The Serral vs Reynor rivalry that swallowed up the 2019 WCS Circuit concluded with the Finnish Phenom getting a modicum of revenge, avenging two prior finals losses with a 4-1 victory over the upstart Italian in the finals of WCS Fall. In the end, the 2019 season saw Reynor and Serral win two Circuit titles a piece, with Reynor winning WCS Winter: Europe and WCS Summer, while Serral lifted the trophy at WCS Spring and Fall (Neeb was the only other Circuit champion, winning WCS Winter: Americas).
The initial focus of WCS Fall centered on the mad dash to qualify for the WCS Global Finals, with players fighting bitterly over every single point. But once the dust settled there, all attention shifted to the third WCS Circuit finals collision between Reynor and Serral in 2019 (fourth, including WCS Montreal 2018). Reynor reached the finals with an impressive 14-2 map score, toppling the likes of ShoWTimE, Elazer, and SpeCial. He was only outdone by Serral, who recorded a perfect 14-0 map score en route to the finals, including a 3-0 sweep against North American despot Neeb at the penultimate stage.
Reynor snagged the first point of the finals after winning a thrilling elimination race on Acropolis. Serral appeared to take a mid-game lead after he countered Reynor's Mutalisk tech with Corruptors, but he committed the ever-so-common folly of over-producing the dedicated anti-air unit. Reynor's deft transition into a Hydralisk-Lurker army proved to be the game-winning masterstroke, rendering Serral incapable of direct engagements and putting him at a fatal disadvantage in the ensuing base trade.
Unfortunately for Reynor, that promising start would be his best showing of the finals. While he came agonizingly close to breaking Serral with a speedling flood in game two, Serral managed to survive and tie-up the series at 1-1. From there on, Serral looked to be in imperious form. 1-1 became 2-1 after Serral held off Reynor's mid-game Mutas and then extracted a GG with a decisive, Hydra-Roach counter-attack. Serral's fury continued in game four, with Serral snowballing a small, early-game lead into a mid-game victory with a Nydus Worm aided Roach finisher. Finally, Serral capped the series off with another Nydus-Roach attack, capitalizing on a brief window of army size and upgrade superiority to finish Reynor off for good.
With the WCS Fall title, Serral won $20,000 in prize money, his sixth WCS Circuit championship, and tenth premiere title* of his career. The victory also locked down his position as the #1 Circuit seed headed into the Global Finals—enough to give him a 'referee's decision' claim to be the king of the 2019 Circuit, even if Reynor equaled his number of Circuit titles and defeated him in two-out-of-three finals matches (more on that below).
*By Liquipedia classification
The Global Finals Race Goes Cold
The much-anticipated competition to finish within the top eight of the WCS points standings ended up being rather staid, with no contenders able to break through the points cutoff. WCS Fall merely caused a minor rankings shuffle within the previous top eight, without any clear winner but perhaps with one loser: #5 ranked TIME who is guaranteed to be seeded into Serral's group at the Global Finals.
A Worthy Battle For the Circuit Crown
Here's the final tally for Serral and Reynor at the end of the 2019 WCS Circuit. Both players won two championships a piece, with Serral taking Spring and Fall while Reynor took Winter/EU and Summer. Serral swept all three EU Challenger tournaments, while Reynor finished top 8, runner-up, and runner-up. Serral put up an overall WCS Circuit record (offline + online) of 43–4 in matches and 118–32 on map score. Meanwhile, Reynor went 43–7 in matches and 106–47 in maps.
In overall head to head, Serral prevailed 4–3 in matches with a 20–12 map score. In offline matches only, the two tied 2–2 with Serral having a 12–9 map score lead. In FINALS only, Reynor led 2–1, while the two players tied 9–9 in map score.
The verdict? You'd be totally insane to say Reynor has been a better player than Serral so far in 2019. But if you said he was the better player on JUST the Circuit alone? ... We'd say you're still insane, but we'll give you a nicer cell in the asylum.