Editor’s note: Ryan Smith is a longtime gamer and freelance writer who lives in Raleigh, NC. A graduate of East Carolina University with a degree in business and marketing, he has written in the past for WRAL Tech Wire and GameArgus.com. He currently plays Xbox 360 and PC as well as Nintendo DS. For story ideas, tips and feedback, he can be reached via e-mail (ryannicksmith@gmail.com)

RALEIGH, N.C. – The finals for StarCraft 2 in Major League Gaming Raleigh’s last event simply were exhilarating.

I had the privilege to watch the whole finals round, as many of the players who had dominated earlier in the weekend either continued to do so, or were knocked out unexpectedly.

One of the earliest matches in the day was a perfect victory, perhaps the only one ever seen in MLG, by team Liquid’s Hero over oGs’s Nada. This was a legendary game.

Nada rushed early with scout units known as helions to attack Hero’s production line. However with a masterful defense, Hero turned the tide, while also building an early starport in what would prove to be a brilliant gamble. The unit he produced, a Banshee, hit Nada’s worker units right as his own rush was being defeated. There was no stopping the Banshee. It killed almost every worker he had before Nada submitted to defeat.

Hero had lost 0 units – a flawless victory.

Nada and Puma met in a rematch from Saturday. However this time Nada proved why he was a legend in Starcraft 1 and was able to defeat Puma over the course of what would be a best-of-7 extended series.

The final six players in the Starcraft tournament would all be Korean players from the Korean league, knocking out all the “foreigners.”

Bomber: “I can beat them all”

Friday and Saturday team Slayer’s Coca would be undefeated, so going into Sunday’s finals he was a player to watch out for. However he was going up against the higher rated player Bomber, known for his brilliant tactics. Coca would go down 0-2 to Bomber in two very short matches, using strategies referred to by the crowd as “cheesy.” Basically Bomber decided to gamble everything early on with rush strategies that were unusual but turned out to be highly effective against an unprepared Coca.

After winning and giving Coca his first match loss of the tournament, Bomber would go on to say: “I will win the championship” and when asked who he would rather face in the finals, Coca or his opponent ColMVP’s DRG, Bomber replied: “It doesn’t matter, I can beat them all.”.

From this response Bomber would get massive applause which prompted him to say through a translator that he “is not used to being cheered on this much, and he will make sure to win and come back to the next MLG!”.

So the loser’s bracket finals would be Coca vs Drg, both players who had been put into the loser’s bracket earlier that day by Bomber himself. Bomber had made a mockery of both players, Coca with two almost instant rush victories and against Drg a longer more epic game. However it was one in which Bomber would taunt his opponent Drg all game long, basically saying “You have no chance”.

Therefore they both wanted their shot at revenge. Coca would go on to defeat Drg in 3 fantastic games, setting up the rematch between Coca and Bomber for the championship and the $5,000 prize pool.

The finals

As game 1 began and the whole crowd was cheering wildly, Coca played brilliantly, leading his troops with a number of pincer movements to surround and destroy Bomber’s army in the center of the battlefield, in what became the Cannae of Starcraft 2. This would happen twice before Bomber was finally defeated.

Coca came back out in game 2 looking like he was going to win it all, when his superior economy was dwarfing that of Bomber. However Coca gambled by attacking too early despite the economy advantage. He would destroy all of Coca’s economic ability but in the process lost his army.

Bomber, in a last ditch effort, marched his army into Coca’s base and since there was nothing left to defend, he would seal the victory.

In game 3 Bomber was unstoppable, sealing the championship and winning the $5,000.

In his victory speech Bomber would say “he is very happy now that he has won” and “he has really enjoyed MLG and will make sure to attend the next one!”

The other finals: Gladiators battle for three titles. Read here.

For a recap of the winners, read here.

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