The first Gfinity Masters event in StarCraft 2 is now in the books, and it’s Won “Parting” Lee Sak who is first to stand triumphant.
The Korean Protoss player, widely considered to be among the world’s best, defeated Shin “Hydra” Dong Won in the best-of-seven grand final by a margin of four games to two.
The victory serves as a consolation prize for Won after he recently lost in the final of the latest Global StarCraft 2 League Code S competition, the highest level of StarCraft 2 play in Korea. He was narrowly defeated by reigning World Championship Series titlist Lee “Life” Seung Hyun, and while a Gfinity victory won’t entirely erase the sting of that loss, it should help to numb it.
For Shin, the runner-up finish is a promising sign. Shin has produced little in the way of headlining results since transferring from Korea’s CJ Entus to play abroad with Root Gaming. A run to the finals and a competitive series loss to Won is nothing to sneeze at, and should help to further motivate the former MSL champion as he continues to train in StarCraft 2.
The event was a rough one for fan favorites. Former StarCraft: Brood War Starleague champions Lee “Jaedong” Jae Dong and Jung “Fantasy” Myung Hoon were eliminated from the group stage, as was the popular “boss toss,” Jang “MC” Min Chul. All three players were able to win matches and give fans hope, but none were ultimately able to qualify for the playoff bracket.
Results were similarly grim for the international contingent. Norwegian players Jens “Snute” Aasgaard and Kristoffer “Targa” Marthinsen were grouped together, trading games with one another but getting swept by their two Korean opponents. Patrick “Bunny” Brix faced similar struggles in his own group, winning only one game in his opening series against Shin.
Notably, the tournament also illustrated a significant disparity in map play. Overgrowth, Deadwing, and Vaani Research Station all saw heavy play, while Secret Spring was played only three times and Inferno Pools only once.