The king of StarCraft 2 in Oceania and Southeast Asia this year abdicated his throne this weekend. Sheldon “Seither” Barrow won’t be attending the final World Championship Series circuit event of the year, WCS Montreal, after falling in the qualifier.
His teammate, Nicholas “HuT” Hutton, improved on his performance in the WCS Valencia qualifier last month to not only reach the finals of the qualifier, but win them. HuT had to face the three strongest challenger at the event—Seither, Australian Protoss Sean “Probe” Kempen, and Vietnamese Zerg Trần “MeomaikA” Hồng Phúc—in a row, and he swept all three of them, leaving little doubt as to who was the strongest player this weekend.
The Australian Terran HuT earns $2,191 for his efforts—but more importantly, he receives a seed and expenses-paid trip to Montreal to compete in this year’s final WCS Circuit event scheduled for Sept. 7 to 9 at the Olympic Stadium. He’ll seek to improve on his group stage play at Valencia, where he failed to advance after losing two straight series, taking a single map off American Zerg Nick “Silky” McNeese.
He’ll be joined by his region’s top Protoss player, Probe, who managed to rally this weekend after disappointing showings at the previous two WCS qualifiers and a disappointing final to the open qualifier on Saturday that saw MeomaikA take him out in two straight series.
Probe won the OCE/SEA qualifier for WCS Leipzig in January, but he’s struggled to replicate that success until now. On Sunday, he had to earn his trip to Montreal, taking revenge on MeomaikA with a 2-0 win in the lower bracket semifinals before battling Seither and winning a close 3-1 series. Probe couldn’t touch HuT in the overall finals, but with his spot in Montreal secure, he accomplished what he needed to this weekend.
Whether HuT and Probe can carry their region’s banner to Montreal and make an impact, though, remains to be seen. So far, no OCE/SEA player has advanced from their group at a main event this year. HuT and Probe, as the region’s best Terran and Protoss players right now, certainly have a chance to do that—but they’ll need to show their best StarCraft next month in Montreal to do it.
We’ll find out how they perform next month, but for now, we have some new kings in OCE/SEA region.