Caviar Napoleon "EnDerr" Acampado of Sibol, the Philippine esports team, took home the gold medal for StarCraft II at the 30th Southeast Asian Games, beating Singapore's Thomas "Blysk" Kopankiewicz, 4-1, in a Zerg vs. Protoss gold medal match at the San Juan Arena on Tuesday morning.
This is the third gold medal for the country in esports after the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang team and Dota 2 secured gold over the past few days.
Acampado and Kopankiewicz were drawn into Group B. Acampado held an unbeaten series record in the group, but lost one game at the hands of Kopankiewicz. This gave Acampado the top seed of the group, while Kopankiewicz, settled for third after losing his series against Acampado and Indonesia's Emmanuel Enrique.
As the No. 1 seed, Acampado faced Vietnam's Tran Hong Phuc in the upper bracket finals. The series between the two Southeast Asian rivals went the distance with the Filipino inching out the win in a thrilling base race.
Kopankiewicz had to go through the lower bracket, dismantling Sibol player Derick Santos and winning against fellow Singaporean Toh Wei Liang Alvin in four games. The Singaporean secured his grand finals appearance after a 3-1 victory over Tran in the lower bracket finals.
Acampado opened the series with a Ravager and Zergling army against Kopankiewicz. The pressure was enough to overwhelm the Singaporean as Sibol drew first blood in the best-of-seven series.
Kopankiewicz changed it up in the second game, opening with Oracles and Void Rays. The strategy proved effective against the early Zergling pressure from Acampado. The Filipino, though, was able to fight back with a backdoor Nydus Worm and found a lead from there. The Singaporean was once again forced to tap out.
Acampado continued the early pressure in Game 3, but his opponent was ready to defend. This time, Kopankiewicz used Immortals to defend and used the small victories to tech and build up for two Colossi. With just an army mainly comprised of Hydralisks, the Acampado was forced to concede.
The Singaporean started the fourth game with an early Adept army to pressure Acampado, but the Filipino held tight and amassed his own army comprised of Roaches, Ravegers, Zerglings, and for the first time, Mutalisks. The two players had one massive clash with Kopankiewicz lossing a majority of his army. He did his best to hold on, but ended calling "ggwp".
"I had missed a timing and realized I chose the wrong upgrade in Game 3. I even asked the other players why the build went wrong, but it was that mistake with the upgrade that did it," Acampado said of his Game 3 loss.
The harass and early game pressure continued between the two players in the fifth game. Acampado added in Swarm Hosts to his army and used them to harass Kopankiewicz' bases from further distances. It was a slow burn into the Singaporean's economy, but ultimately, he was forced to call it quits.
"I was ecstatic when I won. It felt great to have the weight of the pressure and nerves finally off me. I've been carrying the weight and was hoping to win for about a year. It feels great to be able to breathe again. I'm just really happy," said Acampado.