BlizzCon: Team expert Byun takes down Dark in SCII

"ByuN" Hyun Woo, a Terran player from South Korea, accepts his StarCraft World Championship trophy in the StarCraft II Arena after his win over Dark. Brinson and Banks for ESPN

Day 2

Team expert Hyun "ByuN" Woo is your StarCraft II World Championship Series (WCS) Global Finals champion. The micro machine capped off a stellar 2016 with the ultimate prize in professional StarCraft II competition with a victory at BlizzCon. He bested the greatest Zerg player in the world, Park "Dark" Ryung Woo to claim the prize.

The grand finals

The greatest Zerg player in StarCraft II and the favorite for BlizzCon, Dark, took on the best micro player in the world, ByuN, in a matchup of dreams. It was a game of reaction against aggression, and it was the ByuN, the aggressor, that won out. He used a multitude of starts and timing pushes to relegate Dark to defense. Dark's macro game was immaculate and his reactionary maneuvers were top-notch, but it was mostly to prevent the game from becoming a wash; it did, however, allow for a couple games to enter the late game. ByuN's bio-control and multiple-pronged attacks and aggression were key to winning the set, but it was his understanding of each map's angles and high ground that really won the games.

When the games did enter the late game, Dark and his Zerg armies could reconstruct and adapt to ByuN's compositions. Dark showed off elite counter-attacks and economic trades through Baneling bombs and rotations, but it was incredibly difficult to push off his opponent from attack mode. After ByuN's convincing first win through map control, faster macro, and the advantage of better high ground for siege, the tempo was set.


Dark rolled through the last non-Korean player, True eSport's Mikołaj "Elazer" Ogonowski in a 3-0 manner. With the win, Dark was 10-1 during the WCS Global Finals and entered his fifth grand finals of the year. Unfortunately for Elazer, the gap between him and Dark was too far apart. The difficulties of countering Dark's starts and aggression was the biggest challenge as each game ended in quick succession.

ByuN took down KT Rolster's Kim "Stats" Dae Yeob in a 3-1 finish to set up the grand finals. ByuN took to the pressure early and often against Stats, regardless of the map. He was the initiator and differentiated from reaper all-ins to proxy barracks to throw off Stats. On the other hand, Stats was mostly on the defense and showcased several starts, but his last greedy play cost him the chance to the grand finals.

Day 1

A BlizzCon top four spot in the StarCraft II World Championship Series (WCS) Global Finals is career-defining and after a day of action and upsets, four players -- Mikołaj "Elazer" Ogonowski, Park "Dark" Ryung Woo, Hyun "ByuN" Woo and Kim "Stats" Dae Yeob -- will duke it out in the semifinals for a chance at the ultimate StarCraft championship.

True eSport's Mikołaj "Elazer" Ogonowski moved on over Millenium's Tobias "ShoWTimE" Sieber 3-1 in the battle between two of the more surprising entrants at the Global Finals. Elazer mixed up a variety of strategies that proved effective throughout the set against ShoWTimE (for example, increased Overlord speed for drops and Swarm Hosts). ShoWTimE took down his only game with incredible Adept play and flexed his macro ability with a complete shutdown of the map. But he also made too many questionable build decisions against the faster openers of Elazer. Elazer was just a little better in the micro department and it made all the difference; he even took the game on Dasan Station, arguably a Protoss-favored map.

Park "Dark" Ryung Woo was in top form against the lone USA player, Ting's Alex "Neeblet" Sunderhaft. Dark's only real stumble during the road to the quarterfinals was an ultra late loss against KT Rolster's Kim "Stats" Dae Yeob and he did everything he could to prevent any game from entering that stage. Neeblet's scouting was solid, but not thorough enough to prevent most of Dark's attacks (fast Overlords against Stargate openers). As a result, Dark's timing and sudden all-ins were incredibly effective. Whether it was Overlord drops or two-pronged attacks, Neeblet's defense melted completely to Dark's aggression and precise initiations.

Team expert "ByuN" Hyun Woo took down KT Rolster's Jun "TY" Tae Yang 3-1 in a mirror match between the two best Terran players in StarCraft II. Both players were pristine in the matchup (80+ percent win rates) and it had the makings of a long and even set. But TY was forced to play defense for the majority of the set because of ByuN's speedy starts. Whether ByuN used double gas for a fast Reaper strategy or timed his drops to pincer from multiple angles, it was an all-out attack. Although TY's macro and upgrade edge led to stronger compositions and defense, it was ByuN's chaotic attacks, superior micro, and early game aggression that ultimately led to his victory.

Stats took down Joo "Zest" Sung Wook 3-2 in a mirror match that provided cheese, great defense, and clutch timing attacks. The matchup pitted Stats' superior defensive positioning and upgrade timings against Zest's cheesier starts and aggression. Both players used unique openings, coupled with aggression to feint their strategies (Zest's mass Adepts and proxy Pylons/Stargate and Dark Templar rush). As a result, each game was a different strategy and opening; whether it was a base race, a cheese strategy, or a great defensive hold, it was an in-depth look at the versatility of Protoss vs. Protoss.