Being a professional player in a game as complex and evolving as StarCraft II comes with its ups and downs. The best don’t stay the best forever, and group-stage competitors can become champions with enough time and practice. All that said, what Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn has shown us this past week is something special.
The last time we saw this kind of hot streak from Scarlett was in late 2016 when she won Kings of the North Season 3, the Americas qualifier for the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG), and place in a close second at the World Cyber Arena qualifier. In these events, she took down some of the same powerful players we still see dominate the scene today—players like Alex “Neeb” Sunderhaft, Juan Carlos “SpeCial” Tena Lopez, Diego “Kelazhur” Schwimer, and Pablo “Cham” Blanco.
But this past week she’s evolved to show an even greater level of skill, possibly the best we’ve seen from any non-Korean player in the history of StarCraft. In the past week alone, she’s not only defeated, but absolutely trounced, StarCraft 2's only two-time global champion, Kim “sOs” Yoo Jin; the best Terran player in the world, Lee “INnoVation” Shin Hyung; the 2017 world champion, Lee “Rogue” Byung Ryul; and one of the best Protoss players in Korea, Joo “Zest” Sung Wook. In a matter of days, she’s taken the absolute elite of StarCraft II and put them to shame with aggressive, unrelenting strategies. It looks increasingly likely that she may become the first foreigner to ever win the Global StarCraft II League (GSL), and if she can accomplish that, what’s to keep her from taking the StarCraft II Global Finals at the end of the year?
So far, 2018 is an exciting year for Scarlett and, skill-wise, it’s going to take something truly innovative and unique to stop this momentum that she’s built.