18-year-old Korean StarCraft II player Yun "TaeJa" Young Suh and Sweden-based organization Ninjas in Pyjamas won the StarCraft II and Counter Strike: Global Offensive Championships, respectively, at DreamHack Bucharest.
"It was a great weekend for both DreamHack and eSports in Romania," DreamHack head of eSports Tomas "greykarn" Hermansson told GameSpot. "And it was definitely a great weekend for TaeJa (StarCraft II), NiP-Gaming (Counter-Strike: GO), and H2K (League of Legends)--our new DreamHack champions. This is our second event in Romania and we have doubled all our numbers and more from last year! A big leap forward!"
The young Terran player signed to longtime StarCraft-based organization Team Liquid went undefeated to now be only the second player to ever win a DreamHack StarCraft II major event twice. Yun racked up wins over WCS Season 1 Champion Lee "INnoVation" Shin Hyung and two-time MLG Champion Lee "Life" Seung Hyun his way to a combined 21-4 in map score, and 9-0 from the Round of 16 on. Yun swept SH Lee convincingly 3-0 in the finals.
"I think it's great to see another summer of TaeJa," says Liquid General Manager Robyn Nymann. "He's been doing incredible lately as his wrists have gotten a lot better than they were at the end of last year. It's allowed him to practice a lot more and consistently. It also goes without saying that he has a lot of confidence again in all the matchups, which is important to him, he says himself, as he thinks his control is improved when not lacking confidence."
Yun's wrist injuries have been prevalent since the beginning of the year, causing a slump between March and June and prompting him to consider retirement. That won’t be happening anytime soon.
"He's the complete package at the moment. There are no holes, no weaknesses in his game in any matchup," WCS Europe Caster Shaun "Apollo" Clark tells GameSpot. "His builds are perfect, strategies are the best, he doesn't make mistakes, reads the game well, and his control is difficult to match.
"Innovation is weak in Terran vs. Terran. He doesn't understand it. I feel his raw skill always carried him through it but in recent times it’s really showing that he doesn't know whether to play aggressive or defensive, and how to deal with all the different openings that Terran has."
Nymann believes Yun may have been overlooked this event because of presence of other Korean superstars, including Lee "Jaedong" Jae Dong and Lee "Flash" Young Ho. He had up to 30 predictions before the event given to him including professional players and casters, and only two people had Yun in their top two prediction--one of them being Team Liquid Owner Victor Goosens. Clark also believes Yun would have been a favorite had JD Lee and YH Lee not been present.
"I knew his strength and the general strength of our team going into DreamHack Bucharest and I had great hopes for a win in both SC2L and the main event itself"” says Nymann.
With DreamHack Bucharest in the books, the player lineup for the finals at DreamHack Winter is nearly complete. Several players that competed in Bucharest have qualified and will be joined by the likes of Mun "MMA" Seong Won who had his own comeback performance, Sweden's Johan "NaNiwa" Lucchesi, and lone American-representative Michael "Goswser" Dobler.
Swedish Counter-Strike powerhouse Ninjas in Pyjamas won yet another major championship in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. After a rough start in the group stage including a controversial loss to Fnatic, NiP bounced back big with wins over France's VeryGames, the new Ukranian-based squad Astana Dragons, and fellow Swedes Lemondogs in the finals. NiP have now won over 10 major international CS:GO events, including four DreamHack championships.
"It feels great winning again, especially since we had a pretty rough start in the groupstage, and frankly all of teams are improving a lot," says NiP owner and former professional player Emil "HeatoN" Christensen. "We were also really impressed by Astana Dragons. I was so nervous that I didn't know what to do during that game! I think with some more practice they will become extremely dangerous."
"We're super happy about winning DreamHack Bucharest," says NiP member Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund. "As many people had heard, the group stage was a really weird situation for us. But we managed to turn it around for the playoffs and make it all the way to stand as champions."
"I'm always a bit nervous in the first game in a tournament but it usually 'releases' after that game is over. I felt that we shouldn't be worried at all. It's nothing against other teams at all, but I believe so much in my team that I don't think anyone will really get…I think if people haven't seen our game against 'team_x' at Dreamhack Summer, there is a game that pretty much sums up the fakenick I used in 1.6. Don't Stop Believin.'"
Alesund and his team have won over $200,000 in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Ninjas in Pyjamas will be one of many teams attending the newly announced $250,000 DreamHack Winter event, where prize money has been funded by the community. Alesund sees the team bonding unlike any he's been part of previously.
"I think one of our biggest strengths is the friendship we are having. I don't think we've had this close of a relationship in this team that we've had in any other teams I've played in. You must also take in how awesome our organization is as well. They are helping us in any way they can!"
DreamHack Winter will take place November 28-30 in Jönköping, Sweden, and will feature tournaments in StarCraft II, Dota 2, Counter-Strike: GO, Quake Live, and Super Street Fighter IV.