This week the 1-0 players battled for instant advancement to the next round, avoiding a do or die game next week. Every week the MSL is showing us fantastic gamers, I really think their format is superior to the OSL. If you have any questions about the MSL format, or want to catch up on something you missed, check out jkillashark’s post here. Hopefully the games continue to be good. Here we go!
Group A: Savior aka The Maestro vs Yellow[Name] aka Crazy on Blitz
Savior has been on fire, and his selection of three Sparkyz players in the same group has turned some opinions against him. Terato put up little fight against him, and eventually failed 0-2. The winning Sparky, Yellow[Name], vowed revenge in this game. Let’s check out the action.
Savior sports an MSL record of 47-21, winning at a rate only ever surpassed by Iloveoov in his prime. His experience easily dwarfed YName’s record of 7-5. In addition, YName has only won 25% of his ZvZ. However, he had something to prove and he started at 1 with the manly purple zerg. Light pooled after his second overlord, and took his gas faster than Savior. Both players expanded to their naturals after their pool, but Savior made a crucial mistake. He tried to defend his expansion with sunkens in order to get a faster lair. YName simply ran by the morphing sunkens, and tore up the drone line.
With a superior economy, a slightly slower spire was no problem for YName. He kept Savior busy in his base, dancing with his speedlings as his own production remained untouched. Savior tried to counter, but YName predicted the move perfectly, and Savior GG’ed before seeing a muta.
Yellow[Name] > Savior
Yellow[Name] moves on to the next round while Savior will go up against BiFrost in the loser’s final. Savior will have to go find his brain after a horrid selection of strategy.
Group B: The Emporer vs Silver aka Cannon Fodder on Longinus
So what does Silver have to go up against? The greatest player ever, playing in his last tournament ever, on a map that is 5:1 TvZ. Good Luck junior!
Boxer opened at 11, while Silver spawned at 3. Cue the Trademark. Boxer raxed first and sent out a scout to find his zerg opponent. Silver took his expo first, and was forced to rally his drones to fight off the first scv. Boxer came back with a couple rines and more scv, and the bunker was put in place. One sunken fell, and unexplainably Silver rallied all his units directly to the bunker. After losing all of his lings and half his drones, Silver managed to send Boxer back home. He had no lair or sunkens yet, while Boxer had expanded in the midterm. GG? Well, Silver is a keener and tried to make a game of it.
Boxer, seeing a lack of sunken coverage with a scout, tried to stim his way past the defense with his first MM group. Silver blocked the potential checkmate with his drones, but it cost him his entire natural economy. Boxer sent another four marines from his base, and his stranded medics from the first attack met up with them allowing two marines to stim past the sunks. Silver AGAIN had to defend with drones and a couple hydras. Boxer smirked and put on a two marine clinic, splattering drones with his two brave soldiers. This was getting embarrassing now as Boxer was pumping from three rax and two factories.
Silver tried to gain back some ground with a slow lurker drop, but a perfectly placed turret and a couple tanks stopped that in its tracks. As soon as Boxer had a vessel out, he moved forward with his army and although Silver had teched to defilers, irradiate took care of that foolishness. Another failed drop led to a GG from Silver, and Boxer finished on top in his group, and on top of the BW world.
Boxer > Silver
Indeed, this was classic Boxer. All the tricks were there, the outstanding micro, the unrivaled game sense, the sexy style. Unfortinately, it was also his last league game. It was announced that despite being 2-0, his draft date is before the end of the tournament, so he has forfeited his spot. You can read about that and it’s tournament implications here. Don’t worry though, he got a big cake.
Group C: Jju aka Big Mouth vs Daezang aka CowBoy killer on Arcadia 2
Arcadia has the potential of being the most unbalanced map since Mercury, but I am not really sure why. On OGN, this map is a staggering 13-2 for zerg vs T and P. Considering Jju think ZvP is not worth practice, he definitely has the map to back him up. However, Daezang has already beat one tough zerg player in ChoJJa, so could he shock the world again?
At 11, Daezang opened with a fast expo build which is easily the most common build for protoss players in PvZ these days. Jju was at 1 and his overlords moved the wrong way as he took both of his own expansions. Daezang teched quickly, defending with a single cannon and blocking his choke with a gate and core. His stargate and robotics facility warped in beside each other, and reaver support was added with yet another stargate. As Jju started his lair and built hydras, he underestimated the protoss air power and it cost him several overlords. With air +1 researched, Daezang had gotten off to a great start.
His great start hit a hiccup as the first speed shuttle and reaver was lost for nothing, but Jju was lethargic this game. He had built mass hydralisks, but could not really attack, so instead tried to control more of the map. He expanded down the right side while trying to prevent daezang from attacking with his ever growing rever/sair. However, Daezang was on a mission, and dweb helped Daezang raid the zerg main and expand to 9 at the same time. With his great mobility, Daezang obliterated two expansions at 5 and continued to roam the map as Jju morphed devourers. Holding three expansions and looking for more at 7, Daezang took complete control of the game. His sairs dominated the skies and a never ending stream of reavers poured from three robotic’s facilities.
After losing his main to reavers, Jju re-established himself at 7, but had a long ways to go to regain his tech. Daezang had mined out all expansions at 11, but had taken 12 and 9. Things became close at the end as Jju threw everything at 12 and stalled mining for a long time. However, there was no way he could defend himself at 5, and Daezang repeatedly abused him there. Finally, Jju could no longer fight effectively, and punched out a GG.
Daezang > Jju
Daezang deservedly moves onto the next round, while Jju will have to fight ChoJJa in the losers final.
Group D: The Perfect Terran vs Genius Terran Peaks
While Pantech has been stinking up the ProLeague, NaDa has qualified for the major individual tournaments again, and he has been on fire. In a battle of two comeback terrans, who would take the group’s title between NaDa and Xellos? To the tape!
The CJ star Xellos opened at the top, while NaDa, who is blossoming into womanhood nicely, started at the bottom. Xellos, showing his gigantic strategy balls, expanded quickly after his first factory, which was exposed by a FLOATING BUILDING HOLY SHIT! I never knew buildings could fly. Anyways, NaDa had also expanded, and both players engaged with their early vults. Nothing of any consequences came of the early engagements, which all featured slow vultures. Both players upgraded their vults and added an armory and academy.
While NaDa filled the map with mines with his large vulture force, Xellos built a dropship to halt an expo attempt at 7. In retaliation, Nada countered with vultures in Xello’s main using the unwatched back ramp. Xellos evened it up by re-dropping his vultures at NaDa’s main and natural. Both players then moved out their tank armies and split the map in half, taking advantage of narrow passage ways and numerous ramps.
At this point Xellos was ahead, having both his corner expo and 2 o’clock. NaDa was slower to expand, and also had far fewer factories. However, TvT movement on this map is virtually impossible, so he had ample time to catch up. Both players built up their dropship fleets and collided in the middle when Xellos tried to push forward. The resulting battle was equally devastating, and both players went back to scoop up reinforcements.
COOVUUUUT OOOOPSUUU!!! Came the cry, as Xellos’s tech was revealed to the crowd. Nothing had happened for 15 minutes, so I guess they had to be excited about something. NaDa finally tried the same trick Xellos had earlier, by sending forward hapless scv followed by tanks. But again, both sides responded with their dropship forces, and it came to nothing. Finally, after repeated dropship pushes, Xellos was able to take position over one highland overlooking the 10 mineral only. Would this move make a difference?
Apparently yes. Through multiple encounters Xellos had been able to keep his dropships alive longer, and produce more troops. With NaDa running low on minerals, he was unable to respond with equal force, and he was forced to counter rather than defend. As is usually the case, this strategy failed as Xellos scrambled units back to defend his scv line. Losing more and more of the map, NaDa tried to mount a couple more offensives but was outgunned at every turn. Xellos massed up a doom drop and advanced to the next round.
Xellos > NaDa
So, next week features four do or die matches, including games with the Dreamer, Savior, ChoJJa and NaDa. As always, you can watch these games by downloading them from the tracker.