2005 Giga Grandslam IV
(≃ $2,446 USD)
The Giga Grandslam IV was hosted by Giga.de from March 2005 until June 2005, had a prize pool of roughly 100,000 EUR and featured several games like Warcraft III, Counterstrike, Unreal Tournament 2004, Worms Armageddon and StarCraft: Brood War. It was one of Germany's biggest eSport leagues in this time.
The games that this series featured were only partially determined by the broadcasting station and depended on the interest of its audience. To meassure the estimated interest the community had to play their favorite game; the games with the highest participation advanced. All games were listed on giga's German page and offered a fast-challenge system, similar to the auto matchmaking WGTour offered in its early seasons. All played challenges were the basis of an automated ladder, from which the leading players were picked at the end of every week. In the first three weeks the first four players automatically qualified, if their respective title made it through the so-called "Q-Cups" (Qualifier Cups).
Although the German community was scared to lose to another title, Brood War was the first game to make it through the challenge, defeating their first round 'opponent' Gran Tourismo Racing with 98% to 2%. Since Brood War won in such a dominating fashion, additionally to being both WCG title and being featured in the previous season it got directly nominated as final Grandslam title.
Giga.de, ESL TV's predecessor, initially planned to also include non-German speaking players in their Giga Grandslam for all titles. Despite translations for the registration process this effort didn't pay off and only the German Brood War elite eventually qualified.
The qualification ladder used an ELO based ranking with all players starting with 1.000 points. After seven days the four leading players were automatically erased from the ranking and directly qualified for the upcoming stages. The overall winner of the event and the runner-up would receive bonus points for the upcoming fifth Grandslam.
After the ladder stage all twelve players were randomly placed into two groups (play offs). Everybody had to play everybody twice in a Best of One. The four best players were then seeded into an eight man knock out tournament to compete for the 3,500 EUR prize pool.
The overall finales between FiSheYe and Mondragon were one of the highlights of 2005. Both were considered to be Germany's strongest players for over two years and rarely faced each other in official games, especially since Keitel's team pro Gaming never really cared for team leagues such as BWCL. Although FiSheYe's success during WCG 2003 Mondragon was seen as the favorite to win.
In the first set of the finals both players picked random on the air map Parallel Lines, probably because the Zerg wanted to avoid having the disadvantge of a PvZ, which would favour the Protoss' air units. FiSheYe spawned as Protoss and Mondragon as Zerg. Both players opened with fast expansions and only engaged in smaller fights until they had four expansions each. Eventually Semke overpowered the Protoss after a longer game.
Semke had the map choice for the second set and picked Lost Temple, on which both players used their respective main races. FiSheYe was able to get an advantage over the Zerg, due to an aggressive opening which left both with only one base. Mondragon countered with an aggressive Lair Tech and harassment. After the initial drops and attacks the Zerg was able to set up a complete contain of the Protoss base. FiSheYe wasn't able to efficiently break through the enemy lines and lost to Mondragon's superior macro management in the long run.