10. That's supposed to mean something. If a child lived to ten years of age during the medieval days, that was reason to rejoice. At the Olympics, getting a perfect score of ten was considered yet another kind of miracle.
Sadly, for the GSL, their finals make you think more about the ten plagues of Egypt. All very yucky, painful, or a mixture of the two. Going into the tenth final, let's hope the similarities end there - since the last plague was fatal. Though some would argue that a few of those finals bored them to death.
Here we are again, friends. We've gone through an entire GSL and have come upon our tenth, yes, you read that correctly, tenth GSL Grand Final. I asked the higher ups if I could simply write:
Alright, I've been hyping these finals up for the past few months and every single one has been 4-0. MVP is a monster. TOP is going to get eaten alive. It's going to be awful, so let's all go play Mario Party and save ourselves from being disappointed for the tenth straight time. Cya in October, TeamLiquid.
Weirdly, that didn't fly with the big wigs and they told me to get cooking on this finals preview. Since this is the tenth singles final and the one year anniversary of the GSL starting, I thought we could go back in time and go through the past GSL tournaments. MVP has been having an amazing run through this GSL, so I thought it would be a good idea to compare his run to the finals of other champions that came before him. Not to count the chickens before they hatch, I will also take a look at TOP and his run through the August gauntlet.
So sit back, crack open up a beverage of your choice, and let's review the past seasons and see which champion truly had the greatest run to the gold.
The tournament where everyone sucked and most of the matches, looking back at them now, also sucked. There were some decent matches and some potential shown, but the main storyline was the man they called the Dealer of Fruit. When zerg was in its darkest hour, and it didn't feel like they would ever be able to win anything, FruitDealer ran through the first ever GSL and captured thousands upon thousands of fans on the way. Even with FruitDealer currently struggling to stay in the GSL, you can't forget that without him, a lot of people (and this maybe even include you, awesome reader), might not be on this site today.
Looking at the quality of opponents, only two are still in the GSL: Taeja, and our current Code S finalist, TOP. FruitDealer's final two opponents, the most important in my mind when thinking about an amazing title victory, are both out of the GSL; Rainbow streaming on TeamLiquid and having an amazingly beautiful girlfriend, and LiveForever...well, uh...his name lied and he, in fact, did not live forever in the GSL.
Still, even looking past the bad matches, opening tournament problems, and somewhat lackluster crowds, FruitDealer's run will always be one of the best championships in GSL history. The first tournament gave us Idra winning the first ever GSL match, and, most importantly, Artosis in the booth, playing his nerd heart out and having the biggest nerd chills of all time.
Invasion of the Brood War legends. Boxer and Nada made their presence felt in their first shot at the GSL, facing each other in the quarterfinals with Boxer coming out on top. ZergBong, who got eliminated in the first season by Liveforever (who didn't live forever) was back with more experience with the game and going by the name Nestea. He took out TheBest and another future champion, MC, in the first two rounds and then followed it up by beating another Brood War oldie in TheWind in the third.
Another big story in the second season was the emergence of a young man calling himself Boxer. But it wasn't Boxer. Boxer was named TheManOfOneWay (bad, but not as bad as Rainbow with HopeTorture) and this teenager - who was named Clare in Brood War on the team MBC Hero - was now Boxer, but no one actually wanted to call him Boxer seeing as Boxer was actually in the tournament, so everyone decided to call him Foxer (Fake Boxer, Faux Boxer). Simple, right? Boxer wasn't Boxer, but everyone called him Boxer, and everyone called the guy named Boxer by the name Foxer. Alright, now that's clear, let's move on.
Nestea continued his rampage by showing off his great ZvZ against Zenio in the quarterfinals and heading into a showdown with the legend himself, (real) Boxer. On the other side of the bracket, Foxer was crossing his fingers for his hero, the man he named himself after, to get into the finals so that his dream could come true by facing him in the finals of a big Starcraft tournament.
Sadly, Nestea didn't get the message, destroyed Boxer, broke little Foxer's heart, and faced him in the finals. If not facing his hero was sad enough, Foxer had to feel even more anguish when he lost in the only seven game GSL finals, going for an all-in the seventh game and getting shutdown by great defense.
Looking back, the second season had amazing storylines. A new star entered the scene in Foxer (who became MarineKing after this tournament), old stars showed they still had it by getting deep in the tournament, and the best zerg in GSL history won his first title.
Worst. GSL. Ever. Cheese everywhere. All-ins everywhere. The quality of the games wasn't great. To me, there are only six memorable things about the third GSL.
1. MC's domination. Only dropped three games, made protoss look super-powered, wrecked the runner-up of last season in MarineKing, and finished off Jinro in the semifinals in one of the quickest best-of-seven series of all-time in Starcraft history. He would then go on and face Rain, a player who got a bad rap for being a 100% cheeser, and finished him off in five games. Rain gave a good fight, but MC was way too strong for him and Rain could only get a game off him. MC's run wasn't as memorable as FruitDealer's, or maybe even Nestea's, but he won with authority. The Kratoss Protoss was born, he was going to win and he wouldn't be shy about celebrating in your face. A new star born and protoss' first champion was crowned.
2. July made his debut in the GSL and got to the third round, beating Zenio and Alive, before falling to the might of MC.
3. Jinro. Jinro. Jinro. The Swedish Gorilla Terran came into his own at this tournament. More well known for his posting on TeamLiquid than his actual play, Jinro became a star by taking out Drug in the first round; in the second, taking out the Warcraft 3 legend Moon; the third, he faced off against future GSL champion Polt and knocked him out easily with a 2-0 score. Jinro was going where no foreigner had ever gone before and that was the quarterfinals. Going against Choya, Jinro gave it his all and pulled it out the stunning victory, giving the foreigners their first hope that they could truly compete with the Koreans. Of course, in the end, he got destroyed 4-0 in the semifinals by MC, but Jinro's story with MC would continue to the next GSL where one of the biggest moments in GSL history occurred.
MVP had been widely regarded as one of the best players in the world for quite a while, but it wasn't until the first season of Code S that he showed off his full potential. Which turned out to be mind-blowing. He took out the first GSL champion, FruitDealer, in the first match in the group stage and followed it up with consecutive wins through the Ro32 group stages and the Ro16 group stages (remember when they had another group stage in the Ro16 instead of Bo3's? Yeah, I forgot, too) without breaking a sweat. This lead to the quarterfinals where it really felt like no one would be able to stop him. Trickster tried to put up a fight, but MVP was just too strong and kicked him out of the bracket with another strong sweep of his opponent.
The other major point in this tournament, besides MVP's undefeated run, was how well the foreigners did. It was the last time they'd have a good performance in the GSL. Not only did they have one player get to the quarterfinals, but they got two in Jinro and Idra. Jinro had to go up against MC twice in the Ro16 group stages, having to win twice or be out, and it looked like an impossible deed. Last tournament, MC had chewed up and spat out Jinro, stomped on him and then kicked dirt on the remains. Jinro was the heavy underdog and it people said it would be a miracle if he got into the next round. But not only did he get one win, he got TWO and move into the quarterfinals with Idra.
Too bad they were paired together in the quarterfinals and forced to kill each other to get into the semifinals. For the fans, though, an epic match of super epic proportions was on their plate. Idra and Jinro were considered the two top foreigners in the world and this match would be the decide who was first and who was second.
The series? You could call it a let down, but there were some exciting games thrown in. No five star classics, but you did get to see Idra try to cheese Jinro and fail in doing so. Jinro went on to win 3-1 and roll into the semifinals. Sadly, for the second straight tournament, Jinro would be stopped by MarineKing after a hard fought series that went 3-1 the Korean's way.
MVP's toughest challenge came in the semifinals when he was paired against his teammate, and GSL champion, Nestea. Nestea had gotten cheesed out in the third GSL (like many other players), and he was looking to get his revenge by adding another title. MVP would not be stopped and took the series in a very dominating manner, only dropping one game to the top zerg in the world.
Oh, and then the finals. MarineKing vs. MVP. An epic match up, right? Nah. MarineKing tried to play a style that he had never tried before, failed miserably, tilted and MVP ran through him without dropping a game. Like most of the GSL finals, the loser didn't put up much a fight and the final two games were more of a mercy killing than an actual competitive match. MVP won his first title and MarineKing got the fabled Kong label for going 0-2 in GSL finals.
The fourth season was a great tournament. Amazing storylines, MVP was a complete monster, and you got to see your favorite foreigners go deep into the tournament. MVP's run didn't have any close or really any memorable matches, but can you really blame the guy for blowing past his competition?
Record: 14-2 (87.5%), Opponents' vP All-Time: 46-62 (45%), Opponents Still in GSL: 3 (2 S/1 A)
RO32: July 1-0, Hyperdub 1-0 RO16: Byun 2-0 RO8: HongUn 3-0 RO4: San 3-1 Finals: July 4-1
Four out of the final eight were protoss. Three out of the final four were protoss. The last time a protoss would end up raising the GSL trophy. The main stories for this tournament were:
1. MC dominating once again, with many people complaining about how forcefields were overpowered. He breezed through the group stages, beat the runner-up of the first Code A in Byun and then crushed HongUn in a PvP. This led MC to his semifinal opponent and our second GSL storyline...
2. SadZenith. Embarrassed, laughed at and made fun of, San was a laughing stock for many on TeamLiquid. There were polls on if he could survive a game that went on longer than five minutes. He was thrown into a group with GSL champion and top zerg in the world, Nestea; a strong terran and consistent oGs terran in Ensnare; and finally, the Emperor himself, Boxer. Artosis was so sure that San would lose, he promised that if San made it out of the group, he would swallow a sword.
Well, San not only made it out, but he swept the group. In one of the best matches in GSL history, San defeated Nestea and then rode the momentum to two straight victories over the terrans in his group. At that moment, SadZenith was no more and he had evolved into a new force known as ManZenith. No one knows how this transformation came to be, but I still know that Artosis owes us fans a sword swallowing exhibition.
San would then go on to beat TheWind in a close series before meeting up with sC in the quarterfinals. If you're new to the GSL or never saw San vs. sC, go watch it now. I wouldn't say it's the prettiest series or the best showcase of perfection in someone's play, but it might very well be the most exciting series in GSL history. San and sC slugged it out for four straight games before San pulled it out in the end, making the semifinals in a miraculous underdog story.
3. July was also a big story in this tournament. The only non-protoss to make the semifinals, July bullied his way through the tournament. Using his aggressive timings and strong play, he bull rushed his opponents and showed everyone why he was called the God of War in Brood War. He did lose to MC in his first game of the tournament, but silenced all critics when he took two straight games off of MVP and knocked him out of the tournament.
The God of War would then go on to defeat Clide, Nada, and anypro before meeting up against MC in the finals.
4. MC and San met in the semifinals. San put up a good fight, but MC at that time was unbeatable at PvP which was San's weakest match-up as well. This led us to the most hyped GSL final of all-time up to this point. You had the GSL champion, and the best protoss in the world, MC, going up against the Brood War legend, and golden mouse winner, July in a best-of-seven series for the championship.
Did the finals pan out? Were they awesome!? Ha! Of course not, TeamLiquid! July got outplayed in every aspect, depressing me and many others in the process. July did get a win off a tricky hdyra drop build, but it wasn't enough to stop MC from crushing him afterward. Another final had come and another hyped final fell flat. The GSL Finals Curse was starting to pick up more steam...
Record: 12-5 (70.5%), Opponents' vT All-Time: 92-70 (56%), Opponents Still in GSL: 3 (3 S/1 A)
RO16: Huk 2-1 RO8: July 3-1 RO4: San 3-1 Finals: MarineKing 4-2
The red headed stepchild of the nine GSL tournaments we've had thus far. Not only was it the shortest, but also had the least amount of money on the line and eight Koreans going against eight of the best foreigners in the world. Even at the time the tournament was going on, players didn't know if this was classified as an actual GSL or if it was some sort of off-shoot special event tournament.
The foreigners tried their best, but in six of the seven matches that pitted Koreans versus Foreigners, the Koreans came out on top. The only foreign victory was also possibly one of the biggest upsets in GSL history. Dimaga, the Ukrainian Zerg, went one-on-one against the God of Zerg, GSL champion and undefeated at ZvZ specalist, Nestea in a series that a lot of people didn't give Dimaga any hope in.
Dimaga didn't let that faze him, beat Nestea 2-1, and is still, to this day, the only man to defeat Nestea in a ZvZ series in the GSL. He would lose to SanZenith in the next round, but his work was done and his name was forever written in the GSL record books as the man who took down Professor Tea in a ZvZ.
The champion of this tournament was MVP. Looking at the stats, it was the least dominating a champion has ever been in a tournament, only having a 70.5% win percentage over his opponents, but you can't fault him in that. He had the lowest winning percentage, but his opponents, out of any other GSL, had the highest winning percentage versus his race of terran. July's best match-up was versus terran, while Huk was great against terran as well. San had been heralded for his great PvT, and MarineKing was't too shabby in the match-up either.
In the end, MVP faced some bumps in the road, but looked in control in every one of his matches. The closest he got to sweating was against MarineKing in the finals, tied up 2-2 after MarineKing showed off some of his tricky builds, but MVP got back in control, played the way that people expect someone like him to play, and ended up finishing it in six games. The finals weren't awful like many before it and many after it, but it was nothing spectacular. MarineKing put up a fight, but MVP's TvT was just straight out better and wasn't going to lose the Silver King on that day. This gave the Game Genie Terran his second title and proved, once again, that foreigners had a long way to go before they could start thinking about winning a GSL.
From the champion who had the hardest road to the final to the champion with the easiest road to the final. Looking at the people that Nestea faced, only Clide is still in Code S and he actually beat Nestea.
Jinro, sadly, is now entirely out of the GSL and failed to qualify for October.
FruitDealer is hanging on for dear life in Code A and got bounced in the Round of 16 last season.
Anypro has fallen off the face of the earth and trying to find a job in the new live action Simpsons movie.
sC, who is still a great terran (in my mind, at least), is stuck in Code A and currently on the disabled list.
Then there is Inca. Oh, Inca. Amazing PvP and that's about it when compared to the other high caliber players in the GSL. After getting absolutely slaughtered in the final by Nestea, Inca dropped from runner-up in the GSL to out of the GSL entirely in less than three months.
In fact, every single person Nestea beat in this tournament is doing considerably worse than they were doing before they faced him. You could say that Nestea sucked out their soul after beating them in battle. Even Clide, who beat Nestea, had his worse showing in Code S history in August by not qualifying out of the group stages. Why did you have to put a curse on all of them, Nestea?
May wasn't one of the best GSL's, but it did have possibly the greatest game in Starcraft 2 history when Nestea and sC faced off in the fifth game of their semifinal series. Not only did it make Artosis cry, but made the whole crowd in the GSL studios get on their feet and chant Nestea's name after exiting the boot.
Too bad the final was awful. If anyone ever lies to you and tells you that Inca vs. Nestea was actually good and you should watch it, you should stop being that person's friend immediately or punch them (or both). You would be better served forgetting that the final ever happened and just believe that Nestea vs. sC was the final. If you think that way, you won't feel like you wasted three hours of your life watching the actual finals.
"Do I look like a noob?" "No!" "Then why'd you try to cheese me like a noob?"
Record: 16-4 (80%), Opponents' vT All-Time: 122-105 (53.7%), Opponents Still in GSL: 6 (4 S/2 A)
RO64: Losira 2-1 RO32: Huk 2-0 RO16: Maka 2-1 RO8: Alicia 3-0 RO4: TOP 3-2 Finals: MMA 4-0
The biggest Starcraft 2 tournament of all-time. $100,000 on the line. Sixty four of the best GSL players going head-to-head for the cash prize. Which of the two-time GSL champions will win? MC, Nestea or MVP? Could MarineKing finally overcome his bad luck in the finals and win the big one? Maybe MMA, who became a hero in Columbus, could ride the momentum and win the biggest crown in e-sports for Boxer?
Nah, Polt, an ex-Warcraft III player, who most expected to lose in the first round, came out and won the whole thing. Throughout the whole way, Polt was picked to lose by our lovely TeamLiquid community and came out atop at the end.
A lot of people can say that his win was a fluke, but looking at the stats, it was one of the hardest roads any champion had to take to the end. Losira's ZvT isn't the best, but after losing to Polt, Losira went on to go to the finals of the next GSL; Huk always seems to be a stepping stone a champion needs to beat in order to win a title; Maka's best match-up is TvT and it was also a team kill; Alicia at the time was considered the best PvT in the world and got crushed; TOP's TvT was and is still amazing (and got his revenge against Polt in August); and finally, MMA was on one of the hottest streaks in Starcraft 2 history by running through the Super Tournament, winning the GSTL, and winning MLG Columbus all in the same time span. In the end, though, Polt became the champion, won the money, and changed his name to Optimus, the name given to the Prime member with the most recent GSL championship.
The final, which I thought was going to be amazing, seeing as I thought the two players were almost even on skill, was like every other GSL final and sucked. Yeah, Polt played great and used some crazy builds to get his victories, but MMA seemed off his game and made tons of mistakes.
Oh well, it's not like this streak of 4-0 finals could continue, right?
The most recent GSL. The perfect season. The first man to capture a third GSL title. The winning percentage is simple, 100%, but looking at his opponents, you can see it wasn't the most difficult road. First off, he got a free win against Rain in the group stage, and then only had to beat July, who has a history of being terrible at ZvZ, to get out of the group.
Ensnare is a good terran, a very consistent one, but not the most difficult round of sixteen opponent. Coca's below average at ZvZ and didn't have a shot against the player who is best at the match-up. HongUn, well, he isn't bad at PvZ, but he also was having terrible wrist pains throughout the tournament and could barely practice; there was no chance that he could beat Nestea. Finally, Losira, who has amazing ZvZ, and is the main reason why the vZ for Nestea's opponents is so high, was no match for Nestea, seeing as Nestea and Losira practice all the time together. Losira might have learned everything he knew about ZvZ from Nestea, but Nestea definitely didn't teach him everything.
The finals were another 4-0. Were they terrible? Well, yes and no. They were short and after the second game, it was over. Losira look defeated and on tilt while Nestea knew the title was his. GOM even threw a bunch of filler programs and commercials on the stream due to them knowing that Losira wasn't going to win a game. In that aspect, the final was awful. There really wasn't any suspense after the second game.
The games, though, were pretty damn good. Nestea showed off some great strategies, Losira tried his best, and I was actually entertained unlike the time when Inca tried to use DT's every game against Nestea.
So, we've reviewed the past nine tournaments and looked at who everyone beat to get to the title. Who do you think, reader (who I hope is still reading after all that text), had the best road to the title? Who had the best GSL? Also, what tournament did you think was the best?
Now, with the past done, we can look at the present. Let's take a look at the two men who are trying to add their names to the pantheon above.
RO32: Optimus 1-0, MC 1-0 RO16: Nestea 2-0 RO8: Huk 3-0 RO4: July 3-1
Here we are in the finals. In the challenger's corner, the first ever Code A champion, the often overlooked oGs.TOP. If you're surprised to see him here, don't be. With the GSL being overrun by terrans, TOP, who is third in TvT ELO and holding a remarkable 37-21 record all time in TvT, is like a kid in a candy store. With his immense macro and ability to smother players with his economy, he has been getting deeper and deeper in every GSL he enters.
In July, he was eliminated by the slimmest of margins against eventual runner-up Losira. In the tournament before, the Super Tournament, he made it all the way to the semifinals against Optimus, who TOP, once again, lost to by the slimmest of margins in a match that he had won in the fourth set before Optimus made a gigantic comeback. Luckily for TOP, he got to face Optimus again in this month's semifinals and was able to beat him.
Not only was he able to beat him, but he was able to slay the memories of the Super Tournament entirely. In the fourth game, with Optimus having a big lead, TOP was able to fight back and secure the game. In the Super Tournament, TOP let Optimus' micro walk all over him in the fourth game, resulting in him losing his confidence, tilting, and giving away the series in the fifth and final set.
Look back to even the first season of the GSL. TOP lost to the eventual winner, FruitDealer, and was the only player to take a game off of him before the finals. He's been a consistently good player since the GSL started, but he's never gotten the recognition he's deserved. Always behind the gigantic shadows of Nada and MC on the team oGs, TOP has been solid and impressive in almost every single GSL he's been apart of.
Of course, he's not been perfect. His record shows that he is already 10-4, and if he doesn't win 4-0 or 4-1 against MVP, that he will have the lowest winning percentage out of any of the former champions. Does that mean he can't win, though? Of course he can. His TvT is world class, his macro is world class, and he has the potential to be a world class player.
TOP is so overlooked, in GOM's All-Star Match player voting, he wasn't even on the ballot while all three of the other Code S August semifinalists were. In the "Who will win Code S?" poll" on TeamLiquid, he's still under a thousand votes and trailing three people who have already been eliminated. Not a lot of people think he has a chance, but I don't buy it. His micro might not be the best in the world, but I think his macro makes up for it in double. If he can get more stable in his attacks and unit management, we might be seeing a new terran monster on the scene.
Now, in the champions corner, hailing from the land of Incredible Miracle, two-time GSL champion, MVP. Look at those stats. If it wasn't for July baneling busting him in the semifinals, MVP would be coming into the finals with a perfect record and the toughest road that anyone has ever faced getting there.
He beat three GSL champions, a Dreamhack champion, and a guy who has a golden mouse. If you could do that in the span of a year, most people would call you a great player. MVP did it in a span of a few weeks and made it look easy doing so. There is no question that at this moment MVP is the strongest terran in the world and the scariest player in the world. He destroyed three of the four GSL champions in a row and didn't drop a game. MVP wanted to destroy FruitDealer too, but the GOM officials held him back when he tried to sneak into Code A to play him.
If MVP wins, he'll tie his own teammate Nestea with three wins, and in my mind, have gone through tougher tournaments to get his title. Not saying it's Nestea's fault his opponents weren't the greatest, but in MVP's three tournaments he has made the finals in, he's had to go through tougher roads than Nestea. In fact, MVP has had to go through Nestea twice in two of the finals he's gotten into.
So, when it comes to it, is MVP just going to roll over TOP? All indication from MVP's previous matches would be a resounding yes. He is on a roll, has only dropped one game due to cheese, and has made short work of one high class player after another. I don't think we can count out the underdog, though. Yes, MVP did beat MarineKing in both of his GSL finals and did beat Optimus in this tournament, both those two play completely opposite of how TOP plays. While those two rely on their superb micro and decent macro to get by, TOP relies on his superb macro and decent micro to win games.
We can't forget that not too long ago MVP was in a gigantic slump. He fell into Code A and had to fight his way back into Code S. When you look at his TvT records in the GSL, he is 3-5 in the past two months, getting knocked out of the Super Tournament by Ganzi, the July Code S by Byun, and losing two crucial GSTL games to Bomber and qxc. His TvT is great, but it hasn't been that stellar in the past couple of months. If it was Optimus in the finals instead of MVP, I think he would have an easier time. MVP has shown that he can stop someone who relies mainly on micro and attacking to get by. He's had more trouble when put up against someone with high macro and multitasking.
I've been correct in the past few GSL finals with Nestea over Inca (I sure am a genius for picking that one!), Polt over MMA and Nestea over Losira, so it's tough for me to make this prediction. My brain is telling me that I'm an idiot and that I'm going to regret this, but my heart and gut are telling me otherwise. TOP has always been consistent. He has been in the GSL since day one. His terran macro could be considered best in the world. I know that MVP has been a monster this tournament, but I don't think he's unbeatable. Ganzi, Byun and Bomber have shown if you have very good macro, you can do well against MVP and face him head on.
While MVP has been up and in down since his last win in the World Championship, TOP has been only going up. He's always been improving. He's always been getting stronger. I think it is time for TOP to stop losing to champions and become one himself. oGs needs a new hero, and I believe they've found him.
Prediction: TOP 4 - MVP 3
P.S: If this ends up being another 4-0 with MVP crushing TOP, for next month's GSL Final at Blizzcon, my finals article will be just a gigantic picture of Tasteless face with "lol 4-0 cya next GSL" written under it. I'm warning you, GSL.
We shouldn't give GomTV too much grief for the May GSL Final. The behind the scenes story most people DON'T know about is that this final never actually happened. Before the finals Nestea stared hard into Inca's eyes, causing Inca to spontaneously combust into a pile of ashes. The Inca you saw in the finals was entirely the product of CG. Ask Tasteless or Artosis at MLG, they'll confirm.
What We Learned: Code-A August
Rumors of their demise were greatly exaggerated
There were some pleasant surprises in wait for fans of FruitDealer, Check, and Maka. While many GSL viewers had written them off as dead and buried a long time ago, they showed they still had some gas left in the tank by taking down their first round opponents (and 2nd round opponent, in the case of Check). It wasn't just the victories that were impressive; it was also the quality of play shown. While it wasn't exactly Code-S play, but they did prove they are deserving of their opponents' respect. Now we can wait and see if it was just a temporary revival, or part of a continued effort to return to relevance.
As the biggest beneficiary of GomTV's welfare program since Boxer just happened to be paired against a Silver League player during the GSL Open preliminaries, it was comedic and depressing to see DongRaeGu fail to repay their faith by getting knocked out of Code-A without qualifying for the up-down matches. Here's his timeline:
After DRG blew his chance at MLG Anaheim, GomTV arranged another opportunity for the GSTL master by giving him one of the easiest Code-B brackets ever.
GomTV then ensured DRG would compete in another Code-A season by feeding him the 1-11 PvZ oGsInca in the first round. However, DRG then failed spectacularly in the RO16, going out against the virtually unknown JYP.
Complexity then flew DRG out to MLG Raleigh for another chance. To help him out, GomTV made sure that every player they sent was already a Code-S player. Despite this, DRG had to rely on Nada being a f***ing boss and eliminating Puma (Code-B) in order to FINALLY secure his Code-S spot.
I don't know if DRG is meant to be in Code-S. I predict an RO32 departure for him next season, straight into a HerO-Puzzle-Sage-MC Up-down group. Yes, DRG is so un-fated to be in Code-S, he will cause MC and and Puzzle to drop down to Up-Downs solely for the purpose of defeating him in PvZ.*
*Having written this before the Up-Downs, I was... amused to see MC land in Code-A.
Really, the foreigners should have won.
ThorZain and Naniwa disappointed in Code-A, going out in the RO32. However, they had an excellent excuse. In fact, Koreans use this excuse so much, I suspect the GSL drills them to say it before they go abroad: They were jet lagged, and had no time to prepare.
Unfortunately for them, Blizzard scheduled their EU invitational at the VERY WORST POSSIBLE TIME (asides from scheduling it so it overlapped exactly with Code-A). The EU invitational ended on the night of the 7th, and the two Swede's Code-A matches were played on the 10th (Korean time). Basically, they arrived the night before their match day and woke up to play at noon. So yeah, they would have won in any other circumstances.
Terran vs Terran is off the wall
Since I wrote this article on common TvT strategies after the Super Tournament, the entire TvT world has been flipped on its head. While mech is still the standard late game strategy, the early-mid game has gone totally insane.
Players have developed so many more early game options than the “banshees or FE” norm of a few months ago. We've seen marauders, a dozen variations of blue flame hellion (reactor, no reactor, drop with reactor marines, double drop after expand, etc), viking-hellion timing pushes, marine-tank-viking timing pushes, and countless other builds. And it's not just those builds we're seeing. It's their counter builds, and the counter-counter builds to those.
Basically, there's no such thing as a TvT build that makes no sense. If you saw someone go reaper-thor-viking, you could probably talk yourself into it. "Well, his opponent was probably going marine-banshee-medivac, because he was expecting marauder-tank, which was..."
Anyway, it's a much needed breath of fresh air. Especially since late game mech TvT is as boring as ever.
Is Code-A officially superior to Code-S?
My tournament enjoyability ranking used to go something like this:
#1: Code-S (RO8 and above) #2: Code-A #3: GSTL #4: Code-S (Entire) #5: MLG (Games with Koreans) . . . . #213: MLG (Games without Koreans)
By now, I don't think anyone can deny that Code-A features a higher level of play than Code-S for large portions of the tournament. In addition to featuring the best new talent, it tends to have have more entertaining games as a whole, and BY FAR the more interesting finals. But Code-S still monopolizes the superstars, and is still the only place that can tease the potential of MCMvp vs Nestea, Bomber vs Losira, etc.
In the past, some of the lackluster Code-A RO32 match-ups were keeping it barely below Code-A RO8. But Code-A has been much quicker at separating the wheat from the chaff since its inception, and now most of the players such as Vanvanth, Rainbow, Anypro, San, and Jinro (T_T) who had been clinging on thanks to the GSL's ridiculously narrow bottleneck are finally gone. On the other hand, we'll get to see Killer coast to another top 16 Code-S finish next season.
Here's how I (and by I, I mean tree.hugger) aptly put it. Code-S is Jay-Z, Code-A is Kanye West.
Jay-Z busted his ass in the late 1990's and early 2000's to build himself a hip-hop empire, using a combination of sick tracks and even sicker marketing to set himself up as the king of rap. However, you can't help but think he's just coasting on his fame over past few years. Sure, the talent that took him to the top hasn't gone anywhere, and he can stamp out a #1 single at will. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen very often anymore, because he seems to be content to mail it in 95% of the time.
On the other hand, we have Kanye West, a man who's slightly insane, significantly arrogant, mostly unpredictable, and 100% entertaining. Aside from his tremendous talent, Kanye's most distinguishing trait has been his incredible lack of complacency. He's always looking to do something fresh, and pushes himself to be better with every new album. Though the results have been a little bit volatile (808's & Heartbreak, wtf), the overall verdict is that his fearless ambition has garnered him much acclaim.
Kanye began his career in 2004, just as Jay-Z peaked in his and started to plateau. Since then, Kanye has been soaring straight up while Jay-Z has been running in place. In 2011, we're in a tricky position.
Establishments resist change, and you're going to find few people who want to admit that Kanye West is the new king of hip-hop. People are just too comfortable with Jay-Z and New York staying at the top, unwilling to have to adjust their view of how the rap world works. Even Kanye himself respects his illustrious predecessor too much to call him out in public, though god knows what he actually thinks.
You can only say “but Jay-Z wrote 99 Problems!” so many times before it stops being a valid excuse. When the champ can't keep up his end of the bargain, it's time for him bow his head and step down.
Think this analogy checks out?
MKP and Ganzi are f***ing bosses
THE BEST GSL FINAL IN HISTORY. WATCH IT.
Corollary One: Ganzi is hard to rate
Ganzi showed some remarkably deep understanding of TvT mind games in Code-A, pulling off some PoltPrime-esque cheeses and all-ins that worked almost perfectly. With Terran being the dominating force in Starcraft 2 right now, this will serve him very well for the five years it will take for Terrans to filter out of the Code-S bottleneck.
On the other hand, having played only Check, FruitDealer, and Vanvanth in his other matchups – all declining players – it's impossible to say how he's going to do against Code-S class Zerg and Protoss players. He's going to be the least hyped Code-A champion in history, that's for sure.
Corollary Two: MKP needs more love
Is it time to face the facts? All of the timing rushes, cheeses, and random, pointless aggression in the world might not be enough to win MKP a championship. Maybe he's just not solid enough.
But he sure is entertaining as hell. Kong-line curse aside, MKP proved one important thing in this season's Code-A. While everyone is busy being a standardized macro-robot, MKP is one of the few players who has genuine style. I don't care that it's sometimes flair for the sake of flair, and attacking for the sake of attacking. I'd rather watch MKP shrug his shoulders and randomly go all-in at the thirteen minute mark than see ST_Bomber bludgeon another opponent to death with pure macro.
Guys who keep pro-gaming from turning into monotonous drudgery need to be rewarded in some way. Foreign tournament organizers, are you listening? INVITE MKP. There have been like a dozen major foreign tournaments with invite spots for Koreans since MarineKing lost his first final to Nestea. Can't you get him to at least one? MLG, DreamHack, IEM (know you tried last time, one more time please!), MLG, Assembly, TSL, MLG, IPL, MLG, I'm talking to you. MLG.
Not enough 1/1/1
While the few examples were pretty good at demonstrating why 1/1/1 is imba (Yoda vs Tassadar, Taeja vs Tails, sC vs EXTREME), Protoss players were too good at getting themselves eliminated to let us see more cases. You must work harder, Protoss brethren! The only way you're going to get that build patched is to make it to the finals and lose to it 0-4.
Last edit: 2011-09-10 02:39:07
Hey HP can you redo everything youve ever done because i have a small complaint?
IMNotMvp Korea (South). September 10 2011 02:27. Posts 530