StarCraft II veteran Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn won the IEM Pyeongchang 2018, held just a few days ahead of the Winter Olympic Games in the South Korean city.
Scarlett’s victory against two-time world champion Kim “sOs” Yoo-jin is a historic one, as it makes her the first woman to win a major StarCraft II tournament.
The Canadian Zerg player defeated Protoss legend sOs 4-1 in a spectacular upset. The constant pressure she put on her South Korean opponent yielded an early 3-0 lead. sOs managed to take one map, but Scarlett’s aggressive momentum was back on Blackpink, the deciding map, with an early speedling rush.
Her achievement is a significant success for the North American StarCraft II scene, too - Sasha Hostyn is only the second NA professional player to occupy the first place in a major SCII event in South Korea.
"I almost don't really believe it right now," Scarlett said in an interview after the game. "I just felt like if keep playing aggressive, he'll be nervous, and I'll win from there."
Scarlett is currently the best-known woman StarCraft II pro player, with more than $250,000 in total earnings from 143 tournaments after her latest victory in PyeongChang brought her a $50,000 prize.
The event’s sponsor, Intel, which is also a worldwide TOP partner of the International Olympic Committee, timed the tournament to coincide with the Games, in an attempt to showcase eSports amid the ongoing assessment of video games’ potential inclusion as an Olympic event.