Image courtesy of KizzBG and Barbarne (and to be honest I did all the important work )
What's happened so far?
OSC group A:
Jy < Katrina > free[gm]
Casy < Katrina > BestGod
Winners Game < Troy >
Losers Game < Troy >
Final Game < Blue Storm >
By the great Galileo was this group frustrating and exciting? First we had to watch as another zerg got mutilated by the combined forces of Free and Katrina. Nothing special after the initial failed zergling rush, and in the end Free had something like 2 assimilators for every zerg extractor. Then we had to painfully sit idly as Casy got slaughtered by Katrina. Bestgod didn't do shit, he had nothing to do with the outcome. 2base carriers is, after all, autowin on Katrina.. . Even though Casy is known to have the suckiest TvP in the world considering his once held ACE status at OGN Sparkyz, he came to the stage that day with something completely different in mind (Mind might have had something to do with it since he's a TvP god and one of Casy's new teammates). He played superbly comparing to what was expected of him and everyone was left with a bitter fishy taste that is Katrina's incredible imbalance, since the player playing better lost again. The game did, however, end in a weird and enjoyable fashion, where both mains were devastated and Casy was trying to start up Wraith tech without any income at all.
Anyway, after a super short and boring PvP final game, Free suddenly remembered that you have to be able to win on other maps than Katrina and lost by not getting any detection against the quick DTs. Good game? No way.
After that let down, the loser's game was about to start, and If you haven't seen it already, you should just drop everything and watch it before you read this, otherwise the game of the year (so far) will be spoiled for you.
How did he not kill that hatchery?
After leading with a super awesome ultra cool boxer style nuke rush of doom Casy started to bring his fans in under his roof again by doing everything right. He wasn't only playing with the coolest strategy for ages, he did it a bit bad (it almost seemed when he didn't target that hatchery) to show that he can also play excellently under high pressure, which made the game a lot more enjoyable and gave him more chances to show his skills.
At this point I was screaming: Nuclear Launch Detected Biiiitch!
He proceeded to claw his way to the victory with a combination of flawless micro, relentless strategies, and a sense of his opponents threats I hadn't seen ever before*.
Don't come here and say that you see a ghost with 14 kills every game...
And to top it all off he managed to look cool while doing it, a feat I hadn't come to expect from him since he looked totally lost in his proleague games recently. And that's something that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. I hate it when the guy without charisma and killer instinct (judging by the player's eyes) wins. Because of just this game, Casy went from some player that I've heard was once good (I didn't watch back when he didn't suck) to my current top 3 terrans list. And by the rotting carcass of Jesus' "reincarnated" body, was I about to be even more impressed.
The final game was all that he needed to end an era of being the receiver in every TvP game Casy entered into. Free is no PvT ghostfacekillah but he knows how to play well (or should I say knew..?) and was performing decently enough to force something nice out of Casy. The terran wonderboy did the common push towards the sieging spot and managed to hold it in a very nice way, forcing the protoss to suffer huge casualties every time he tried to break the siege line.
One thing I always love is when the terran players have the attention to detail to kill off any nearby mines when a shuttle comes hovering packed with zealot suicide bombers (without any bombs).
That's a vulture killing that mine, not a second too late.
Another beauty was the sight of a small vulture army tornadoing in to hammer the bombarded nexus to the ground, not the most common sight in starcraft.
Don't let this happen...
When this is the only logic outcome.
Sure Free could have played a lot better. Sure Stork would have raped Casy in a matter of minutes, but did you see that? It was like Casy was reborn (he did actually change his nick once again to AdamaS). I wasn't expecting anything close to what I beheld. After a strong showing on Katrina (each time I write that word my temperature gets that much closer to the boiling point) and an awesome, super entertaining game on Troy plus an obvious display that he was no longer a PvT punching bag made my sack of magic twitch joyously.
I'm coming for you Birdtoss!
Oh, and bestgod made it out of the group. + Show Spoiler +
And there was much rejoicing
OSC group B:
NaDa < Katrina > SoO[gm]
go.go < Katrina > Shark
Winners Game < Troy >
Losers Game < Troy >
Final Game < Blue Storm >
The first game. On Katrina, one of my favourite terran players against a no name protoss. Man, I love it when you know before the game starts that when it's over you will be filled with godlike wrath. Guess who won? Isn't it ironic that they made a map, naming it after a Hurricane and at the same time making the Tornado Terran TvP style impossible? I realized that NaDa wasn't really preparing for TvPs on Katrina any more (watch his first game vs. Anytime) since he knows that all the effort required to win on that map just doesn't pay itself. By this time I was flinging rotten ball sacks at the walls in frustration (yes we eat the weirdest shit in Sweden). I've had it with this fucking piece of shit map. When I heard that GSL will include this definition of imbalance I made a deep sigh and thought: wow guess I won't be seeing any good TvPs in that tournament either...
At least the second game on Katrina didn't include a P, and I have to admit that some TvZs on the map have actually been really good (like sAviOr vs. hwasin), so it had a much better premise. However, the expectations were unfounded one realized when watching the game. I really have respect for go.go and I'd say he's definitely underrated, but when mediocrity is all you need to win a TvZ, it's hard to cheer for him winning the easiest walk in the park this year. Don't watch this game even if you're unbelievably bored. It's not worth it, and will probably only make things worse.
Winners game on Troy. This was actually a really nice game with a lot of cool situations following go.go's quick assimilator contain strategy resulting in SoO going for an aggressive shuttle strategy which looked like it was winning at several points during the game.
One thing led to the other.
But despite having his base constantly flooded with reavers, zealots and Dragoons he managed to stay alive due to his cool which he kept all the way through and not fucking up anywhere on the way. It was really something out of the ordinary to see a bio-tank-wraith army battle against a reaver-zealot-dragoon-shuttle-mix. I enjoyed it a lot, and the game clearly went to the deserving player, go.go plainly outplayed him, even though it looked really bad at some times.
Losers game on Troy, NaDa versus Shark. After Shark's previous display of utter crappyness I didn't expect anything but a complete owning of him by the golden mouse winner. He was indeed beaten at every turn of the game. NaDa was in control from start to finish with his nicely tailored 1 base build which made his defence seem totally impenetrable. Even though his execution was far from perfect, it was way more than enough for Shark to handle.
Woohoo, another Blue Storm TvP. This time, the Protoss seemed to have a pretty easy time during the early parts of the game and when SoO managed to break NaDa's main army with a pure dragoon and zealot army it looked really bad for NaDa.
What? I'm supposed to look scared when I lose all my ground troops?
My heart didn't falter though, because after seeing the determination in NaDa's eyes, I knew that he wasn’t losing to this little bitch (to be honest, I'm a big STX fan, and have nothing against SoO at all, but to let NaDa advance, I would easily sacrifice ten decent STX players.. .). To say the least, the living tornado wasn't about to tap out anytime soon. NaDa switched macro gears so fluently and fast that SoO could do nothing but hope to catch up eventually. Which he never did. When the Carriers came out, NaDa already had them outnumbered with his mass of Goliaths** making it impossible for the Carriers to do any kind of real damage. SoO was utterly destroyed once NaDa went on the offensive after reaching a satisfying upgrades level and having turned on the macro machine 100%.
This is the way to end a game, with a huge fight between everything that each player's got.
Is the genius back again? Looks like he doesn't know himself yet...
It looks like this ODT might not be as horrible as I thought after hearing that Katrina and Blue Storm were going to be in the Star Challenge. I know that many of my favourites will be knocked out because of these maps, but so far, I can't honestly complain. It's certain however, that OSC playoffs will probably contain a lot of P since the imbalance on Katrina seems like it's gone so far that Ps don't ever lose anymore...
I thought I'd write these since I haven't seen anyone else stepping up to the plate. These are all my own opinions and rants and in no way the official views of TL.net. If I continue to write these, which I might, I guess I'll have to stop being so worked up about the poor maps (even thought they are mixed with Troy, which I love).
It seems like they've tried to balance the groups some this year. I couldn't find a single group where there were players of the same team, and they might have put the limit at a maximum of 2 players of the same race per group. Either that, or they (or should I say we?) just got lucky this season. I think this is something they should start with in all the leagues since there's nothing more painful than a one race group.
The next group contains:
UpMagiC vs GoRush
Spear vs Iris
The old veteran who we all hope is going to get his game back together again, the up and coming (you saw what I did there?) inventive terran Upmagic which we all have some sort of relation with, a no name 2v2 protoss player and Iris, the guy who was so close to winning an OSL and now struggles to get out of the offline prelims... I hope that Iris, who is more than capable in the TvP MU can somehow overcome the curse that is Katrina. Although I would say it's a fair bet to say that Spear will win the first set and then get dominated in the other two (unless he does something amazing). I hope that we will see more of Iris soon, so I hope he will advance, between GoRush and Upmagic, I hope that the one who can best show some kind of consistency is the one who advances.
After that we have:
Hwasin vs HyuN
Max vs Mind
Hwasin should not have any problems advancing here since I haven't seen many zergs stand up against him ever, he could potentially lose to Mind, but since he will have to lose against a Zerg to be eliminated I wouldn't count on it. Incidentally the whole top three of my favourite (currently performing) Terrans were mentioned in the same article, isn't that weird? Hyun is my absolute most hated progamer in the world, so you can probably guess my hopes for his future... It’s too bad for me that he is actually a very good player. Max hasn't done anything properly for a long time, so we'll see how he fares in this very tough group (he probably won't stand a chance against either hwasin or HyuN (who is very good at ZvZ)). On the Issue of Mind, I'm torn (and lying naked on the floor? - Of course.). I agree that he is a very strong player, but his TvZ is probably his worst MU, and he's not that superb in TvT either, depending on which hwasin comes to play in the sandbox that day (anyone else sick and tired of hwasin’s recent inconsistency?) a TvT could go to either one. I predict with a heavy stone in my heart that hwasin and HyuN will advance. Although I hope Mind does something cool and advances.
*+ Show Spoiler +
To explain what I mean: many terran players lose early (and sometimes later) by moving out with a group of mnm or just plain m, depending on the time in the game whenever they lose their patience, only to get ass raped by the Zs forced that he hadn't show until it was too late, or that the terran player underestimated. Just watch MSL - Jaedong vs. Flash game 2 on blue storm and tell me that flash wouldn’t have won if he had waited until he could [b]safely[b] move out instead of throwing those marines in front of Jaedong’s teeth?
**+ Show Spoiler +
Anyone else thought of this: What if Katrina has a positive influence on TvP? I've found that before Katrina I never saw a Terran player being content with just shooting down the interceptors with a huge herd of metal two legged moose. I always thought that the only way to combat carriers with goliaths was to chase them across open fields slamming the blue laser beamy rockets into the motherships themselves. Now, I've seen a couple of players just stand there with the hold ground command and force the carriers to retreat or lose all interceptors. However, this does not make the carriers less efficient on Katrina though; since they can waltz anywhere they want on the map and attack wherever the Goliath count is lower than the number of limbs I can fit in my rear end. On other maps though, this might mean that terrans have came closer to making the MU a little more balanced. What do you think? Did people do this before and I haven't just seen it?
These Goliaths are not moving anywhere.