VTL may be done for us, but things are looking up. From bottom two of ATL to barely making the playoffs in the group of death, we have come far. But for now, here’s some MS Paint trophies.
Nominees: Kuro, KatatoniK, Yakuzaku
Winning your first team league match is one of the greatest feelings to experience. It’s not quite like individual wins where you know there’s more to come soon, but even more than that you’ve got the hype of your team cheering you on.
This is a feeling that I like to imagine most players use as motivational fuel, a push to go further with the confidence that since you’ve done it before, you can do it again.
KatatoniK got the kick straight after week one after an amazing comeback game. The following weeks Kata pestered Voltacus and PhoenixTears to practice, diligently taking notes in her little book and even laddered. Kinda. A little. More than the amount required. Technically.
It paid off.
Captain's Notes: Coming into VTL Kata had very little confidence in her abilities, along with having added pressure of being our main Plat player after Yaku got promoted. However, over the course of the season she really came into form, practicing, laddering and became a solid player capable of going toe to toe with any other Platinum, filling Yaku's shoes nicely and becoming someone we could rely on.
Most Entertaining Player
Nominees: KatatoniK, Yakuzaku, PhoenixTears
Let’s be real, everyone likes comparing themselves to pro players, it’s just fun.
Light_VIP is a late-game Zerg like Dark or Rogue, PhoenixTears is a wacky Protoss like sOs, and Yaku? He may be the Imitation Innovation and the Mel Torme of MMA, but the player I like to compare him to most is aLive, the player who can simultaneously beat anyone but in the same run lose to anyone.
What makes Yaku’s games special is that he seems to scale to his opponents. Up against the low-Plat player? Make 45 SCVs and float 2000 minerals. Up against the high-Plat/mid-Diamond player? Throw away army leads and somehow get production back online to barely hold the counter-attack. Up against the high-Diamond player? Give the rest of the clan a glimmer of hope for the all-kill and crush that hope making it even more disappointing. Or just not use eyes and miss a scouted proxy.
No matter who he was up against, Yaku’s games were never one-sided, but all-in-all, it added to the tension and ultimately, the hype, with the rest of the clan consistently losing it in voice chat, whether Yaku eked out a win, or threw himself into a loss.
SPAM THIS PJSALT CAUSE IT’S YAKU’S FAULT
Captain's Notes: Only just managing to attack on 2 base economy before his opponent out-macros him, stopping worker production, throwing away army leads... for better or worse Yaku's games were always insanely close. Everyone was always excited, terrified and screaming in our clan voice chat whenever Yaku played and win or lose we would always yell at him when it was over
Cranky Ducklings vs Born Gosu: KatatoniK vs Kaidos
One OP Umbrella, that’s all you need.
Cranky Ducklings vs Psionic Aftermath: Light_VIP vs JohnGoodman
Sometimes you wanna be unorthodox, sometimes you wanna induce some nostalgia, sometimes you go for a Void Ray opening. And sometimes someone comes in and reminds you why that’s stupid, sometimes someone kicks you up to date with the meta, sometimes Light drives his Cucaracha Dick™ to your defeat.
Cranky Ducklings vs Ris3n Community: Milkncookies vs Suntzu
Mech and Roach/Hydra are what I like to call the cult compositions of their respective races. Sure, they’re actually fairly popular, sure, they’re actually really effective, but when people think TvZ, they think swarms of Ling/Bane overwhelming Marines, they think of Tanks popping Banelings like bubble wrap and Marines melting Zerglings like butter. This game showed us how to use both, why they’re both effective, but also perhaps why they aren’t used as often.
Cranky Ducklings vs Ris3n Community: PhoenixTears vs ShinyPants
Steel hates Battlecruisers, “Terran make, Terran die” has been the mantra of Steel’s MakeBCsNotStupid movement. Yet I’ve never heard him happier when ShinyPants threw down a Fusion Core and whole lotta Tech-labbed Starports. It was the game of PhoenixTear’s Signature SkyToss™ and his Terran opponent’s desperate fight for survival. Stoopid Yoonit Royale I like to call it, after double drops, sky battles and storms, the dust finally settled, and while marines were dead and Cattlebruisers were brought to pasture, PhoenixTears had a Tempest, two Archons and a whole lotta bases.
Cranky Ducklings vs Psionic Aftermath: Yakuzaku vs GoodTarget
You tried to Bane-bust Yaku. Yaku who’s mastered the ways of TvZ defense after watching TRUE. Yaku who’s clanmate’s with Clare who Bane-busted his way to Masters. Yaku, who’s sheer dumb-luck sees him getting better engagements than he has any right to. Actually the Baneling mine was pretty good that’s gonna haunt all of my dreams.
CranKy Ducklings vs Formless Bearsloths: Yakuzaku vs Floski (unanimous decision)
Now accepting funds for Yaku’s eye transplant.
Nominees: CranKy Ducklings vs Formless Bearsloths, CranKy Ducklings vs The Confederation
Winner: CranKy Ducklings vs Formless Bearsloths
Some matches relied on heavy-hitters to carry the team, some matches went back and forth in the most classic sense. But only our match vs Formless Bearsloths showed what our core players are really capable of.
Starting with Kata reminding the world why she’s Matriarch of the Nerazim using #KataStrats in typical hype fashion, to Yaku showing why he’s the chairman of the 2-base all-in and ending with Light risking it all on Darkness Sanctuary with a Pool-First in the Ace-Match.
I would say that this match exemplifies each player, their strengths and weaknesses, play-styles and why you should get excited to watch them play.
Even the games on the worse end of the spectrum were entertaining in their own way. I held back all of the PTSD to type that sentence.
Comeback King + Game
Nominees: KatatoniK (vs Kaidos), Milkncookies (vs Caesar)
Yes, I made the summary for Katatonik vs Kaidos short on purpose. Here’s the real deal.
Mech vs Protoss. Mech vs Protoss, without Blue Flame. Mech, vs Protoss, without mines. God. Damn. Mech. Vs Protoss. This was Kata’s debut match. And the thing is, it worked! Kaidos’ opening fried Kata’s mineral line, she was down 19 workers in 4 minutes, against a Terran with MULEs. Kata was done.
Until she made a Warp Prism. In his hubris, Kaidos neglected to make Engi-Bays, opting to go straight for Armory tech and completely omitted Missile Turrets. This, combined with lack of vision in his main, gave Kata free-reign to #PlayLikeBestHerO.
Kaidos was unprepared, and seemingly just confused, pulling back his Cyclone army barely out of range to see the Prism. His economy slowing to a halt, his production quickly burning, and his army too scared to head to Kata’s base, Kata not only recovered, but dragged Kaidos into the infirmary.
This was perhaps prophetic, as Kata’s games since then, particularly PvPs, followed a similar trend. Kata’s down from early game aggression, whether from her opponent or her own aggression failed, Kata says “fuck it”, goes in with a Warp Prism or Oracles and scares her opponent into splendid isolation till she gets what she needs for a big push to win.
Nominees: KatatoniK, Milkncookies, Light_VIP
I mentioned earlier that we had to be carried in some matches by a heavy hitter, and Milk was the one that hit the hardest.
Milk sits at the highest map score, a feat made even more impressive when you factor in his insane schedule of 12 hours at campus with only a single day off a week, the one day we’d schedule our matches.
When it came down to it, Milk never disappointed, able to bring us to the ace match after being down 2 maps or more, even won once.
It was this reliability and especially this dedication that ultimately puts Milk as this season’s MVP.
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