The Most Loathsome PatchZergs of All Time
Welcome to the Trivial Rank, the power rank for things that don't actually matter.
Today, I'm offering a companion piece to stuchiu’s meticulously researched “Greatest Players of All Time.” It’s quite similar, with just a little twist:
Here are the criteria I looked at for the rankings.
- Achievements as a PatchZerg.
- Lack of achievements as a SadZerg.
- Disgusting games that I can't erase from my memory, no matter how hard I try.
Got it? Here we go.
#14 to #11: The almost redeemables
Not all PatchZergs were born evil. Some of them hit a rough patch in their lives, fell in with the wrong crowd, and did nasty things they came to regret. Most people have found it in their hearts to forgive and accept them. Those people are better human beings than me.
Coming in at number fourteen is Leenock, who almost stayed off this list. Leenock is undoubtedly one of SC2's greats; he’s played in over a dozen Code S tournaments, won multiple championships around the world, and has been remarkably consistent over his six year career.
Yes, Leenock enjoyed a ton success during the BL-Infestor era, but unlike all the other scum on this ranking, he didn't need Brood Lord-Infestor for his greatest accomplishment: his championship run at MLG Providence 2011. There, in a pre-BL-Infestor meta, Leenock ran the open bracket gauntlet to claim the MLG title with his trademark, aggressive style.
Actually, now that I think about it, maybe Leenock is different from the others, and doesn't deserve to be listed...
Ugh, never mind.
Like Leenock, Symbol has had a long and successful career even without BL-Infestor. In fact, he’s one of the more creative and entertaining Zerg players we’ve seen in StarCraft 2; His expertise with Nydus Worms comes readily to mind.
Also like Leenock, Symbol was one of the most heinous BL-Infestor abusers in the entire world. Take a look at the most iconic, criminally evil PatchZerg games of all-time: many of them have Symbol’s name on it, signed in Protoss and Terran tears.
Due to his quiet demeanor and lack of interest in making headlines, VortiX is one of the most underrated pros in the foreign scene. But with consistently high placements in tournaments and numerous victories against top-tier Koreans, VortiX is undoubtedly one of the best foreigners to play StarCraft 2.
However, there’s no question that he was a PatchZerg during the best days of his career, which is a goddamn shame.
I've always had a soft-spot for everyone’s “favorite” Polish progamer. His ability to use his part-time status to both insult his opponents in victory and make excuses in defeat never fails to make me laugh. By embracing—perhaps even enjoying—his role as a villain, Nerchio has made the European scene a more vibrant, entertaining place.
Oh, he’s had a really solid StarCraft 2 career as well.
However, there was that one time he almost beat Mvp at IEM Cologne using BL Infestor, so fuck this guy.
#10 to #4: World Championship Series, Class of 2012
When the World Championship Series was announced in 2012, it promised to be the salvation of the foreign scene. By holding grassroots tournaments at the regional level, WCS aimed to give realistic targets to aspiring pros across the world and uncover local heroes. The hardworking foreign progamers who had been crushed under the bootheels of Koreans would finally have a chance to shine.
In reality, WCS 2012 ended up being the shitshow to end all PatchZerg shitshows. Korea was spared the plague due to the earlier scheduling of its qualifier. But in the rest of the world? The regional qualifiers taught us that years of practice and devotion didn’t matter against three months of learning BL-Infestor.
#10~8: Comm, MaFia, and KiLLeR
Just as Oceania, Latin America and China often receive charity seeds in esports competitions, they get welfare spots on this list as well.
Did you know ViBE won the WCS 2012 USA championship, and is thus the last American player to ever win a major tournament? Did you know his highest placing in any other major tournament was Ro32? Incidentally, ViBE is the only player on this list by request.
Back in 2012, TL placed the Belarusian Zerg 23rd on the WCS Europe 2012 Power Rank. Lowely made a strong run to finish in the top eight and proceeded to mock the Power Rank in an on-air interview. Hey Lowely, how’s progaming working out for you lately?
I just wanted to remind everyone *cough* DeMuslim *cough* that Ziktomini existed.
Legend has it that Slivko continued playing Brood Lord-Infestor several months into HotS as the release of the expansion was delayed severely in his part of Russia. Of course, it’s almost certain that such a ridiculous story is completely made up. Right? RIGHT?
#3: The Master
Those who could tolerate watching 2013 GSL Season 1 (the final season played in Wings of Liberty) witnessed BL-Infestor in its final, most repugnant form. At the forefront was RorO, the last and greatest master of the dread composition.
As one of the KeSPA players who had transitioned to StarCraft 2 in 2012, RorO adapted much more quickly to the new game than his peers. In particular, he had an uncanny talent for the shadowy arts. By 2013, he had surpassed even the eSF Zergs who had honed their craft for years, and seized the final Wings of Liberty trophy with his foul, fungal grasp.
Though RorO was the player who played BL-Infestor the best, I can’t give him the #1 spot because he was actually a good player in other eras. He was a solid-but-inconsistent player for years in Brood War, and remained a top SC2 Zerg for a few months after HotS was released. He may even have gone on to be a champion again if he had not slowly lost interest and retired from progaming.
#2 to #1: The Legends
Ah, JonnyRecco. In terms of games won, Terran/Protoss players eliminated, and injustices perpetrated, there are plenty of Zergs who should be more reviled.
Yet, no one embodies the idea of a PatchZerg as perfectly as JonnyRecco.
The sixteen year-old Zerg appeared from out of thin air in the summer of 2012 and grabbed our attention for a few short months. He arrived just in time to crash TeamLiquid Starleague 4, one of the most anticipated tournaments of the year. There, he scored a massive upset against NaNiwa (the #1 or #2 foreigner at the time) in the Ro32, and defeated MajOr (who was coming off an upset of his own against HyuN) in the Ro16. Even though he was eliminated by Korean Terran Keen in the quarter-finals, JonnyRecco had piqued everyone's interest.
Of course, if JonnyRecco had gone on to achieve success afterward, he wouldn’t be the legend, the meme he is today. Instead, by ruining TSL4, getting everyone's hopes up about a new foreign hope, and subsequently disappearing forever,* JonnyRecco became the immortal symbol of the PatchZerg.
*Yes, I'm fully aware he's played hundreds of tournaments games ever since.
This section was written by special guest stuchiu
I can say with absolute certainty that in the entirety of StarCraft 2, there never has been, nor will there ever be an entity of such pure evil as Sniper. Some may point to Maru banishing Myungsik to the shadow realm, or Choya’s infiltration of Prime in order to poach their best players for Team MVP. But when it comes to inflicting purely personal, emotional, and soul-rending pain, none have ever touched upon the greatness of Sniper.
Team SlayerS was one of the most beloved teams in SC2 history, but suffered the harsh fate of disbandment. On SlayerS' last night in the GSTL, it seemed that Yugioh would pull off a miracle and let them go out with a victory. But Sniper was having none of it. He went on to all-kill the Slayers team, in the process ending Brown’s whole career, starting Arthur's downward spiral into infinite sadness, and making Eve cry.
Sniper topped himself not long after when he faced Ryung in the Code S semi-finals in Las Vegas. Torturing Ryung until he screamed "IMBA" with his dying breath, Sniper killed off the dream of a TvZ GSL finals between Ryung and HyuN. Sniper proceeded to destroy the fan-favorite HyuN in a one-sided grand finals, sucking all the joy out of Las Vegas and replacing it with the bleakness of Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Not one to lay off the evil, Sniper even had the audacity to call out those who criticized him for being overrated and abusing BL-Infestor to conquer the GSL. Of course, he fell off a cliff the second BL-Infestor died, dropping out of Code S entirely and playing in just two Code A tournaments after.
These days, Sniper entertains himself by ruining Heroes of the Storm. Last year, he deceived the Chinese team DK into sponsoring his squad. Sniper's team then upset the presumptive Korean favorites MVP Black to win a trip to BlizzCon. Then, in the culmination of Sniper's master plan, Team DK lost to America's Cloud 9 at the 2015 World Championships, thus inflicting maximum humiliation on both Korea and China. Team DK subsequently withdrew their support, ruining any chance of a Korean team receiving a Chinese sponsorship in the future. [Wax: This may not be an entirely accurate account.]
Dishonorable mentions/almost made the cut
SortOf: I told you, this list is biased.
Sheth: Now that he plays Heroes of the Storm, is it okay to remind you guys that he was a PatchZerg?
Annyung: There’s not much to say about Annyung; I just wanted an excuse to mention this game:
Stephano: One of the most loathsome things about PatchZergs was that they were imitators and not innovators. That’s not a critique you can make about Stephano. The debauched genius laid the very foundations for BL-Infestor himself, pioneering the Zergling-Infestor style that would later evolve into something far more sinister.
While some might say this incriminates Stephano, I think he deserves a pass. When Stephano developed the lingfestor style, he was just trying to find innovative ways to win. That was the same kind of attitude that led to his Hydra-Roach style of ZvT and Roach-max in ZvP. Both strategies were effective, but neither was game-breaking.
But those guys who copied BL-Infestor after they knew it was overpowered? Every single one of them was literally trying to kill StarCraft 2.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to tell us how much we suck at: SaintSnorlax and TLstuchiu
And if you're reading this Slivko, please don't hurt us.