After two days of fierce competition at DreamHack Atlanta, only four players have survived to play on championship Sunday. The consensus top three title contenders of Maru, Serral, and herO all made it without major incident, where they have been joined by a surprise semifinalist in Bunny.
The Finnish Phenom began with a difficult group stage draw against Cure, Bunny, and Lambo, but still advanced in first place as expected. From there, he went on to have a smooth playoff run, and he now faces Bunny in a group stage rematch (Serral won 2-1 in the group stage).
Bunny had the most arduous run out of the semifinalists, starting all the way down in group stage #1 (the so-called 'open bracket'). Things didn't get easier for him as he advanced, as he was eventually placed into the group stage #3 'group of death' with Serral. Despite getting sent down to the knockout bracket, he went on to have an impressive playoff run with several one-sided victories. Most notably, he took out Clem 3-0, once again revealing the European champion's weakness against top Korean Terrans.
herO benefited from having a relatively soft draw of opponents compared to the other final four players, avoiding all of his Korean peers up until the semis. After sweeping both Elazer and Astrea in the playoffs, he enters the semis with a 10-1 total map score.
Interestingly enough, Maru was the semifinalist who faced the closest brush with elimination. Solar—a player Maru has beaten several times in major events—put up fierce resistance in the quarterfinals, even going up 2-1. However, he could not overcome his arch-nemesis in the end, with Maru coming back to win 3-2.
Outside the final four, NightMare was surely the most impressive player of the tournament. The underdog Protoss player's previous best results were a handful of group stage eliminations in Code S, but in Atlanta he went all the way to the quarterfinals.
Nightmare got off to the worst start possible by being sent to the knockout (second chance) bracket right off the bat, finishing third place in group stage #1. However, he showed incredible grit to fight his way up from the bottom, and he took out far more notable players such as PtitDrogo, Nice, TIME, GunGFuBanDa, Neeb, and finally Scarlett. While NightMare did suffer an 0-3 loss to Bunny in the quarterfinals, his prospects look much brighter going forward.
Astrea was another player who went on a surprise quarterfinals run, showing NA could hold its own against Europe by taking down Lambo and ShoWTimE in the playoffs. However, top PvP player herO proved to be too much to handle in the RO8.
DreamHack: Atlanta will conclude on Sunday, Nov 20 6:00pm GMT (GMT+00:00) with the semifinals and grand finals.