Wow wow wow, what a week. In direct contrast to last week's string of lackluster matches, the last seven days brought us some crazy, and we mean crazy action. Firstly, we nearly even had a full 5 game match without any mirrors, but Coach Park chose to send out fantasy for the ace game against KT.
The big news of course is all about the man who adorns our cover image this week - Zero. Stars cruised through the week, first putting an end to Wemade's #1 dreams and then later on beating eSTRO in a match where ZerO got not one but two victories and making him 3-0 for the week. Currently, he sits atop the individual rankings at 9 - 3, two wins above Flash and Sea who are tied for second place at 7 - 1.
Team wise, KT showed us that they are deserving of their top rank, taking down last year's champions in an awesome display of raw power and talent despite Flash losing his first game of the season in this encounter. Fan favorites CJ Entus finally had a bit of a breakout week, beating KHAN and MBC for finally get above 50% in their matches played.
We Made had a brief opportunity to pass KT in the overall standings, but as we mentioned earlier, ZerO (and the rest of Woongjin Stars) put a stop to that dream with a clean sweep early on in the week. In turn, they later put the same hurt on ACE to stay right on the heels of a #1 spot.
While MBC had an average week (going 1-1), at least TL phenom Sea[Shield] won both his games (agaist Lomo and sKyHigh) in outstanding fashion. Hwaseung Oz were clearly having problems with their frontman, demonstrating that a Jaedong who is winning less than 80% makes for an unhappy coach Cho. They won against a struggling KHAN (Jaedong won twice) and lost to MBC, with Jaedong losing his game. They are currently firmly planted in 10th place, a disappointing start for a team that nearly took the title just a few months ago.
At the bottom, KHAN seems to be making some progress, at least getting to the ace game twice (against Oz and CJ) but in reality still find themselves below ACE in the standings. Coach Janary's choices in the deciding game seems rather questionable (Miracle against Oz and JangBi against a predominantly Zerg team) perhaps giving us an idea as to why their season has looked like this. ACE was unable to win a single game this time, making the race for who can call themselves "not the worst team in the league" much closer than it was this time last week.
One final note before we move on, here's a fun fact for everyone courtesy of the ever vigilant IntoTheWow. Everybody in the TL Power Rank lost a game this week, except for Kal (who didn't play) and Stork (who actually won).
1. Flash to BeSt
2. Jaedong to Saint
3. Inter.Calm to Justin
5. Bisu lost to Lux
6. Fantasy to Flash
7. Effort to Great
8. Shine[Kal] to Kwanro
9. HyuK to Violet
Now, for this week's Game of the Week, let's look at one of these games in particular, an another awesome Outsider TvZ between a defending MSL champion and 'a dude who plays terran'.
GOTW - Calm vs Justin on Outsider
Some of the best and most exciting games ever are played on the map, Outsider. This week's featured game shows just why as we have Calm vs Justin in a zerg vs terran. Now, most ZvT's on Outsider are based on abusing the fact that Zerg can secure a ridiculous amount of gas with just one sunk line. The general trend is using guards to stop the huge mnm push at nat before the double gasses kick in. While that is going on, Zerg also started upgrading carapace and melee attack early in order to get ultralisks fully upgraded as soon as possible to just run over Terran.
Realizing this, Justin starts the game by making an 8rax at his natural while Calm 12hatches . His early game plan is to go barracks supply barracks while bunker rushing the Zerg. However, an overlord manages to spot this and pulls drones to defend. Calm stops it easily with only damage being done in terms of lost mining time. Calm then continues with his plan of going 2hatch as he remakes geyser he had to cancel in order to defend bunker rush.
Not wanting to just let up on the pressure just yet, Justin adds an academy to force Calm to make more sunks and delay his own spire timing while Justin expands himself. Before his own mutas pop, Calm expands to his top minonly expansion. Justin manages to intercept and kill a mutalisk on its way to Justin's base. Calm finds trouble trying to find any holes in Justin's defense. He also almost loses another mutalisk due to Justin being aggressive in middle with mnm and intercepting Calm's rally point. Calm then takes a double gas.
Continuing the theme of aggression, Justin still keeps managing to damage Calm's mutalisks in middle while rendering Calm's harass ineffective. Calm remains unperturbed as he also expands to one of the minerals next to double gas while also teching hive and starting to upgrade ground carapace. In order to make sure that his plan reaches fruition, Calm starts to add more sunks to prevent possibility of a sunk break. Greater Spire also starts morphing while another evolution chamber is thrown down for melee attack upgrades. Calm also starts a nydus canal at his double gas. Calm is clearly prepared for everything or so he thinks.
Knowing what's going on, Justin starts making wraiths out three starports in order to stop the guardians. He also manages to lay siege to Calm's natural as Greater Spire finishes. Desperately trying to buy more time, Calm makes more sunkens as he clearly believes that he just needs to survive this and game is surely his. Ultralisk Cavern and Defiler Mound are also made at this time. By this point, Justin has managed to kill most sunken colonies with siege tanks and wraiths have kept guards at bay for now. Not giving up so easily, Calm starts to morph mutalisks into devourers to hold back the wraiths from killing his own guardians. Justin eventually manages to kill the guards, hatchery, sunkens and nydus but gets driven back.
Expanding to minonly closest to Calm and teching to vessel are next two thoughts running through Justin's head. Needing that necessary fourth gas, Calm remakes the hatchery at his natural along with a nydus canal. As he clearly has not been aggressive enough already, Justin loads up three dropships that unfortunately managed to get spotted by a zergling. One dropship is taken down by muta/devourer but two still manage to land in his minonly. While Calm takes care of that, two more dropships land in Calm's main while another reinforces. This causes Calm to lose almost every one of his remaining guardians as well as his spawning pool. At this point, one of the few things going for him is that defilers are finally out.
Wanting to continue his advantage as well as establish a much needed third gas, Justin tries to expand to the other main but a ling spots and Justin has to cancel. Sadly for him, he expands to his other minonly while dismayed at the lack of gas. Continuing with the dropship play, Justin stops mining at 11. With his 3 starports, Justin managed to get an impressive vessel count out of nowhere. These vessels then proceed to irradiate anything and everything by Calm's ramp. However, Justin was a bit sloppy in losing a few to scourge/spore colonies. A massive mnm blob then goes in on Calm's nat while being sieged outside of it. While this is going on, Justin sent more marines to stop mining yet again at 11. They then manage to do so after killing the lone guard there.
Finally, Calm gets some dark swarm out and stops his natural from dying for now. Despite that, Justin dropped one tank and a few marines behind the minerals of Calm's other minonly and take it out. To make matters even worse, Justin mass irradiated Calm yet again and also kills every sunken colony along with the nydus colony. The only thing saving Calm at the moment is dark swarm. However, Justin has already started to mass produce firebats. These firebats kill the defiler while laughing at Calm's defense. Another defiler gets irradiated but only manages to get one swarm off before a tank snipes it. With this, Justin just runs past and destroys Calm's natural hatchery along with the drones there. Once mnm start entering and wrecking his main, Calm gg's.
Justin was clearly way ahead of his opponent today as he knew exactly what Calm would do and counters for everything that he would do. In addition, Justin showed that sometimes it is indeed better for a map to not favor your own race or you end up in a situation like Calm did today. Justin's build was really intelligent that showed some nice transitions while remaining one step ahead of Calm.
Righto. If you've noticed, this week's update is a little sparse, but rest assured that it's all intentional. We're heading into a lull week in games and there is content being prepared for it to keep you well fed and happy. Surely the TSL deserves some attention, yes? Speaking of well fed, how have you nerds been doing on FPL? The league's protege IntoTheWow looks at what's what in imaginary land.
Fantasy PL 09-10 Round 1 - Week 5
- Woongjin's star
Woongjin had to ace four times so far, and ZerO aced in every occasion. He's the top scorer so far with 41 points, followed by Flash with 32. Woongjin has less games left, but at the same time, ZerO's team has aced more times than T1, KT and Hite together. costing initially 3 points, ZerO might be the most expensive player in the next round.
- They Sea me rollin'
MBC's little player is 9-1 this round, with 2 ace appearances, and MBC didn't get to ace this week at all. Husky predicted it and those who believed now have nice trade gains.
- Mondo Bizarro
Almost nothing went as predicted in KT's match against T1. BeSt stopped Flash's streak, the PvZ Revolutionist was rammed by Luxury, HyuK fell to Violet's Maelstrom and T1 had to ace with fantasy due to map balance. How many upset do we have left?
- Dong give up on me!
Jaedong decides to score nine points one day and zero another. Not as bad as the past weeks, but still nothing according to his initial cost. Hwaseung's performance is directly proportional to Jaedong's.
- Liquid`Nazgul: Teamliquid founder, full-time poker player, part-time Sauron's immortal wraith, with the power of the eye to see it all, he's currently tied for the 9th spot.
+ Show Spoiler [Interview] +1. You are not as active on the forums as you once were. Do you follow Korean leagues? Did FPL change your Proleague viewing habits?
I'm quite active on the forums but maybe not so much in public. Most of my posts are within the multiple staff forums. I follow the Korean leagues whenever I'm awake I watch them live and if I missed them I'll look at the results mostly to see how I did with fantasy league.
I've been playing fantasy league for 3 seasons I think but it definitely increased my interest in PL.
2. You are currently tied at 9th place. Did you think you would get this far? What was your initial goal?
At all times my goal is to make it into that former top 10 list. That's what I'm going for. Anything less will result in more than one rage-ban.
3. KT, SKT, Hite and STX all have more remaining matches that the other teams. Most people in the top teams traded away players from those teams, but you still have Flash and Bisu in your squad. Do you think it will play that big of a role in the last weeks?
It will be very important. If Flash and Bisu perform up to par I think I'll end with a good ranking.
4. What is your biggest regret this round?
Going with Iris from the start. Not sure if this is just hindsight talk but probably should have looked for ways to create a team without him. Ruby would have been a good pick.
5. If you could change anything in Fantasy ProLeague, what would it be?
I like it a lot Hot_Bid and semioldguy have worked so hard on developing a good system for it I have no idea what could improve it at this point. If I did well let's say they would have heard it by now.
- SHr3DD3r, Let's start by introducing yourself:
"My name is Faizan Hussain, I am 19, male and from Karachi, Pakistan (yes that is right bub) - nice to meet you.
I joined TL 25 March 09. After I got back into Starcraft. I have been playing since Beta days on and off - so I still suck major Donkey bullocks."
+ Show Spoiler [Interview] +1. Bisu barely scored for his price and he's your captain. What do you regret more: being a T1 fan or a Protoss user?
I don't regret being either. But at the moment with the current maps and Bisu's recent losses to Zergs, he is struggling to be worth his high price. But I know eventually - actually soon enough he will repay me in kind xDD
2. You did some very good trades this round. You disposed of JangBi very fast. Did you have your eyes on Ruby from the drafting period?
Actually I did not - it had totally slipped my mind that Ruby was now in Ace and will be sent out more often during the drafting period. But thank God I realized that soon enough.
3. STX, Hite, KT and T1 have more remaining games than the other teams. Do you think it will play a big role or do you think the top 10 will stay more or less the same?
From the way Fantasy teams are structured at the moment - some of the top 5 teams may drop in the rankings due to Calm immensely large spectacles. And many did trade off these players in the earlier weeks - and might not get them back. But I know that some of the top Fantasy teams will suffer.
4. Regarding your initial team, what is your biggest regret?
Not having a KT player on my team... FFFFFUUUUUU
5. If you could change anything from FPL, what would it be?
Probably the anti-team scoring system - where your total team gets points if those players lose. But that might actually cause more problems - Overall FPL is great. It has drama, romance, comedy, horror and sometimes nudity.
- Kyuukyuu: With only 3 trades, KyuuKyuu managed to squeeze into the top 3 and is only nine points from the first spot.
+ Show Spoiler [Interview] +1. You moved up this week and you are currently placed #3. Did you ever think you would get this far?
Nope. My initial team, conceived the day the FPL thread was made, had a lot of the overhyped, low-cost failures - Iris, Yarnc, I even had BaBy. In fact, the main reason I was saved from this lineup was because of Hyuk; buying into his hype forced me to make some changes in my lineup and weed out the choices that would turn out to be total flops.
2. You have very few trades in your team, but you did trade away HyuK and KT Rolster. Overhyped?
Compared to last round, I'm already doing +50 better in trade gains!
When I saw Hyuk go down to Pure in the OSL, I felt his bonjwa days were over. Seriously though, Hyuk was on a great streak in the beginning (who predicted he would go 2-0 against JD and Effort?), but streaks are streaks, a dragon's a dragon and Hyuk is still pretty much Hyuk.
For KT, I was one of the many who jumped ship last week when no big name teams were playing. After considering Luxury's fail in both leagues, KT's remaining schedule, and CJ's remaining schedule, I felt CJ had an easier time left and foresaw KT becoming KTFail/Flash again. Of course that didn't happen, but I can still hope D:
3. Hite, KT, T1 and STX have more remaining games than the other teams. Do you think you can hold onto top 5? or the difference in games will play a big role in the final sprint?
My main goal really is to stay in the Top 10 to get the kitschy nerd cred that comes with being in the former top 10 group . The game differential will probably make a difference, but for many this probably means an extra 4 points from Flash or Bisu, and punishment for those guys with Calm anti. So top 5? Maybe not. Top 10? Hopefully :\.
4. You are a STX fan but you have no STX players in your team. Any reason?
Calm was my captain at first, but I switched him for Effort and STX for KT to accommodate Hyuk instead of Iris. As far as I can tell, that ended up working out pretty well.
tl;dr hyuk made my entire team successful
5. If you could change one thing about FPL, what would it be?
Skyhigh. Give him some pity points please?
Well, that's all we have for you this week! It was a great week, with some of the best games we've seen so far this season. If you're gonna skip a lot of them though, we at least encourage you to watch the SKT vs KT match. Watching it live was fantastic, but even if you missed it, the VODs are sure to get you hyped as well. Next week is a rest week for teams, since some of the top Koreans are at WCG, but the PL team will be here with some special content to keep you informed, entertained and off the streets! Have a good break TL, because when R1 returns, the race to the top is going to be more hectic than ever before.
This Proleague update was brought to you by Team Liquid's PL 2009-10 coverage team - riptide, heyoka and pangshai. Thanks to keit as usual for the stellar graphics, IntoTheWow for the FPL update and Harem for guest writing GOTW!