**Contains Dreamhack Winter and GSL Code A Spoilers**
Part 1. The Beginning
September 2010; Liquid` ventures to the East to attempt to conquer the Mecca of Starcraft 2. Leading the way for the foreigner community Team Liquid began preparing for the most prestigious tournament in the young life of Starcraft 2. The GomTV Global Starcraft II League stood as the proving ground for any serious competitor wanting to achieve greatness. Team Liquid became the beacon of light in which the foreigner hopes gathered, determined to prove that the Koreans were not untouchable. TL established a partnership with oGs allowing a joint house and training schedule but would this be enough?
After previous attempts Jinro managed to qualify for GSL Season 3 and with none of the other foreigners making it past the round of 32, Jinro accumulated a large amount of foreigner hopes and dreams on his shoulders. On his quest Jinro defeated Moon, Polt and Choya to advance to the semi finals where he was swept 4-0 by the Boss Toss MC.
Despite not winning the tournament, Jinro had proven that foreigners can compete and that Starcraft 2 was not relegated to the reality of Brood War. After obtaining S class, Jinro vowed to stay in Korea and compete in the GSL; determined to prove his Season 3 run was not a fluke Jinro sought to repeat his great performance. Unfortunately, both foreigners (IdrA and Jinro) were seeded into Group H, greatly limiting the chance of a dual foreigner victory. However, through what was considered an incredibly surprising set of circumstances, both Jinro and IdrA managed to advance from their group. They now stood at the top, fighting for the title of the best foreign player. IdrA and Jinro were to meet again in the Round of 8 where Jinro managed to 3-1 his opponent and again secure a semi final placing.
Team Liquid was on top of the world; they had a player placing in the Ro4 consecutively in the GSL in a time where Koreans were thought to be dominant. The results of the Clash of the Titans furthered Jinro’s position as the Great Foreigner Hope and greatly thrusted Team Liquid into the lime light. Fast forward some months; Jinro falls from Code S and then subsequently from Code A. Liquid` suffers a slump that comes as quite a shock to the community who are desperate for their fan favourites to perform. TLO suffers from CTS, Tyler is lacking motivation and suffering from personal issues, Ret is always good but somehow just cannot produce the results, Jinro cannot crack his way back into the GSL, HayprO’s potential fails to be recognised and HuK’s intense practice regimen refuses to surpass his nerves during live matches. Just when things were looking hard for Team Liquid something happened; i don’t know how to explain it, or even how to describe it – but HuK figured it out.
Dreamhack Summer 2011 was a moment everyone will remember; it has been termed DreamHuK and was quickly followed up by a Homestory Cup victory. HuK had managed to topple players like Socke, Moon and July at Dreamhack and then cemented his ability by beating IdrA, Naniwa and MC at the Homestory Cup. Liquid` fans had something to cheer about! We had another superstar leading the way. All our passion finally had an outlet to channel through! And it was the person we all desperately wanted to succeed – The lovable Chris Loranger who spent so much time practicing but just couldn’t perform when he needed to had silenced the haters and enlivened the fans.
Less than 2 months later HuK leaves Team Liquid for EG. There was a lot of confusion, a ton of anger and a general feeling of agony as arguably the most lovable member of Team Liquid leaves.
On August 17 2011 01:01 .Amon. wrote: fucking shit
On August 17 2011 01:01 ComusLoM wrote: Tearing up
On August 17 2011 01:02 BLinD-RawR wrote: WTF Chris? what the fuck...
On August 21 2011 05:11 GhandiEAGLE wrote: I seriously cried when I read this... HUK HWAIIGHTING
And just like that Liquid’s great foreigner hope relocated to another team. Part 2. A New Beginning
Results are always hard to get in the Starcraft II world. Tournaments are gruelling and unforgiving, the game is volatile and matchups sit on a knife edge; but results are what fans want! We want to rally behind the best! We want our belief in a player or a team to materialise in medals, money and fame! Who would replace HuK, who could fill the void and more importantly the skill set that his absence had left..
Enter our HerO Song Hyun Deok does not need too much of an introduction. He has beaten players like LoWeLy, SjoW, Sheth, Mana, Lalush, theStC, DRG, PuMa, Ret, Puzzle, Keen and many, many more. His playstyle has been described as cutting edge and exciting by some of the game’s best and most importantly he has a lovable personality. Upon the announcement of HerO many people were apprehensive about whether or not he would be the next “HuK” or if he would just settle at a satisfying mediocrity. Even after some positive MLG results at Raleigh, Orlando and Providence (6th, 13th and 10th) the world just refused to make a fuss about HerO. It almost seemed like fate that after HuK leaves, Liquid` brings in a new Protoss and that this Protoss should take a stand at Dreamhack Winter. HerO managed to 3-0 his group stage 1 and then progress through group stage 2 by beating Sen and Elfi. The stage was set for a Team Liquid kill off as HerO faced off with Sheth. Unfortunately or fortunately depending on who you support, HerO 2-0d Sheth and followed it up with a swift 2-0 of Seiplo who had just beaten HuK.
Placed in the semi-finals HerO was matched against Ret, another team kill against a zerg who has been in dominating form. Ret looked so sharp the whole tournament, but HerO was able to surpass him with a 3-1, progressing to the finals. However, while our cute little protoss had been working his was through the bracket, PuMa had been tearing it up, leaving in his wake players like Genius, Nightend and even DRG. Part 3. As I Ascend
And so the finals were set; EG’s Korean star verses Liquid’s Korean hope; another showdown between the 2 premiere Starcraft II teams, another chapter in an age-old rivalry...
The stage was set – who would be the Dreamhack Winter 2011 Champion?
A huge crowd gathered...
The casters were ready...
Liquid`HerO vs EG.PuMa – only one could be champion!
The hype was so much that the fan support voting mechanism broke!
Game 1 was on Metalopolis with the players spawning in close air positions; HerO at the 7 o’clock and PuMa at the 9 o’clock. Puma goes a gasless 1 barracks into a fast CC with a 4 barracks follow up. HerO opens with a 1 gateway cybernetics core into a robo off 1 base, while gearing up for an expansion
PuMa gears up for a mass marine push as he pumps from his four barracks but as he attempts to send an initial scouting party, HerO’s insane micro snipes 3 marines and an scv with 1 stalker as PuMa attempts to seize the Xel Naga tower. HerO attempts to tech to colossus but it seems to be too little too late.
Mass marines verse immortals – Uh Oh!
PuMa completes his concussive shells upgrade and transitions into marauders out of 4 barracks. HerO is doing his best to delay until his colossus is ready. With some great scans, PuMa manages to snipe an immortal!
Somehow HerO delays long enough to get his colossus out, and with the help of guardian shield he is able to fend off PuMa’s push without taking too much damage.
Feeling comfortable, HerO goes for some warp prism play and sets up for a 2 pronged attack at the front and back of PuMa’s base. HerO feels like he is in a good spot to do damage as he warps in zealots at PuMa’s mineral line.
PuMa, in a moment of brilliance, takes a small squad of marauders around the map to snipe the proxy pylon!
And crush HerO’s forces in an incredibly well executed flank attack that left HerO unable to forcefield PuMa’s bio ball.
After losing his entire standing army, HerO is left exposed at home; PuMa advances and ruthlessly forces the GG from HerO, topping it off with some manner mules.
Game 2 is on Daybreak with PuMa spawning at the 1 o’clock and HerO at the 7 o’clock. This is widely considered a Protoss map and HerO demonstrates his comfort with the map by going Nexus first. PuMa sticks to his 1 barrack into fast CC build.
HerO follows up his fast Nexus with 4 gateways, while PuMa builds 3 barracks and double gas. After allowing PuMa’s bio ball to take down the rocks at the centre of the map, HerO engages the handful of marines and marauders with a sentry, zealots and some stalkers.
While HerO was crushing the small group of units in the middle of the map, he warped in a small squad of zealots and sentries to assault the natural of PuMa. This forced scvs to be pulled as HerO’s forces from the middle of the map joined the party.
HerO attempts to force the issue but apparently repair is a really good skill and he cannot bust through the supply depot wall
HerO transitions into double forge play while taking his third base. PuMa is contained on one base allowing HerO to secure a 24 supply lead. With great forcefields and micro HerO snipes units from the low ground.
After seeing that PuMa has stim and medivacs out, HerO retreats but not before sniping a tech lab just before combat shields finishes reasearching. While contained, PuMa teched to ghosts, hoping for some superhuman EMPs to get him back into the game.
I'm good - but am i that good?
And just in case the ghosts weren’t enough, PuMa brought all of his scvs along for the party. The problem with this is – HerO is just to good!
Game 3 begins on Dual sight with HerO spawning at the 3 o’clock and PuMa at the 8 o’clock. PuMa quickly denies HerO’s probe scout with a wall off while taking his gas. This is unlike like games 1 and 2 where PuMa opted for a wall in and fast CC.
As this map is Dual Sight, HerO must be expecting some 1/1/1 shenanigans and he was pretty accurate. However, he responds by going stargate! HerO begins pumping phoenixes while PuMa is setting up his 1/1/1 with cloaked banshees.
HerO’s phoenix and observer timing is just too much for PuMa to handle!
After his banshees had been completely nullified; HerO continues to harass with his phoenixes, sniping siege tanks, scvs and MULEs. After realising that his 1 base play was useless, PuMa GGs!
Game Four begins on Tal’Darim Altar with PuMa spawning at the bottom left and HerO at the top right. PuMa opts for his standard 1 barracks into fast CC opening. HerO spots the fast CC and drops 2 more gateways as he begins to head for a 3 gate pressure push. PuMa thought he was safe with the bunker at his front door, but apparently stalkers have legs and can walk past these immobile structures. Not only did HerO walk past the bunker, but he gained vision of the high ground.
This was the beginning of the end for PuMa on this map;
9 scvs to 35 probes – no big deal
After realising the lead he had taken, HerO backs away. PuMa was incredibly skilled to survive HerO’s push and looked to play catch up. PuMa pushed across the map with a small bio ball but HerO’s forcefields were just too much to handle.
It was only a matter of time before HerO secured victory.
Game 5 was on Shakuras Plateau with PuMa spawning at the 5 o’clock and HerO spawning at the 7 o’clock. HerO opens nexus first with PuMa again opting for his standard 1 barracks fast CC opening. HerO follows up his Nexus first with a 1 gate robotics while PuMa immediately techs to 3 barracks with tech labs and reactors. PuMa also gets a fast ghost academy because.. well ghosts are pretty damn good!
Unfortunately, HerO’s observer is better...
"What it looks like, what it feels like, what it smells like and how to stop it" - Artosis
HerO holds off the initial push from PuMa and looks to secure a 3rd base. There is a lot dancing in the middle of the map with units but PuMa eventually secures the high ground at HerO’s 3rd base and they engage!
Both armies are traded but PuMa maintains a 30 supply lead! HerO is desperately trying to delay while teching to DTs. Some great forcefields and unit control allow HerO to survive the next engagement but only barely!
Eventually after some ineffective and wasteful DT play and a massive supply disadvantage, HerO overextends while chasing some Terran forces, loses his army and is forced to GG
Game 6 begins on Terminus SE with PuMa spawning at the 12 o’clock and HerO at the 9 o’clock. Due to the size of the map, HerO opens nexus first. PuMa scouts the Nexus with his scv and changes from what looked like a 1 barracks fast CC into a 1 base 4 barracks play! PuMa pushes across the map with a large bio ball...
Oh and this..
HerO cannot get his gateways up in time and warpgate is just too late! Despite an incredibly cheesy play, it was ridiculously intelligent from PuMa and a perfect response to his scout!
Game 7 opens on Antiga Shipyard with HerO spawning at the 8 o’clock and PuMa at the 2 o’clock. PuMa again opts for his safe 1 barracks into fast CC opening while HerO goes 1 gateway cyber core into Nexus. PuMa sneaks a scout into HerO’s base and sees the 3 gateway follow up and immediately secures bunkers at his front door.
Unable to exert any pressure, HerO backs up and continues to macro while scouting with his observer. Noticing a large bio army, HerO cleverly plants a cannon at his front door. This made Artosis a very happy man
Artosis pylon with his 3 extra gateways?
Both players proceed to take their 3rd base at the exact same time, and after some posturing outside HerO’s natural there is a great engagement! HerO gets off some more ridonculous forcefields and cleans up the bio ball of PuMa.
After going double forge HerO was trying to make his advantage pay off – here we can see 3/3 about to finish before PuMa will have 2/2.
Unfortunately, HerO attempts to make his stand at a Planetary Fortress at PuMa’s third base.
Now i want everyone to listen closely. In this next shot – PuMa scans, EMPs and then SNIPES ALL THE TEMPLAR as they are/before they can morph into archons! This micro, these skills!
Mind = blown!
And again we can see PuMa’s incredible control with more Templars being sniped before getting any spells off!
After more dancing outside HerO’s bases; PuMa decides to engage at HerO’s third base! Both armies are so close it cannot be called who wins!
No WAIT! HerO WINS THE ENGAGEMENT!
After somehow winning the engagement, HerO begins to secure an advantage. He continues to macro and expand and red Terran begins to feel the blue Protoss creeping in.
Check out the colours on the minimap
PuMa attempts to maintain any grasp on the game by going for another expansion, but a large squad off stalkers and zealots manage to snipe it before PuMa can even obtain a good enough position to defend it and he loses his expansion.
Free Command Centres! Limited Offer!
HerO again attemps to engage at PuMa’s 3rd base with a Planetary Fortress, knowing this is the last of his mining bases. This time however, he maintains superior positioning and army supply. After some beautiful storms – 3 storms actually – melted the Terran army, the zealots were able to make short work of the Planetary.
HerO could sense his advantage and knew it was time for the killer blow! His tech and army composition was fearful! With 5 archons, 2 colossus and stalkers and zealots, HerO pushed towards PuMa’s natural sensing victory...
I'll have 3 manners Nexus please!
One final engagement and one of the most epic Best Of 7 series in the history of Starcraft II was over
PuMa 3 - 4 HerO
I present to you, YOUR DREAMHACK WINTER 2011 CHAMPION!
The emotion was palpable. Liquid`HerO had won his first major tournament and the crowd could feel his happiness and joy! The viewers at home could sense how much this meant to him...
But more importantly, how much did this mean to us? As an avid Team Liquid fan could it be that we now have a new champion to rally behind? Could HerO represent all the success we want from a team with the reputation that Team Liquid carries? I for one certainly hope so. The combination of his gaming ability, strategy and confidence puts HerO in a position to be very successful.
Now as i was writing this i know HerO lost his GSL Code A matches. Do not let this fool you; this kid is good. Really fucking good. If you don't believe go watch the IPL redo of Group C cast! It is about time that the world started talking about Liquid`Hero.
Edit: Courtesy of Porcelina - check out these storms!
still the best SC2 storm pic was the tits of pain.
Hero is my favorite SC2 toss ever.
Last edit: 2011-12-01 00:53:35
Ultimate KT Rolster Fanboy!| Afrotoss Fan #3|Neo.G_Soulkey – I was a better child than ZerO| Woo Jung Ho, never forget.| I want to make a game that will surpass Brood War!!! That is my dream.|"My body is not ready"-Soulkey
HerO is the only toss I support. White-Ra doesn't count, he has default support. But still, HerO is the only toss player I can watch stream for hours and hours without craving some creep. His play style is just so incredible and he is really good with his stargate play, his micro definitely rivals Huk and his aggression is effective and never fails to do some sort of damage. This, in addition to him being CuteToss AND being on Liquid`, just makes him one of the best players in my eyes. I really hope he keeps up this streak. And I hope Zenio lives up to his expectations too, I think that the addition of some Koreans to this team was a really good move! HerO fighting <3
"Dude has some really interesting midgame switches that I wouldn't have expected. "I violated your house" into "HIHO THE DAIRY OH!" really threw me. You don't usually expect children's poetry harass as a follow up " - AmericanUmlaut
Porcelina United Kingdom. December 01 2011 11:33. Posts 3247
The first might not be the finest Hero storms, objectively speaking, but the commentary adds to it of course.
Hope you don't mind me taking those clips
The second one is soooo brutal!
Of course I do not, happy to provide.
I am so infatuated with that first game. For me it was clearly the game of the tournament in terms of enjoying the actual game play, though of course seeing Hero take the whole tournament with an emphatic win in game seven versus Puma definitely made Dreamhack all the sweeter.
bkrow Australia. December 01 2011 18:57. Posts 8386