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Sasha 'Scarlett' Hostyn becomes first female to win major StarCraft II tournament

13 February 2018 10:26

Sasha ‘Scarlett’ Hostyn has become the first ever female competitor to win a major StarCraft II tournament after triumphing in the IEM (Intel Extreme Masters) Season XII in Pyeongchang, South Korea. She’s also become only the second foreigner to win a major StarCraft II competition in the country.

The Canadian-born 24-year-old took home $50,000 of the $150,000 prize pool for her efforts in East Asia where she emphatically overcame 17 male competitors, including a 4-1 victory over Jin Air Green Wings’ Kim "sOs" Yoo Jin in the best-of-seven grand final.

Scarlett, representing Team Expert, reached the grand final after a 3-0 success over Cham in a Bo5 North America tie-breaker before three consecutive 3-1 victories in the Round of 16, quarter and semi-finals against TIME, Serral and Elazer respectively.

She battled her way to a 3-0 lead over sOs in the grand final after victories in the Catalyst, Neon Violet Square and Backwater maps, before sOs pulled a game back in Acid Plant. sOs is the highest-earning SC II player and a two-time world champion, widely regarded to be one of the best players on the roster, but Scarlett secured her place in the history books after registering victory in Blackpink.

Scarlett was the only female player in the tournament, and her victory truly is a ground-breaking moment in the history of eSports. Females haven’t had the same opportunities, prize pools or coverage as males across the industry so far, and she has personally struggled somewhat in previous major tournaments. It is hoped Scarlett’s famous win will deservedly catapult female players into the eSports spotlight, and there is clearly an audience there for their participation.

The IEM Season XII tournament was deliberately scheduled as a pre-Winter Olympics event, also held in South Korea, after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced their interest in maybe adding eSports as an Olympic sport at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. The IEM Season XII World Championships begin later this month in Katowice, Poland, and Scarlett is expected to be back in action next month in the 2018 Global StarCraft II League.

Published on: 2018-02-13

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