The heat didn’t let up once Saturday at Detroit’s first StarCraft II tournament, the Red Bull Battle Grounds Detroit. With three-fourths of the players eliminated, the remaining 32 duked it out in 16 intense matches for spots in the quarterfinals.
Compared to the group stages and round of 64, today’s matches were much closer. Only one player – American Zerg Michael “Moosegills” Wolff – dropped a game in the round of 64, and today saw no less than seven 2-1 victories. Among these were HyuN vs Bunny, where Team Liquid’s Bunny, despite an extremely strong first game, fell to his Zerg opponent’s macro and multitasking.
On a lighter note, ROOT Gaming’s Chris “Illusion” Lee and My Insanity’s Sam “Kane” Morrissette played a series rife with humorous back-and-forth trashtalk, ultimately ending in Kane’s favor. Bittersweetly, Kane was later eliminated by his teammate, Son “StarDust” Seok Hee.
Players and fans alike continued to be impressed by Red Bull’s work in organizing the event, with the high production value and smooth operation of the second day providing a constant source of nail-biting games.
We were able to catch up with a handful of participants to get their input on the tournament’s organization and outcome.
Traverse City, MI-based player Bret “SpyderSlayer” Reed, a high Diamond league Zerg, was happy that Red Bull brought the event to Detroit. It allowed local talent to see firsthand the differences in mindset and mechanics that top-tier professionals employed that allow them to consistently excel. Bret reached the Round of 64 despite not being in Master or Grandmaster league, and plans to continue to strive for those in the near future. He believes Taeja or Polt are most likely to come out victorious at this event.
Canadian Master Zerg Kaitlyn “kaitlyn” Richelle was also happy with Red Bull’s event organization. She played under the cheeky handle “proxyoracle,” taking out TheWalrus and Ghostface before falling to compLexity’s qxc. Her hopes for the tournament’s victor include Kane, HyuN and viOLet, but she also believes Team Liquid’s Taeja has a good shot at the title. HyuN and viOLet will be competing head-to-head for a spot in the semifinals tomorrow.
Jared “Lycan” Williams, the mind between Gosu Pizza, a weekly tournament where the winner gets a pizza of his choice – unless he or she “cheeses,” and are designated a cheese pizza – also was very pleased with the event. An avid supporter of Red Bull eSports, he noted that he has “no idea how they turn a profit” considering the quality of the venue, stream, and copious quantities of free energy drinks. The official GosuPizza site is undergoing a bit of work, but he promises that it will see its revival soon. Jared believes Taeja or Trust will win.
Heavy-hitting Terran CM Storm’s Choi “Polt” Seong Hun is equally pleased with the event’s setup and performance. He believes his biggest rival in the tournament to be Taeja.
We were also blown away by how accessible every member of the crew was, from the casters (HasuObs, Nathanias, RotterdaM, ToD, Camdozer and Axeltoss) to Ben “MrBitter” Nichol, one of the main organizers and representatives of Red Bull eSports.
Only two Protoss and Terran players remain alongside four Zergs, compared to the initial 42, 23 and 54. StarDust and San will be controlling the Protoss’ alien armies, Polt and Taeja will command the Terrans while Snute, viOLet, HyuN and Petraeus bend the Zerg’s forces to their will. The final day is going to be intense beyond words.
Stay tuned for Hardcore Gamer’s continued coverage of the Red Bull Battle Grounds Detroit.