IPL, a pro-gaming league organized by IGN entertainment, is well known for bringing high action, professional games to eSports fans. One of the more well know tournaments that they hold is the Starcraft 2 Team Arena Challenge, where teams are placed against each other in a Best-of-9 format. This past weekend the finals were held for the third Team Arena Challenge between team Liquid and Incredible Miracle in San Fransico, California. This season of TAC has been one of the biggest and most memorable Starcraft 2 events, and these Grand Finals were nothing short of spectacular.
It would be impossible to tell about the excitement of TAC 3 without mentioning team Liquid’s Terran player, Taeja. Team Liquid was able to make it through the loser’s bracket and earn their spot in the finals, thanks to Taeja. When Liquid was facing elimination against Startale with the score 4-1, Taeja was able to defeat four of Startale’s players in a row, keeping Liquid alive. Taeja’s reign of terror continued in the next round, when he brought Liquid back from a 3-1 deficit against Slayers, landing them in the Grand Finals.
Waiting for team Liquid in the Grand Finals was the team Incredible Miracle. The Korean based team is often considered the best Starcraft 2 team in the world, and were heavy favorites to win this season of TAC. However, in the first Best-of-9 series, team Liquid’s Taeja proved to be too much, as he defeated five straight players giving Liquid a 5-1 victory. This lead to a second Best-of-9 series, since Incredible Miracle was undefeated and needed to be defeated twice to be eliminated.
The next series was much more back and forth then the first, with each team winning one game a piece, until IM’s First was able to win two games to put his team up 3-1. Team Liquid then called once again on Taeja to help them get back into the series, and it looked like he would be able to carry his team to victory again as he was able to tie the series up 3-3. It was then that IM called in last season Code S champion, the Protoss player Seed. Seed was able to defeat the unbeatable Taeja, and then Liquid Hero, securing the victory for team Incredible Miracle. Incredilbe Miracle was rewarded $9,000 for winning IPL’s TAC 3, while Liquid got $4,000 for placing second. Third place Slayers also earned $3,000 and Startale got $2,000.
IPL Team Arena Challenger 3 showed truly how exciting these sorts of Team Leagues can be. It gives players to compete with their teammates, instead of for themselves. It also allows some players, such as Taeja, show their value to their teams, as they are able to be called in for must win games. Hopefully this exciting season of TAC will help grow the fan base for this format as it shows how exciting it can truly be when full teams compete against each other.