As Dreamhack Summer came to a close last weekend, Homestory Cup invites us with open arms this weekend with more Starcraft 2. As a player this is the one tournament many try to get invited to or qualify to. The reason why, Dennis “Take” Gehlen decides to host an unconventional tournament for the players at his own studio apartment in in Krefeld, Germany. By studio apartment I mean production house. Homestory Cup is all about the players, here we see them commentate the games instead of professional commentator, which gives you much more insight of the games being played. They tend to bring out stories the community have no idea about, e.g. drunken nights, picking up girls and other shenanigans Also the players commentating switch from series to series, so that fans can identify with each one. We have seen the Korean players who participate break out of their shy shell and cast games, crack jokes at each other or even sing on stream. This is where fan favorite Moman, seduced us all with his french accent, where MC decided to dance while casting, and where we see a drunk Tarson give interviews. At Homestory Cup the players are free from the constricting grasp of competition, even though the first place prize is $10,000 and WCS points, the atmosphere is laid back and fun.
Aside from seeing players commentate, during breaks Dennis takes us around the apartment to show what the other players not competing are doing. Each time it varies, some players are locked in a deadly game of poker, here Steven “Destiny” Bonnell made a name for himself as being the best poker player to set foot at Homestory Cup. Aside from poker cards Dennis brings out an assortment of board games that I have never even heard of but are fun to watch. If it’s early enough in the morning Dennis takes us to the kitchen as players prepare a HUGE breakfast for one another, or if it’s later in the afternoon we get to see the grandpa protoss Aleksey “White-Ra” Krupnyk grilling up some burgers and hot dogs. Even though there are no fans invited into the apartment, there is a pub below Dennis’s apartment where the players would go and mingle with fans, which to players is a nice way to keep things separated. Now with that out of the way lets get into Homestory Cup VII.
Since Homestory Cup just entered the Round of 16, this is where I will begin.
We have the Danish player Patrick “Bunny” Brix, surprisingly topping his group two days ago over viOLet and Babyknight. Which no one saw coming, Bunny also made a splash into the scene by qualifying for WCS Europe Season 1. He even made his way into Homestory Cup by taking first place in the qualifier. Lets hope he keeps up this good run and makes it farther.
Yoon “TaeJa” Young Suh from South Korea, who is undoubtedly one of the favorites to take this tournament , also topped his group. Even though it’s a much weaker group it is still a good feat for the injured terran as he 2-0’s State and 2-1’s Kas. Last year this was when TaeJa came into the starcraft world and dominated, will we see the Summer of Taeja again?
The Russian player Dmitry “Happy” Kostin, might finally be breaking out of his stage fright. He took second in his group, in what many would say was tough group. Known in Europe as THE best player online but once he comes to a LAN he flops, maybe with the atmosphere of Homestory Cup, Happy might be more comfortable.
One of the kings of the north, Marcus “ThorZaIN” Eklöf from Sweden, topped his group without dropping a single game. Even though he only faced zerg players; Dimaga and TargA. ThorZaIN still looked impressive, after coming into near grasp of the championship in the E-Sport SM 2012-2013 last weekend before losing to his kryptonite NaNiwa. He is now wants another first place finish under his belt.
Let’s start it off with German player Dario “TLO” Wünsch, who has been known recently to make it out of every group stage but bomb in bracket play. He finished second in his group only losing to Dragon in a close series. Recently TLO, decided to change his whole training regiment, diet, and exercise regiment. With that has came the improvements, from where he was last year.
The most successful non Korean player Ilyes “Stephano” Satouri of France, destroyed his group by not losing a single map or series. He 2-0’ed; PandaTank and Happy. Earlier in the year Stephano, stated that he will retire from Starcraft to go back and attend medical school, which he delayed from two years to rake up a whooping $233,305. He might as well try and add $10,000 to it.
Only player left to represent America Michael “Goswser” Dobler. Even though he did not top his group, taking second was still a feat. Especially when no one expected he to make it out. He has been on a steady raise since MLG in February, where he has an epic one hour match with Polt. Since he is the only American left, I will be cheering for him, USA, USA, USA!
Jens “Snute” Aasgaard, from Norway is the zerg equivalent to Happy. Great online presence and a weak offline presence. Unlike Happy, Snute has gone on to win major titles, actually his first major title win was Homestory Cup VI. So maybe just maybe this is his event.
South Korean player, Ko “HyuN” Seok Hyun, took first place in what would be called the hardest group; with MaNa, Dayshi, and panzer general GoOdy. HyuN also holds the Fight Club record of 14 consecutive wins from last year. Which hyped him up a great deal, but sadly never winning a major title. He came close to winning GSL Code S last year but lost to Sniper. Last weekend he came out of the woodwork again to make a deep run in Dreamhack Summer before losing to the eventual champion Stardust.
To round out the zergs is the lovable Kim “viOLet” Dong Hwan of South Korea. Who unconventionally took second place in his group losing to Bunny. Why is viOLet so lovable? Well first first off he is an extremely good player with multiple championships, also he one of the more charismatic Korean players, and finally the story of his life has been an amazing journey; his families house burned down and he went all-in in Starcraft to win money to buy them a new house.
No Homestory Cup would be the same without the Boss Toss himself; Jang “MC” Min Chul. Hailing from South Korea, he held the title for winning the amount of money in Starcraft 2’s history; $367,213. Only last month Mvp took first place with $373,520. MC is also know for be over the top on stage, e.g. last year he came out as Undertaker for the OSL picking ceremony, he dressed up as a murlock on a MLG stage, and last year at Homestory Cup he danced his heart out.
Another player who stole our hearts with his voice is; Romanian player Silviu “NightEnD” Lazar. Time and time again NightEnD dissappears from the scene only to come back in style or drunk at Homestory Cup. Another player no one thought to make it to the round of 16, took second in his group. Losing to Kas in the first series 1-2 then coming back by 2-0’ing State and taking revenge back by 2-0ing Kas. Hopefully he comes up big and continues to surprise us all.
Polish’s representative Grzegorz “MaNa” Komincz. Has shown to be quite inconsistent, but when he is on he makes his opponents look silly. Sadly he did take second in his group, losing to the eventual first placer HyuN. He went on destroying Dayshi, who just recently has been playing phenomenal. Hopefully the good MaNa shows up for the rest of the tournament.
The second protoss to ever win a GSL besides MC, is South Korean Ahn “Seed” Sahng Won. This will be Seed’s first international tournament since being acquired by FXOpen e-Sports from Incredible Miracle, which left the community baffled and scratching our heads. Why leave the greatest Starcraft 2 team? Either way when Seed was dominating last year, he produced some of the greatest games of all time. Lets see if that’s the Seed that shows up.
Frenchmen Yoan “ToD” Merlo, has made a resurgence in the last couple of months. He also began casting WCS Europe, maybe the casting made him yearn to play better? Either way it’s great to see a player of his caliber make a return. Sadly he didn’t take first in his group, losing to Dimaga which dropped him to second, while the king of the north took first. Stated before ToD has been playing extreme well, only in due time will it pay off.
Germans own Dennis “HasuObs” Schneider. Is back again at Homestory, another sleeper to those who don’t follow the European Starcraft scene. Just last month he went on to win the ESL Pro Series by defeating Socke in the finals. He did take second in a group some would call a fairly a weak group beating; MorroW and hendralisk. Unfortunately, in the round of 16 group stage he has been drawn into possibly the hardest group.
For me this is one of the most unique Starcraft 2 tournaments. The atmosphere there is felt by everyone watching, getting a chance to see players you rarely get to see in such an open environment is refreshing. Even with the laid back style the competitive spirit still lingers. If you have never watched a Starcraft 2 tournament, I would caution new viewers, since the players casting will not really be commentating for that audience but mainly for the ones who know what is going in the game. Besides that grab a beer if you drink, if not grab a tasty beverage and enjoy the show! Also here are Day 1 and Day 2 Impression videos. –Randy
Where to watch:
English Streams: http://www.twitch.tv/taketv and http://www.twitch.tv/taketvbstream
Russian Stream: http://www.twitch.tv/sc2tv_ru
German Stream: http://www.twitch.tv/mori09tv
Polish Stream: http://www.twitch.tv/empirebratok