The World Cyber Games 2004 Grand Finals were held from October 6-10, 2004 at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California, USA. This marked the first time the WCG would be held outside of South Korea, where the past four previous sessions were held. Despite being only four years young, the WCG quickly reached the pinnacle of the e-Sports world, with some of the richest purses available. With much success in South Korea, where the WCG 2003 drew 150,000 spectators over seven days in Seoul’s Olympic Stadium, the expectations for the first overseas WCG Grand Finals event were surely high. WCG 2004 was the first of two WCG competitions hosted in the United States, with WCG 2007 being hosted in Seattle, Washington, USA three years later.
In addition to an opening ceremony featuring live music, dance performances, fireworks, and flag-bearing pageantry celebrating the many countries represented was held on October 6, several free activities were made available outside the venue to both the public and competitors, including rock climbing, flying trapeze, and laser tag.
Inside the historic Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, which since being built in 1915, has been a popular venue for live music concerts, 642 participants representing 63 countries competed in eight Official Games. Across all team and individual events, "We have a total main purse of over $420,000," said Hank Jeong, WCG President and CEO. Perennially selected by the WCG as an Official Game from 2000 to 2010, Brood War would shine once again in 2004 at the event the community recognized as its de facto world championship. The goal, Jeong intimated, was to bring the "best players from the delegate countries to San Francisco to compete to be the best of the best champion." "To a lot of (the participants)," said Andre Mooi, WCG USA Vice President, "this is the Olympics."
After a variety of National Qualifiers from March through September 2004, the Grand Finals welcomed 67 StarCraft: Brood War finalists from 38 countries. The estimated 20,000 to 40,000 spectators to the WCG Grand Finals watched some of the matches on five large screens hanging from the ceiling. Closed-circuit radio broadcasts were also available within the venue as announcers provided play-by-play and analysis of featured matches. Outside the venue, fans from around the world were able to listen to these radio broadcasts on Winamp Shoutcast, as well from the live announcers from Radio iTG.. Additionally, although a live video stream was unavailable, the match replays were posted on the official WCG website as each day of competition concluded. To cultivate relationships and market the WCG with some of the largest and most passionate online fan sites, WCG organizers invited members the Starcraft Legacy, Starcraft Gamers, and WGTour communities to act as referees. These online fan sites and a number of fans were able to provide on-site reporting and accounts of their experience, given the relative ease of travel to this US-based location, enabling distant fans access to have an unprecedented level of coverage compared to the previous WCG events.
$40,000 in cash prizes were awarded during the StarCraft: Brood War Grand Finals to the top three participants. Additionally, the 4th-8th place competitors received non-monetary prizes with values as indicated in the table below:
|4th||-||$1,000 VIK||Androide||3D Clan|
|9th-16th||-||-||Mondragon||Templars of Twilight|
The Group Stage was played with 16 groups of between four to five players in a round robin format where each participant played against every group member. All matches were best of one. The top two of each group advanced. Participants were divided to ensure each group only contained one qualifier per country.
- The WCG 2004 featured the most groups (16), along with the smallest groups (four to five), in WCG history. Most later WCG competitions would feature groups of six to eight participants.
During the Elimination Stage, 32 participants played a single elimination format with all matches best of three. In designing the bracket, players who advanced from the group stage ranked first were matched against players who advanced ranked second.
Eliminating Team Play
In previous years of the WCG, Brood War had also been featured in a nation-based team competition. This team play featured 2v2 matches in a single elimination bracket, using the best of one format. These twosomes were typically formed by pairing up two of the 1v1 national qualifiers together, thus representing their country.
For WCG 2004, the 2v2 national tournament would be eliminated. WCG organizers cited the difficulty in organizing this additional event in the face of the concurrent 1v1 competition, as well as lack of interest. The cancellation of such team events did not only apply to Brood War, however, as this change was implemented with several other WCG Offical Games.
Ensuring Fair Play
Strict rules were in place during the Group and Elimination Stages to ensure fair play. Some were introduced for the first time, while others carried forth from preceding WCG competitions.
- All games in each round had to start at the same time. If one player was delayed, all participants in that round must wait.
- Players were to stay put in his seat during and following each games until all players in the round had completed their games. He was not allowed to alt-tab out of Brood War to run other applications, although he could review his replays, nor observe other ongoing matches.
- Players were instructed to not save the replays themselves, but to notify a referee, thus ensuring a specific naming scheme was implemented.
- Each game was documented and signed off by the participating players.
- During tournament play, only participants were allowed to be in the tournament area, which was barricaded off. Players could only be joined by team leaders, coaches, and the media on the tournament floor during practice times. Referees would instruct all non-participants, including players who were not playing that round, to proceed to the spectator area.
The WCG 2004 maps were announced in April 2004, with all four maps returning from WCG 2003.
Dahlia of Jungle is a four-player jungle map featuring a natural enclosed in the back of the main base, with limited space and a small ridge behind the mineral line that make it difficult to defend against harrassment. A nearby expansion site, the "third", featuring a Vespene Gas Geyser is located in each corner of the map. The center battle ground features of number of bridges and ruin obstructions.
Korhal of Ceres is a space-based map with two entrances into both the mineral-only "third" and main bases. The natural is located a bit distantly from the main and positioned on the edges of the central battle ground, making it vulnerable to attack. An elevated ridge surrounds much of the map, providing an alternate path for attack.
Martian Cross is a four-player desert map featuring a somewhat exposed natural expansion with two entrances. The natural is positioned in a depression, making it vulnerable to harassment from the elevated cliff that surrounds the mineral line. With each main located in a corner of the map, movement between them require traversing a somewhat long and meandering path with multiple chokepoints. The shortest path between these bases involves passing through an expansion base featuring bridge entrances.
Gorky Island is a semi-island two-player map with a nestled natural behind the main base featuring limited harrassment space behind the mineral line. Limited expansion sites are available, but require air transport or lifted off buildings. Gorky Island features a variety of small ramps and elevations.
The Brood War Grand Finals was scheduled to begin on October 7, 2004 among the 67 participants below. The 2004 competition featured the largest number of representatives in the history of the WCG, as the number of participants gradually decreased annually until the 2010 competition was left with only 19 Brood War participants. As was typical during the WCG, the most represented countries were South Korea, the United States, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Russia, and Canada. Kazakhstan was also well-represented with three participants.
A number of countries would by represented by participants for the first time in a WCG, including Finland, Norway, Turkey, and Argentina.
In contrast, China was represented by only one competitor, while in neighboring years, such as 2002, 2003, 2005, and 2006. First-person accounts of travel visa difficulties had surfaced in the weeks leading up to the 2004 competition, including from Pj, the number one ranked contestant from the WCG China 2004 National Qualifier, who noted multiple members of the Chinese team would not be participating. This announcement surprised the Brood War community as Chinese players had been strong contenders in the surrounding years, where two of its three qualifiers had advanced to the Elimination Round in 2002, 2003, and 2006.
Additionally, in the days leading up to the competition, Darki, the top Peruvian qualifier, also relayed news of his travel visa difficulties, such that neither he nor his alternate JoSeZ would be able to participate in the WCG 2004 Grand Finals. Fortunately, for Darki, however, he would have the opportunity to participate in both WCG 2005 and 2006. Finally, as the results were being released, it became apparent Blooder and Ghadiri would also not participate, although it is unclear the circumstances surrounding their walkovers. As a result, Peru and Iran were left without a representative. Ultimately, out of the 67 participants scheduled, only 64 would officially compete in the Group Stage.
Aside from Darki, a number of players appearing at the 2004 competition would make multiple appearances at the WCG, including Advokate, ALFA, Androide, AutumnWillow, chivu, Christian, Day(9), elky, FiSheYe, FroZ, Grrrr..., Hellghost, KeiR, Legionnaire, Manza, Mondragon, Nazgul, SEn, Shweq, Strafe, StYm, Testie, tomsOn, Vanilica, ZelotITO, and all three Korean players: fOru, Midas, and XellOs. Effectively, almost half the 2004 had appeared or would appear in another WCG Grand Finals.
In terms of racial distribution, the 2004 competition featured 23 Protoss, 21 Terran, 19 Zerg, and 4 Random, which largely mirrored the distribution seen in the surrounding years, where the number of Zerg players was generally the lowest.
List of Participants
|No||Country||Player||WCG Nickname||Full Name||Race||Group|
|13||Chile||KeiR||aQs_KeiR||Andres Herrada Forestani||Zerg||K|
|15||Chinese Taipei||SEn||YioSEn[Rush]||Chia Cheng Yang||Zerg||I|
|17||Czech Republic||Crow||CDS_Crow_cz||Jakub Sedlacek||Protoss||N|
|18||Czech Republic||Dark_Caleb||CDS_DarkCaleb_cz||David Kucera||Zerg||L|
|19||Czech Republic||Destroyer||Destroyer__cz||Marek Hradil||Random||J|
|25||Guatemala||chivu||Mauro_gt||Mauro Alberto Castaneda Molina||Protoss||A|
|31||Korea (South)||XellOs||xellos_kr||Jihoon Seo||Terran||G|
|32||Korea (South)||fOru||bobari81_kr||JaeHoon Lee||Protoss||J|
|33||Korea (South)||Midas||midas[gm]||Sang-Wook Jeon||Terran||C|
|34||Malaysia||JohnRambo||JohnRamBo_my||James Ming Keet Foo||Terran||O|
|42||Panama||CCC||CCC_pa||Cesar H. Robles C.||Zerg||H|
|53||Serbia and Montenegro||Vanilica||vanilica_SCG||Srdjan Petkovic||Terran||L|
|58||Spain||ZelotITO||ZelotITO||Eduardo Gandia Castello||Protoss||M|
|59||Spain||Manza||LG)Manza||Jose Maria Manzanares||Zerg||P|
Strikethrough: Participants who were absent
Travel and Accommodations
Players traveled from across the world to compete in the WCG 2004 Grand Finals, with fare and accomodations provided by the WCG organizers. Although the players village at the Courtyard Marriott was located relatively nearby the tournament venue, it did not feature any onsite practice facilities for players, forcing the participants to seek out alternate outlets such as cyber cafes. Those who waited until the Bill Graham Civic opened on October 7, 2004 were met with limited practice time, however, as organizers only allowed the participants access to the gaming computers an hour before the competition was to begin 
Leading up to the WCG 2004 Grand Finals, a number of players had garnered attention for their play heading into the contest. Some participants made valiant efforts but fell short in WCG 2001-2003, while others were newcomers who quickly rose up the ranks in either international or local play.
Because of the domination of the preceding WCG Grand Finals by Korean players, the three 2004 Korean qualifiers were automatically granted favorite status. In fact, in the eyes of many, the Korean national preliminaries were seen as more competitive than the Grand Finals.. It is of note, coincidentally, all three Korean qualifiers, Xellos, Midas, and fOru, were part of the same GO team, sponsored by CJ Entus, and were thus frequent practice partners.
Sang-Wook "Midas" Jeon was a Korean Terran player who started professional play in 2003. Midas did not particularly stand out from the many Terran wizards of this period, but succeeded in showing his nascent abilities in defeating the likes of iloveoov and fOru at the OGN Challenge League. It was not until the highly competitive WCG 2004 Korean qualifiers that Midas won a large tournament for the first time, beating XellOs and fOru along the way on his undefeated tournament run. This first place ranking enabled Midas to earn sufficient points to reach a top 25 KeSPA ranking for the first time as he approached the Grand Finals.
Despite the strength of Korean players in the WCG competitions leading up to the 2004 Grand Finals, foreign players succeeded in winning the number two and/or three spots in every WCG during 2000-2003. A number of players had built anticipation as they headed into the 2004 competition, whether from recent success, such as FiSheYe, or past glory, such as Grrrr...
Results: Group Stage
The results from the Group Stage round robins are summarized below with a text summary followed by the final group records. The detailed match-ups, including tiebreakers, where applicable, can be found here for Groups A - H and here for Groups I - P.
The top two participants in each group advanced to the Elimination Stage without many surprising results.
In group A, KniF would hand FiSheYe his only loss. After KNiF successfully held off FiSheYe's Zergling rush, FiSheYe would attempt early Lurkers from one Hatchery and no expansions, only to be discovered by KNiF. Now far behind in economy, FiSheYe succumbed to KNiF's overwhelming troops and economy.
In group C, Midas and Advokate would face each other in the last game of the Group Stage with 2-0 W-L records. The TvT match-up would have both players opting for one-base build-ups as Advokate proceeded with a straight-forward Mech force. Midas, on the other hand, elected to follow a Marines and Medics build order more commonly seen in TvZ match-ups, eventually totaling five Barracks. Advokate's Siege Tanks would easily defeat the large Midas' M&M infantry army. Online communities immediately questioned Midas' decision to not adhere to a more robust TvT strategy involving more Mech-based units.  Rumors emerged that Midas and his team devised a plan to intentionally lose this third and final Group Stage match after Midas secured advancement into the Elimination Stage with his previous wins. Armed with a 2-1 record (as opposed to 3-0) and the knowledge of how the bracket would be organized, which was made publicly available ahead of time, conspiracists contended that Midas threw the match to ensure a bracket position far away from his fellow Korean compatriot and GO teammate, XellOs, who advanced into the Elimination Stage with an undefeated 3-0 record. According to first-hand reports by spectators, XellOs congratulated Midas after his loss, further suggesting collusion took place.
In group D, Christian and Strafe played a contentious macro PvT battle. After Strafe's initial DT drop was foiled, both would build up and expand multiple times, with some harassment from both sides. Strafe would eventually take five expansions while Christian maxed out at four, but each would lose multiple bases along the way. During multiple battles, Christian would advance his large Mech force to level one of Strafe's expansions, only to be backstabbed along the way as Strafe opted to attack Christian's third and fourth bases rather than defend his own. In the meantime, Strafe amassed and effectively micromanaged about a half dozen Carriers to destroy Christian's Goliaths, thus gaining victory.
In group E, Eriador and Day(9) were the top two participants to advance. Their head-to-head match-up was the last game of group E. Eriador opted for a one-base build-up composed of M&Ms and Siege Tanks. With scouting, Day(9) opted to expand and tech to Lurkers. These Lurkers would prove instrumental in breaking out of a Siege Tank and Bunker contain Eriador had set up at Day(9)'s chokepoint. As Day(9) sent multiple waves of Lurkers and Zerglings to attack, he would take a third, further increasing his economic advantage. Eriador would be forced to surrender, shortly thereafter.
In group F, tomsOn and Shaman would finish as the top two contenders. The two faced each other as part of a ZvT match-up where both opted for a quick expansion at their natural, with tomsOn going with Mutalisks, and shortly thereafter, Guardians. Shaman was prepared, however, with a large pack of M&Ms and Wraiths. tomsOn then expanded very aggressively on this four-player map at both available main bases while Shaman built up his M&M force. tomsOn relied on Sunken Colonies and the distant geography of Martian Cross for defense such that by the time Shaman finally attacked tomsOn's main with a large M&M force, tomsOn already had seven harvesting bases compared to Shaman's two. tomsOn lost his main, but quickly replenished with Ultralisks and Guardians to force Shaman's surrender.
In group G, XellOs dominated the remainder of the group with a 3-0 record. Against RazoR, XellOs completely contained the Zerg in with three Bunkers at the choke. RazoR would attempt to flank and surround the Bunkers with troops transported out of his base, but not before XellOs dropped a large force of M&Ms and Firebats to decimate RazoR's main. For victory #2, XellOs took on yAn in a short TvT, where XellOs contained and prevented yAn from expanding with early Vultures and Spider Mines. Thereafter, XellOs opted for two Starport Wraiths to provide further containment while expanding and amassing a Siege Tank force, ensuring the victory. Finally, XellOs' third victory would be a ZvT match against Kazio. Both expanded and built up forces, with Kazio opting for Mutalisks, which were no match for XellOs' large M&M forces. After holding his choke with numerous Sunkens, Kazio would surrender as his Mutalisks succumbed to Irradiate.
In group H, Legionnaire and Androide would advance as the top two contenders and face each other in a TvP match-up. Early on, Androide took advantage of the Martian Cross elevations and vulnerable mineral lines to destroy Legionnaire's natural, but Legionnaire would take another main on the four-player map to supplant his economy. Androide's multiple waves of Mech pushes would dominate Legionnaire's infantry troops, ensuring the Terran victory.
*: Players advanced by tiebreaker
In group J, fOru dominated the group 3-0 to advance. Against Blizzy, fOru would defend against Mutalisks with Corsairs while containing the Zerg in with Cannons at his expansion. fOru decimated Blizzy's economy with Corsairs and DTs before finishing him off with infantry units and Psi Storm. Similarly, against Destroyer, fOru used a large Zealot force and Psi Storm to destroy Destroyer's Zergling and Hydralisk army. Against TuiG in a PvP, fOru opted for a standard Zealot to Dragoon tech while TuiG went all in with Zealots, including two proxy Gateways, with the Korean dominating with his Dragoon micro and troop composition.
In group K, elky and FroZ would advance to the Elimination Stage. In their head-to-head TvT match-up, both aggressively took bases at virtually all possible expansion sites, but elky would tech towards dropships while FroZ was content with spreading his defenses around for containment and unable to respond to two back-to-back attacks on his main.
In group L, Testie and Dark_Caleb advanced from the group. Facing each other in a TvZ, Testie dominated with his large M&M and Siege Tank army, slowly pushing in to decimate Dark_Caleb's natural before his main.
In group M, Shanhai and ZelotITO would advance from the group after battling each other. Shanhai's early Lurkers surprised ZelotITO, who was teching to Reavers, finishing off the Protoss with Zerglings.
In group N, BlasT and Draco were the top two of the group. In their head-to-head PvP, BlasT would build a small advantage with his Dragoon micro, giving him time to expand at his natural while Draco recuperated. With the economic advantage, BlasT would supplement his Dragoons with speed-upgrade Zealots, thus taking the final battle.
Group P was highly competitive with three players ending group played tied at 3-1. TreK, Mondragon, and Manza would all battle twice, once in group play and once in the tiebreaker, due to the matching records. For TreK and Mondragon's first match, TreK opted for Wraiths and Siege Tank drop play on the island map, but would be countered and contained by Mondragon's large Hydralisk force. Mondragon would decimate the lone Terran expansion multiple times with Hydralisk drops to significantly disrupt TreK's production. In the meantime, Mondragon would expand multiple times and switch to air units, building a large enough Mutalisk and Scourge force to overwhelm TreK. In their second game during the tiebreaker on Dahlia, Mondragon opted for Mutalisks and Lurkers against TreK's M&M and Siege Tank forces. Mondragon would expand aggressively across the map, but TreK took advantage of the close base locations to repeatedly harass Mondragon's main. Additionally, the Terran would repeatedly raze the Zerg natural by staging Tanks at the vulnerable mineral line then continuously apply pressure on the Zerg with M&M pushes and M&M drops to decimate each of Mondragon's expansions to earn the victory.
In a similar scenario, Manza would play Mondragon twice, in both group play and the tiebreaker. In their first map, both opted for quick Lairs and a swarm of Zerglings at their main bases, with Manza morphing his Spire slightly faster. Mondragon decided to build Scourge and Spore Colonies for defense, but then opted to expand at his natural. Manza would discover the Hatchery quickly and decimate it with his growing Mutalisk force, prompting Mondragon's surrender shortly thereafter. In their rematch during the tiebreaker, again on the same map, both opted for second Hatcheries at their main base and a quick Lair and Spire. Mondragon would amass and attack with a larger Zergling force, however, to catch Manza off-guard before his Mutalisk production, thus ending the game.
The last pair of players involved in the tie records was TreK and Manza. In their first match during group play, one of the longest of the tournament, both players opted for macro play with the Zerg expanding aggressively throughout the lower half of the map. TreK would not take his third until past the 20 minute mark, but attempt to match Manza's expansions in the late game. Manza's Lurker and Zergling army would prove too much for TreK's M&M troops as the Zerg destroyed and traded bases with the Terran multiple times. In their tiebreaker match, TreK opted for an all-in one-base infantry rush composed of Firebats and M&Ms that caught Manza by surprise, ending the match in five minutes.
*: Players advanced by tiebreaker
Results: Elimination Stage
Following the Group Stage, which was played over the first two days of tournament competition, the Elimination Stage was held on the last two days. A written summary of notable match-ups is presented below, followed by the full bracket.
Round of 32
The round of 32 progressed without many surprises, with most of the favorites advancing in their matches.
Midas vs BlasT: Both games featured attempts at containment that, with Midas' attempt succeeding in game one. After being surrounded by Spider Mines and losing his natural to a proxy Factory and Siege Tanks, BlasT attempted to flank Midas with dropped ground units and infantry from two proxy Gateways, but Midas would hold with his Siege Tanks and Vulture harassment. BlasT attempted to contain Midas with Cannons at his choke, but Midas successfully navigated his M&M attack on BlasT's main using the back route on Korhal of Ceres.
TreK vs FiSheYe: All three games in this ZvP match-up featured largely macro play. In game one, both would expand aggressively in building 200 supply each, with the Zerg taking an economic advantage after destroying then taking over the Protoss' fourth. In game two, the Protoss once again exerted his ground dominance with large Zealot forces, and once again with Arbiters, to slowly wear down the Zerg's distant expansions. In the final game, both would exploit the map for cheese, making Cannons and Sunkens, respectively, behind the opponent's natural mineral line. FiSheYe would slowly tech to Reavers and Archons to slowly decimate TreK's distant bases and take the series.
XellOs vs Blizzy: The mighty Terran used one base, fast Firebats and M&Ms in both games to take the victory. In game 1, XellOs would destroy Blizzy's early expansion before his Lurkers could hatch, then finishing the win with another wave of infantry units. In game 2, XellOs took advantage of the map by containing the Zerg in at his natural with Bunkers and Missile Turrets. Effectively starving the Zerg of a second Vespene Gas Geyser, Blizzy would not be able to tech beyond a few Mutalisks and Lurkers, falling again to XellOs' infantry army.
SEn vs Legionnaire: All three games would be longer macro games with the Zerg expanding aggressively while the Protoss was largely content with building up. In game 1, SEn broke through Legionnaire choke with Ultralisks but could not counter the Protoss Carriers, whose hit and run attacks evaded the Zerg's Hydralisk army. In game 2, the Zerg opted for a Hydralisk surround and Mutalisk harassment to contain the Protoss in his island base, permitting him only a third expansion while expanding at least four times himself. Legionnaire would attempt Carriers once again, but without the economy to sustain replacements, he would fall to SEn's Hydra forces. In game 3, SEn was once again more aggressive in containing the Protoss in his base while expanding multiple times. By the time Legionnaire attacked with a sizable force, the Zerg would hold on and counter with his Ultralisk/Zergling army to end the game.
Round of 16
Christian vs EX: In this TvT series, Christian would exert himself by aggressively expanding while going on the offensive with dropship attacks. In game 1, Christian built a small economic advantage by preventing EX's expansions at the corner positions with Siege Tanks on the ridge, then used a series of drop attacks to harass while building a troop of Battlecruisers that were able to run and gun around EX's [[Goliath|Goliaths]. In game 2, Christian would opt for quick drop capability to harass and contain his opponent while taking multiple expansions, eventually overwhelming EX.
XellOs vs Day(9): XellOs would demonstrate the both air and ground dominance in this series. In game one on Gordy Island, Day(9) would opt for a Mutalisk attack on the Terran main. Incensed, XellOs would build four Starports and amass an army of Wraiths and Valkyries, quickly decimating the Mutalisk army. Game two would be more hotly contested. The Zerg elected to expand at his mineral-only while defending with Sunken Colonies and teching to Lurkers. XellOs would expand and upgrade his M&M army with seven Barracks while teching to Tanks. The Zerg would send multiple waves of Lurkers and Zerglings to break the contain, but XellOs would successfully protect and advance his forces into the Zerg main. Day(9) would look back at this second game in 2009, describing the subtle errors he made with unit placement and the unavailability of a second Gas Geyser for much of the game.
Midas vs FiSheYe: Midas overwhelmed the Protoss with his strong Mech forces in both games. In game 1, the Protoss opted for a one-base infantry attack while Midas expanded and built up, but was foiled by Midas' Sim City and micromanagement. Midas would then use Vulture harassment and a Siege Tank push to finish the game. In game 2, FiSheYe would opt for an all-in with proxy Gateways/Zealots and a Cannon push into Midas' main, with the Terran holding off the attack with Bunkers and, eventually, Siege Tanks. The Terran would expand twice and dominate again with his Mech forces.
fOru vs Testie: The three game series would be one of more hotly contested match-ups of the Round of 16. In game 1, Testie's Terran took advantage of the island map to expand in easily defensible sites while fOru was unable to make a dent with small armies of transported troops. After switch to Carriers, Testie would counter with large packs of Goliaths and a stronger economy to take the win. In games 2 and t, Testie's Zerg would fall to fOru's Protoss ground play, as the Protoss out-expanded the Zerg to overwhelm Testie with Zealots, Dragoons, and Archons.
Advokate vs Mondragon: In game 1, Mondagon opted to play Protoss on the island map, but would be contained by the Terran, who expanded easily. After several skirmishes, Advokate's economic advantage prevailed as he was able to execute multiple drop attacks to the Protoss main. Game 2 was a macro game where Mondragon, as Zerg, expanded aggressively while teching. Advokate would build up and trade expansions with the Zerg, but Mondragon's economic superiority = would prevail. In game 3, the Terran went for an all in Marine rush while Mondragon expanded early, leaving him unprepare to fend the attack.
SEn vs elky: SEn showed his penchant for macro play throughout the series. In game 1, SEn was able to defend and counter with Lurkers and Zerglings while expanding aggressively to take five bases to the Terran's two. Once reaching Defiler and Ultralisk tech, the Zerg would overrun the Terran army. In game 2, elky contained SEn with a Bunker and M&M reinforcements for much of the game while expanding and upgrading his infantry forces. Limited by a meager economy, SEn would succumb to multiple waves of elky's quickly replenished forces. Game 3 was contested on Gorky Island, with the Zerg opting for a containment strategy. Mutalisk harass and contain allowed SEn to expand over most of the map, at which point he converted to large Hydralisk forces. elky's drop attack with Siege Tanks and Goliaths would raze SEn's main, but with one lone expansion under constant containment, the Terran would succumb to economic starvation.
The final eight would feature five Terran players remaining, including the three Korean favorites.
Christian vs SEn: In game 1, SEn would opt for Mutalisks on the island map, only to be countered by Golaiths. The Terran would then build a large force of Valkyries to dominate the air and drop Goliaths on SEn. In the midst of defending his expansion, the Zerg Hydralisks would slowly barely defend the main before succumbing to another round of Goliaths. In game 2, the Zerg would opt for a surprise Hydralisk timing attack against the Terran, who was caught with few troops as Christian was expanding. In game 3, Christian exploited the map to full advantage with Siege Tanks at mineral lines and chokepoints to slowly push into and destroy the Zerg base.
Midas vs fOru: In the first match-up between Korean pro-gamers in the 2004 Grand Finals, the powerful Terran exerted its ground dominance. In game 1, after small skirmishes, fOru would opt for quick Carriers on just two bases as Midas contained the Protoss while expanding multiple time himself. By the time fOru started attacking, Midas had built a robust economy and defended with wave after wave of Goliaths.
XellOs vs Advokate: In this sole TvT match-up of the Quarterfinals, XellOs would take advantage of subtle timing differences to defeat Advokate. In game 1, both quickly expanded twice on the island map while building up drop attack forces. XellOs would discover and drop attack Advokate as he was expanding again, gaining superior map position right next to Advokate's main; this enabled XellOs to Tank "push" into the opponent main with a series of drops reinforcements. In game 2, Advokate went with an all-in one base Mech attack that was XellOs was able to barely hold off. XellOs then contained the Terran opponent while expanding three times to build and overwhelming Mech force for the victory.
The Semifinals would feature four Terran players, reinforcing the Terran dominance during this period in the history of Starcraft: Brood war.
XellOs vs Christian: The mighty XellOs would demonstrate his superior mechanics and micromanagement in this series of dominant wins. In game 1, both utilized almost identical one-base, two-Factory build orders, but XellOs's opted for more Siege Tanks compared to Christian's Tank and Vulture composition to slowly Tank push into the opponent's main. In game 2, XellOs once again gained a positional advantage early on with one-base Tank production. While keeping Christian contained, XellOs would expand multiple times and Tank "push" into Christian's main from a ridge adjacent to it.
Midas vs Androide: Midas would make quite work of the Terran opponent in this series, with both matches lasting ~ten minutes or less. In game 1, with the distant main base locations, both would veer from a straight Mech play for Wraiths. After early air skirmishes, Androide would start amassing Tanks, while Midas continued with Wraith production to easily decimate Androide's mineral line. In game 2, both players would opt for one-base aggression due to the nearby map positions. Androide would once again opt for a Wraith attack, which was shortly discovered by Midas, who would counter and overwhelm the opponent Terran with Goliaths.
Finals and Third Place
In the Finals, XellOs and Midas played one of more tightly contested games of the tournament. In game 1, the two Terran powerhouses would build and expand at comparable rates throughout the game, with both employing drop-attacks to destroy the opponent's main base. XellOs, however, had lifted off his tech buildings to his last expansion site and was able to build a small Wraith force to eliminate Midas' last few tanks. In game 2, Midas opted for an one-base all-in Wraith attack on the island map while XellOs expanded and teched, but the air force would be turned away by XellOs' scouting and Goliaths. XellOs would escort his dropships with Goliaths to ensure their safe travel into Midas base, then finish off his Korean compatriot with another drop attack of Mech forces. After the game, XellOs would note Midas would have done better had he expanded to his natural sooner.
In the Third-Place match, Christian and Androide played game 1 on the large and distant Martian Cross. The early to mid game were largely played to a draw, with both attempting to claim the center with Tank formations. Christian would secure one more expansion along the way to establish an overwhelming economic and Tank production advantage, ensuring the victory. During game 2, Androide opted for air superiority with Wraith production while Christian opted to defend and expand with Goliaths. With a significant economic edge, Christian would re-take air dominance with Valkyries before executing multiple Tank pushes to decimate Androide's expansions.
The WCG 2004 Grand Finals was successfully completed in San Francisco, the first time a Grand Finals would be held outside of Korea. Much like the KeSPA trend of Terran dominance in Korea during the period surrounding 2004, the WCG Grand Finals also saw four Terran semifinalists (and both finalists, consequently).
The Korean qualifiers would all advance far into the Elimination Stage, with fOru falling to his silver-medal winning compatriot, Midas. XellOs, correspondingly, was even more dominant in winning the Grand Finals without losing one game. He would praise the overall strong level of play, including the foreign non-Korean contingent, in an post-tournament interview.
A compilation of statistics is presented below, showing the overall tournament-wide win-loss records, win percentage, APM, EAPM, and average game duration for the corresponding player. Although these objective measures don't capture the mechanics, strategy, and other less quantifiable attributes, this data can serve as a starting point for gauging how dominantly XellOs, and perhaps his Korean compatriots, played in this tournament when compared to other participants. Although XellOs featured by far the highest APM out of the top eight contestants, his EAPM was less impressive. Judging from the average game duration, the two Korean Terran compatriots administered the fastest victories out of anyone in the top eight.
In the years to follow, XellOs, Midas, and fOru would all return to the WCG Grand Finals, garnering different levels of success. Midas would take the bronze in 2006 while fOru would win the gold in 2005, as the Korean qualifier would ultimately win first place in Brood War in every WCG Grand Finals to be held.
*:EAPM was calculated with BwRepInfo from Round of 32 through Finals, excluding the Group Stage due to limited availability of replays
Tournament Progression: Race and Region
|Round of 32||
|Round of 16||
|Round of 32||
|Round of 16||
- Americas = North America + South America
- Europe = Western Europe + Eastern Europe + Russia
- Other = Asia minus Korea + Pacific + Africa
|Description: Most replays from the event, missing tiebreakers|
|Featuring: All players present|
|Date: 2004-10-07 - 2004-10-10||Patch: 1.11b||Size: 13.1Mb||Download|
- The champion Xellos won every single game.
- The game between TiQ.Dany and ToT)Strafe( was honoured in Pimpest Plays 2004.
|FiSheYe||Quite intense and exotic game from WCG 2004, Round of 32|
|Date: September 10, 2004|
|Dany||Place 7 of Pimpest Plays 2004|
- WCG 2004 official site
- Gamespot on the WCG 2004 kicking off
- SFGate coverage of WCG 2004
- Tom's Hardware with WCG 2004 interview
- Tom's Hardware with WCG 2004 interview
- The New York Times on WCG 2004
- WCG 2004 SC list of players
- The New York Times on WCG 2004
- SFGate coverage of WCG 2004
- WCG official Shoutcast stream
- TL thread discussing WCG streams
- WCG 2004 replays
- WCG referees from fan sites
- WCG 2004 coverage at Starcraft Gamers
- TL fan account of WCG 2004
- TL fan account of WCG 2004 2
- TL Rekrul account of WCG 2004
- WCG 2004 Awards
- WCG 2003 Brood War national tournament
- WCG coverage on travel and team play
- Account from WCG 2004 referee
- WCG 2004 maps released and discussed on TL
- Chinese WCG players endure Visa difficulties
- Peruvian WCG 2004 qualifiers excluded
- Darki interview 2014
- Tom's Hardware with WCG 2004 interview
- WCG 2004 player village
- WCG coverage on travel and team play
- XellOs interview post WCG 2004
- fOru interview after WCG 2004
- FiSheYe interview stating WCIII intention
- Hellghost playing infrequently
- Hellghost wins Latin Cup
- froZ places first in qualifier
- FroZ record at TLPD
- FroZ as three time WCG USA champion
- Grrrr interview recognizing his age and decline
- Grrr leaving Hexatron
- Grrrr still ranked high heading into WCG
- Grrrr speaks to Canadian publication about imminent retirement
- Midas vs Advokate controversy
- WCG 2004 reports by Gosu Gamers
- Day9 retrospective on XellOs and WCG
- Xellos interview post-finals through translator lady
- XellOs interview post WCG 2004
- WCG 2004 player stats