2017 WCS Global Champion. 2018 IEM World Champion. Now, Rogue can add GSL Code S champion to his list of accolades. With a brutal, 4-0 sweep against teammate Trap in the Code S Season 3 grand finals, Rogue filled the last remaining hole in an otherwise sparkling career resume.
Rogue had previously been one of the GSL's most perplexing underachievers, having gone 0-8 in previous Code S quarterfinal matches. This season, Rogue finally broke his top eight curse, narrowly beating Zest 3-2 in an ugly quarterfinal series. While that particular match was unimpressive, it seemed to unleash the 'real' Rogue for the rest of the tournament. Playing in his first ever Code S semifinal match, Rogue crushed reigning Code S champion Dark by a 4-1 scoreline. Then, in his Code S finals debut last night, he recorded only the fifth finals sweep in Code S history with his brutal takedown of Trap.
4-0 sweeps tend to be ugly by their very nature, but Rogue's dissection of Trap was particularly ruthless and violent.
Trap began the finals with a bit of chicanery on Cyber Forest, revealing a Robotics-first build before pivoting into double-Stargate after killing Rogue's scouting Overlord. Had the strategy worked, it might have let Trap set the tone for the series, making Rogue constantly worry about the possibility of deception. Unfortunately for Trap, Rogue simply invested the 75/75 for Overlord speed and scouted the Stargates. Rogue's reaction was to immediately pullthe trigger on a Nydus all-in, flooding Queens into Trap's bases and forcing out the GG.
Game two on Cobalt followed a somewhat similar pattern, with Trap's DT/Archon drop strategy getting found out early by a couple of Zerglings slipping through his wall. Once again, Rogue's reaction was to go for the throat—or in this case, the Protoss main. Another Nydus Worm popped up in Trap's main, releasing a flood of Queens that forced a quick, second GG from the helpless Trap.
At this point, some fans might have hoped to see a longer game. They got their wish in game three, but mostly likely ended up regretting it. Game three got off to a very King's Cove-y start, with both players expanding and macroing up safely on their side of the map despite some fast-DT's from Trap early on. Just as Trap started to transition into an air-based army, Rogue's Nydus Worms reared their terrifying heads again. Only this time, the Nydus Worms were loaded with Infestors, which were in turn loaded with enough energy for endless waves of Infested Terrans. Rogue relentless picked away at Trap with this Swarm Host-esque harassment, tearing down key buildings and expansions. Once Trap was dead on his feet, Rogue expanded his creep all the way up to Trap's remaining bases and finished the game with the unholy trinity of Spore Crawlers, Brood Lords, and Infestors.
Down 0-3, Trap pulled out his final trump card on Triton: a proxy Glaive-Adept and Immortal all-in. At first, it seemed as if Trap had caught a break, finding Rogue to have played just a little too greedily for comfort. However, Rogue dealt with this crisis calmly, sacrificing his third base and rebuilding it elsewhere, taking careful engagements against the Protoss forces, and even pulling Drones on defense when necessary. Ultimately, Trap ended up eating one too many Corrosive Biles and was unable to get sufficient value out of his Prism-Immortal micro. With his main running of resources and his army starting to dwindle, Trap went for a final, doomed engagement before conceding the final GG of the series.
After the finals, Rogue said he was glad to have finally won a major tournament in Korea, giving his family a chance to witness one of his championship moments in person. He also thanked a formidable group of practice partners, including Stats, Zest, Hurricane, and Dear (even Zerg player Solar got credit for his considerable off-race knowledge). Blizzard also made a post-finals announcement, revealing that opening week of the Global Finals (the Ro16 group stage) would be held in Korea at the very same AfreecaTV studio.
While Rogue's Code S quarterfinal losing streak has finally been broken, one of his positive statistical streaks has actually been extended this tournament. Rogue is now 6-0 in offline best-of-seven matches in his career, with five of those victories coming in grand finals. Rogue may have the opportunity to win two more offline BO7 matches remain this year; in the finals GSL Super Tournament 2, and the WCS Global Finals. 0-8 has been ended; now 8-0 is there for the taking.