State on StarCraft: Dear’s Historic Victory in WCS Season 3

State on StarCraft is a weekly column on Game Front by Ryan “State” Visbeck, a pro StarCraft 2 player. Each week State brings you his unique perspective on all things StarCraft, including tips, tricks and stories from the front line of competitive play.

NOTE: “State” is officially sponsored by Game Front.


Baek “Dear” Dong Jun is the World Championship Series Season 3 champion.

The 19-year-old Protoss player and former Brood War progamer first entered the scene when the Korean eSports Association (KeSPA) began transitioning to StarCraft 2 last year. Though he was one of the top performing players in the 2012-2013 KeSPA Proleague, Dear lacked the individual league success of then-teammates Lee “INnoVation” Shin Hyung and Shin “hyvaa” Dae Kun.

Entering this season, Dear had just 250 WCS Points to his name, thousands behind those in contention for the end-of-the-year Global Finals at BlizzCon. Following his back-to-back wins in WCS Korea and at the WCS Season 3 Finals, Dear has come—seemingly out of nowhere—to clinch his spot at BlizzCon.

It seemed to everyone that the Season 3 Finals would finally decide which 16 players will qualify for the end-of-the-year Global Finals at BlizzCon. But after a perfect storm of unexpected results, there’s one last spot up for grabs. The Swedish-born Protoss player Johan “NaNiwa” Lucchesi is now just 25 points ahead of Korean Zerg player Kim “Revival” Dong Hyun in the global standings—and Revival has one more match to play in WCS America’s Challenger League.

Should Revival place in the Top 2 of his four-player group, the 25 points awarded will tie him with NaNiwa for 16th place in the WCS Global Standings, setting the stage for a live best-of-5 tiebreaker at BlizzCon. If Revival fails to place in the Top 2 of his group, NaNiwa advances directly into the main event at BlizzCon. Not wanting to take any chances, NaNiwa offered up a $500 bounty on Revival for whoever can beat him this Thursday.

It’s not the only tiebreaker scenario in this year’s WCS.

The Korean Terran players Han “aLive” Lee Seok and Jung “Mvp” Jong Hyun are currently tied at 3600 points apiece. Though both players have qualified for BlizzCon, their ranking still matters for seeding purposes—and like Revival, aLive still has one more match to play in America’s Challenger League.

Should aLive place in the Top 2 of his group, he will outrank Mvp and face Choi “Polt” Seong Hun in the first round at BlizzCon. Should aLive fail to place Top 2 in his group, he will be outranked by Mvp due to Blizzard’s rules on tiebreakers and play Lee “Jaedong” Jae Dong instead.

Dear’s back-to-back wins are historic. He is the third-ever GSL Royal Roader—a rookie who wins a GSL or OSL in their debut season—the first Protoss GSL champion in over a year, and the first regional champion to win a Season Finals. And while his championship runs in Season 3 set the stage for NaNiwa at BlizzCon, NaNiwa’s race to qualify is far from over.

Kim “Revival” Dong Hyun plays in the WCS America Challenger League Group A on October 31st. Han “aLive” Lee Seok plays in the WCS America Challenger League Group G on November 3rd. Those matches and more can be found on Blizzard’s official WCS portal.


I’m very happy to announce that I’ll be covering the WCS Global Finals at BlizzCon! This will be my second-ever BlizzCon and my first time providing WCS coverage straight from the tournament floor, and I’m really looking forward to it. The Global Finals is shaping up to be one of the best StarCraft 2 tournaments ever, and I can’t wait to share my experience with you guys!

This week’s replay pack features games against HuK, Scarlett, CatZ and more from the IEM Singapore and Red Bull Battlegrounds qualifiers. Enjoy!


Check back every week for a new State on StarCraft post from Ryan “State” Visbeck!

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