– Favorites cruise through RO128, knock-outs begin in RO64
With the round of sixty-four halfway completed at the end of day one, a few of Starcraft II's notable names have already seen themselves knocked out at DreamHack Summer 2012. The crowd at Jönköping will have less of their countrymen to root for as the tournament goes on, as well-known Swedish players Bischu, SjoW, HayprO, and Merz were eliminated in the RO64.
Despite a strong player field, there was enough space for the more famous players to be limited to two per group in the RO128 – which caused a tepid first round of play before the true fight for survival began in the RO64. Alongside the aforementioned Swedes, other key national representatives such as America's qxc and Finland's elfi were also forced to become spectators the rest of the way.
– DIMAGA and TiTan survive 'Group of Death,' JYP drops out
The biggest upset of day one came when EG's JYP, a familiar face in the GomTV studio and the SlayerS house, failed to advance out of a group containing DIMAGA, TiTaN, and biGs. Tied on match score at 2 – 1 with DIMAGA and TiTaN, JYP fell to third place in his group with a map score of 4 – 3 compared to Eastern Europeans' 5 – 3. Once again, PvP was the culprit in a foreigner over Korean upset, as a 0 – 2 loss to TiTaN was key in this loss on maps.
– Matches of note
As is the case in most tournaments, some of the most anticipated matches of DreamHack pitted top foreigners against players coming out of Korean team houses.
Stephano vs PuMa further bolstered Stephano's reputation as a Korean-killer, as the French Zerg swept aside the EG Terran in two sets. A lack of overall finesse (in particular, an inability to spread marines against fungal) caused PuMa's downfall at a previous meeting between the two at Assembly Winter 2012, and it was largely the same story at DHS 2012. PuMa nearly achieved a comeback win in game two by leveraging every advantage he could on Antiga Shipyard, but he fell short in the end.
DIMAGA vs JYP game one continued the tradition of long, attrition filled games between Ukrainians and Koreans, including 'classics' such as Kas vs Zenio at IEM Kiev or DIMAGA vs any Protoss. The game appeared like it would be a near repeat of two players' clash on Dual Sight during HomeStorycup IV, where DIMAGA was able to emerge victorious after an hour by turtling behind a sea of spines and spores. However, JYP came with a modified game plan this time around, and was able to force his way through DIMAGA's defenses with mass carriers.
DreamHack Winter 2011 Champion
DreamHack Winter 2011 might have been the most important moment in Liquid`HerO's career, becoming the tournament where he won the championship he had been seeking years. With that monkey off his back, HerO has continued to grow as a player, even managing to find success in the GSL with a RO4 finish last season. TeamLiquid caught up to the reigning champion of Jönköping for a brief chat about DreamHack.
TeamLiquid: When you won DreamHack Winter 2011, you said it hadn't really hit you that you were the champion. How do you feel now, looking back at that experience?
Liquid`HerO: Honestly, it hasn't really hit me even now. I think to myself 'Did I really win? Oh yeah, I did...' These days, I really miss it though, and I'm working hard so that kind of day will come again.
How did winning your first big tournament affect you?
It gave me a lot of confidence, and it made me realize that hard work really does pay off in the end. Having the title of 'champion' has been a source of strength for me, and it's also my hope for the future.
You decided to go to DreamHack instead of MLG. Was it because of your pride as the defending champion?
No, I haven't really thought about that, I think that would just add more pressure. I just want to do my best without that kind of pressure on me. It was more because of the conflict with my GSL schedule.
How do you think you've developed as a player since last December?
Well, an outside observer would have a more objective view on this, but personally I think that I'm not a player who makes big leaps all of the sudden. I'm a player who grows slowly and steadily.
Looking at the player list for this tournament, do you think it will be harder to win this tournament than last time around?
Well, I try not to really pay attention to the player list. There's no such thing as an easy tournament, so I just plan to play it out one opponent at a time.
You're often put at odds with your friend PuMa in foreign tournaments, how would a match like that be this time around?
I think it would be fun if we played again. Regardless of who I face, I would like to get a satisfactory result at this tournament.
There's a lot of talk about Zerg imba these days, what do you think?
Honestly, whether it's because of the patch or something else, they do seem a bit stronger than before. It does seem to coincide with the patch. But I don't think Zerg players win because their race is strong.
Swedish players are also doing well lately, what do you think of them?
In the case of NaNiwa and SaSe, they're both Protoss players as well so I hope we can all do well together, and I hope I can learn from them too.
The response from the fans when you won at DreamHack Winter was really huge. Do you have anything to say to your Swedish fans?
These days, I've started thinking about my DreamHack Winter championship a lot, and I miss my fans. I want to thank my fans in Sweden for cheering me on, and I'd like to say hi and hang out with them at Dreamhack.
Any final comments?
Once again, I want to thank my fans for cheering me on. I'm cheering for you too! I'm working hard for my fans, so I don't become a gamer who is forgotten, so I hope you guys will keep supporting me this DreamHack.
Didn't get to watch the first day so really looking forward to this! Any kind of hero/puma rematch would be epic, and great for sc2 storylines in general, really hoping for it! Love the DH production style, getting the popcorn out for sure.
P.S. wax, 2 mistakes in the first paragraph of the hero interview, requires a ninja edit
ninjamyst United States. June 17 2012 12:49. Posts 1617
Hero will take 1st place this tournament . I can feel it
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CrazyF1r3f0x United States. June 17 2012 13:58. Posts 1761