IEM Taipei review

 

IEM Taipei was the fourth event of IEM Season IX, organized by ESL and held at the Taipei World Trade Center during the Taipei Game Show. The Starcraft 2 tournament featured some of the worlds best players including mYinsanity’s own “Rain”, “Jjakji” and “Sacsri”.

From January 28th to February 1st, players battled for a share of the $25,000 prize pool and 4000 WCS points.  The four day campaign consisted of an open bracket, group stage, and a single elimination playoff bracket.

While Rain was seeded directly into the group stage for IEM Taipei due to his solid performance at IEM San Jose in December of 2014 where he placed 2nd, Sacsri and Jjakji had to fight their way through the extremely stacked Open Bracket.

Jjakji was mYinsanity’s first player to enter the arena and play Axiom’s “Impact”.  Jjakji has been struggling versus Impact in the last month or so, having lost to him 0-2 in the third place match of The Fight before Christmas, and 0-2 in week one of the SC2I Winter Series.  However, Jjakji managed to put all of that aside and play some very exciting TvZ that saw him win this close series 2-1 over his opponent.

Unfortunately, the match against Impact was Jjakji’s only victory in this tournament as he fell to “Leenock” (0-2) and to “Soulkey” (1-2) in the lower bracket.

Picture by Carmac

Sacsri walked into the open bracket and began his tournament run facing off against Leenock.
The last time the two had played in a premier tournament was way back in September 2014 at Dreamhack Stockholm where Sacsri surprised everyone by winning over Leenock 2-0 in the group stage.
With Leenock’s current team (YOE Flash Wolves) being based out of Taiwan, he had his home crowd behind him and quickly dispatched of Sacsri 2-0 which sent him down to the lower bracket to face Impact.
Sacsri had again some recent success over his next opponent, having beaten the Zerg player 3-1 in the quarter finals of Against the Odds, a tournament organized by TakeTV in October of 2014. It was not to be for Sacsri on this day however, as Impact ended his tournament run beating him 2-0.

When the open brackets concluded, the four players qualifying for group play were Soulkey, “TRUE”, “Hyun”, “Check”, and Rain was left as the last standing player for mYinsanity, and all hopes for a tournament win for the team were riding on his shoulders.

Rain was seeded in Group B with “Harstem”, “Classic” and Check.  Interestingly, Harstem (who was replacing “Kas”) was together with “Sen” as the only non-Korean players in the group stage of IEM Taipei.
Harstem happened to be Rain’s first opponent and as the two put forth very entertaining yet close games, in the end Rain showed that he was the favourite and beat Harstem 2-1.

In the winners match of his group, Rain had to face a former GSL Champion and SK-T1 teammate in Classic.
Both players seemed to know each other very well and so it was no surprise that we saw some crazy strategies such as Rain’s Oracle into DT build in game two, to try and play as unpredictable as possible.
In the end, Rain beat Classic in a tense series 2-1 and advanced to the Playoffs.

Picture by ESL

On day three as groups C and D played out, Rain had a day off to chill and prepare for the tough road ahead.
Advancing through the group stage and into the quarter finals with him were “Life”, Soulkey, “Maru”, “Parting”, “herO”, Classic, and Hyun.

Rain was paired with TCM’s Soulkey in a best of five to decide who will advance to the semi-finals.  The last time the two met was only a few short weeks ago in the Hey, Look, Koreans! tournament, where Soulkey dispatched Rain 2-1 in Group D.  This time it was Rain’s turn to quickly take a 2-1 series lead, although this was a best of five and he needed one more win to move on to the semi finals.  Soulkey would eventually settle down into his usual play in game four and managed to even up the series 2-2 to force a deciding game five.  In the final game, Soulkey showed some impressive gameplay with his mix of Swarmhosts, Broodlords and Corruptors which were able to overcome Rain’s Tempests.  Soulkey was the final destination in Rain’s trip to Taipei, but our Protoss player once again proved that he belongs with the worlds top Starcraft 2 players.

Thanks to ESL, you can re-watch every match of the tournament including the open bracket with our players Jjakji and Sacsri in this replaypack.

Thank you also to our fans for cheering us on, we will see you at the next tournament!

 

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