Screenshot: Twitch

In today’s NationWars V matches, Netherlands’ Kevin “Harstem” de Koning had his back against the wall with a massive Zerg swarm coming his way. At a unit deficit and against a horde of angry alien bugs, Koning held the line, making every pixel of life on his units count, and pulled off a truly incredible defense.

It started above, with the initial assault. Koning’s opponent, Mexico’s Pablo “Cham” Blanco, had a roughly 60-unit advantage on Koning when his horde came swarming in. His army vastly outnumbered the Protoss, but where sheer numbers are the Zerg’s advantage, unit quality is the Protoss’. Each Protoss unit has shields that can recharge over time, and is built to do a little more damage and take a few more hits than say, a Roach or Zergling.

Using Warp Prisms to keep his units just out of the range of the swarm, Koning made the most of what little had and starts to gradually come back. The Warp Prisms can help move units in danger to the back of the line, making the most of the shields. Meanwhile, the Immortals—the multi-legged walker units with giant cannons on either side of them—are more than just imposing titans. They do extra damage to armored units, and Blanco’s swarm was mostly made up of Roaches, acid-spitting bugs that are covered in armor plating. The longer the Immortals stay alive, the harder it is for Blanco’s army composition to overcome the barrage of fire.

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Reinforcements keep swarming in from Blanco’s hive, but they are rebuffed again and again. If the Zerg break the line here, they take out most of Koning’s army and leave the heart of his base and resources open. But Koning knows, if he holds out, he can leave Blanco in the same position.

Koning held the line and eventually pushed back to take the game for the Netherlands. His team would win the semifinals match-up overall and make it to the grand finals, coming in second to Korea in a 5-3 match.

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