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MLG StarCraft 2 Fall Championship Day 2 Recap: Leenock the comeback artist, and the epic war of Flash vs Naniwa

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The second day at the MLG Fall Championship began and ended with a bang as we were treated to another day of phenomenal, unpredictable matches. One again, freelance writer Andrew Groen covered the action for us.

The day got started with some excitement as fan favorite Sheth (Shawn Simon, Zerg) was able to force a climactic Game 3 against the seemingly unstoppable Rain (Jung Yoon Jong, Protoss). Sheth was ecstatic about his Game 2 victory, but almost seemed scared to smile, as though he was worried he’d just angered Rain. The crowd erupted when Sheth finally flashed his jolly grin and gave the crowd a thumbs-up. It was short-lived though as Rain was able to take the series.

Rain was perhaps the most watched player coming into the tournament thanks to the recent controversy surrounding his forfeiture of a coveted Code S spot, and his utterly phenomenal play. He played very well for most of the day, but ended up getting eliminated after two defeats at the hands of Leenock (Lee Dong Nyoung, Zerg) in both the Winners and Losers brackets.

Leenock took down Rain with a comeback victory to gain a second shot at Oz (Kim Hak Soo, Protoss) after the two played a phenomenal first set whose first game featured a crazy triple Nydus Worm. It got so bizarre that Leenock was actually mining from Oz’s main at one point. Solidifying his new reputation as MLG’s Comeback Kid, Leenock came from behind to take down Oz 3-0 after losing the first set 2-1.

The real stars of Day 2 were Flash (Lee Young Ho, Terran) and Naniwa (Johan Luchessi, Protoss). Their first set went to Naniwa in Game 3 as he marched right over Flash with an Immortal push from a proxied Robotics facility. They met again in one of the last matches of the day, and it ended up being perhaps the best fight of the tournament.

In three games that featured the most intense and skillful micro of the weekend, the two players pushed each other to a new level. Watching these two in Game 5 was like watching a fencing match between two mastere, each of them taking turns pressuring their opponent, but neither able to break the other’s defense. As the match moved to Game 7, Naniwa ultimately succumbed to proxy barracks in the center of Tal’darim Altar. Naniwa lacked the resources to mount an effective defense. Flash took the series and will be moving on to the championship round.

Shocking nobody, Life (Lee Seung Hyun, Zerg) emerged from the second day of competition as the clear favorite to win the tournament tomorrow. Thus far he has dropped only one game, and he trounced Taeja 4-0 (Yoon Young Suh, Terran) across two separate meetings (he’s now 9-0 against Taeja in their recent battles.)

The final competitor in tomorrow’s bracket will be Bomber (Choi Ji Sung, Terran), a player who many had written off after a trouncing at the hands of foreigner Scarlett (Sasha Hostyn, Zerg.) He clawed his way back into the tournament from the losers bracket through the murderer’s row of ThorZaIN, soO, Daisy, Golden, and Heart.

Scarlett, who emerged as an exciting prospect after her defeat of Bomber, ultimately fell 2-1 to both MvP Invitational Champion soO, and Code S Terran, Heart, and was eliminated.

Tomorrow promises some exciting matches as we’ve got the comeback artist Leenock up against the white hot Bomber. We also have Life versus Flash, a contest between the unstoppable 15-year-old Code S champion and the most accomplished Brood War player of all-time, now a rising star in StarCraft 2.

The action resumes at 5 PM GMT / 12 PM Eastern via MLG’s event streams.

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