KT Rolster win ProLeague finals

The Telecom war saw KT and SKT face each other for the ultimate trophy in StarCraft 2.

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A match with history like non-other - the clash between SK Telecom and KT Rolster is the Korean El Classico. Starting just a few days before 2014, the ProLeague season ended yesterday as KT swept their eternal enemy with a 4-2 scoreline to ensure the most prestigious trophy in team based competitive StarCraft.

A part of the crowd that came to cheer their favourite team. Image courtesy of SpoTV/Twitch.tv
A part of the crowd that came to cheer their favourite team. Image courtesy of SpoTV/Twitch.tv

Held at the Floating Island on Han River in the capital Seoul, the match was everything that was expected of a grand final - quality matches, exceptional winning ceremonies, roaring chants from the excited crowd and finally, two giants with tons of legacy in professional StarCraft - SK Telecom and KT Rolster.

The Floating Island in Seoul, South Korea. Image courtesy of GMX.net
The Floating Island in Seoul, South Korea. Image courtesy of GMX.net

Throughout the year, both teams had their ups and downs prior to reaching the playoffs. KT started strong and took a convincing victory in Round 1 and a number two finish in round two, each time with a positive record over SKT. On the other hand, the latter part of 2014 saw the opposition gain ground. Back-to-back victories in Rounds 3 and 4 ensured a playoff phase for the talented SK squad which tasted defeat only twice. With SKT narrowly edging CJ Entus and KT demolishing Jin Air in the semi-finals, the dream scenario for every StarCraft fan came true - the Telecom Derby.

The Grand Final

Stats spearheaded KT into the lead. Image Coutresy of DailyGame.co.kr/TeamLiquid
Stats spearheaded KT into the lead. Image Coutresy of DailyGame.co.kr/TeamLiquid

The opening match this year featured SKT Zerg superstar - Kim Min 'Soulkey' Chul. Facing a hungry Stats on Outboxer LE, Soulkey was tasked with quickly dispatching the Protoss and establishing a good lead for his team prior to the match of Flash. The zerg almost immediately took the lead and forced mistakes from his opponent with stray Collosi falling left and right. Regardless of the strong pushes, Stats composed himself and gathered a deathball consisting of all the tools needed to defeat his opponent. The nail in the coffin was a poor investment into Brood Lords from Soulkey which did not pay off in the end. In a swift final engage, Stats never looked back. KT were in the lead.

"The Ultimate Weapon", Flash, was to be deployed next. Facing the "BM King" Parting, the match on Merry Go Round LE was key in this series. Everyone expected a hard fought PvT, but what followed was a one-sided recital from Flash who perfectly scouted and countered the Blink tech of his opponent and proceeded to demolish him with non-stop bio pressure. As tradition follows, a victory ceremony took place and saw Flash volley a ball with Parting's name written on it into the crowd.

Rain's efforts were not enough for SK Telecom to withstand KT.
Rain's efforts were not enough for SK Telecom to withstand KT.

At this point SKT were staring defeat right in the eyes. Sending forth their most consistent performer, Jung Yoon 'Rain' Jong, to take on Zerg star Zest, SK Telecom were in desperate need of a win. Rain did not disappoint and scored the first point for his team, bringing them back in the series. Things took a grim turn once more as teammate Dark fell to Action in a ZvZ to take KT into match point. Sending forth another star, sOO, returned hope to SKT as he took victory over Sleep to bring the scoreline to 3-2. Still on game point, it all came down to a Protoss versus Terran match-up, Classic vs TY.

It is not uncommon in such scenarios to try and end such a clash with a swift blow. TY had the same idea when he put down two barracks just outside the vision range of Classic. Despite the failed attempt to scout the cheese, what ended the game for the Protoss was going Nexus first, a move which TY expected. Four bunkers and a handful of Marines later, KT Rolster were proudly holding the cup above their heads.

This is the third ProLeague trophy of KT and their first major team tournament win in StarCraft 2.

Banner image courtesy of wcs.battle.net

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