Ilyes “Stephano” Satouri spent a lot of his time in Dubai this week partying, but in between benders, he was also trying to win $12,000 and qualify for the World Electronic Sports Games Global Finals in StarCraft II. Despite the late nights, Stephano did better than he thought he would, too. It never crossed his mind that he wouldn’t win (of course it didn’t), but he figured he’d lose at least one match, he said in an interview with WESG. “The more drunk and tipsy and unhealthy I am, the more I represent my race, [Zerg,] better,” he added. Classic “StarCraft II is boring and I don’t practice” Stephano. After all, he’s sponsored by Meltdown, an esports bar franchise.
The Zerg player turned college boy “retired” a while ago, but has been playing StarCraft II on-and-off since—mostly in what appear to be school breaks. He saw that he could represent Tunisia, where he was born, in the WESG 2016 Africa and Middle East Qualifier and figured he’d give it a shot. If he made it in, he’d have the chance to win $200,000. And made it he did. Stephano proved himself wrong, as he didn’t even drop a single match throughout the entire tournament. And it was easy for him, which is not to say that the other players were bad—they weren’t. But it’s Stephano. He took a nap on stage in between his final round matches against Protoss player Drager.
“The more drunk and tipsy and unhealthy I am, the more I represent [Zerg] better.”
“It was an expected victory but still very proud to be able to represent Tunisia in the WESG Global Finals,” Stephano wrote on Twitter afterwards, presumably en route to the nearest club. From what he’s said on Twitter and in interviews, it sounds like Stephano is going back into relative retirement for a few months until the Global Finals. He’s got school, but he’s adamant he’ll be prepared when the tournament rolls around in December—just in time for the holiday break.
So while we may not have had the pomp and circumstance of League of Legends’ North American LCS finals, it’s still an amusing time to be a StarCraft II fan. For those of us on the East Coast of the United States and far too sleepy to wake up early enough to watch GSL, this is what we had this weekend. And it was great. There’s just something about Stephano’s overconfident swagger that makes him so, so lovable.
Thanks, Stephano, for making this weekend a little less boring.