Nerd Street Gamers is hosting the Cheeseadelphia Winter Championship 2021 on Saturday and Sunday, an online Starcraft II tournament with a $10,000 prize pool in which first place takes home $3,500.
The 32 players — including 13 Protoss, 11 Terran and eight Zerg — competing this weekend have been put into eight groups of four for the group stage. Essentially, each player will need to win two of a possible three matches to advance to the playoffs, which will feature best-of-fives until the finals, which is a best-of-seven. Seven maps are included in the pool: Deathaura, Eternal Empire, Ever Dream, Golden Wall, Ice and Chrome, Pillars of Gold and Submarine.
The OSC Championship 8, a tournament held earlier this month, is a good indicator of where things stand as many of Cheeseadelphia’s participants also competed in that tournament.
Clément “Clem” Desplanches finished in first place. He defeated quite a few tough opponents to earn his way there, defeating both Grzegorz “MaNa” Komincz and John “starkiller” Puchalski 3-0. He also beat Max “MaxPax” C. 3-1, Kim “Cure” Doh Wook 3-2 and Krystian “Krystianer” Szczęsny 3-2. In the final bracket, Clem 3-0’d Pablo “Cham” Blanco to advance into the grand finals before winning 4-1 over Tobias “ShoWTimE” Sieber.
Aligulac, an algorithmic rating system, also considers Clem one of the world’s top players at the moment, with only Joona “Serral” Sotala and Riccardo “Reynor” Romiti ranked above him.
Byun “ByuN” Hyun Woo is the only other top-10 player, per Aligulac, participating in Cheesedelphia. He’s a threat to win any tournament, as evidenced by his third-place finish in TeamLiquid StarLeague 6, a premier event held in December. ByuN also finished 5th-8th at DreamHack SC2 Masters Last Chance 2021, another premier tournament that concluded last week. His only loss was to Serral.
Clem-ByuN would be a great guess for who makes the finals, but this tournament features a wealth of talent, so we could see plenty of upsets.
Jang “Creator” Hyun Woo, ranked No. 36, according to Aligulac, is a dark horse. His group features Park “DongRaeGu” Soo Ho (No. 30) and MaNa (No. 32) as well as Tran “MeomaikA” Hong Phuc (No. 88). It’s among the weaker of the eight groups. Creator hasn’t participated in a premier individual event since Season 3 of the 2020 Global StarCraft II League. He finished 1-2 in his group, losing 0-2 to Park “Dark” Ryung-woo, defeating Yun “TaeJa” Young Seo 2-0, and ultimately dropping out of the tournament with a 2-1 loss to Joo “Zest” Sung Wook.
There isn’t a big sample size of elite events to work with, but it’s incredibly difficult to make it into Code S of the GSL. Even the players who drop out during the Group Stage are incredibly good. If Creator manages to make it out of his group, there’s no telling how far he could go.
As far as interesting games, you’ll definitely want to watch any game with Kim “sOs” Yoo Jin in it. Not only is he among the best in the world, currently ranked No. 24, he’s a two-time Starcraft II World Championship Series champion. Even when he’s not winning, sOs is highly entertaining as he is no stranger to unconventional builds and “cheeses.” Making matters even more interesting, his group features another Protoss (Mateusz “Gerald” Budziak) as well as a Zerg (Aleksandr “Bly” Svysiuk) and a Terran (Lee “Bunny” Jae-seon), meaning he will have to show off his chops in all three matchups.
Most of the players competing this weekend earned their spots in Cheeseadelphia via one of three qualifiers held in each of the past three months, and a few others were invited. Below is the breakdown of how each player qualified:
- Kang “Solar” Min Soo (winner)
- Bly (runner-up)
- Leon “goblin” Vrhovec
- Thomas “ShaDoWn” Labrousse
- Choi “Bomber” Ji-sung
- Miguel “Vindicta” Marmolejo.
- Park “Armani” Jin Hyuk (winner)
- Max “Astrea” Angel (runner-up)
- Christoffer “Namshar” Kolmodin
- Piotr “souL” Walukiewicz
- Alex “Neeb” Sunderhaft (winner)
- ByuN (runner-up)
- Shin “RagnaroK” Hee Bum
- Park “Zoun” Han-sol
- Cho “Dream” Joong Hyuk
- Juan Carlos “SpeCial” Tena Lopez
- Marc “uThermal” Schlappi.
- Chris “MCanning” Canning
- Nina “Nina” Qual
- Nikita “SKillous” Gurevich
- Alex “Epic” Damian
- Joseph “Future” Stanish
- Diego “Kelazhur” Schwimer
- Maru “MaSa” Kim
- Christoper “jheffe” Hefferon
Set aside some time this weekend to tune into Cheeseadelphia. It has a little something for everyone: great players executing the best strategies, danger-seeking players pulling off risky strategies and everything in between. There’s no doubt Cheeseadelphia will help set the tone for the rest of 2021 in Starcraft II.