Known as a quite successful competitor in weekly online tournaments in early 2011, he rose to prominence during the summer thanks to his performances in HomeStory Cup III and Assembly Summer 2011. Stephano's big break in the global StarCraft II scene occurred in October 2011, with his victories in both the IGN ProLeague Season 3 and the Electronic Sports World Cup 2011. He has been regarded as one of the best foreign players ever since. His achievements have also led GOMTV to offer him a Code S seed in the 2012 GSL Season 2, which he eventually turned down. Stephano is ranked among the five progamers who have earned the most prize money since the release of StarCraft II, and is ranked as the highest earning foreign player with $236,180 won in tournaments.
While Stephano has been praised for his in-game skills, he has been criticized for multiple incidents outside the game that some say demonstrate a lack of professionalism. His aborted transfer to compLexity Gaming, something of a prelude to the beginning of his professional career, sparked controversy. His behavior also came under scrutiny when he repeatedly forfeited official matches in early 2012, and when he was suspended by team EG in October of the same year.
Stephano's playstyle is characterised by mass Speedling/Infestor play. He has the ability to remain active on the map, and to exert pressure on his opponent, while building an economy comparable to that of macro-oriented Zerg players. His signature build against Protoss players who open with a Forge Fast Expansion, which revolves around applying pressure with Roaches and Speedlings at the twelve-minute mark, is one of the most studied within the community.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Wings of Liberty
- 2.1 First steps (Sep 2010 – May 2011)
- 2.2 Initial Successes in Europe (Jun – Aug 2011)
- 2.3 Becoming (In)famous (Sep – Dec 2011)
- 2.4 Return to Europe (Jan – Feb 2012)
- 2.5 American Tour (Mar – Apr 2012)
- 2.6 Extending His Career (Apr – Jun 2012)
- 2.7 The NASL Season 3 Champion (Jul 2012)
- 2.8 Transfer to Evil Geniuses (Aug – Sep 2012)
- 2.9 Suspension and Mixed Results (Oct - Dec 2012)
- 2.10 Back to Korea to Compete in Premier Korean Leagues (Jan - Aug 2013)
- 2.11 HomeStory Cup VIII (November 2013)
- 2.12 A Re-emergence Begins? (April 2014 - Present)
- 3 Trivia
- 4 Achievements
- 5 Championships
- 6 Gallery
- 7 Interviews
- 8 Post-Retirement Matches
- 9 References
When Stephano was 10 years old he bought Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne shortly after the game's 2003 release. He played casually against the computer for two and a half years—he didn't have access to Internet—but then he began to play competitively, as Humans, and joined several amateur French teams including w3a and legionnaire, before ending up in the little-known German multigaming organisation nWo in 2008. In December of that year, Stephano defeated Wolf in the grand finals of the Ping Arena #12, winning the first offline tournament of his career. He joined Millenium a week later and remained with the French team until an unknown date prior to StarCraft II's release, achieving several podium finishes in French offline events during this time.
Wings of Liberty
First steps (Sep 2010 – May 2011)
Stephano started playing StarCraft II in early September 2010, using the ID "Sat," and joined the amateur team ToY-gaming. He picked the Zerg race as he found its gameplay to be the closest to Warcraft III's Human race; both races emphasize the use of small, inexpensive units (Zerglings in SC2, Footmen and Militia in WC3) and the need to have an expansion early in order to economically overwhelm the opponent. Later in the month, Stephano was announced as one the sixteen invitees in the eOSL Winter 2010, an offline league dedicated to French players. On October 7, after roughly a month of practice, Stephano rejoined Millenium, where he would be partnered with the most successful French Zerg player of the time, MoMaN. He was hired as a semi-professional player, as he was in his last year of high school at the time.
At the end of this first week as a member of Millenium, Stephano participated in his first offline StarCraft II tournament, the PxL-Lan #28 held in Arles, not far from his hometown of Toulouse. The event was the opening of the French Master Series 2010 - 2011 season, and Stephano made a convincing run, losing only to his teammates Adelscott and MoMaN. He finished in fourth place. At the end of the month, he repeated his solid performance, taking third place at the Azerty Party 2010. Stephano wasn't as successful in the eOSL Winter 2010, where he made it to the playoffs but was eliminated in quarterfinals by MoMaN.
In early 2011, Stephano attempted to qualify for the Team Liquid StarLeague 3, but missed the cutoff point, despite his third place in the TeamSpeak TL Open 10. While he was unable to compete in European offline events because of his class schedule, he was still able to attend the LANs of the French Master Series and achieved two more podium finishes in the Atomic Re-SO 2011 and in the MaXlan 2011. In April, Stephano was upset by AureS in the Gamers Assembly 2011 and had to settle with the seventh place at what was the biggest French LAN of the year. He continued to play well, snagging third place in the Master Series rankings, winning him a spot in the Finals scheduled to take place in July, which acted as French qualifiers for the Electronic Sports World Cup 2011.
In the meantime, Stephano had became a familiar name for viewers of weekly online tournaments, of which he won five Go4SC2 between January and May. In the last one, an invitational featuring the top 16 players in Go4SC2 rankings, the French player displayed his mastery of the Zerg vs Terran match-up (his best match-up at the time) by defeating SjoW, Naama, Kas and ClouD on his way to victory.
Initial Successes in Europe (Jun – Aug 2011)
In early June, Stephano qualified for the playoffs of the eOSL Summer 2011, in which he was considered something of a favourite, thanks to his then-recent achievements. However, the Zerg player lost in the quarterfinals when he faced Origine. Origine had been the underdog, but started the match with a 2-0 advantage because Stephano had arrived two hours late in eGG-one's studio (he had a health issue during the train journey to Paris). On June 23, a week after he took his Baccalaureate exams (he would eventually graduate with an overall grade between 10/20 and 12/20), Stephano participated in a major offline event for the first time in the HomeStory Cup III. He took the first place of his group, winning 2-0 against the tournament's eventual champion, HuK. Having been sent to the lower bracket by ThorZaIN, he eliminated Jinro, XlorD and White-Ra before losing to MC, proving himself to be able to compete on an equal footing with some of the finest foreign players.
On July 3, Stephano attended the Master Series Finals, sweeping his competitors aside to claim the 2 500 € winner's prize, as well as a spot in the upcoming Electronic Sports World Cup 2011. A few days later, Stephano also secured a spot in the IEM VI - Global Challenge Cologne after he reached the final of the third online qualifier.
The next month, Stephano traveled to Finland in order to compete in the ASUS ROG Summer 2011. There, he managed to take the first place of his group, defeating Brat_OK, biGs and Satiini, to face Sen in the round of sixteen of the main bracket. Even though Zerg vs Zerg was regarded as his weakest match-up at the time, he defeated the Taiwanese player before knocking Seiplo out in quarterfinals. Stephano then faced DIMAGA in semifinals and lost 2-3, eventually taking the third place of the tournament after he defeated Brat_OK 3-0 in the bronze match. Despite being a good result (it was the first time that Stephano reached the top four of a premier event), the bronze was tainted by a bad sportmanship issue, because Stephano and Brat_OK both tried to lose to each other in the last match of group stage in order to avoid facing Sen in round of sixteen.
At the end of August, Stephano participated in the IEM VI - Global Challenge Cologne. This time, he wasn't able to secure a spot in the main bracket, losing to MaNa and then to the reigning NASL champion PuMa in a tense best of three series. Stephano later claimed that he hadn't practiced for the event, and had been on holiday the previous week. He also hinted that he might delay his entry to university for a year so that he could dedicate himself to StarCraft II.
In early September, Stephano secured a spot in the IGN ProLeague Season 3 by winning the the third online qualifier, defeating MMA in final. On September 12, Stephano officially confirmed that he would play and compete full-time for one year, as he wanted to capitalise as much as possible on the training it had taken to reach his current level. A few days later, he explained that participating in the GSL wasn't one of his goals, but didn't rule out the possibility of going to Korea if he had the opportunity. Stephano also stated that, while he had been in touch with several major teams, he had declined their offers and was confident that he would stay with Millenium.
Becoming (In)famous (Sep – Dec 2011)
- Main article: Stephano/compLexity controversy.
On September 18, compLexity Gaming announced they had recruited Stephano. However, later the same day, Millenium stated that Stephano would stay with them for at least 12 months and accused the American team of having disoriented the French player., which resulted in a spectacular controversy. compLexity's Jason Lake then released a statement saying that Stephano had already signed a binding contract with his organisation and that he would not be allowed to renege without incurring litigation. Evil Geniuses' Alex Garfield stepped in to mediate the dispute between compLexity and Millenium to help avoid a lawsuit. The two teams reached an agreement in which Stephano paid a fine, voided his contract with compLexity, and was allowed to remain with Millenium. The incident tarnished Stephano's reputation, and he was reported to have lied to compLexity during the contract negotiations, telling the team that Millenium had been making counter-offers. It was alleged that, in actuality, he hadn't informed the French organisation that he was in discussion with compLexity.
In early October, Stephano, who had been highlighted for a 64-1 ladder run a few days earlier, travelled to Atlantic City to participate in the IGN ProLeague Season 3. He finished second in his group, defeating both HuK and BoxeR but losing to aLive. He then went on an impressive run through the Championship bracket, defeating KiWiKaKi (in a memorable best of three series), viOLet, inori, and TheStC in order to reach the finals where he faced Lucky, who had knocked-out MMA in the semifinals. Stephano defeated Lucky 4-0 to win the tournament, claiming the $30,000 prize, and becoming one of the few foreign players who won a premier event attended by South Korean players. This achievement also granted him a spot in the Blizzard Cup, an all-star event featuring ten of the most successful players of year 2011. With his name now firmly established, Stephano entered the 2011 MLG Orlando the following week. There, he was far less successful, taking eighteenth place at the event after a run that was ended by BoxeR in the championship bracket.
The week after that, Stephano was back in France to compete in the Electronic Sports World Cup 2011. He managed to take first place of his group without losing a single match, allowing him to advance to the playoffs. There, he defeated Axslav and ClouD before facing MarineKing. Although his South Korean opponent was arguably an expert in the Terran versus Zerg match-up, Stephano was able to win 2-0, bringing him to the finals. His competitor for the title was his friend and practice partner, MaNa. In the end, Stephano won 3-1, taking home a $26,000 prize and his second premier event trophy in a month.
Stephano made three more appearances before the end of the year. In November, he was invited to the Battle in Berlin, where he lost to GoOdy in the second round. Two weeks later, he made an unimpressive run at DreamHack Winter, dropping out of the tournament in the second group stage. The next month, he travelled to South Korea to compete in the 2011 Blizzard Cup. He barely missed qualifying for the main bracket with two victories, over HerO and DongRaeGu, and two losses, to MC and Mvp. During that month, he lived and practised in the Old Generations team house, and played with DreAm's South Korean account, which he brought to the top ten in Grand Master League, in just a few days.
Return to Europe (Jan – Feb 2012)
On his return from Korea in January, Stephano went to Germany in order to participate in the HomeStory Cup IV. Despite being regarded as a favourite, he was eliminated in the second group stage, in a stacked pool where he was defeated by MarineKing and MC. Afterward, Stephano made a few noteworthy appearances in online tournaments. He first won the The SHOUTcraft Invitational #4, outmatching ThorZaIN 4-0 in the finals. At the end of the month, he won the SCAN Invitational #3 without losing a single game, but he also sparked controversy later the same day; Stephano had been scheduled to compete in the last rounds of the ONoG Starcraft 2 Invitational right after the SCAN tournament, and made it to the finals where he would face Kas. However, Stephano told the tournament's organisers that he was too tired to play this last match, and would have to play on another day. He then gave an ultimatum that if he couldn't postpone the match, he would forfeit the tournament, and then promptly logged off. Following this turn of events, the tournament organisers decided to place him fourth, with the winner of the third place match playing against Kas in the finals. The French player eventually apologized for this a few days later.
In February, Stephano demonstrated the chasm between himself and the rest of the French scene in the eOSL Winter 2012. Despite the fact that he appeared to have a hard time overcoming KenZy in the quarterfinals, he went on to crush Adelscott 3-0 and SarenS 4-1 (arguably the two best French players other than Stephano himself) to win the league. At the end of the month, Stephano participated in ASUS ROG Winter 2012. He managed to take the first place in his group, beating MaNa, NightEnD and Happy, losing only a single game. In the playoffs, he continued his winning streak against Protoss players, defeating ReaL and elfi. In the semifinal, he crushed the reigning NASL champion, PuMa, 3-0. He was finally defeated by Polt 4-1, taking second place, his second podium finish in the competition after his third place in the previous edition.
American Tour (Mar – Apr 2012)
In March, Stephano, who was then on an 113-12 ladder run, traveled across the Atlantic to participate in several major offline events in a row. He began his trip by facing White-Ra in a $5,000 showmatch held during the SXSW festival in Austin, which he eventually won 5-1. The French player then competed in the Lone Star Clash, making a flawless run to the finals, where he met his nemesis Polt once again. This time, he was able to beat him twice in a row, defeating his South Korean rival for the first time in an official match and taking the tournament's $5,000 prize. This achievement pushed Stephano over the $100,000 prize-money-mark, according to SC2Earnings, making him one of the top ten players graded by prize money won (and by far the most successful foreign player).
Before he attended the next step of his American tour, Stephano was scheduled to participate in the MSI Pro Cup #8. However, his first opponent, DIMAGA, failed to show up, leading the cup's organiser, Millenium's manager Llewellys, to seek a replacement. When he eventually found a player willing to attend a few minutes later, and told Stephano to get ready for the match, the French player left the channel without saying a word. The manager called the house where his player was staying and learned that Stephano had left for dinner, and consequently would forfeit the tournament. Llewellys then had the following to say about Stephano:
"A player has the right to forfeit an online tournament, he doesn't have a gun to his head and he mainly penalizes himself as he takes away his chance of winning the cash prize. But not warning anyone [about his intention of forfeiting] is unacceptable, and that's true for both Stephano and DIMAGA. I don't know what happened to DIMAGA yet, but what Stephano has done is totally direspectful and he showed an obvious lack of education. Anyway, he can behave like an arrogant little prick if he wants to, but it will be without me and too bad for his fans, you will see neither of them in the next MSI Pro Cup."
A couple of days after this incident, Stephano entered the 2012 MLG Winter Championship open bracket. He soon faced Polt again, and was sent down to the loser's bracket. This set up a potential match against IdrA in the losers' finals, but Stephano never made it to his American counterpart, losing to inori, thus failing to make the championship bracket.
In early April, Stephano was once again reported to have forfeited an official match, which was to have been an encounter versus MMA in the Iron Squid – Chapter I group stage. The tournament's organisers stated that the French player had neither played his game before original deadline, nor during the numerous extensions that were given to him. They also criticised his professionalism, as well as his team's. A few days later, Stephano was in Las Vegas for the last leg of his American tour, the IGN ProLeague Season 4. Stephano delivered a strong performance in the group stages, setting the scene with a strong return to the tournament in which he'd made his name in October 2011. He qualified for the championship bracket at the expense of Curious, White-Ra, and JYP, losing narrowly to MarineKing. After a clean victory against Bomber in the first round, Stephano met the three-time GSL champion NesTea in a highly anticipated confrontation. The South Korean Zerg-versus-Zerg master managed to get the best on Stephano in a tense series, sending him in the loser's bracket. His opponent there was none other than MMA, who eliminated the French player in a spectacular best of three, featuring a plethora of Nukes.
Extending His Career (Apr – Jun 2012)
On April 19, Stephano announced that he had decided to extend his break from the university in order to spend a second year as a professional player. He added that he meant to take a trip to Korea during the summer, which would be his second time in the country after his stay at the Old Generations team house at the end of 2011. A week later, the French player disclosed that GOMTV had offered him a Code S seed in the upcoming 2012 GSL Season 3, but stated that his attendance to the South Korean league would depend on his schedule. The French player eventually apologized for this a few days later. He eventually turned the offer down, as he believed that competing in the GSL would consume too much of his time and prevent him from attending other tournaments.
In early May, Stephano handily won the TaKeTV Reloaded Invitational, losing a single game in the whole event (he defeated Socke and Grubby 3-0, and Kas 4-0). He wouldn't enjoy his paid trip to the HomeStory Cup V in July though, preferring to attend the 2012 WCS France instead. Stephano then travelled to the USA in order to participate in the 2012 MLG Spring Arena 2 held in New York (he had qualified to this event by winning the European qualifiers), and the Red Bull Battlegrounds held in Austin. In the MLG, the French player made his way through the bracket at the expense of Ryung, Ret, MC (it was the first time Stephano defeated him in an official match, after his losses in both HomeStory Cup III and IV as well as in the IPL Fight Club and in the Blizzard Cup) and Heart, and eventually met viOLet in the winners's final. The South Korean player overwhelmed his foreigner opponent, taking game one with an efficient Mutalisk play and game two after a huge Fungal Growth that caught most of Stephano's Roaches off guard. The French player ultimately had to settle with the third place of the tournament, as he was defeated 2-0 by Symbol in the losers's finals. Later the same day, Millenium announced that it had partnered up with Team SCV Life, which meant that not only Stephano would be able to use TSL's training facility during his upcoming trip to Korea, but that he would also be able to compete in the 2012 GSTL Season 2 among TSL's players, provided that the South Korean team reach at least the second round. Stephano spent the week between the MLG Spring Arena 2 and the Red Bull Battlegrounds in Evil Geniuses's training house in Arizona, which allowed him to practice efficiently for the latter event (he had played only ten games in the week prior to his flight to the USA, as he was on holidays in Paris). In the Red Bull Battlegrounds, Stephano dominated his group, placing first after defeating Illusion, GanZi and viOLet and losing a single game to the latter. He then made short work of PartinG in the quarterfinals, and met MC in the next round. The match was much more tied than their previous encounter the week before, and the Protoss player eventually took the upper hand and won the series 3-2. Stephano ultimately took the third place of the tournament as he defeated Squirtle in the bronze match.
On June 8, Stephano was in Anaheim, California, to attend the 2012 MLG Spring Championship where he was seeded in pool play thanks to his third place in the MLG Spring Arena 2. He delivered an impressive performance, remaining undefeated in his group and proceeding to the championship bracket's semifinals. His opponent there was MarineKing, who comfortably took game one and massed a heavily upgraded mech army in game two. Stephano nonetheless tied the series, but MarineKing's Marines micromanagement sealed the deal in the decisive map, hence sending the French player in the lower part of the bracket. There, Stephano was upset by the other last remaining foreign player, SaSe, who eliminated him 2-1. Three days after this outcome, Stephano earned his spot in the NASL Season 3 main event, due to his 6-2 record in matches and 12-4 record in games in his division. Besides his forfeit against PuMa, Zenio had turned out to be the only opponent who managed to take games off him. On June 16, Stephano attended the DreamHack Open Summer 2012, where he made his way to the playoffs through the three group stages. He barely defeated KeeN in the round of 16, and went on facing Nerchio in the quarterfinals. Nerchio, regarded as a strong Zerg-versus-Zerg player, looked like a threatening opponent as Stephano was struggling in this match-up at the time. The French player still managed to take the series 2-0, and met MaNa in the semifinals as the favourite (he had indeed beaten the Polish player in their five last encounters in official matches). However, MaNa was able to overwhelm his opponent in both games with a deadly two base Immortal timing push that Stephano couldn't hold, hence ending his run in the semifinals.
The NASL Season 3 Champion (Jul 2012)
In early July, Stephano participated in a French offline event for the first time since February as he entered the 2012 World Championship Series — France Nationals held in the Japan Expo in Paris. He demonstrated again the chasm between himself and the rest of the French scene, winning the tournament without losing a single game (he defeated Adelscott and Dayshi). This achievement not only granted him the $6,000 winner's prize as well as a seed in the 2012 Battle.net European Championship, but also qualified him for the 2012 Battle.net World Championship as France was one of the two European countries to feature a direct seed to the global finals. A week later, Stephano was in Toronto in order to attend the NASL Season 3 main event (he had beaten Beastyqt in an online match played in June to reach the offline finals). His first opponent was HerO, whose mastery of the Protoss-versus-Zerg match-up had crushed DongRaeGu a few days before, in the IPL Fight Club at Hot Import Nights. Stephano started with his trademark Roach-Zergling push in the two first sets, which was successful in game one and countered in game two. The French player took the lead 2-1 after he resisted to HerO's cannon rush and follow-up Void Ray / 6-gate attack, and finally won the series 3-1 as he managed to repel HerO's two base immortal all-in (the same build that had soundly beaten him at the DreamHack Summer one month earlier) in the last set. In semifinals, Stephano met MC.
The first game featured his emblematic Roach-Zergling pressure against MC's standard three base play. Stephano's Infestor control and units positioning allowed him to survive upon the late game, where his army composition became too strong and efficient to overcome and led MC to concede the game. In the second set, Stephano went for a surprise Mutalisks attack which rendered MC's robotic tech useless and made him able to tech safely up to Hive, and finally to build an unstoppable Brood Lords and Infestors force that secured the win. Game three featured MC going for fast three bases once again, while Stephano chose to transition from Roach pressure to drop play. The South Korean player managed to hold on all fronts though, and made his way to the victory with a Colossus supported army (after he'd lifted up all of Stephano's crucial Infestors before the final fight with his Phoenixes), therefore bringing the score at 2-1 in favor of Stephano. MC followed up a standard 4-gate pressure build with Dark Templars in game four, but his DTs were prevented from killing Stephano's Lair by drone-clipping. Benefiting from MC's ineffective DT tech, the French player took a large lead, and forced him to concede with a massive Roach / Infestor army. Now being one loss away from elimination, MC went for a two base all-in which took the upper hand on Stephano's late Roaches, hence bringing the score to 3-2. In the next set, MC built three bases on Shakuras Plateau and tried to defend two unconnected entrances. Stephano feinted at one of his opponent's bases and managed to open up a weakness in the defenses at the other, allowing Roaches and Zerglings to stream in until MC had to concede, hence sending the French player in final. Stephano's competitor for the title was Alicia. The Zerg player crushed his opponent in a macro game to take an early lead, which he furthered to 2-0 as he took advantage of Alicia's cannon rush in his natural expansion to build more Hatcheries at other bases, hence securing a much better economy than his opponent's. Game three was a macro game as well, which Stephano won in a dominating fashion. The Protoss player attempted to catch him off guard in the fourth set with an 8-gate all in, but Stephano swatted it aside and put an end to a completely one-sided 4-0 series, hence becoming the new NASL champion and claiming the $30,000 winner's prize.
Transfer to Evil Geniuses (Aug – Sep 2012)
On August 7, three weeks after his victory in the NASL Season 3, Stephano took the trip to Korea he had mentioned when extending his break (he arrived too late for participating in the GSTL as it was initially scheduled, though). He joined Team SCV Life's team house and practiced with the likes of Polt, Symbol and inori until his flight back to France on August 19. During his stay in Korea, he envisaged the possibility of coming back around November or December in order to participate in GSL Code S.
On August 21, Stephano was reported to have declined Millenium's offer and that he wouldn't be re-signing, which meant that he would become a free agent on September 1, at the end of his current contract. Stephano's last appearance under the Millenium banner took place in the 2012 MLG Summer Championship, three days after the announcement of his planned departure from the team. Being seeded in group play thanks to his performance in the Summer Arena, Stephano was quickly sent by viOLet into the lower part of the bracket. He nonetheless made it to the group finals, at the expense of Rain, Heart and TheStC, only to be defeated again by viOLet. Stephano met Revival for his first match in the championship bracket, and was soundly beaten by the South Korean player, hence being eliminated from the tournament. At the end of the month, Stephano was invited to replace ThorZaIN, who was ill, in the online tournament MSI Pro Cup #13. He eventually won the event, realising his last achievement for Millenium in their own cup, the day before his contract ended.
His transfer to Evil Geniuses was announced on September 11, through a documentary titled "Geniuses Falling", after weeks of speculation on the identity of his new team. He first appeared for the North American team the same day, during an PTL Season 1 Premier Division encounter against Team Liquid, and defeated TaeJa and HerO to ensure the victory for his team.
On September 15, Stephano made his first appearance in an offline event in EG colours as he participated in the 2012 World Championship Series — Europe Finals held in Stockholm, going into the tournament as a favorite for the title as European Champion. Despite tough conditions, arriving only an hour before tournament start due to flight-delays from America, he managed to win all his matches on the opening day, dropping only a single map to LucifroN (2-1) in an exciting and close winner's bracket semifinal match, after winning 2-0 against HasuObs, Dayshi and LoWeLy. On Sunday, the final day of competition, Stephano met the Spanish Zerg player VortiX in the winner's bracket final. Despite the Zerg-versus-Zerg being regarded as his weakest match-up, Stephano managed to enter the overall final of the tournament, winning 2-0 in convincing fashion. In the last match of the WCS European Finals, Stephano was able to clinch the victory in a rematch with VortiX. After losing the first best of 3 (1-2), and with that his winner's bracket advantage, Stephano came back to win the second set 2-0, thereby winning the tournament, claiming the title of European Champion and adding $24,000 to his career winnings.
A few days later, Stephano attended the DreamHack Open Valencia 2012, where he smoothly reached the playoffs. He made short work of NightEnD in the round of 16, but lost to ForGG in the next round and dropped out of the tournament.
Suspension and Mixed Results (Oct - Dec 2012)
On October 13, Evil Geniuses announced that Stephano had been suspended without pay for the remainder of the month following his inappropriate comments. The French player, who was being penalised for joking about molesting an underage girl on BlinG's stream, became subsequently ineligible to participate in all online and offline competitions during the month of October, including the upcoming GD Invitational and DreamHack Open Bucharest 2012 tournaments for which he was previously signed up. Three days later, the team MVP versus Evil Geniuses encounter in the PTL Season 1 Premier Division was aired, with Stephano achieving a three-kill (defeating Vampire, finale and Sniper) before losing to Monster (the match was actually played before the beginning of Stephano's suspension and was broadcast from replays).
In early November, Stephano went on to defend his ESWC champion title in the Electronic Sports World Cup 2012 held in Paris. He swept away his opponents in the group stage, not dropping a single game in the process, and knocked-out JonnyREcco and PandaTank in playoffs in order to reach the semifinals. There, he was bested by MaNa, and ultimately placed third in the tournament after his victory against NeOAnGeL in the bronze match. On November 7, EG's run in the PTL Season 1 Premier Division came to an end in semifinals, with Stephano being powerless to stop Seed's four-kill. Three days later, the French player was in Austin, Texas, to attend the Lone Star Clash 2. Stephano handily made his way to the grand finals at the expense of Axslav, BabyKnight, GanZi and CranK without losing a game, and challenged Bomber for the $7,500 winner's prize. The Terran player took the upper hand 3-2, but coming from the loser's bracket he had to win an additional best of 3 series to secure the victory. Stephano eventually won this second series 2-1, and claimed the title.
On November 17, Stephano's run in the 2012 Battle.net World Championship turned out to be a setback for him, as he was eliminated in the dual tournament group stage (he beat HerO in the initial round, but lost to IdrA in the winner's match and ultimately dropped out of the tournament as HerO beat him for the second qualifying place). Five days later, he was back in Europe to attend the DreamHack Open Winter 2012. His run in this tournament was short-lived as well, as he was eliminated in group stage again with two wins (against TheStC and elfi) and three losses (against fraer, TaeJa and Snute). Stephano's last appearance in November took place in the IGN ProLeague Season 5 in Las Vegas. He was sent into the loser's bracket by HerO in the second round, where he knocked-out GanZi and Heart. Stephano was finally eliminated by HyuN, placing 25th-32nd in the event.
Stephano attended the HomeStory Cup VI in Germany on December 21, going 2-1 in his group defeating BabyKnight and MMA but losing a ZvZ series to XlorD. He then defeated MarineKing in the quarterfinals before falling 3-2 to Snute in another ZvZ series, and lost the 3rd/4th place match to XlorD, taking 4th overall and a prize of $2,000.
Back to Korea to Compete in Premier Korean Leagues (Jan - Aug 2013)
On December 28, Stephano tweeted that he was likely to compete in the upcoming 2013 GSL Season 1 Code S, later confirmed by gomchung. Stephano went 3-4 in his Ro32 matches, taking third in a difficult group that included DongRaeGu, INnoVation and Hack. He fell down into the second round of Code A, where he was defeated by Flying.
Being one of the top players for his team Evil Geniuses, Stephano would participate in Proleague with EG-Liquid. His debut would not escape his trademark of causing drama. In his first match against herO Stephano typed "gl hf" in the chat, as is custom for foreigners, however, this was against KeSPA's rules, as players may only use the chat to request a pause by typing any number of p's, or type out with 'gg' when accepting defeat. Many players have been disqualified due to this. At the time Stephano was presumably unaware of this. When the referee requested for a pause shortly afterwards, herO responded to Stephano with 'gl'. Stephano was not disqualified for the offense, and many fans suggest that it was due to the fact that herO responded. Afterwards the game went on as usual with Stephano taking down both herO and Bbyong.
On February 13, 2013, Stephano would play in the 2013 MLG Winter Championship: Showdowns which involved playing on Best Of 5 to determine who would go to the 2013 MLG Winter Championship tournament. Stephano would play Russian Protoss TitaN whom he would end up defeating 3-0.
As of the end of Round 3 of Proleague his last match was on March 4, 2013 where he played against ParalyzE also known as "Afrotoss" he would end up losing this match, Stephano's record stands at 6-5 which includes wins over such notable players as sOs, EffOrt, and ZerO. Since the start of the new WCS season and due to region-locking, Stephano has not been fielded for EG-TL since the end of Round 3. Stephano would place second in his group for the 2013 WCS Season 1 Korea GSL Up and Down matches, earning his Code S spot. However, Stephano would later forfeit his spot in order to participate in WCS Europe.
Stephano would attend the IEM Season VII - World Championship as he had earned enough points through attending Intel Extreme Masters Season VII events which qualified him for this event. Stephano would end up being placed in D which had players Mvp, Dream, Golden, Grubby, and TLO. Stephano would 2-0 TLO, keep his winrecord vs Grubby by beating him 2-1, 2-1 Golden as well but he would end up losing vs both Terran players Mvp and Dream 0-2 and 1-2 respectively. Stephano would play in the Round of 8 he faced Korean Protoss PartinG, the last time they played Stephano 2-0'ed him but this time was different as PartinG would 3-1 Stephano knocking him out of the tournament.
Stephano's next tournament would be 2013 MLG Winter Championship for which he qualified for about a month earlier. Stephano would fall out in the Round Of 32 to Korean Terran player Last who showed his dominance by dismantling Stephano 3-0.
Stephano would next play in Sweden at the Dreamhack Stockholm tournament. Stephano was seeded into Group Stage #2, where he his opponents would be Kas, Feast, and monchi. Stephano would 2-0 Kas, lose 1-2 to Feast, and then 2-0 Monchi to advance to Group Stage #3. In Group Stage 3 Stephano would be put into Group G which consisted of players Verdi, ThorZaIN, and Bischu, Stephano would win all of his sets and lose overall only 2 games, one to ThorZaIN and one to Verdi. Stephano would be matched up against returning player CoCa who had pursued another career in the game League Of Legends, however despite that he showed that he was better than Stephano and defeated him 2-0 knocking him out of the tournament and ending his run.
Stephano was one of 23 other players to be invited to 2013 WCS Season 1 Europe Premier League. In the Round of 32 he would get Group G which had BabyKnight, Grubby someone Stephano has beaten many times in the past, and German Terran KrasS. Stephano would play KrasS first, he would beat him 2-0, he would then play BabyKnight whom surprisingly he lost 0-2, he would then go on to face Grubby in the final match and would easily beat him 2-0 to advance into the Round Of 16.
On May 14, Stephano would announce his plans to retire later that year on August 15. Stephano would be placed in a group with ThorZaIN, Feast, and DIMAGA. Stephano defeated Feast 2-1 and ThorZaIN 2-1 as well to make it past the group and into the Round Of 8. In the Round of 8 Stephano would have BabyKnight as his opponent, he easily defeated him 3-0. Now for the Round Of 4 Stephano got a much harder opponent in Korean Terran ForGG, despite him being tougher than his last opponent, Stephano still easily defeated him 3-1 pushing Stephano into the finals. In the finals Stephano faced Legendary StarCraft II player Mvp, coming into the match fans were expecting a close match between the two, however despite Stephano winning the first map the next 4 maps would go to Mvp crowning him the Champion while Stephano got a very respectable 2nd place.
Getting 2nd place in the 2013 WCS Season 1 Europe had allowed Stephano to be invited to the 2013 WCS Season 1 World Finals. He would get put into a group with Soulkey, aLive, and TLO, Stephano would lose 1-2 to TLO and 0-2 to aLive which eliminated him from the tournament.
On June 15, Stephano would return to Dreamhack, he would not be seeded into the Group Stage #2 this time. In the first group stage he would be placed in a group with QueenE, Fade, and HoBbe, Stephano would go 6-0 not dropping a single map and advanced to the Group Stage #2. In Group Stage 2 he would be placed in a group with ToD, Kaldi, and Storm, Stephano would go 6-1 only losing 1 map to ToD. Group stage 3 pitted Stephano against HyuN, sLivko and TheStC, Stephano beat TheStc 2-1, sLivko 2-0, and lose 0-2 to HyuN to advance to the Round Of 16. In the Round of 16 he would face teammate Jaedong and lose 0-2 which knocked him out of the tournament.
On June 20, Stephano would go to HomeStory Cup VII as he was invited to participate. In group stage 1 Stephano would be put in a group with Happy, qxc, and PandaTank, he would 2-0 PandaTank and 2-0 Happy to advance.Group stage 2 would put Stephano with players TaeJa, MaNa, and Goswser, Stephano 2-0'ed MaNa, lost 0-2 to TaeJa and then defeated Goswser 2-0 to make the Round of 8. His opponent in the Round of 8 would be EG-Liquid teammate Snute, interestingly this would be the only time the two would meet in a tournament for Heart Of The Swarm, Stephano would end up losing 1-3 putting him out of the tournament.
Stephano was set to play in 2013 WCS Season 2 Europe as he got 2nd from last season which got him a seed (all top 8 gets a seed for next season) into this season's premier league. Stephano was placed into group b with long time rival MC, sLivko, and Shuttle. Stephano would fight his way through sLivko defeating him 2-1, he then faced MC whom which he dispatched with easily 2-0.
On July 19, Stephano attended Dreamhack Valencia which would bring him to Spain. Stephano was seeded into Group Stage #2 in which his group consisted of players Lysander, LionS, and Goswser. He would defeated LionS 2-1, Lysander 2-0 and lose 1-2 to Goswser which put him 2nd in the group advancing him to the next Group Stage. In the group he was placed in Stephano only won a single game in his group of StarDust, Dayshi, and Tefel, the game he won was versus StarDust.
The Round of 16 for 2013 WCS Season 2 Europe presented a huge threat to Stephano, his group consisted of Spanish Terran LucifroN, Korean duckdeok, and the Protoss player from Finland Welmu. Stephano would be defeated by both duckdeok and LucifroN 2-0 each, thus ending his run this tournament and ultimately it was the last StarCraft II tournament Stephano would ever play in.
On August 6, Stephano gave his farewell to the StarCraft II community in his final game against LucifroN, where he ended up getting eliminated from the WCS Europe Premier League after losing 0-2.
HomeStory Cup VIII (November 2013)
On November 14, Stephano announced that he would be participating in HomeStory Cup VIII. He played in group F against Leenock, iNcontroL and ToD; winning his first match against ToD 2-1 before losing 1-2 to Leenock and finally being knocked out 0-2 in a rematch against ToD. It is unknown whether or not this represents a one-off for Stephano or a permanent return to StarCraft II, however in an interview with iNcontroL he stated that it was something of a holiday for him which seems to indicate the former.
A Re-emergence Begins? (April 2014 - Present)
Stephano competed in the 2014 WCS Season 2 Europe online European Qualifiers, where he surprisingly qualified for Challenger League, defeating uzer 2-0, DIMAGA 2-1, and DeMusliM 2-1 in the qualification match to advance. This is the first time Stephano has been part of a WCS league since he announced his retirement from Starcraft II during 2013 WCS Season 2. Following this, Stephano played a best-of-five vs Starbuck where he won the series 3-1, qualifying him for WCS Europe Season 2 Premier League.
Stephano was also announced as an invited participant at Lone Star Clash 3, where he tried to win his third Lone Star Clash. He made it through the Group Stage of Lone Star Clash 3 by beating Petraeus and White-Ra. In the play-off bracket, he faced Jaedong whom he lost to with a score of 2-3 and thus also lost his chance at defending his title.
In 2014 WCS Season 2 Europe Premier League Stephano was placed into Group A, with DeMusliM, Nerchio and Welmu. He defeated Nerchio in the first series, and lost against Welmu in his 2nd series. He then faced Nerchio again but this time, he lost with a score of 1-2 and was knocked out of Premier League for this season. He will have a chance to return to Premier League in Season 3 of WCS Europe.
His next tournament was DreamHack Valencia where he went through both Group Stages. In the first stage, he finished second behind Nerchio but never played him as Nerchio received a default win while Stephano was eating and arrived too late for the match. In the second group stage, he rapidly lost his first match against Patience. After beating Velego, he had to face Patience again, who just lost a close series to VortiX. The Protoss player was one of the favorites but Stephano managed to beat him 2-1 with his Swarm Host play. The Round of 16 brought him his first opponent in the Playoffs: Sacsri. Stephano lost against him 0-2 and Sacsri turned out to be the tournament champion.
|In Premier Tournaments|
|2013-05-26||2nd||2013 WCS Season 1 Europe||1 : 4||Mvp||$12,000|
|2012-12-22||4th||HomeStory Cup VI||2 : 3||XlorD||$2,000|
|2012-11-03||3rd||Electronic Sports World Cup 2012||2 : 1||NeOAnGeL||$8,000|
|2012-09-16||1st||2012 World Championship Series: Europe|| 1 : 2
2 : 0
|2012-07-15||1st||North American Star League Season 3||4 : 0||Alicia||$30,000|
|2012-06-18||3 - 4th||DreamHack Open Summer 2012||0 : 2||MaNa||$3,550|
|2012-05-27||3rd||Red Bull Battlegrounds: Austin||3 : 1||Squirtle||$5,500|
|2012-05-20||3rd||2012 MLG Spring Arena 2||0 : 2||Symbol||$3,600|
|2012-02-25||2nd||ASUS ROG Winter 2012||1 : 4||Polt||$6,000|
|2011-10-23||1st||Electronic Sports World Cup 2011||3 : 1||MaNa||$26,000|
|2011-10-09||1st||IGN ProLeague Season 3||4 : 0||Lucky||$30,000|
|2011-08-05||3rd||ASUS ROG Summer 2011||3 : 1||Brat_OK||$2,900|
|In Major Tournaments|
|2016-08-28||1st||WESG 2016: Africa & Middle East Qualifier||4 : 0||Drager||$12,058|
|2012-11-11||1st||Lone Star Clash 2|| 2 : 1
2 : 3
|2012-03-18||1st||Lone Star Clash 1||3 : 1||Polt||$5,000|
|2011-11-20||1st||IGN ProLeague Season 4 UK Qualifiers||4 : 2||TAiLS||$10,000|
|Complete Results in any Tournament|
| IPL Season 2
| IGN ProLeague Season 3 "Origins"
9 October 2011 – 8 April 2012
| IPL Season 4|
|Electronic Sports World Cup|
| Electronic Sports World Cup 2011
23 October 2011 – 3 November 2012
| ESWC 2012|
|North American Starleague|
| NASL Season 2
| North American Star League Season 3
15 July 2012 – 9 December 2012
| NASL Season 4|
|StarCraft II World Championship Series: Europe Continental Champion|
| 2012 StarCraft II World Championship Series: Europe Continental
16 September 2012 – Present
| 2013 WCS Season 1 Europe|
- 2013-11-15 | XMG @ HomeStoryCup VIII - "Stephano Interviewed by iNcontroL" by Incontrol at HomeStory Cup VIII
- 2013-05-24 | Stephano 'Grilled' (2nd appearance) by Thorin of Team Acer
- 2013-05-19 | Stephano post-WCS Ro16 by Thorin of Team Acer at 2013 WCS Season 1 Europe
- 2013-03-04 | 2013 GSL Season 2 Up/Downs Group A Winners by This Is Game
- 2013-03-04 | Stephano interviewed (after his GSL Up&Down matches) by Khaldor
- 2013-02-03 | Stephano in Korea (again x2) by This Is Game
- 2013-01-20 | SPL Season 1 Round 2 Woongjin Stars vs EG-TL Winner by Daily eSports
- 2013-01-10 | Stephano in Korea (again) by Daily eSports
- 2012-11-30 | Stephano talks about his Day 1 Run at IPL 5, fatigue and more by Slasher of GameSpot.com at IPL 5
- 2012-11-27 | Stephano 'Grilled' by Thorin of Team Acer at 2012 DreamHack Open Winter
- 2012-11-18 | BWC Finals Day 1 of THIS IS GAME at 2012 Battle.net World Championship
- 2012-11-12 | Stephano interview at Lone Star Clash 2 by SeltzerPlease of Cyber Sports Network at Lone Star Clash 2
- 2012-08-13 | Stephano in Korea by 김경현 of THIS IS GAME
- 2012-07-21 | Interview at MLG Summer Arena by SeltzerPlease of Cyber Sports Network at MLG Summer Arena
- 2012-04-26 | xVixen Gets Personal: W/ Millenium Stephano by xvixen
- 2012-04-08 | Stephano and Anna Prosser at IPL4 by SeltzerPlease of Cyber Sports Network at IGN ProLeague Season 4
- 2012-04-07 | Stephano & HuK at IPL4 by SeltzerPlease of Cyber Sports Network at IGN ProLeague Season 4
- 2012-03-23 | Interview with TeamLiquid's Hot Bid by Hot_Bid of Team Liquid at MLG Winter Championship
- 2012-03-12 | Lone Star Clash: Stephano's Birthday by SeltzerPlease of Cyber Sports Network at Lone Star Clash
- 2011-09-15 | Stephano: "La GSL n’est pas un de mes objectifs" by Naoki of eSports France
- Stephano joins MELTDOWN eSports team!
- Stephano does not return
- Tree.hugger; Waxangel; shindigs (20 October 2011). "IPL3 - To the Bank". TeamLiquid.net. "Keys to Victory: Stephano". Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- "2011 in Review - TL Awards - Player of the Year". TeamLiquid.net. January 1st 2012.
- "An Uphill Battle: Foreign Chances at IPL 4". IGN.com. April 6th 2012.
- "Stephano invited to Code S". TeamLiquid.net. April 26th 2012.
- "[Interview] Stephano in Korea". ThisIsGame.com. August 12th 2012. Translation / TeamLiquid.net Forum thread
- "Players ranked by prize money earned". SC2Earnings.com.
- "Stephano stays with Millenium; compLexity weighs legal action". ESFIWorld.com. September 2012.
- "Stephano forfeits final games of ONOG Invitational". ESFIWorld.com. January 2012.
- "Llewellys about Stephano's forfeit in MSI Pro Cup 8". Millenium.org.
- "Iron Squid Pool C : Stephano forfeits vs MMA". IronSquid.tv. April 3rd 2012.
- "Stephano suspended by Evil Geniuses". TeamLiquid.net. October 13, 2012.
- The Defining Players: Stephano. Robert C. Ring, The Year in StarCraft II, page 115.
- "Day Daily #388 - Stephano's ZvP Brilliance". Blip.tv. December 15th 2011.
- "Stephano-Style ZvP - The 12 Minute Max-Out". TeamLiquid.net. March 30th 2012.
- "ZvP: Stephano Roaches vs. FFE". Zergology.tumblr.com. March 2012.
- "Interview with Stephano". Team-aAa.com. September 9th 2010. Translated version
- "Welcome [M]Stephano". Interview with Stephano. Millenium.org. December 28th 2008. Translated version
- "eOSL Winter 2010: the invites are unveiled!". Team-aAa.com. September 29th 2010. Translted version
- "Millenium hires Stephano!". Millenium.org. October 7th 2010. Translated version
- "eOSL explains Stephano's sanction". eSportfrance.com. June 10th 2011. Translated version
- Baccalaureate 2011 results. bankexam.fr.
- ASUS ROG - ASUS ROG Summer 2011 Aftermath - On Sportmanship. TeamLiquid.net. August 16th 2011.
- "BratOK and Stephano "troll" Group F's decisive match". GosuGamers.net. August 2011.
- "I am not really prepared, I watched a few replays during my trip and that's it." Interview with Stephano during IEM VI - Cologne. Team-aAa.com. August 19th 2011. Translated version
- Stephano: "I will devote myself entirely to StarCraft II this year". Millenium.org. September 12th 2011. Translated version
- Stephano: "The GSL is not one of my goals". eSportfrance.com. September 15th 2011. Translated version.
- "Welcome Stephano to compLexity.sc2!" compLexityGaming.com. September 18th 2011.
- "Millenium signs Stephano - Millenium's CEO statement". Millenium.org. September 19th 2011. Translated version / TeamLiquid.net Forum thread
- "Official statement regarding Stephano's contract situation". compLexityGaming.com. September 19th 2011.
- "compLexity and Mill come to agreement". TeamLiquid.net. September 22nd 2011.
- "Stephano's Ladder Run". TeamLiquid.net. September 24th 2011.
- Stephano: "The atmosphere is pleasant at least in the house...". TeamLiquid.net. December 14th 2011.
- "Regarding Stephano Situation" OneNationOfGamers.com. January 29th 2012. TeamLiquid.net Forum thread
- "Stephano's statement about ONoG". Millenium.org. February 1st 2012. Translated version / TeamLiquid.net Forum thread
- "Stephano's Ladder Run Round 2 (Season 6)". TeamLiquid.net. March 7th 2012.
- "Stephano vs White-Ra $5,000 Showmatch at SXSW!". TeamLiquid.net. March 10th 2012.
- "Stephano has reached the $100,000 mark". Millenium.org. April 21st 2012. Translated version
- Stephano: "I've been thinking since a week about it and I decided to take another sc2 year and a trip to korea in 1.5 month!!!". Twitter.com @MillStephano. April 19th 2012. TeamLiquid.net Forum thread
- Stephano vs. MC record in foreign and in Korean events. TLPD.
- "viOLet powers through Stephano to reach grand final". ESFIWorld.com. May 20th 2012.
- "Millenium partners with Team SCV Life". TeamLiquid.net. May 20th 2012.
- "Stephano to train at EG lair, prep for Battlegrounds". ESFIWorld.com. May 22nd 2012.
- "[MLG] Spring Championship Day 2". TeamLiquid.net. June 10th 2012.
- Stephano vs. MaNa record in foreign events. TLPD.
- "[DH] Summer '12 - Final Day Coverage". TeamLiquid.net. June 18th 2012.
- "WCS – Stephano takes the French championship". eu.Battle.net. July 11th 2012.
- "World Championship Series: Europe Nationals — France". us.Battle.net. April 20th 2012.
- "[NASL S3] Live Results". TeamLiquid.net. July 15th 2010.
- Rod "Slasher" Breslau (21 August 2012). "StarCraft II pro gamer Stephano to sign with Evil Geniuses". Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- Spit (21 August 2012). "Stephano quitte Millenium" (in French). Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- Geniuses Falling, evilgeniuses.net
- Power Rank - WCS Europe Edition teamliquid.net
- Rotterdam's comment about Stephano reddit.com/r/starcraft
- Rod Breslau. "StarCraft II pro gamer Stephano suspended and fined for sexual comments". GameSpot.com. October 13, 2012.
- Stephano: "Here's an announcement which will probably please you : I'll probably (certainly) participate in the next GSL code S for the first time!! ". Twitter.com @EGStephanoRC. December 28, 2012. TeamLiquid.net thread
- Stephano Plans To Retire
- Stephano's tweet announcing his participation in HomeStory Cup VIII
- Team Liquid forum announcement about Stephano in HSC VIII
- XMG @ HomeStoryCup VIII - "Stephano Interviewed by iNcontroL"
- "Web TV: Cujo's Academy by Stephano". Millenium.org. September 18th 2011. Translated version
- Grubby vs Stephano - Warcraft III - Blast From The Past Cast! - Game 1 - Game 2. YouTube.com. February 6th 2012.
- Stephano's post in Dr Who Thread. TeamLiquid.net. September 25th 2011.
- Interview by Millenium at the Electronic Sports World Cup 2011 Millenium.org. October 21st 2011. Translated Transcript
- TLPD International
- WIWO (21 June 2012). "Här åker han fast " [Here he goes solid] (in Swedish). Rakaka.se. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- SC2 earnings
- Stephano laddering on the touch screen