Inside the Championship: Serral at WCS Valencia
If you wanted to beat eventual tournament champion and WCS Circuit juggernaut Serral at WCS Valencia, the time to do it was before the 10-minute mark. He went 6-3 in games that did not exceed this time, including the two games he dropped to Scarlett in the playoff bracket and the one game he lost to Has in the tournament final. In these games we were able to see Serral’s strength when he gets to his preferred Roach build (deployed exclusively against Scarlett and Has)—and we saw how even one of the greats can fall when a championship-caliber player guesses correctly on their opening strategy.
Against Scarlett, Serral looked downright mortal, dropping the second and third games of their series. On Redshift, her speed-boosted Zergling gambit paid off big time as she relied on masterful mechanics to contain and quickly overwhelm her opponent. After Scarlett built her last Baneling at 3:08, she swore off all other army unit types (even after building a Roach Warren) to pump out 50+ Zerglings. Barely two minutes after that, Serral was done.
Dreamcatcher required a bit more sophistication, with Serral and Scarlett combining for level-two upgrades on ground-attack missiles and melee attacks by 5:15. Upgraded Banelings and Mutalisks were decisive, but Scarlett’s early commitment to upgraded ground units pushed her through to victory just as we got to the 8:00 mark.
|Serral's Sub 10-Minute Games|
|vs. Scarlett||vs. Has||vs. The Field|
Avg. time until Serral's Roach Speed Upgrade
The short game Serral won versus Scarlett, on Darkness Sanctuary, saw the Finnish star pair Zerglings with his Roaches in a successful bid to beat his opponent with superior mechanics. He enjoyed upgraded armor on his ground units for more than 2.5 full minutes before Scarlett upgraded the melee attacks on her ground units.
Against Has, Serral got to his speed Roaches relatively late in those sub-10-minute games—but the twist is in how he evolved in the series. Has’ win on Lost and Found came in Game 1 and Serral had time to introduce Banelings to his Zergling and Roach army to combat Has’ hardened ground army of Zealots, Sentries, and Immortals. By the time they got to Game 5 on Redshift, Serral was confident and comfortable letting his conventional Roach play carry him to victory in the match and the tournament.