by: Wax

Dragon Phoenix Gaming extended their reign as the top team competitors in the world, winning a record third consecutive World Team League title. The might of their triple GSL-champion roster shone through in the finals as DPG.Cure—ostensibly their third strongest player behind Dark and herO—took down Reynor and Oliveira to clinch the title. DPG.Dark, the regular season MVP with a 18-2 map record, didn’t even need to make an appearance thanks to his overqualified teammates.

DPG’s victory in the finals also marked the end of a fantastic playoffs run from KaiZi Gaming, who began the post-season at the bottom of the playoff gauntlet after a poor regular season. The delay of the playoffs to be held after IEM Katowice ended up being a huge boon to the team, with KZ.Oliveira returning from Poland as world champion and KZ.Spirit playing at the highest level of his career. The Katowice-buffed KaiZi Gaming tore through the playoffs, ripping off five consecutive wins before falling to DPG in the end.

While DPG made their championship look like an inevitability in the playoffs, WTL Winter was one of the most competitive seasons of the tournament on the whole. The regular season standings were fiercely contested, and DPG only locked in their #1 seed on a map-score tiebreaker. Not only that, but a huge proportion of the top players in SC2 participated in the league.

While we don’t yet know what moves teams will make in the off-season, there’s a chance that the upcoming WTL Summer 2023 could be even more competitive yet. Stay tuned for more information on the next season of World Team League!

Playoff Recap:
Dragon Phoenix Gaming Win Third Straight Title

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Round 1:
KaiZi Gaming > Team GP
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Team GP had been the feel good story of the regular season, as their roster of loveable underdogs managed to edge out Team Liquid to earn their first ever playoff spot. Alas, a COVID outbreak forced the WTL playoffs to be pushed back for over a month, by which time Ryung, NightMare, and Prince’s contracts had expired. With only Cham remaining on the roster, Team GP signed Krystianer and Gungfubanda as last-minute replacements, and even brought on their Age of Empires 4 player Leenock as an emergency fill-in.

GP.Krystianer was given a harsh initiation into the WTL, as he lost his debut match 0-2 to KZ.Reynor. The Polish Protoss started off by trying to throw Reynor a swerve on Ancient Cistern, going for fast Carriers off of two bases. Reynor read this perfectly, and he responded by holding off the initial Carriers with Queens before quickly finishing the game with mass Corruptors. Krystianer had a much better showing in game two on Babylon, where his Oracle-into-Glaive-Adept opener netted him a decent number of Drone kills. He worked himself in a solid mid-game position, playing the herO-style of PvZ where he made mass Stalker-Zealot off of plenty of expansions. However, Reynor held his ground on defense and assembled a powerful Ravager-Roach-Bane army, which completely nullified the Zealots and won him the game.

The only ‘original’ Team GP member in GP.Cham was up next, taking Reynor on in a ZvZ on Dragon Scales. The two players engaged in fierce early-game Ling-Bane combat, where Reynor took the lead by taking down Cham’s third base. Despite playing almost the entire game with an inferior economy, Cham kept things close by taking good fights. In the end, Reynor took advantage of his superior expansion count by forcing Cham into a no-win basetrade to go up 1-0. Game two on Gresvan saw both players get up to three bases on more even terms, but there would stil be no long macro bout as Reynor delayed his Lair to go for a big Roach timing. The attack succeeded at taking down Cham’s third, and this time, Reynor snowballed to a faster victory.

It had been over a year since we had last seen GP.Leenock play in a professional SC2 match, as he had switched to being an Age of Empires 4 pro in late 2021 (quite successfully, I should say). Yet, all those adages about class being permanent proved to be true for at least one match, as the multiple-time champion from the WoL era stole a 1-1 tie out of Reynor in the biggest upset of the playoffs.

AOE4 mechanics weren’t as meme-worthy as Reynor would have hoped, as his 12 pool opener completely flopped in game one on Babylon. His follow-up attacks didn’t achieve any success either, which gave Leenock a solid early economic lead. Leenock decided not to take his chances in a longer macro game, as he converted that lead into a dangerous Roach timing. Reynor couldn’t muster an army to defend, and he laughed in disbelief before GG’ing out. Leenock seemed to be on his way to a 2-0 on Royal Blood, as his flood of early Zerglings took down Reynor’s third base. However, Reynor’s superior Drone count meant things eventually evened out, and the two got into a typical ZvZ Roach war. Reynor won two major Roach engagements happening simultaneously at different spots on the map, forcing the GG out of Leenock.

Team GP used their revive to bring GP.Cham back out as their final player, while KZ.Spirit took the field for KaiZi Gaming as their second runner. Alas, Team GP couldn’t pull one more rabbit out of the hat, as Spirit closed things out on Royal Blood. With GP.Cham going for big Roach-Ravager offices in the mid-game, Spirit wisely abandoned his third base while sending squads of Marine-Medivac around for backdoor attacks. Cham had no answer for these tactics and was forced to surrender the final GG.

Round 2:
Alpha X KaiZi Gaming
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After a brief break, KaiZi Gaming moved on to their second match of the day against Alpha X. KaiZi gave KZ.Spirit a chance to continue his momentum from the previous series, while αX.RagnaroK was the lead player for the Golden Dragons. Game one on Altitude turned into the kind of lengthy macro war one expects of the massive map. RagnaroK opted for a more mobile Hydra-Bane-Viper style as opposed to going heavy on Hive units. While this let him execute some effective backdoor attacks, ultimately he couldn’t stand up against the Terran army in toe-to-toe fights and was forced to GG out. Game two on Ancient Cistern saw both players reach into their bag of tricks, with Spirit opening 2-Starport Battlecruisers while RagnaroK went for a Ling-Bane bust off of around 50 Drones. This trade went much, much better for RagnaroK, and Spirit GG’d out before the 7-minute mark after his economy was devastated.

The next pairing featured KZ.Reynor taking on αX.Zoun. Zoun opted for Glaive-Adept into DT play on NeoHumanity, but neither of the attacks inflicted enough damage to be worth the investment. Reynor soon got his economy firing on all cylinders and overran Zoun with Roach-Ravager-Bane. Zoun opened Glaive-Adepts once more on Royal Blood, but this time played them as part of a more macro-oriented build. It was all the same to Reynor, as he once again looked to slam a huge swarm of Roach-Ravager-Bane against the Protoss defenses. Zoun couldn’t make the transition to Robotics-tech units in time, and he surrendered his 0-2 defeat.

αX.Astrea was up next for Alpha X, taking Reynor to Gresvan for their first game. The American Protoss opened up with Oracles before looking for a macro transition into Chargelot-Archon. Reynor had a clever counter mapped out, as he inched across the map with slow Queens and Hydras accompanied by Banelings. Unfortunately, he couldn’t quite pierce the Protoss defenses, and he ended up in the unenviable spot of playing mass Hydra-Bane against a splash-heavy Protoss. Reynor had a brief window to kill Astrea before he could complete his transition to Carriers, but Disruptors purified the tightly packed Hydras to force the GG. Astrea changed course on Dragon Scales, looking to get a fast win with a 2-base Immortal + 7-Gate all-in. However, Reynor was actually the one who came out with the quick victory, as he perfectly read and countered Astrea’s attack.

αX.RagnaroK was revived for Alpha X as their final hope, while world champion KZ.Oliveira made his first appearance in the playoffs after getting to take the Team GP match off. RagnaroK began their game on Babylon by testing Oliveira’s defenses, going for an early Roach-Ravager-Bane poke off of 45 Drones. Unfortunately for RagnaroK, this didn’t net him as much damage as he wanted, and Oliveira was able to defend and get himself into a comfortable macro position. It wasn’t long until Oliveira was the one going on offense, sending waves of Marine-Marauder-Tank at his opponent. Roach-Ravager-Bane just couldn’t get the job done against the well-upgraded Terran infantry, and Alpha X bowed out of the playoffs with RagnaroK’s final GG.

Round 3:
Shopify Rebellion KaiZi Gaming
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KZ.Oliveira got things started for KaiZi gaming on day two, going up against SR.ByuN to open the Round 3 playoff series. The first game on Ancient Cistern featured plenty of action, as the two players went back and forth in a series of attacks and counterattacks. ByuN was the one who took his aggression a step too far, as he ended up with a meaningful Tank-Viking deficit after pushing too aggressively into Oliveira’s third. That allowed the IEM Katowice champion to launch one final counterattack that decided the game, destroying ByuN’s third and giving himself an insurmountable advantage. Game two on Gresvan highlighted the difference in the two players’ styles, as ByuN played Marine-Medivac-Tank without Vikings while Oliveira played a more conventional composition with a focus on air control. Oliveira’s orthodox approach won out in the end, as he managed to handle ByuN’s drops and backdoors while executing an unstoppable Tank-Viking-Liberator push at the front.

SR.Harstem came out next for the Rebellion while Oliveira looked for his second win of the night. Oliveira got away with a greedy triple CC+ fast upgrade build on Dragon Scales, which put Harstem in a pickle after his conservative start. The Dutch Protoss couldn’t do anything to change the course of the game, and Oliveira marched to a win in a straight-up macro beating.

Oliveira changed things up on NeoHumanity, looking to get aggressive early on with pre-stim Marines and an assortment of Factory and Starport units. However, Harstem’s Phoenix opener let him defend handily, and he went into the mid-game in great shape. The Captain opted to play his lead out slowly, teching up to his preferred Carrier composition. Unfortunately for Shopify, this played into Oliveira’s hands as he was more than content to turtle up and play for a very long game. Harstem’s ‘ultimate’ Carrier-Disruptor force didn’t match up well at all against Oliveira’s army of Bio + mass Vikings and Liberators, and he ended up trying to force an awkward basetrade rather than go for a direct fight. Oliveira handled the situation perfectly, and collected his second GG from Harstem after whittling down the Carriers with Vikings.

With Oliveira already going 4-0 on the day, SR.Lambo was sent out to try and stop his rampage. The first game on Altitude turned into a split-map slog, with Oliveira’s Thor-BC mech going up against Lambo’s Ravager-Bane-Infestor swarm. Oliveira did a much better job at harassing his opponent, with Hellions and small BC squads finding damage here and there. These advantages added up as the game went on, and Oliveira started building up a bank before his Zerg opponent. While Lambo was able to take some cost-efficient engagements thanks to Neural Parasite, he didn’t have the income to sustain the fight and was forced to GG out. Oliveira tried to get a fast second win on Ancient Cistern, opening up with proxy 2-Barracks. However, he was scouted out quickly by Lambo, and pivoted into a delayed Hellbat drop as his plan B. However, this didn’t inflict any damage either, and Oliveira admitted defeat from his untenable situation.

Lambo was then instantly revived as Shopify’s final player, while KaiZi sent out KZ.Reynor from their commanding position. Reynor gambled on a greedy start, going for his third Hatchery at the rich Vespene geyser on NeoHumanity. Lambo found an opportunity to deal significant damage with Ling-Bane as Reynor transitioned to Roaches, but barely missed out on the juicy Baneling hits that would have turned the game in his favor. Reynor ran away with the lead once his Roaches hatched, taking the series-ending victory in just over seven minutes.

Round 4:
Onsyde Gaming KaiZi Gaming
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After watching his teammates get the job done against Shopify, KZ.Spirit made his first appearance of day two as the point man against Onsyde Gaming. On the other hand, Onsyde decided to play their strongest card first in the form of OG.Maru.

Game one on Gresvan saw the two players exchange early blows, with Maru hitting first with a fast Tank-Medivac push while Spirit evened things up with a cloaked Banshee. Spirit went for the fast transition to Vikings and Liberators that he showed at IEM Katowice, which seemed to put Maru in a bind. However, Maru broke the containment thanks to his superior Raven and Tank count, and he quickly went on the counteroffensive. Maru’s counterattack dealt a grave blow at Spirit’s third, and Spirit had to GG out a few minutes later. Game two on Royal Blood resembled some of Spirit’s games against Cure from IEM, as the two Terrans hurled themselves into a scrappy brawl in the mud. Spirit held the lead for much of the game, but simply couldn’t close things out as he continued to give Maru chances to get back into the game. But unlike at IEM, Spirit didn’t allow an insane comeback ending, as he finally forced the GG out of Maru after nearly 30 minutes of play.

With the great result of a double-KO against Maru in hand, KaiZi picked KZ.Reynor as their next player up. Half a world away, Onsyde Gaming went with OG.Solar as their second runner. With NeoHumanity being the first map, Reynor once again went for a fast third base at the rich Vespene expansion as he did against Lambo in the previous series. If Lambo failed to exploit Reynor with a fast Ling-Bane attack, Solar went for a different punish with Lings and Roaches off of thirty Drones. This time, Reynor just barely didn’t have enough to defend and had to GG out. Game two on Babylon also saw Solar go on the offensive first, delaying his Lair to go for a big +1 carapace Ling-Roach strike off of three bases. Once again, Reynor narrowly didn’t have enough troops to hold out on defense, and he surrendered another GG.

KaiZi Gaming now trailed for the first time in the entire playoffs, and KZ.Oliveira was sent out to salvage the situation. After showing mech against Lambo in his earlier TvZ on Altitude, Oliveira pivoted to more standard bio play against Solar. He was forced into a defensive posture by Solar’s decision to play mass Roach-Ravager, and was denied from landing his third base for a while. However, Oliveira avoided taking any critical damage, and eventually the superior scaling of his bio started to turn the tide. Solar tried to add Vipers and Ultralisks to supplement his force, but it was too little, too late, to stop TIME’s death push with 3/3 infantry and +2 tanks.

Game two on Gresvan saw Oliveira activate his hyper turtle mode from IEM, while Solar looked to break through with a non-stop stream of units. Oliveira defended beautifully for most of the game, and for a while, it seemed like Solar would suffer the same fate as Reynor in Poland. However, Nydus tactics combined with swarms of Hydra-Bane were enough to finally push Oliveira over the edge, giving Onsyde a crucial victory.

Oliveira was immediately revived and sent back out for KaiZi Gaming, while Onsyde summoned Neeb who had already defeated Oliveira in the IEM group stages. However, the result was very different in the belated rematch, as Oliveira took a clean 2-0 victory. Game one on Babylon saw Oliveira exploit Neeb’s Oracle-Phoenix opener with a powerful Cyclone-Marine timing, dealing huge Probe damage early on. The follow-up bio push proved to be unstoppable and Neeb had no choice but to GG out. Neeb got ahead early in game two on Ancient Cistern, as his 3-Gate build allowed him to nullify Oliveira’s early Hellion-Reaper harassment and deal damage on the other side of the map with a counter-attack. However, he was too greedy in trying to consolidate his lead, and got caught with a mostly Stalker force against Oliveira’s two-base timing with Marine-Tank-Banshee. Neeb took a near-fatal amount of economic damage from the attack, and he typed out an awkwardly timed GG after a few minutes of trying to play the game out.

Now that it was Onsyde’s turn to revive, and OG.Solar got the nod after having taken a 1-1 Oliveira just two series earlier. The first game of the rematch saw Oliveira get away with a fast third CC on Royal Blood, setting himself up for powerful Marine-Tank timing in the mid-game. Solar simply couldn’t get his Ling-Bane defenses together in time and GG’d out to that first push. The next game on Altitude unfolded very similarly, but this time the larger map gave Solar the space to mount a proper defense. It looked like Oliveira might still win with his INnoVation-esque waves of neverending bio, but one bad move onto creep allowed Solar to win a battle and find the breathing room to tech up to Lurkers. Oliveira tried to go into turtle mode once he was on the back foot, but Solar’s unrelenting Hydra-Ling-Bane attacks prevented the defenses from getting fully set and forced a GG out of TIME.

With a 1-1 draw occurring while both teams were on their last lives, a rare playoff ace match was required to decide the final victor. With the ‘normal’ revives having already been used on Oliveira and Solar, that left KZ.Reynor and OG.Maru to be the recipients of the ‘ace revives’ and face off in the ace match.

Playing on Dragon Scales, Maru looked to take the initiative with his 2-Barracks Reaper expand build. However, Reynor soft-countered this move by going for a 16-pool start, while also diverting his Zerglings to avoid the path of the first Reaper. This allowed Reynor to get past Maru’s wall and wreak a bit of early havoc, while also forcing the Reapers back home in defense. Maru committed to a 2-base Marine-Tank all-in from this less than ideal start, and Reynor readied himself to defend with Queen-Ling-Bane. A lengthy struggle of offense vs defense ensued, with Maru seemingly having an endless reserve of units to throw at Reynor. However, he eventually ran out of steam against Reynor’s superior economy, and had no choice but to surrender the final GG of the marathon series.

PSISTORM Gaming KaiZi Gaming
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After a seven-hour matchday on game two of the playoffs, KaiZi Gaming were right back at it on Sunday for the final day of the gauntlet.

Neither team pulled their punches to start, with KaiZi Gaming sending out KZ.Reynor while PSISTORM.MaxPax took the wheel for his side. MaxPax got quite cheesy right off the bat, opening with a 6-Gate Glaive-Adept strategy on NeoHumanity. However, Reynor’s defense proved to be excellent, and he was soon ready to counterattack with an overwhelming force of Roach-Bane. MaxPax was unable to transition out of Adepts in time, and two his Disruptors weren’t enough to stop the Zerg stampede. A different kind of early-game harassment was much more successful for MaxPax on Ancient Cistern, as his early Oracle+Adept combo netted him a significant number of Drone kills. This gave him a smooth transition into the herO-style of mass Stalker play, which allowed him to keep piling on the pressure. However, Reynor’s defense after the early game proved to be impeccable, and he used Ling-Ravager to hold off the Stalkers while he transitioned into Lurkers and Hydras. It wasn’t exactly an easy clean-up job for Reynor once he had Lurkers on the field, as MaxPax fought quite well with his lower tech army. Eventually, he assembled a powerful Immortal and Archon for a last ditch attack, but had to tap again after a final hold from Reynor.

PSISTORM.GuMiho stepped up to the plate next for PSISTORM, and he took the second biggest upset of the playoffs with a 2-0 win against Reynor (I maintain that Leenock’s 1-1 against Reynor was still a bigger upset). GuMiho pulled out a cute speed-Banshee opener on Altitude, which he naturally transitioned into a battlemech strategy. Reynor’s decision to go Muta-Ling-Bane may have been okay in theory, but it didn’t work out in practice as he never got the Ling-Bane surrounds he needed to win the key battles. After getting kited into oblivion by mag-field Cyclones, Reynor surrendered the GG. GuMiho then proved he could get the job done with bio as well, taking down Reynor once more on Ancient Cistern. Reynor got cheesy early, going for a 16-pool followed by a fast Roach attack. However, GuMiho fended off the attack while taking minimal damage, which put him in great position to apply mid-game pressure with bio-tank. While Reynor held out until he had Ultras and Vipers, he was still on the back foot against an opponent with plenty of Marauders and Tanks. In the end, there were no miracle engagements to be found for Reynor, and the superior Terran army forced him to concede defeat again.

Spirit’s strong TvT seemed like a good option to challenge GuMiho, but KaiZi Gaming reached directly for their world championship card by deploying KZ.Oliveira. Game one between Oliveira and GuMiho on Gresvan was rather bloody, with both players seeming to think the best defense was actually a good offense. Oliveira got the better of the back-and-forth exchanges—crucially getting a big backdoor attack on a key expansion—and eventually won out on his resource advantage. The tone of the series stayed the same on NeoHumanity, as GuMiho went on the offensive with a 2-Barracks Reaper opener. However, Oliveira defended with barely any losses, and instantly went on the counterattack himself. The counterattack proved to be as lethal as it was quick, as Oliveira wrung the GG out of GuMiho in a little over 7 minutes.

PSISTORM.SpeCial was the next PSISTORM player to try and take out Oliveira, but he was unable to slow his momentum. Juanito tried to play his favored fast 2-Starport style in game one on Royal Blood, but Oliveira exploited the weak timing before the air transition beautifully with a devastating drop + Hellion runby combo. SpeCial couldn’t get enough done with his Tank-Viking counterattack and GG’d out. SpeCial brought out another unorthodox opener in game two, going for both speed Banshees and mag-field Cyclones. However, this left him with a rather weak army in a straight-up fight, and he was unable to use Cyclone kiting to significantly delay Oliveira’s advance with Marines, Tanks, and Vikings. Once the enemy army was at his front door, SpeCial had no choice but to engage in a losing battle and surrender once more.

PSISTORM used their revive on PSISTORM.MaxPax, hoping their ace player could perform a miracle against the greatest miracle-maker himself. Alas, the playoff match ended in much less dramatic fashion than IEM Katowice, as Oliveira closed things out with a 1-0 victory. MaxPax’s plan on Ancient Cistern centered around early harassment, as he delayed his Nexus to get out a quick Zealot-Adept combo. However, Oliveira held off the early Gateway units without much trouble, and then defended against MaxPax’s follow-up Blink Stalker harassment easily as well. This put MaxPax in a very dire spot, trying to transition into a 3-base macro game without having slowed down the Terran at all. Oliveira was quite wise to the situation, and made sure to seal the deal with a 2-base Marine-Tank push to end the series.

Grand Finals:
Dragon Phoenix Gaming >
KaiZi Gaming
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After surviving five rounds in the playoff gauntlet, it was time for KaiZi Gaming to face the final boss: Dragon Phoenix Gaming. Their regular season bout had resulted in a convincing 5-1 victory for DPG, but that was before Oliveira had his awakening at IEM Katowice. Would the presence of the new world champion be the difference between victory and defeat in the high-stakes rematch?

KZ.Spirit led the charge for KaiZi Gaming, while DPG.herO opened for the reigning champions. The infamously aggressive herO played up to his reputation on NeoHumanity, proxying a Gateway in the middle of the map for heavy early pressure with Stalker-Adept-Zealot. While herO did take some damage from Spirit’s Mine drop, it was a rather welcome trade as he was able to exchange some Probes for Spirit’s GG. herO then went for an entirely different approach on Babylon, engaging in a passive macro build-up with Spirit where neither player made a serious offensive move for over ten minutes. herO was able to maintain much more control over the map once the real fighting started, preventing Spirit from taking new expansions while he swallowed up the rest of the bases for himself. herO eventually pushed Spirit over the edge after constantly chipping away at him with Carriers, Disruptors, and Gateway units, forcing a last-ditch attack and second GG.

KZ.Reynor was up next, setting up a highly anticipated duel between two of the best players on either side of the PvZ match-up. herO seemed to go for his namesake style with Oracles into Blink-Stalkers in game one, but he gave it a twist with an abrupt transition into 2-Robo Colossus production. This set up a powerful 3-base Colossus-Stalker timing which probably would have killed most other Zergs, but Reynor somehow held it off with Hydras and slow-Banes thanks to a beautiful flank. herO reloaded for one more go at it, but surrendered the GG after Reynor defended once more while backdooring at the same time. herO got even more aggressive in game two, opening with a 2-base Blink Stalker strategy. herO’s version had the added wrinkle of throwing in Dark Templars as well, but neither the frontal Stalker attack nor ‘surprise’ DT’s could dent Reynor’s defense. Despite herO’s best efforts to win by sheer force of micro, he eventually hit the limit of his 2-base economy and admitted defeat.

DPG.Cure was up next for DPG, meeting Reynor on Royal Blood for their first game. Cure had lost one of the fastest games of the tournament back at IEM Katowice, when his hyper-greedy CC-Rax-CC build was countered by RagnaroK’s early lings. He got to show what the build was supposed to do this time around, as he transitioned it into 3-Factory battlemech. Reynor wasn’t ready for the huge numbers of Cyclone-Hellion that Cure flung at him at such an early timing and conceded in just over eight minutes. Mech was on the menu once more as the two players headed to Altitude. Cure opened with a fast Hellbat-Marauder attack, which initially backfired as Reynor defended successfully at home while backdooring with speedlings. However, Reynor wasn’t prepared for the speed-Banshee follow-up coming from Cure, which evened the game up quite a bit. While Cure looked to play a slower mech game from there, Reynor loaded Queens into his Overlords to go for a big Queen-Roach bust. Unfortunately for Reynor, his all-in was spotted ahead of time, and he was forced to GG out after his frontal attack was stopped by Tanks and his main Hatchery was torn down by Banshees.

It was KZ.Oliveira’s turn to play next, facing Cure in a rematch from Group A of IEM Katowice. Back then, Oliveira had won a 2-0 victory, which played a part in him advancing over Cure in the four-way tie. Cure got some payback on Ancient Cistern, besting Oliveira in a 14-minute Marine-Tank duel. The key moment for Cure came when he caught a number of Oliveira’s Vikings and Tanks in transit without escort. Cure used his superior Tank count to press forward and force the GG. Cure continued his revenge tour on Babylon, completing the 2-0 against Oliveira. The game saw Cure jump ahead with a big advantage after smashing Oliveira in an early-game skirmish, an advantage he wouldn’t relinquish for the rest of the game. But this time, Cure kept giving Oliveira opportunities to linger around in the game and potentially steal a comeback victory—the very position Cure had found himself in against Spirit at IEM. Just as Oliveira was about to claw his way back to even standing, he committed a huge error by throwing away a large chunk of his army in a reckless drop. Oliveira tried to mount a comeback one more time, but Cure was able to finally close the game out.

With Dark still lurking on the bench for DPG, KaiZi Gaming chose to revive KZ.Reynor as their final player. Having already shown Reynor mech twice in their previous series, Cure changed things up with bio play on Ancient Cistern. As it turned out, Cure proved to be just as good with bio as he was with mech, if not even better. Starting off with his opening 2/1/1, he played nearly the entire game on Reynor’s side of the map. Reynor never got the great defensive engagement he needed to comfortably stabilize, and he had to keep absorbing punishment as he teched up to Lurkers and Vipers. However, Hive tech units didn’t help his defense much, as Cure simply avoided the Lurkers and attacked wherever Reynor was the weakest. Ultimately, there was no way for Reynor to turn the game around, and he typed out the final GG to give DPG their third straight WTL championship.