In an incredible result no one could have predicted, fan-favorite underdog SlayerS_MMA took the GSL championship match from IMMvp 4 games to 1 in front of an absolutely packed house at BlizzCon Friday night.
This marked the first time in the league’s history that a GSL match was played outside of Korea. BlizzCon attendees were treated to a stellar Terran vs. Terran matchup that showcased two of the game’s very best players, casted by none other than Tasteless and Artosis themselves.
And what a treat it was. The full spectacle of eSports was on display in the Anheim Convention Center with all of the GSL’s patented pageantry. Light shows, interviews, and a player entrance through the aisles akin to something out of a pro-wrestling match pumped up the crowd as the two Koreans prepared to battle for a $100,000 prize.
MMA took an early lead on 3-time GSL champion MVP, making a statement early with a fantastic proxy barracks and factory play that showed the crowd that the underdog was here to fight. MMA followed this with a drawn out second game, where MMA’s bio play managed to outdo MVP’s heavy mech build.
MVP came back in a third game on Tal’Darim Altar, locking MMA down with a nasty contain. MMA answered big in game four, forcing MVP into a tense base trade before catching the favored Terran player’s siege tanks out of position and winning his third game.
The series was capped off by an absolutely insane game five, which saw MMA throw everything at MVP: a timed siege push into a broken contain, a relentless series of drops, and more missed nukes than I care to count. Eventually, the two Terrans were forced into yet another base trade situation before MMA managed to clean up with a fleet of vikings and take the GSL crown.
But perhaps more impressive than MMA’s victory was the response from the BlizzCon audience. The convention was left open late into the night in order to facilitate the match, which was delayed for a while due to technical difficulties – filled in with a hysterical documentary on Tasteless. Despite the late hour, an enormous chunk of the crowd stayed to watch the whole match. Both convention halls were packed to capacity with spectators, with many relegated to sitting on the floors around the stage to take in the event.
The results of the night were indisputable: eSports is quickly becoming a major force outside of Korea. With an amazing crowd on hand throwing an enormous amount of support behind the spectacle of pro gaming, it is clear that competitive gaming is growing into a passionate force in the West.