March 3, 2007
The day that went down in BW history as the day of the revolution!
The day that the PvZ meta was flipped upside down on its head!
The day that the Maestro Savior fell from grace!
A day that few could have predicted!
Savior, a bonjwa who had several MSLs under his belt had advanced from the semifinals in the first season of GomTV MSL after beating Hwasin 3-2 in a close series. Since his first MSL win over Reach in UZOO MSL 2005, Savior had been crushing Protosses left and right. In the two years that had passed, he was 13-0 in series with a monstrous 75% winrate. He had emerged victorious in the 'Holy Wars' against Nal_rA, staved off unorthodox strategies from Daezang and Pusan, and showed no mercy against the likes of Kingdom and Much.
Savior's management style and star sense allowed him to consistently out play the meta builds at that time – forge-FE into 5gate speed zealot or forge-FE into sair/reaver when the map permitted. His strategic and tactical maneuvering as well as extremely deep understanding of the various matchups also allowed him to dominate his opponents like none other and seize the Zerg throne for himself. The Maestro had overcome every obstacle, every challenger and every race to claim his first OSL victory. Now only one Protoss stood between him and his fourth MSL title and the elusive double-crown.
His opponent was Bisu, a Protoss player with nothing to his name and no titles to speak off. He had quickly become a fan favorite through his stylish and control-oriented play. Nonetheless he remained a dark horse against the Maestro. Bisu had made the finals on the back of beating Terran and Protoss players, stomping Nal_rA 3-0 in the semifinals to the surprise of critics. The obliteration of Nal_rA, who was sporting a PvP winrate of 87.5% at the time, was the first signs that Bisu was no rookie to be taken lightly. Still, it had been some time since Bisu had shown his PvZ. With no gauge on his current skill and Savior's incredible form, it was clear that the Maestro was going to be his biggest obstacle yet. The consensus going into the final was that Savior will take the series 3-0, or at worst 3-1, and prove his dominance beyond all doubt.
Despite the difficult challenge ahead of him, Bisu was not afraid. Rather, he had the audacity to call out Savior! A level of confidence not seen by many, Bisu stated in an interview that was aired right after Savior's semifinals win that he will take the series 3-0 or 3-1. His rhetoric was dismissed by pundits as cheap talk and false confident -- after all he was against the best ZvP player on the planet and recent OSL champion. Bisu's confidence showed in his preparation; he went on vacation with his team in Phuket to celebrate their 2006 Proleague championship title.
For anyone to state that Bisu had a good chance to win the series was to be blinded by pure fanboyism and devoid of all logic in the face of absolute truth. It would take a miracle for Bisu to upset Savior, that much was fact. Yet, we all know what happened that night. Coming into the series as a huge underdog, Bisu dismantled Savior in one of the most one-sided thrashes to date. In a mere 3 games lasting less than an hour in total, Savior looked on helplessly as his overlords and drones were slaughtered in front of his eyes. He tried to seize what was always natural to him, victory but it kept escaping his grasp. Despite Bisu playing the same build all three games, Savior could find no answer to his strategy.
By the end of the night, Savior was shut out in one of the biggest upsets in BW history and our own conceptions regarding PvZ were shattered into a million pieces. History had changed and we were its witnesses! Bisu's new build, aptly named the Bisu build was revealed to the world! Though a similar build was used in the past on one occasion by DaezanG, Bisu refined his build and used his insane multitasking and macro to help him overcome Savior.
The “Bisu Build” consisted of a few parts; Forge-FE, a Stargate to produce at least two corsairs, and a Templar Archives for Dark Templar shortly after. The builds' brilliance is in its adaptability. The two Corsairs gave the Protoss player some map control and allowed the player vision of what the Zerg is doing. If the Zerg is making Mutalisks, these can be dealt with by continuing corsair production. Otherwise, the Corsairs can control where Overlords are placed which restricts vision and detection. This allowed Dark Templars to harass the Zerg third in a macro game or defend against Hydralisk pushes and other aggressive strategies. Furthermore, they can also be dropped into the main to snipe drones and important tech structures. The build gave Protoss a pathway through the difficult early-midgame where other Forge-FE Protoss openings are usually at their weakest.
"History had changed and we were its witnesses!"
Brood War might be a ‘strategy game’ but it is so rare to see the metagame be broken before your eyes in a high stakes setting. Usually these metagame breaking builds are trialed during low-stake matches like proleague, or are popularized on a specific map before being proven viable elsewhere, or become popular on the ladder. The only comparable series to the Bisu-Savior final is the semifinal between Boxer and YellOw from EVER 2004 OSL. Boxer famously bunker rushed YellOw three times, to which YellOw had no response. To this point, no Terran had used almost all of their SCVs to support a bunker rush, and the strategy was devastatingly powerful. Every Zerg player was forced to learn how to defend this fearsome all-in and every Zerg build needed to be able to withstand its force.
The Bisu Build had a similar transformative effect on the meta. ZvP to this point had been considered Zerg favored, mostly because Zerg held map and vision control early on which required the Protoss to guess at their strategy. Guess wrong and you're behind, if not dead. The Bisu Build changed that dynamic. Zerg had to find new ways to find advantages in the matchup. To some extent, this was directly responsible for ushering in a golden age of Protoss which culminated in the era of the 6 Dragons. It wasn’t until much later that Jaedong found a comprehensive solution for the build using Scourge to control Corsairs while using a 5 Hatch style to parry the harass from the build.
"It is so rare to see the metagame be broken before your eyes in a high stakes setting"
Although the revolution was the biggest highlight of the night, this night also marked the fall of Savior and the rise of Bisu. Savior was not the same again, failing to make another finals with his last notable achievement being a third place finish behind Hwasin and Stork in WCG Korea 2007. Bisu went on to win two more MSLs (GomTV MSL Season 2 and Clubday MSL) and placed second in a third one (GomTV MSL Season 3) placing him amongst the most decorated progamers. He also placed third in the 2007 EVER OSL and took first place in WCG Korea 2009 afterwards. To date, Bisu remains one of the best and most influential Protoss players that the scene has ever had.
Writers: BigFan and Plexa
Photo Credits: FighterForum