On November 5th of 2016 we crowned yet another Blizzcon world champion for Starcraft 2, and that man was none other than ByuN. Coming into this tournament as possibly the hottest player around many people would have expected this however being expected to win, and being able to pull it off against this lineup of absolutely world class opponents would be no easy task for any player. ByuN is a player who streamed ladder for seemingly 20 plus hours in one day winning roughly 50 or so games in a row taking Rank 1 Korean GM all in a day’s work, and yet none of that matters if something went wrong on this grand stage. That goes without saying ByuN took on some of the absolute titans for each race during his run at Blizzcon.

Securing a Spot


As most Starcraft viewers already know ByuN was directly seeded into the Blizzcon bracket through his victory in the GSL Grand Finals over sOs which simultaneously denied sOs, the former world champion, a spot in the tournament. ByuN came into the GSL as a very hot hand playing fairly well in every tournament winning the Ting open 2 as well as two second place finishes at IEM Taipei and World Cyber Arena: Asia. This however was not enough for a lot of people to think he would be able to win the GSL as no teamless player ever had, and thinking about it ByuN really was a one man army finding his own practice partners as well as doing any research and analysis on opponents on his own. In the end however the one man army was able to punch his way to the finals over the likes of sOs, Dark, Dear, and then sOs again in the finals.

A Moment of Mortality

Literally me when he lost to showtime.

Shortly after his glorious run in the GSL we saw a brief moment of mortality from the Terran hope which led people to question is he still untouchable? We first saw this in the Cross finals when ByuN lost 3-2 to Dark, which is nothing to be ashamed of, but when we were holding him so far above everyone else it still came to be a surprise when he lost. Then shortly after this series he qualified for the KespA cup in which he was unable to get out of the group stage. Granted he had Rogue, Neeb, and Zest in his group with one of those players going on to be the tournament champion it seemed that Zest really had ByuN’s number during this group stage playing him twice with a combined map score of 4-1. We would go on to see one more moment of weakness during the Blizzcon group stages. We saw perhaps he had an Achilles heel in the TvP matchup against Showtime during the group stages when he lost 0-2 to Showtime who was playing a very definitive style with early colossus while shutting down all of ByuN’s signature aggression. This was also a huge deal as losing that game sent him to the losers decider match against Dear which is not someone I think anyone would really want to be the gatekeeper after losing to another Protoss who showed a pretty strong way to beat the style I am playing.

Journey to the Throne

ByuN’s journey to the finals was not an easy one by any means, it truly was a path of trials at every point outside of his dominance over violet. After ByuN quickly dispatched violet in a quick 2-0 we had high expectations of him to just walk over Showtime, who was not having any of it and shocked the world as he 2-0’d ByuN with relative ease. However being the champion at heart that he is ByuN did not take this as a shot to his pride or anything ridiculous like that he had approached Showtime after the series and said hey we do not play anymore in the tournament and played some practice games to help him prepare for his next opponent in Dear. This appeared to pay off as ByuN seemed to kick it into gear defeating Dear 2-0 and making it look quite easy.

This unfortunately set up a TvT between ByuN and TY who are easily two of the best Terran players in the world to face off in a volatile matchup that is usually my second least favorite to watch. However this series between these two players is going to be my personal favorite of the tournament this was just an explosive showing of hyper aggressive TvT with both players playing phenomenally while showing great decision making, while also just playing the most tense series of the tournament. The score was 3-1 however if you watch these games you will see how close the players actually were as ByuN did sneak a win in with a proxy build.

After disposing of TY his next assignment to make it into the Grand Finals was to take out Stats one of the best solid Protoss players around who just got off of a 3-2 victory over Zest. Something to note was that Stats had not had to play any PvT up to this point therefore none of his builds or strategies were out there, but on the flip side he may have not been preparing all that much for PvT while ByuN has had to play a few TvP series already. ByuN showed off his amazing micro skills all throughout this series mixing it up with standard macro builds as well as a couple of well played proxy builds that Stats never scouted which is odd when you play someone like ByuN who is known to proxy which helped ByuN seal a 3-1 victory over Stats.

Then there were two, we were down to arguably the best Zerg and Terran player in the entire world which have had very back and forth series up to this point. Leading up to this ByuN and Dark have played two notable series once in the GSL in which ByuN would win 2-1, and then again in the Cross finals event where Dark would take his revenge with a 3-2 map score. We can definitely see these players play on a very similar level with games decided mostly off of the little things done rather than one player being better than the other. However none of those games mattered now, it was all down to this one last series.

ByuN would show very impressive early Reaper play all throughout the series, even going as far as to disguise an expand build with a 2 rax instead of a 3 rax opener. As I said before Reaper openers were very much in style during this series as ByuN used them almost every game and got at least some damage in early while macroing very well at home. Even in the games where Dark got to his Hive tech and got Ultras to which most of us would say well this game just got impossible, ByuN did not seemed phased and just took so many amazing engagements while on the flip side you could say Dark took very poor fights which allowed ByuN into some of those games.

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