Serral’s meteoric rise in Starcraft II esports continues with his sustained success in the professional scene. From his record-tying achievement in 2017 of winning three out of four WCS Circuit tournaments in a single year, Serral was able to make the home run in 2018. Along with Neeb, Serral and he are the only non-Koreans so far to have earned the Triple Crown. The Triple Crown is the unofficial distinction earned by players who successfully captured the championship in Premier Tournaments of each of Europe, North America and Korea.
Path to Glory
Joona “Serral” Sotala’s WCS Global Finals win may have been already foreshadowed by his success in the preceding season. Had he not lost to Elazer in Leipzig and to Classic in the IEM Season XII World Championship, he would have won all nine events in the WC circuit. Despite this, he was still able to win all of the WC main events, the first person to have ever done so. His win in the World Championship Global Finals isn’t so surprising, therefore. But it’s a rather impressive feat nonetheless.
Moot and Academic
Serral’s path in the Global Finals may not have been easier for the young Finn. He swept all of his opponents in the group stages, and proceeded to the playoffs. Only he and the Mexican SpeCial were the only non-Koreans to have reached the playoffs this year, but it doesn’t matter. Serral’s on his way to becoming the first European to even reach the Global Finals playoffs. He swept Dark 3-0 in the quarterfinals, then Rogue 3-1, before finally defeating Stats 4-2 in the Grand Finals. His win may have been just moot and academic, given his strong presence in the whole tournament and his performance prior. He didn’t exactly swept all of his opponents, but the dominance was prominent.
Serral’s win this year is coming off a terrible performance in last year’s Global Finals. Even though he won three out of four of the Premier tournaments last year, Serral wasn’t able to translate his success to the Global Finals. In 2017, he only finished third in his own group, not only qualifying for the playoffs. In WESG 2017, he only finished third after Maru eliminated him in the semifinals. But finally, Serral proved to the world that he is now the best, claiming the grandest prize in the realm of Starcraft II, on top of all of his current achievements. The only question left now is whether or not Serral would be able to keep his championship in upcoming tournaments.