When it comes to Scarlett’s long and storied career in Starcraft 2, two major events stand out as her most memorable moments. The first of course being her 2018 victory at IEM PyeongChang. Not only was this the first premier title for a woman in Starcraft 2, but it was an event produced in association with the International Olympic Committee, alongside the 2018 Winter Olympics at PyeongChang. At that event Scarlett looked on point, having barely qualified for the main event over Cham 3-0, in an NA tie breaker, Scarlett then took down Oliveira, Serral, Elazer, and then sOs in the finals, 4-1.
The second moment in her career that most old school SC2 fans will bring up, are her epic baneling landmines vs Bomber at the 2013 Red Bull Battlegrounds in NYC. youtu.be That game was the decider match to determine who would advance to the playoff stage of the event, and to say that Bomber was favored is an understatement. At the time, if your name wasn’t Stephano, odds are, you were the underdog against any Korean pro of note. Bomber was a Terran known for his aggressive play style, who would pick lesser players apart with attacks and multitasking. He was also teammates with Life, which meant he practiced with one of the best Zergs in the world. The crowd erupted when the Canadian Zerg played out her real life David and Goliath story, taking down Bomber 2-1, in dramatic style, and advancing to championship Sunday.
I had the pleasure of attending this incredible event. Here’s a pic of an absolutely crushed Bomber and I. He had to fulfill his fan signing obligation directly after his loss to Scarlett, and understandably was not in a good mood.
Who was Scarlett’s opponent in her next match? None other than sOs, who had taken the 2013 Global Finals victory just a few weeks prior to this event. sOs was an even more overwhelming favorite going into this series. Having 2-0’d his Korean Zerg opponent HyuN in the group stages of this event, and taken down probably the best Zerg in the world, Jaedong 4-1 in the finals at Blizzcon, sOs’ PvZ was looking strong.
In game 1, sOs opened into Phoenix aggression and was able to find some damage, but Scarlett played conservatively and limited the losses, while switching into Hydra production. She then transitioned into Mutas, which seemed like an odd choice versus a Phoenix opening, but with excellent micro Scarlett gained some map control. From there she simply outgrew the Korean Protoss and eventually overwhelmed him in the air with an explosion of Corrupters and took the first map. Scarlett beat the best Protoss player in the world, straight up, in a macro game, and there was magic in the air.
In the second set of the Bo5 series, Scarlett opened with some Ling aggression and caught sOs with his pants (and wall) down, going for a Forge fast expand. She took down a number of workers, at the cost of just a few zerglings, and then threw down her natural. Smelling blood in the water, Scarlett teched to Lair, put down a Nydus Network, pumped out some Hydras, and began a relentless assault. She swatted away whatever attacks sOs sent her way, limited the defending World Champ to 3 bases, and finally smashed down the front door to his natural, going up 2-0. She was one map away from the Grand Finals, and her best result in her career at a Premier Event.
In game 3 sOs opened air again, found some worker damage with his Oracle, and was allowed to take his 3rd base without trouble. Scarlett, up about 40 supply, got over eager and took a bad fight on sOs’ side of the map, getting her army sandwiched, and stuck fighting under storms. sOs then established a 4th, trying to prevent this Scarlett bled out a lot of units trying to push the 3rd and 4th simultaneously. Perhaps trying to catch the Protoss out of position but failing, Scarlett didn’t break either position, and sOs’ counterpunch KO’d the Canadian Zerg, taking his first map of the series.
Game 4 was a disaster for Scarlett, sOs pulled out the same tricks that he had used to take down Jaedong earlier that month, and cannon rushed. Scarlett’s reaction to her natural being rushed was to take a quick 3rd at the gold base on Habitation Station, which sOs then promptly also cannon rushed. Scarlett stabilized, but was unable to prevent sOs from taking a gold base of his own. Effectively walling himself in on 3 bases, the Korean protoss simply massed up Tempests and Void Rays and put pressure onto Scarlett’s 3rd. Despite her huge income advantage, Scarlett ended up taking some big damage to DT’s she wasn’t prepared for, and ultimately sOs’ air force, in conjunction with Psi Storm, proved to be too much. We were going to a game 5 to see who would face Parting in the Finals. I had the chance to ask PartinG, who was watching the series from the back of the hall, who he would rather face in the finals. To which he responded, in typical Parting fashion, “Doesn’t matter, sOs or Scarlett, both Chobo, easy win”.
Game 5 was the closest of the series. Both players opened up relatively conservatively, and the first real attack didn’t come out until around the 8 minute mark (In old Blizzard time anyway). Scarlett narrowly held off the 2 base timing of sOs, limiting the damage to only losing a queen and some zerglings. sOs stayed on 2 base and geared up for the classic Immortal-Sentry all in that was oh so popular at the time. Scarlett, with excellent game sense, immediately backstabbed with a Ling run by, wreaking havoc in sOs’ natural. After sOs took out the Zerg’s 3rd, he was forced to recall his entire force to clean up the Lings, that had now bled into his main. Both players took some heavy losses, but the supplies were dead even, and sOs then took a 3rd of his own. Scarlett deflected a drop in her main, while losing her 4th to sOs’ next push, with supply about 20 in favor of the Protoss. When the time came though, Scarlett pounced on sOs army deep on creep, chained some fungals, and took out several important pieces of tech. Scarlett had an ace up her sleeve then though, a surprise tech switch into Ultra’s which would hit with Chitinous Plating already completed. Having forced the retreat, and nearly evening up supplies again, Scarlett looked poised to deal some critical damage, and maybe even take the game. When the push reached sOs’ third though, it was disjointed, poorly microed, and was eviscerated by the Protoss meat grinder. Scarlett realizing she had bungled the attack, tapped out, accepting that sOs had completed the reverse sweep.
As he predicted, Parting made short work of sOs, taking the mirror matchup series 4-1 in the Grand Finals.
One more win would have put Scarlett on the grand finals stage of a Premier event, a feat she would end up accomplishing just 2 weeks later at Asus Rog Northcon 2013, where she lost to Jaedong 4-2. Scarlett would go on to take revenge on sOs, 5 years later, on an even more significant stage in some ways, but that loss ended what could have been a miracle run, and stands out to me as maybe the worst loss of her career.
Do you guys like historical match coverage like this? LMK in the comments.
If you're so inclined check me out on:
Youtube - www.youtube.com
Twitter - twitter.com