MLG Orlando Wrap up: HUK WINS
Written by James Pugh.
Major League Gaming brought their Pro circuit into Orlando and the E-sports world was firmly planted on Starcraft 2. For fans the weekend was almost perfect, and for foreigners the event seemed like a dream. After almost a full year of Korean dominance we have our first 2011 non Korean champion. For Canadian Chris Loranger "Huk" it was a weekend of triumph, as HuK not only became the first non Korean to win in almost a year, but also became the first competitor to win two MLG events.
Huk took first place in group D, a group full of players definitely capable of not only winning the pool but the entire tournament. Huk rolled through the likes of July, MC (who he would meet again later in the grand finals), Tyler, and VileDdoRo, only losing to fellow Protoss powerhouse HerO. After the groups it was a dominant route to the end. Along the way the Protoss master took out Koreans Marine King, TheStC, and then MC once again to be crowned champion. Congratulations EGHuk. (It's still weird calling him that.)
The weekend was full of other great stories, none more interesting than the resurgence of Greg 'Idra' Fields. Telling you Idra is a good player is a waste of time but the forth place Macro master should be pleased with his results. Idra is known for more often than no beating himself but this time, it seemed as though he ran on some emotion. The robot still didn't crack but he took wins and stayed in games he wouldnt normally. In the end he once again fell to what we can now say is his most heated rival, MC. Idra also can take solace in the fact that he was the only Zerg in the top eight, as Tarren once again ruled the day but with Protoss not far behind.
Another heartwarming story was the fact that Marine King was even in Orlando. Reddit wanted to bring the Marine Micro Monster to Orlando and independently raised $4,000 dollars to make it possible. Once MKP did get to Orlando, he did not disappoint. He came in fifth place and if you can find it his matches against Idra were one of the highlights of the tournament. Seeing a player sponsored by the community is just another thing that makes this game, and more specifically the people who love and support it so amazing.
The race breakdown was only lopsided when it came to Zerg. As I mentioned Idra was the only Zerg in the top eight. Protoss was next with 3, and Tarren was on top with 4. Interestingly enough the Grand Finals were between to Protoss. Over the past couple of months it seemed like Toss could do anything but win tournaments. Tarren had taken over the scene; Zergs were learning new way to play and making stride to close the perceived balance gap. Toss seemed not to be moving at all. A few nerfs hit earlier in the year and the more recent buffs still aren't fully practiced. Toss seemed to be looking for a HerO (Pun intended), and if so they have it.
Of course this is but a fraction of the action over the weekend. The results will be discussed and broken down for weeks to come. New strategies will raise and fall. MLG has only one more event this year but its the big one. The biggest prize pool means the biggest competition and if we get half of the action we got this weekend Starcraft fans are going to be wowed once again.