunns’ shoulders. In a make it or break it match, JennBunns still had a chance. Her Odd Paladin would prove effective over Teebs’ Shaman deck. With a controlled lineup and a devastating Volcano, Teebs solidified her placement in the finals.
Teebs and ShadoMmisstep returned to the stage for the final series. As ShadowMisstep had a bit less experience, Teebs was looked at as the favourite. Coming into the first match Misstep utilized her Paladin deck, while Teebs used her Druid. The first game felt very evenly matched, both players were aggressive from the get-go. Although it was Teebs with her Swipe and Moonlight that won the match.
Misstep came back in game two and was clearly more comfortable using her Druid deck. Without much contention, she was able to take the second game after Teebs failed to draw anything of substance in the late game.
The third game was very one-sided in Teebs’ favour. Her Paladin deck had the upper edge and her card draws continuously placed Misstep in a tight situation. Without much pushback, Teebs took the lead.
In what would be the last game of the Woman’s Finals, both players were a bit more evenly matched. While it did seem like Misstep had the advantage, the game quickly turned around as Teebs cleared the board. After a masterful use of Lifedrinker, it felt Misstep with very little options. Teebs then took the Finals in the Canadian WESG tournament.
The Co-Ed series was held a bit differently. A Losers Bracket would be held. Of the four qualifying players, three would advance to the grand finals in China and the Losers Bracket would determine the third player to advance. Over on the Co-Ed series, Purple and Impact were up first. Impact began with early control over the field. Purple was unable to find any breakaway and could not find his footing in the first game. Impact was quickly on the advantage.
In the second game, Purple played his Hunter deck very aggressively. Taking an early game control, the pressure applied never allowed Impact to regain composure. Purple found his place on the board, bring the series to 1-1. Now more comfortable, Purple went a little too passive in game three. Into the late-game, Impact was able to apply pressure at the right moment and before Purple was able to react, the game was over.
In game four, Purple was banking on drawing Shudderwock for a better chance to win. Instead, we saw Impact make use of the card as Purple drew round over round hoping to find the Hail Mary. As Purple was able to draw his Shudderwock, it was too late. Impact was the first to secure his placement in the Canadian Finals and WESG’s Grand Finals.
The second matchup brought Ranlit to go up against TheJordude. TheJordude has been around the circuit a bit longer than Ranlit. However, there was less pressure on Ranlit, so he came in with slightly more composure. Starting off, Ranlit began with his Odd Paladin deck, versus Jordude’s Druid. Jordude was off to a great start with a Nourish and Wild Growth draw. However, Ranlit’s minion field presence slowed Jordude down. While it was not the cleanest win, Jordude was able to take the first game.
Game two was just as troublesome for Ranlit. Though both players continued playing very methodically, Ranlit ultimately had to concede to Jordude once he drew his Shudderwock. As the series was now 2-0 for Jordude, game three was very important for Ranlit. He had to shake off the nerves and get his head back into the game. Ranlit was visibly distressed, but got his head into the game and managed to get on the board and survive for another game.
This was a turning point for Ranlit. Between increased confidence and a properly built deck, he was able to bring this momentum and continue to apply pressure on Jordude in game four. Jordude was unable to counter and ultimately would have to break a 2-2 tie in game five.
Things were looking very positive for Ranlit. However, as Jordude drew his King Krush, everything changed. Coming from 28HP, King Krush quickly ended Ranlit’s winning streak and gave Jordude the victory.
Though Ranlit lost in the semifinals, he returned to the stage against Purple. Both players, while not being in the event’s final match, still had the opportunity to play in the Grand Finals. As a more well rounded and experienced player, Purple came out aggressively. In a full sweep, he dominated all three games. With his Hunter, Druid, and Shaman decks at play, he gave very little wiggle room for Ranlt to get the advantage. Overall, the three matches were clean and effective in getting Purple to qualify for the WESG Grand Finals.
Impact and TheJordude returned to the stage for the final matchup of the event. As both players had been multitasking on studies and other ventures, neither had a clear advantage. Although Impact did have prior experience over TheJordude.
TheJordude came out with his Shaman deck in game one, which placed Impact in a bit of a hard spot. His Odd Paladin may not have been optimized for this sort of match up. That being said, Impact did not let this phase him the slightest. Taking domination of the board, he effectively took the first game very swiftly.
Impact continued his line of domination into the second game. His Even Warlock deck placed him in a good spot to play aggressively and fast. Into game three, Jordude knew he had to kick it up a notch. Jordude’s Hunter deck had a bit of an advantage over the Shaman deck. While it was not the cleanest match, Jordude managed to get on the board.
Jordude went into game four with a bit more confidence. Playing each turn very slowly, he was able to chip away Impact’s health without relinquishing his defence. Leaving little to chance, Jordude held out long enough to use a double Spellbreaker which lead to the series going to game five.
The pressure was on for both players at this point. Impact was feeling a bit more confident now that he was left with his Shaman deck. Backing Jordude into a corner, Impact had complete board domination. During the late game, Jordude had minimal options. Impact stole game five while he collects a sizeable cash prize for winning the tournament, he will also advance alongside Jordude and Purple to WESG’s Grand Finals next year.
Congratulations to all winners in the Canadian WESG games. For more on Hearthstone, keep it locked to Inside WorldGaming Network.
About The Author: Steve Vegvari
Steve is based in Toronto, Ontario. His enthusiasm and adoration of the video game industry go back to the days of SNES. Find him on Twitter and join in on the escapades.