Moments of Truth at IEM Katowice

sOs gets another big payday while KT Rolster Bullets shut down a resurgent Fnatic at IEM Katowice.
KT Rolster Takes IEM Katowice
KT Rolster Takes IEM Katowice © Helena Kristiansson / esl
By Rob Zacny

Is Kim "sOs" Yoo Jin the best StarCraft 2 player in the world, or just the best at winning massive prizes? You could make either case after sOs survived a 16-player single-elimination bracket with some of the world's best players to defeat fellow Protoss Kim "herO" Joon Ho in the $100,000 final.

It was a tremendous StarCraft tournament that featured some fantastic games from the likes of Lee "Life" Seung Hyun, Choi "Polt" Seong Hun, and Yun "TaeJa" Young Seo. Polt and TaeJa both looked like they were finals-bound before getting knocked out by herO and sOs, especially after Polt beat three Protoss in a row to make it to the semifinal. He seemed to have Terran vs. Protoss down to a science, but he ran out of tricks in his five-game series against herO.

As good as herO looked all weekend, sOs was simply operating at another level on his run through the bracket. He soundly beat all of his opponents, dropping only three maps throughout the tournament and walking over herO 4-1. It was a powerful argument in favor of his status as the world's top player, coming on the heels of his WCS championship win last year.

The Return of Fnatic

Meanwhile, the big surprise over in League of Legends this weekend was Fnatic's sudden awakening from their LCS slumber to make a strong challenge for the championship. After dropping to the loser's bracket following an early loss to Invictus Gaming, they seemed to finally shake off weeks of rust and inconsistency to morph into one of the tournament's best teams. They stomped Millenium, then won their rematch with IG to advance to a semifinal rematch with their American archrival, Cloud 9.

This time they erased bad memories of their annihilation at the Battle of the Atlantic by defeating the strong America squad, who had already bested World Elite and Taipei Assassins, by two matches to one. With that, it was on to the finals to face KT Rolster Bullets.

Full Clip of Bullets

The Bullets may still have a lot of left to prove in Korea, but they were flawless all weekend in Katowice. Their closest call came in their 2-0 series against Gambit, which was a lot more closely contested than the score suggests. Their second game was the weekend's wildest, with Gambit coming back from a big deficit to eke out a significant advantage over KT. Just when Gambit seemed to be pulling ahead, however, KT pulled one of the biggest surprises of the weekend with a sneak attack on Gambit's base.

The semifinals provided most of the weekend's drama, as KT Bullets pretty much annihilated Fnatic in three straight games, and showed them the limits of their comeback potential. Still, it was an important weekend for pro League of Legends overall.

KT Bullets showed that they've addressed the biggest issues with their lineup, while Gambit made a strong case that they remain the best team in Europe and the most competitive on an international stage. Cloud 9, however, also showed that they don't yield anything to the Asian scene, while Fnatic started looking like winners again. While KT were the clear winners, Europe and North America both emerged from this weekend with a lot to be happy about.

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