South Korean StarCraft II player Lee "INnoVation" Shin Hyung (Terran) took down Kim "Stats" Dae Yeob (Protoss), 4-0, in the grand finals of Intel Extreme Masters Gyeonggi in Gyeonggi, South Korea on Sunday for a $15,000 first prize.
As the favorite to take down the tournament, INnoVation lived up to the billing and waded through the absolutely stacked 16-player field for a massive victory. After his dominant run, INnoVation could very well be the top Terran player in the world in the new patch for StarCraft II. The well-rounded Terran showed off exactly what his signature all-around play was about; whether it was defensive stances and holds against aggressive starts or late-game expertise, he was in top form.
For Stats, this was yet another 'almost there' finish. The cheesy but solid Protoss lost in a landslide in grand finals, but he proved to be a threat in the new patch for the foreseeable future. Stats looked every bit the part of a contender throughout the weekend.
Game 1: Vaani Research Station
INnoVation struck first on the first map with perfect counter play against Stats' strategy to go to the air early. Stats' timing attacks with Phoenix and Adepts put him behind INnoVation's bio counter and he relinquished both the Protoss macro potential on Vaani Research Station and the map control. INnoVation demonstrated patience when he finally unleashed his stimmed bio army against the weaker ground forces of Stats for the quick victory.
INnoVation 1:0 Stats
Game 2: Habitation Station
Stats' attempted a bit of a cheesy opener for early aggression against INnoVation with a proxy Stargate and fast Oracles. Unfortunately, INnoVation's defense and response were perfectly timed. The cheese was thwarted by scouting and defensive structures at the main base and a timed defensive counter to the aggression on Stats' expansion. INnoVation would counter-attack with multiple drops on the main mining base, the defensive front, and even the armies of Stats. INnoVation split up Stats' forces and continued to mount relentless pressure until he pushed for the victory before the research of Psionic Storm was finished for Stats.
INnoVation 2:0 Stats
Game 3: Whirlwind
Stats went for another proxy Stargate on the bigger map, Whirlwind, to throw off INnoVation's better late game strategies and play. Stats went for an all-in with Void Rays to potentially steal a victory on map three, but INnoVation's scouting and defense were too quick. INnoVation set up bunkers with reinforcements to battle the push and took enough casualties for the 3-0.
INnoVation 3:0 Stats
Game 4: Echo
Unexpectedly, INnoVation answered Stats' cheesy openers with one of his own. A proxy Barracks and Factory next to the expansion of Stats caught him by surprise and dealt irreparable economic damage. Stats pulled all his workers from his main base, but INnoVation's Cyclone and bio rush proved too lethal. INnoVation's micro and unforeseen opener crushed the map and took down the set.
INnoVation 4:0 Stats