This weekend an amazing thing happened: we played the TSL3 Round of 8. As with every weekend of TSL, the games were pretty damn good. Artosis joined djWheat and Chill to give us some of the best commentary yet, while we watched the likes of BW legend Boxer play in the same weekend as reigning MLG champion NaNiwa.
Now we're here to share our recaps and interviews, with you, our loyal fans.
T1 Empire.Kas < Xel'Naga Caverns > Mill.Adelscott P7 Our only all-European duel of the RO8 kicks off on Xel’Naga Caverns between Kas and Adelscott. Nothing out of the ordinary in the first three minutes of the game until Kas is first to deviate by skipping the usual first marine to attach a tech lab for a reaper instead. The reaper thankfully does not have to match itself against a stalker, and is able to pick off a zealot + probe before it meets its time. Kas’s CC is miles ahead of Adelscott’s nexus, but with Adel’s 3 gate pressure delays the expansion, ultimately giving Adelscott a huge economic lead. With his spider senses tingling, Adelscott remove the stalkers from the front line to catch a drop, and that is exactly what he did. Seeing that he has delayed it long enough, Adelscott pulls back to his own natural. Kas hasn’t just been sitting in his base doing nothing, as a third CC finishes and is now heading to the gold.
Waiting any longer would allow Kas to shoot ahead in income, and Adelscott moves up the right side of the map. With force fields, Adelscott’s zealots maul through the front line, but Adel cannot overcome the food difference and is pushed back with minimal micro from Kas. A pylon sees that Kas is trying to expand to the 3 o’ clock base, and Kas takes the opportunity to stim in and blow up Adel’s gold base + natural, also getting a free colossus in the process. Adelscott is severely supply capped, and the battle at his natural has a 60 food difference in favor of Kas, and Kas stomps Adelscott in a dominating fashion in game 1 of our best of 5. [17:51]
T12 Empire.Kas < Terminus RE > Mill.Adelscott P6 Players fast expand behind their first unit producing structure, as vertical positions on Terminus RE is one of the longest travel distances in the current tournament map pool. Adelscott makes the first move, looking to be aggressive off of 3 warp gates. He catches the bunker seconds before it goes up, and is able to force Kas to abandon his natural for the time being. Seeing that most of Adelscott’s units were at the front of his base, Kas loads up two medivacs heading south, dealing a fair amount of damage before Adel could successfully deflect the drop. Kas tests Adelscott’s ability to multitask, dropping both his main and the third, but Adel easily cleans up with an overwhelming amount of units. As soon as Adelscott moves out, Kas again moves in with 2 medivacs to his third, but Adel is committed to his 2-2 timing attack, sacrificing his third and going for a frontal bust. Kas does not have enough units to hold his front even with dozens of SCVs repairing, and Adelscott evens up the series one apiece. [16:11]
T1 Empire.Kas < Crevasse > Mill.Adelscott P7 Kas stays true to his reaper into FE build, which is a wise choice for another cross positioned spawn against Adelscott. The distance between the opposing base allows both players to cut corners and tech up extremely fast, with Adelscott pumping out his third colossus and Kas lining up two drops and a third CC by the 10 minute mark. Adelscott catches glimpses of the drops and eliminates the threat, while moving towards the center of the map. Adel needs to slow down Kas’s third and grab his own, but Kas knows there is imminent danger and begins fortifying his third. Adel abuses the range on the colossi to damage Kas’s bunkers, but Kas is not one to feel pressured, answering with his own vikings to slowly drain the colossi’s shields. Adelscott indecisively moves back and forth before committing to an attack, losing a few zealot meatshields from MM volleys. While the colossus is slowly melting away Kas’s army, Adelscott lets his macro slip and simply cannot resupply fast enough given Kas’s defender’s advantage.
Adelscott’s third is awfully late, and thankfully for him, Kas is supply blocked for a good 30 seconds, giving him enough time to run back his gateway units. Adelscott always look to be on the offensive, but Kas breaks down the backdoor rocks to walk around him and straight to the heart of Adel’s main. Adelscott refuses to enter a base trade scenario and rushes back to defend his base. By the time Adel got back to his base, both of his fully functioning nexuses have been sniped, and Kas pulls back with minimal losses, with his fourth almost ready to go. Adelscott gears up for one final push. Kas sits comfortably at max with 2-2 upgrades, while Adel is limping around 160 food. Kas stims in and while force fields slow down the massacre, they cannot delay the inevitable and Adelscott’s army simply evaporates, ending the game. [23:05]
T1 Empire.Kas < Tal'Darim Altar > Mill.Adelscott P5 No reason to change a winning formula as Kas fast expands once again, this time slightly behind Adelscott’s own second nexus. Adelscott forces bunkers from his early 3 gate aggression, expanding again behind it and already has a forge spinning away at those upgrades, with armor first in line. A lone medivac skirts along the edge of the map, but it does not get past Adelscott’s watchful eyes and is picked off, losing a full load of units. Although given ample time, Adelscott sticks to gateway units for a long period of time. Kas prepares a three-pronged attack, dropping both the main and the third while marching in front. Adelscott tries his best to bring things under control, but narrowly could not tidy up the medivac in his main base, forcing him to temporarily lay off his probes. Adelscott counterattacks, but his force field placement in turn puts him in a disadvantageous position. Kas brings his SCVs for a surround, and once again Adel’s dubious force fields limited the surface area for his zealots, plummeting his supply in the engagement. Kas swings forward and chase after Adel, and this time it is he who faces a flank, with +2 armored zealots dashing forward and slicing down Kas’s army.
Adelscott rounds the back to try and snipe Kas’s third base, but a sensor tower comes up just in time to warn Kas of the incoming attack, and Adelscott is denied. Adelscott marches into the natural instead, and catches the SCVs transferring over to the third base. The zealots waste their charge on the SCVs, and Adelscott does not have enough sentries to force field Kas’s maxed MMM army. Half of Adelscott’s army is fighting Kas’s, while the other half are removed from the fight, deciding to chew through the SCVs instead. While both players deal an enormous amount of damage to each other, Kas’s SCVs can be replenished with MULEs, but Adelscott’s deathball is looking very thin. Adelscott continuously plays cat and mouse with Kas’s army, but his army is slowly withering away. Adelscott parks the remnants of his army in the middle of his two running bases, in fear of an attack from either end. Kas storms into the third, snipes the nexus, and relentlessly chase after Adelscott’s weaker army. Stim after stim and even force field cannot stop Kas right now, as Kas’s giant army more than doubles Adel’s food, and after a feverish chase around the map, and with the very last stalkers of his disintegrated, Adelscott wishes Kas the best of luck in the TSL3 semifinals. [28:29]
The match begins with a bit of a bang. Thorzain builds a CC at his natural after a tech lab and 1 marine, while MC feigns something akin to 1gate expo. When the SCV in his base is killed, he immediately plops down a twilight counsel and then a nexus, signaling dark templars.
The first DT is met with marauder fire insantly as it tries to enter the natural, thanks to a turret in front. MC prepares a second wave by constructing a warp prism to get around the annoying detector. He warps several more into Thorzain's main directly, again unable to do any real damage but buying time to start his 3rd nexus. As the first force is cleared out, Thorzain moves out mid map and is pushed back when his army trades with the Protoss force.
He readies his own third command center and prepares for endgame with double upgrades from engineering bays, while MC builds up colossus numbers. The armies once again clash in the center, MC getting the worst of it and retreating after his colossus are all wiped away from viking fire. When Thorzain pushes into the bottom half of the map and kills the Protoss third, MC tries for a last stand flank to kill the army. His 1-0 units are quickly taken care of by the now 2-2 marauders-medivac force and he types out GG. [19:23]
Game 2 begins as non-standard as the first, with MC building a stargate immediately as the scouting worker is killed and Thorzain once again choosing CC after tech lab. The first voidray of MC stops a constructing barracks and allows him to warp in his second nexus. Showing only 1 void ray, he silently builds another 4 in the back of his base.
After Thorzain kills the first, he marches over to MC's base with his initial marine-marauder army to do some damage. He is met by 4 void rays and a handful of sentry-stalker, where he is able to stop the ground army but kills no void rays. MC decides to pressure this time, harassing over the cliff with void rays and pressuring the front with stalkers and sentries.
After trapping a number of marines to the edge of the ramp with forcefields, MC pulls back and starts to warp in a third nexus while making a templar archives. Thorzain follows suit and takes his third as well. The armies meet mid map, storm is unable to contain the now 2-2 marine-marauder force and game 2 ends similar to the last one: with Thorzain's upgraded army marching through MC's land forces for the GG. [19:33]
Down 2 games, MC chooses an aggressive 3 gate opening, warping in a series of stalkers right into Thorzain's natural as he attempts a very fast banshee. 5 marines are not enough to stop his first force, and they march right on past the bunker and begin battling SCVs. Thorzain's banshee eventually finishes, and stops the bleeding but not before losing a large chunk of his worker forces. MC makes a nexus as he stops the attack and switches to macro-toss.
Thorzain attempts to get back into the game by harassing with 2 banshees, but is unable to kill any workers. Now down a base for several minutes, he attempts a strong midgame attack with 4 tanks, 4 banshees, marines, and a handful of SCVs to get back into the game. He kills MC's first army, but as he works on the expansion nexus an immortal finishes and a round of stalkers kill what he has and push him back. Thorzain taps out. [12:50]
Game 4 opens with MC choosing 15 nexus, while Thorzain once again makes a command center after marauder. MC ramps up to 4 gateways and prepares to go on the offensive with a forward pylon. Thanks to bunkers and pulling SCVs extremely early, Thorzain holds without many losses, MC starts a third nexus while he retreats.
Building 2 ebays, Thorzain gets his army to 1-1 before launching an assault on MC's natural from behind the cliffs, and succeeds in killing a pylon and assimilator. As he pulls back, MC finishes templar tech and begins warping in high templars. The armies dance around the center briefly as MC finishes both charge and blink, while Thorzain populates his newly finished third MC starts in on a 4th.
The first mid-map engagement goes to Thorzain slightly, as his now 2-2 marine-marauder-ghost army stops the 1-0 of MC, but just barely. He attempts to move to MC's 4th but is shut down, while MC pumps out a huge number of immortals from 3 robotics facilities. The armies continue to dance in the center, with MC getting a slight advantage from each scuffle.
As a PF is constructed at a 4th, Thorzain also takes the liberty of floating over to a 5th. MC pushes straight into the heart of Thorzain's space and takes his own 5th. When Thorzain attempts to sideswipe the Protoss army, the immortals cut through his primarily marauder force with ease. MC stops the Terran 5th from mining, and as Thorzain's army moves to clean up that expansion the main Protoss force destroys the PF where Terran's 4th is. Back at home, MC is switching to colossus and meeting up with his main army.
Thorzain moves to the bottom of the map with marines and marauders that are now 3-3, and cleans up a sizable colossus-immortal-stalker ball that tries to flank. After killing the base there, he loads up his medivacs and goes to work on the Protoss main, where he is stopped by a swarm of stalkers and zealots.
Shortly thereafter, Thorzain cleans up the 5th base of MC's while MC in turn kills a base of Thorzain's, the one where his original main command center floated to. The armies then spend several minutes rallying into the center and trading, MC mixing in dark templars and Thorzain cloaking ghosts for EMP and sniping. After a dozen small clashes, MC is able to muster up several storms and a few colossus which turn the tide, and as he runs through the map to Thorzain's base he lays the GG. [36:36]
The deciding game of the series opens with a safe gate-robo-gate from MC, making a nexus as he scouts Thorzain's base. Thorzain decides for a command center after factory, securing his base with a tank. MC continues with a stargate and a few phoenixes, while Thorzain looks to show people what he can do with mech as he builds a fast armory and begins his first thor.
When MC's phoenixes see the thors, he begins a third nexus on the bottom corner of the map. Thorzain builds a banshee and attempts to harass, to no avail as stalkers are warped in and phoenixes finish it off. MC scouts Thorzain landing a third command center, and tries to cut it off with his army but thors and hellions walk down in time to push the Protoss force away.
As the Thor, tanks, vikings, and hellions march down the map MC prepares for the assault. He brings high templars and begins to hallucinate what looks like a huge immortal army, but Thorzain spots the fakes with a scan as he readies his attack. Thorzain takes the battle with relative ease, thanks to an impressive 7 thors and scans to spot which units are real.
His first stop is at MC's third, where Protoss is unable to create enough stalkers and zealots to stop the mech units from killing his base, and then when it marches into his natural he is forced to type out. Thorzain marches into the semifinals thanks to an unstoppable series of thors. [19:30]
The match starts with a proxy pylon from Cruncher in between the two possible spawn points from Naniwa. He builds 2 gateways, both on 10 and begins chrono-ing out zealots as soon as possible. Nani's scout probe finds them and responds by adding a second gateway oh his own, pulling probes from gas to prepare defense.
When the first 3 zealots arrive at Naniwa's base, he is forced to pull several probes to defend. Thanks to the workers, he is able to quickly equalize the numbers and from there it is a short road to victory with a superior probe count. [8:02]
Game 2 begins off-kilter as well, with a 3 gate-robotics opening from Naniwa and a stargate after 3 gates on Cruncher's side, which immediately begins producing phoenixes. Naniwa makes an extremely fast colossus, while Cruncher begins harassing with his fliers. After some poking and prodding, the initial phoenix force takes down the first colossus as Cruncher takes his natural.
This prompts an attack from Naniwa, which is met with cruncher's growing ground army and held back with ease. The MLG champion expands as well, but continued phoenix annoyances keep his probe count far below Cruncher's, who has a natural up and running. Knowing he is far ahead in workers, Cruncher builds double robo and switches into colossus production while taking the base at 12 o'clock.
When the two armies eventually meet, Cruncher has 9 colossus and it is a trivial matter for him to walk over Naniwa's forces. [20:51]
The third game starts with a familiar PvP scene: 4 gate from Cruncher and blink stalkers from Naniwa. The players dance around in the center with their initial forces, with neither coming out ahead. While Nani continues to build up his blink stalker numbers, Cruncher opts to build a robo and a forge and dig in.
Cruncher builds 2 cannons at the entrance to his base, and Naniwa walks past them as they are warping forcing Cruncher to pull some probes. The blinking stalkers are coming out ahead slightly in the stalker micro battle, but when an immortal shows up Nani is forced to retreat and regroup.
The blink stalkers harass the front, eliminating both cannons without losses due to their ability to transcend space and time. As the armies continue to skirmish, Cruncher's non-blinking stalkers are eliminated one by one until the immortals are easily focused down and he is forced to GG. [12:02]
Game 4 opens with 4 gate against 4 gate. The first battles see Nani come out on top slightly, eeking out a small advantage in stalker numbers. As Nani approaches the heart of Cruncher's base he pulls probes to drive back their advances.
Able to keep Cruncher on the back foot, Nani builds up a slight advantage in army and then builds a nexus. Cruncher, in turn, gets a robotics and heads towards clossus production. With his first colossus he moves out and establishes himself in the center of the map. When the second moseys out he approaches the front of Nani's forces and readies himself to push in, and right as the third lumbering giant gathers up to his army the attack begins.
3 colossus triumph over blink stalkers, and the series is off to a deciding game. [16:56]
Game 5 begins the same way: 4 gate vs 4 gate. The early skirmishes once again see Naniwa coming out slightly ahead, showing the incredible micro that won him MLG Dallas. His supply lead continues to mount as Cruncher warps in a robo, while Nani keeps making units.
Nani walks across the map and puts on some pressure, where he is stopped at the ramp by several forcefields in succession. Eventually the forcefields stop, and the game is quickly won when Naniwa marches up the ramp and finds no immortal. [8:32]
P1 mouz.HasuObs < Crevasse > SlayerS_BoxeR T7 BoxeR makes a reaper to scout HasuObs’s base, but doesn’t get as much as he’d like out of the reaper. Both backdoor expansions are slowly kicking in, and BoxeR is pumping out units from 3 barracks (1 reactor/2 tech lab) while Hasu has three warp gates and a robo. As soon as his first medivac pops out, BoxeR sends a small force over to Hasu’s base, carefully scanning and picking off observers along the way. Hasu is ready for the drop and BoxeR pulls away as soon as the stalkers came into sight. Both players stay toe to toe in supply and feel confident enough to take a third. The armies are at adjacent Xel’Naga towers, and as soon as BoxeR moves his ground units up the ramp, Hasu immediately sieze the opporturnity to force field, cutting off BoxeR’s retreat path and begin thermal lancing the clumped up Terran ball. Boxer manages to land one EMP before all of his troops were melted down, but losing half of his army in exchange is somewhat costly. Hasu chases BoxeR back to BoxeR’s front natural, forcing the CC to lift and the SCVs mining at the base suffer civilian casualty as they try to escape . Vikings slowly work down the colossus number, and the angle favors BoxeR, forcing Hasu to pull back and regroup. BoxeR tries to sneak a CC up to start a fourth base, but Hasu is alerted and hops down the ramp to snipe the floating CC. BoxeR sees that Hasu is transferring probes to another base, but cannot foolishly engage as his scan reveals that Hasu has added high templars into the mix.
Once maxed, HasuObs moves his army up the ramp. Blinking back stalkers so the zealots can get in, storms begin to rain down on BoxeR’s army, and EMP could not cover every single templar. Hasu was able to push BoxeR back into his natural, but SCVs join the fray to soak up zealot damage, allowing BoxeR to hold for the second time this game. BoxeR tries to sneak a squad to the top left corner of the map to do some damage, but once again Hasu demonstrates the importance of Xel’Naga Towers and catches BoxeR red-handed. Now nearly double BoxeR’s supply, Hasu moves in with his heavy zealot/templar army, cleverly lining up the templars atop the cliff so they don’t get EMP’d. The sheer amount of units this time around is too much even for the Emperor, and Hasu breaks the natural the third time around to clinch the crucial game one. [24:29]
P11 mouz.HasuObs < Tal'Darim Altar > SlayerS_BoxeR T1 BoxeR pressures early to slow down Hasu’s nexus, and capitalizes by getting his CC down much quicker. Yet minutes later, it is BoxeR’s passivity that allows Hasu to take his third earlier. BoxeR looks to deal some damage by setting up below Hasu’s natural, but Hasu already had units atop ready in position to deal with any sort of harassment. Both players are reluctant to engage until max, and BoxeR is keeping up with his upgrades a bit more consistently, with 2 engineering bays to Hasu’s one forge. Hasu moves into the position, taking advantage of BoxeR rearing his whole army to take out a pesky pylon. BoxeR sends in cloaked ghosts to get in range to EMP Hasu’s army, but to little effect as the formidable Protoss deathball is already chewing through BoxeR’s army. Not taking the risk to end the game at this very second, Hasu pulls back to max out once again, giving BoxeR some breathing room to muster up another army of his own. Needing to clear up some supply, BoxeR rallies his SCVs towards Hasu, while Hasu trades in to the Aiur shop his zealots to purchase some new high templars.
The armies meet at the southern Xel’naga Tower, with BoxeR cloaking in and lands a vital EMP on all the high templars. Unfortunately, BoxeR could not make the most of his opportunity, losing out the big battle due to poor positioning. BoxeR sends all his sickly marauders to snipe the bottom left expansion of Hasu. Instead of trying to salvage his bases, Hasu heads the other way, opting for a base trade scenario instead. BoxeR chases Hasu after sniping two nexuses, dealing with Hasu’s lucrative income somewhat. Hasu has 4k/4k in the bank, and is sitting on top of BoxeR’s production facilities. All of BoxeR’s marauders are in the red, and are dying to single swipes from a stealthy dark templar. While BoxeR successfully nullifies all the high templars again, the weakened marauders cannot deal enough damage before they die. With all his buildings gone, BoxeR hangs on by the skin of his teeth, only to see Hasu once again max and mercilessly ravage through BoxeR’s final base, sending BoxeR to the brink of elimination. [36:27]
P7 mouz.HasuObs < Xel'Naga Caverns > SlayerS_BoxeR T1 While BoxeR had made his second CC much quicker than Hasu’s nexus, his decision to tech up delayed it quite a bit, giving Hasu the economic advantage instead. BoxeR is constantly splitting up his forces to catch Hasu off-guard, and the relentless drops and diversion tactics slowly chip away Hasu, losing pylons and units everywhere. The sudden supply cap forces Hasu to move out, and BoxeR halts all mining at his gold to prevent any further damage. Keeping Hasu at bay, BoxeR sends half a dozen units down the right side of the map, and successfully snipes Hasu’s third nexus. Unfortunately, those units do not live to see another day. Hasu’s main objective is try to deny BoxeR his gold. From storming the mineral line to nonstop pokes with colossi, BoxeR has a hard time saturating his mineral line.
As Boxer moves down the map, Hasu wastes no time and instantly takes down the gold, while Boxer collects Hasu’s third unopposed. This time, it is Hasu who pulls back to defend, wedging in BoxeR’s army at that very same base. BoxeR’s ghosts save the day, rendering high templars useless with EMPs. BoxeR pushes Hasu back, but is falling behind economically, as Hasu has gotten his 9 o’ clock expansion running. BoxeR attempts to move in and attack, but the downpour of psionic storms is slowly eating through marauder health and medivac energy. Hasu loops around to take out Boxer’s natural and limits BoxeR’s income to a single mined out gold. BoxeR splits his army in half in order to minimize storm damage, but his army is simply no match for Hasu’s. The supply reads 168-58 in favor of Hasu. Hasu’s final assault on the gold K.Os SlayerS_BoxeR, eliminating the last Korean in the tournament and securing an All-European TSL Final Four. [27:37]
Empire.Kas Post-game Interview
Q: Congratulations Kas, you made it to the semi-finals of the TSL3. How do you feel?
I am very glad. I feel that I've achieved something big, and it gives me more and more motivation to prepare for the next match.
Q: Adelscott showed a fast expanding macro style in his previous games, and did the same today. However, you played a very standard style that left you behind on economy in the early game. How come you didn't do all-in builds, or risky fast expansion builds?
I weighed the pros and cons, and felt that right now I'm in top form. That is why I decided to play safe, reliable builds, when it will be needed I will be able to surprise you with new strategies, no doubt.
Q: You tried to use dropship tactics in your games, but Adelscott knew exactly where you were dropping. Is this because he plays against you very often, or did he just research your style very well? I think he simply prepared well and knew what the best drop spots and times were, it was very smart from him. Some of my drops were not ideal, but even unsuccessful drops play a role in the psychological game.
Q: In two of the games your army and Adelscott's army passed by each other and you were in a base-trade situation. Both times, Adelscott sent his army back to defend. Would you have been confident in a situation where Adelscott had just decided to keep attacking with his army?
I tried to divide his army or force a battle in good positions, because a Protoss army all together is invincible. But I was too slow and I think Adelscott could have punished me for it, in-game agitation probably lead him to make the wrong choice.
Q: The TSL3 maps have led to a lot of long, macro style games (and everyone seems to thumb-down Crossfire). Do you think this has been good for your style so far?
I think macro games are my strength, although I have a lot of room to improve I am incredibly confident in my ability to play macro games.
Q: You have taken down players from all three races with your very solid play. Which match-up do you prefer to play nowadays?
I feel that only in TvT I truly understand the game as much as I would like. Other matchups are very difficult to figure out, it depends a lot on the maps. I work hard to keep all of my matchups at their best.
Q: On a related note, your next opponent is winner of ThorZain vs MC. Who do you prefer to play against, and why?
I prefer Thorzain because it is TvT, although it would feel good to play MC again. In our last meeting I did not play well, it did not go as I wanted to in the LAN event. I would be glad to meet these unbelievably talented players again.
Q: Any last comments?
Big thanks to Team Empire for the support. Thanks to my fans and everyone who believes in me, thanks to my parents, I will give it my all in the next games!
Prae.ThorZaiN Post-game Interview
Q: Congratulations, you won against MC, how do you feel?
Ok. I know I've said that I felt great the other 2 games I won, but take that and multiply it by 10 and you get the satisfaction I feel right now.
Q: What did you do when he typed GG?
I did something very unlike me, I slammed the table really hard. Obviously not out of the normal "Hit things" feeling of anger, but rather of extreme joy.
Q: Your opponent, MC, is considered by many to be the best protoss in the world. What did you think of his play in this series?
I'm very bad at judging actually "how good" an opponent played except just seeing who won and who lost, but I felt he played pretty well. Especially on Tal'Darim Altar.
Q: In game one, he went dark templar harass. did this catch you off guard? you had excellent turret timing.
I saw that he took his 2nd gas very early so I was thinking that it probably would be DTs or possibly Void Rays. When I scouted the base above me and saw only a pylon and no Stargate I was pretty sure that it would be a DT rush, especially since there were no units there (hence no delayed mass sentry 4 gate).
His harass still did some damage, but I was able to get far ahead in the upgrades and he had 1/0 vs 2/2 in the end, so that was why he lost.
Q: In game 2, MC went for an aggressive void ray attack that did some damage. But you attacked right before his storm finished.
I believe I tricked him a bit making him think I would be teching, but he still went Void Rays. They did no damage at all in the beginning because he was putting up an expo. I scouted his expansion so I knew that I wouldn't have to be too defensive. However I had already put down 5 raxes in total so I tried to do some damage with a mass marine +1 attack. It did some damage but not enough
He then counterattacked and at one point I thought I would lose. I got my vikings and medivacs up and then I put down a third and attacked him. I managed to time it pretty well so he only had 2 storms I think. Again, I had 2/2 and he had 0/0. Hence his gateway units died like flies.
Q: Game 3 you took early damage. Did you expect MC to do what he did?
He didn't have much chrono boost saved up so I thought that he wouldn't go for early warp gate pressure. Normally I still try to scout some to see if he is or not, but this game i forgot about it. He ran pass my bunker and managed to kill like 8 scvs. From there on I knew that I had to do an all-in to have a chance, but he managed to get enough units up in time to defend it.
Q: Game 4 was quite an epic battle. MC's style seems to favor high tech over unit upgrades. What are your thoughts on this game?
I felt that I was in a good spot when I defended his 5 or 6 gate without taking much damage. However it delayed my upgrades and medivac tech, so I couldn't move out early enough to catch him without storm. I tried to but I didn't manage to kill him. From there on it turned into an epic game with a lot of fights. I often thought that I would run out of money but somehow I didn't.
We both had 4/5 bases but in the end he was able to secure the win because of his really nice feedbacks and colossus switch.
Q: You went for your thor strategy in game 5. Did you see MC hallucinate the Immortals? How did you target down the non-hallucinated ones so well?
When you have vision over his hallucinated units with detection, the SC2 AI automatically ignores them and focuses on the real units instead. His mistake was letting me see that he hallucinated some units right before the fight. It seems like a pretty clever thing to do, since this strategy depends on strike cannoning his immortals, and if there are 10+ of them, that's not very easy. So I just kept scanning during the fight.
When I have vision over his hallucinated units with detection, the SC2 AI automatically ignores them and focuses on the real units instead.
Q: You have kept your goals very humble every round. Now you are 1 win away from going to New York for the finals and earning a seed into TSL4. What are your thoughts about your TSL run now?
I am so happy with my run so far. I've really managed to beat some of the best players in the world, and now even probably the best one. I'm very thankful that I didn't get to play any Terrans yet because I fear that it's my worst match up, plus the fact that I didn't play much TvT for a very long time now, except like 10 ladder games.
Q: Your next round opponent is Kas or Adelscott. What are your thoughts on these players?
Both are great players and I don't know against whom I would like to play. I've practiced quite a bit with Adelscott because I played against Protoss and he against Terran in the last couple of rounds, so I kinda know his style. He is Protoss and since I beat MC I can probably beat any protoss in the world.
Kas is Terran which I already said is my worst match up, but that means that I will have to practice it. If I play against him, I will have a reason to actually practice TvT like I've never practiced before. And I'm pretty bored of TvP right now since I've played it an insane ammount lately. If I would play against Kas I would have to practice it. It would give me a reason to actually practice TvT like I've never practiced it before.
Q: There's been a lot of people making speculations about whether the Koreans would or would not have lost if they played on the same servers. Are you happy your match with MC happened when he was in Denmark?
I think that it is great. Before I felt that yeah it will actually make it "more fair" than it could have been if he was in Korea , which might would lead me to lose my game. However now people can't rob me of my win saying MC played with mass delay.
Q: Any last words to your legion of new fans you're going to make after this series is aired?
Hey any new fans I've made, I hope that I can keep playing as well as I've been doing in the TSL in other tournaments. Keep cheering for me to motivate me to practice more!
Also a shoutout to PaisY and NightEnD, with whom I'm in Norway at the moment, my good friend's at home GruGloG, PapaPandroni and Skutt (as in the last interview!) and to KimG for lending me his crew-spot and the TG-Crew here at The Gathering.
Dignitas.NaNiwa Post-game Interview
Q: Congratulations. How do you feel winning such a close series?
I feel extremly relieved, I wouldnt have been able to forgive myself ever if I lost to cruncher.
Q: Those are strong words -- Cruncher seems to not get much respect among some top players. What are your thoughts about him?
I didnt mean it in the sense that he is a bad player, I mean it in the sense that I'm the current MLG champion, on paper I'm a big favorite, and it would hurt my ego a lot to lose against him.
But as a player I respect him, he plays smart and in my world what he did to IdrA was smart, he abused IdrA's weakness of not being able to adapt as well as some players. Mondragon just didn't play enough to keep up with his strategies and clever style. People seem to think that micro macro is the only way to show your skill, but I disagree.
Q: The games were very close. What was your reaction right after winning the series?
My reaction was that I'm very relieved, as I had not had any time at all to prepare for this match and was a bit tired today. I am very satisfied to win, the score does not matter to me. I am just very relieved.
Q: Lets talk about the games a little. Every game you were scouting very early and all around your base. It seems you were very prepared against the proxy gates in game 1.
Well, I think cruncher is a player who likes to mix it up or perhaps even cheese, I just wanted to be sure to not fall for any his tricks. I tried to play safe.
Q: In game 2 he caught you off guard with his phoenix opening. Do you have experience against this kind of strategy?
Uhm, I know how to react, but I underestimated the durability of the phoenix. I thought I could move out with 1 colo and attack with a couple of stalkers. To be honest everything just went to hell that game, I was supposed to just expo and take the win in the later stages, but I got carried away. Nevertheless his strategy was smart and I will prepare better if I meet him again.
Q: The third game you went very fast blink, and outmicro'd him. It seems that a lot of PvP hinges on the first few units engaging, what are your thoughts on this?
Yeah, thats fine in my opinion. I messed up micro a bit but I was very unfocused these games for some reason, not sure. I will play better in my next series. But I like it in general, I think all Warcraft players do, since we are used to hero and few units vs hero and few units. situations where every unit is extremly important.
Q: In game 4 you won the first few fights 4g vs 4g, but when you expanded he was able to attack with colossus and win.
Yeah, I made a big strategical error just like on Shakuras, the only thing I could have transitioned into and been totally fine with would be blink, but somehow I thought I could expand safely...I have no excuse for this.
Q: Game 5 was very close, do you get nervous for these types of matches?
Ever since I won MLG dallas, I do not get nervous anymore. I suppose it might come if I play at a more grand stage, but right now I am always 100% calm.
Q: You had a 26-2 record at Dallas, and in the MLG Columbus thread you posted "ITS MINE". Do you feel the need to attend every MLG now to defend your title? What is your feeling about MLG and how they run tournaments compared to European ones?
To be honest I probably had one of the best times of my life at MLG dallas, big part due to the fact that I won. But I have never played insuch a professional tournament before, I think its FAR more professional and fun to play than the European tournaments, might be bad for me to mention the ones I compare to but, the majority of the European ones.
Ever since I won MLG I felt like I have proved myself, but after a few days I got hungry again. After watching MC I felt my blood boiling to reach further, and he motivates a lot of this hunger for me. I will try to go to every MLG to defend my title, i think with some Flow on my side i can for sure do it again, and with the right preparation its no doubt within my reach.
Ultimately my goal is to beat MC In a grand stage, that would be my next goal.
Q: You might get your chance, if MC beats Thorzain and Kas/Adel. Do you have a preference on who you want to play next round? Hasu / Boxer what are your thoughts on those two?
I would like to play against Boxer, as I feel a certain burden of hope on my shoulders for the WC3 fans and the community. I want to do my best to show that Warcraft players can compete with Brood War stars. They are both great players in my opinion. It would take too long to explain everything I think of both. ^^
Q: Any last words for your fans / practice partners / teammates?
I wanna thank Socke, Bling for their practice with me, it was quite helpful. Thanks to my team (Dignitas) and the sponsors of course!
mouz.HasuObs Post-game Interview
Q: Congratulations, how do you feel?
Thank you! I feel very exhausted because the games were thrilling, but besides that I feel damn good. I'm in the Semi-finals of the TSL, just won against the Emperor 3-0, thats unbelievable.
Q: All games went into late game, but you won convincingly 3-0. Did the games go as you planned? What did you think about Boxer's play?
Everything besides Xel'Naga went pretty much like I planned, yes. On the first map Boxer made some minor mistakes in the middle, which cost him a lot of units, then I was ahead. 2nd map was 200 vs 200 for a long time, but I was able to trade his main base for 2 of my expos and got ahead in production. The third map I actually wanted to play a totally different strategy, but I had a bad feeling that Boxer was doing some kind of timing push. He didn't do that, so once again it came to a late macro game.
Overall I think BoxeR played way better than vs NightEnd, he tried to be more agressive and used some nice EMPs on my HT.
Q: You are now one game away from securing a seed into TSL4. Do you appreciate the direct seed more now that you went through the qualifying process once?
Hehe, I didn't even know about that. I don't think about TSL4 yet, all that matters is TSL3. I want to make it as far as possible, but obviously a direct seed would be nice!
Q: In game 2, you built over 30 warp gates when both of you were maxed for so long. Do you feel these situations benefit Protoss or Terran?
Once it comes to this extremely late games where both players are maxed for about 10 minutes it benefits protoss. Especially in that game it favored me because as I said, I traded his production for 2 expos. That was a clear mistake by BoxeR I think. But I tell you, replenishing your army with more than 30 gateways feels good.
Q: The last game Boxer used EMP very well, and it ended up very close. Do you get nervous in high-pressure situations? Do you feel that being up 2-0 helped your mental game?
I got very nervous when he first saw my nexus at the 3rd expansion. Untill that point I was confident, but then I felt under pressure. Being on 2 base while terran has 3 bases, one at the gold secured by a planetary is not the best situation. But I managed to kill alot of SCVs and had some good fights, even though his EMPs got nearly all of my HT.
I think, leading 2-0 gives a small mental edge, but not too much. Boxer is playing for several years at a high level, so do I. It does not effect us too much I believe.
Q: Did you know Boxer when you played WarCraft 3? Did you ever think then that you'd be playing him in a tournament match? Does it make this match any extra special to you knowing his progaming history?
Seriously... of course I know BoxeR. I watched alot of VODs from his SC1 playstyle, I always enjoyed his games in the Korean leagues. But during tournaments I don't think too much about who I'm facing, I follow my gameplan and try to overwhelm my opponent. But now, after the games are done, I think I can be proud of myself that I won against Boxer. Still I would not overrate a single series, Boxer is an extremly good player.
Q: Your next round opponent will be a Protoss, either Naniwa or Cruncher. What do you think about them?
I think that Naniwa has probably the strongest PvP right now. Cruncher seems to have some really good builds and good micro, but I think Naniwa is the favorite. But I would not count out Cruncher.
Q: Do you have a preference on who you'd rather play?
Hmm, no, not really. Since its going to be a mirror match either way I don't mind. As I said, I feel that Naniwa has some of the best PvP worldwide, so... maybe it would be good for me to meet cruncher. haha.
Q: You have been very busy, as have most players who are in multiple leagues. What are your thoughts on this? Too many games? Or very good that SC2 is so huge?
Yes indeed, the last weeks I've been very busy. I couldn't even see my girlfriend for a while, because I was in Italy, then England and now I'm going to France. After the tournament in France I will take a small break and enjoy some days without SC2! Overall I think, there cannot be enough tournaments. It is just great to be part of the SC2 community right now, also watching SC2 growing from month to month is extremly nice.
Q: Congrats and good luck in France. any last thanks for practice partners or words to your fans?
First of all I have to thank Delphi and Stephano, I got forgot to mention them after my victory against Morrow! A big thanks to Strelok who helped me in the last few days. Thanks to my team Mousesports and all their partners and sponsors. Thanks to all my supporters and fans, it is such a good feeling when people are cheering. Follow me on http://www.facebook.com/HasuObs
Most of all thanks to all my fans for cheering for me. As a player who is not used to having a lot of fans, it always warms my heart alot when I get the support. I will continue to try to do my best!
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I can't make up my mind on who to cheer for. I think all 4 players deserve their spots so far. If I had to guess who would win though, I think Kas will beat Thorzain, because Kas is just awesome and since Thorzain said that TvT isn't his best. I would like Hasu to beat Naniwa, but I think Naniwa has a higher chance. This will be epic!!!!
You can go a long way with a smile. You can go a lot farther with a smile and a gun.
slyderturtle United States. April 26 2011 15:52. Posts 155
There is a little mistake in the Thorzain interview.
I will have a reason to actually practice TvT like I've never practiced before. And I'm pretty bored of TvP right now since I've played it an insane ammount lately. If I would play against Kas I would have to practice it. It would give me a reason to actually practice TvT like I've never practiced it before.