DreamHack Masters: Fall 2021 - Week 2by Wax
Week one of DHM Fall saw three regional stalwarts come out on top, with Probe winning in Oceania, Has triumphing in Taiwan, and SpeCial claiming his thirteenth straight title in Latin America.
We'll see two new regional competitions begin in week two, with North America opening up with the group stages while the Chinese regional will be played out in its entirety. Also, the European regional will see its group stage conclude, deciding which sixteen players will advance on to the playoffs.
European Regional - Week 2Group stage resumes on Tuesday, Aug 03 3:00pm GMT (GMT+00:00).
The competition is underway in Europe, and already we have three players chasing the elusive 14-0 group stage record. It's no surprise to see Serral and HeroMarine go into week two with undefeated records, but they're also joined by SKillous in having a perfect score through three games. Though this is partially due to SKillous having played the easier half of his games initially (vs Stephano, goblin, and Gerald), it's still quite the nice start for the Russian Protoss player who's well on pace to make his fourth consecutive playoffs.
Meanwhile, Clem gave French fans reason for concern as he gave up a 1-2 loss to goblin's signature Phoenix style. While it's hardly unreasonable for Clem to give up a loss or two in a region as strong as Europe, it's still a somewhat concerning loss in context of his recent struggles in TvP during major tournaments. Plenty of more TvP tests remain for Clem in week two, as he goes up against Strange, SKillous, and MaxPax.
Overall, we're seeing good performances from the top players through week one, though Reynor might be disappointed in himself for failing to join the 6-0 club. Lambo is probably the only player who has to be put on upset watch, as he's gotten off to a 1-2 start after losing to Hellraiser's Skytoss and solid all around play from souL. With Serral included among his week two opponents, Lambo can ill-afford to drop a series against his other three foes.
North American RegionalTournament begins on Tuesday, Aug 03 8:00pm GMT (GMT+00:00).
Neeb delivered a throwback performance in the Summer season, dominating the North American regional with a 10-0 series score and 23-3 map score. Still, this doesn't necessarily make Neeb the prohibitive favorite to repeat in the Fall regional. His grand finals opponent Scarlett managed to keep the series quite respectable, only losing by a 2-3 score when you factor in Neeb's winners bracket map advantage. Furthermore, Scarlett enjoyed her best international tournament run since 2019 in the subsequent Summer Season Finals, defeating Trap and Lambo in the group stages before narrowly losing 2-3 to INnoVation in the playoffs. Though Scarlett is a virtual lock to advance from the NA groups, intrigued fans will still want to check in on her games to see if she's sustained her good form from the Summer Season Finals.
Astrea is the other major threat to Neeb, having already defeated him in the grand finals of the 2020 Fall regional. At that time, Astrea seemed poised to take over as the new king of NA, but Neeb struck back decisively in the 2021 Summer season by taking Astrea out in a 3-0 sweep. Combined with Astrea's middling performances in various international competitions, it's clear that NA's rising star has cooled off some in 2020—we'll see if he can regain his momentum in the Fall season.
Chinese RegionalTournament begins on Wednesday, Aug 04 12:00pm GMT (GMT+00:00)
Another season of the "beat TIME" contest is set to begin, with Li Peinan looking to win his eighth consecutive regional championship. Don't cross your fingers for the streak to end now, as TIME sits a whopping 400 Aligulac.com rating points above the next highest ranked Chinese player in Cyan. To be fair, Cyan has actually managed to upset TIME and send him down to the losers bracket in the past, and won their last head-to-head 2-0 in the World Team League. Compared to Latin America, the result of the Chinese regional isn't quite as clear of a foregone conclusion, but it's still a longshot for any of the underdogs to win.