Poor poor Bischu. That essentially sums up this entire preview. TaeJa is making a strong case for being the best Terran in the world, if not, the best player in the world entirely. After cruising through MLG Arena, TaeJa currently sits with 16-2 stats in IPL TAC with wins over MarineKing, Creator, Squirtle, Bomber, Genius and CoCa. He recently won the ESV Grand Prix over Squirtle in convincing fashion, and just looks unbeatable in every matchup. There isn’t a player in the world that would be considered a favorite over him, he’s just that good right now.
Compare this to Bischu, whose most recent tournament was a disappointing top 8 finish at WCS Sweden which included a 1-2 loss to Thorzain. Before that he’s had some pretty good stats against Terran, but nothing you would consider exceptional. Unfortunately, TaeJa is an opponent for which you need to be playing exceptionally well. Bischu, despite playing quite well right now, isn’t playing at an exceptional level. Realistically, if he can take a game off of Taeja then it would be considered a huge upset.
Nerchio is the heavy favorite coming into this match, and for good reason. Nerchio is one of the few non-Korean players who have proven themselves to be competitive against Koreans. After crushing through HomeStory, Nerchio made a strong claim for the strongest non-Korean in the world. Whether he is the strongest or not is irrelevant at this point, the fact is he’s good, he’s got momentum and there are only a handful of non-Koreans that would be considered competitive against him.
With all of that said, Darkforce should be quite comfortable coming into this as the underdog – throughout his career it’s like he has always been seen as the underdog coming into events. Every now and then he produces an outstanding result, but has never been consistent enough to take down a major championship. This couldn’t be more evident in his qualification for the TSL. Darkforce was one of the most consistent players, but his highest finish was a lone semifinal.
Factoring in each players recent form and both players past history in the matchup, I would be surprised if this series was worse than a 3-1 for Nerchio. If this were a ZvT or a ZvP I would be more inclined to think that Darkforce could cause an upset, but it isn’t and I expect to see Nerchio through to the next round.
Curiously, these players have met before in competition. In IPL TAC2, Beastyqt defeated Sting in Empire’s 5-2 loss to NSHoseo – this game took place in March, which seems like a long time ago now. Sting isn’t a player than you hear a lot about and definitely was an unexpected qualifier for the TSL. He was unable to qualify for WCS or WCG and has struggled in Code A. However his event seems to be the ESV Weekly which he places highly (including one win).
TSL4 could be Sting’s breakout tournament. His run during the TSL qualifiers came early on and was against an incredibly strong lineup. In fact, to get here he went through HyuN, CoCa and First (all qualified for the TSL) and the OSL anomaly San. This is a highly impressive run and without many other tournaments on for him, no doubt he will be focusing hard on the TSL. No doubt some people will go over to his TLPD and check out his TvT stat; here’s a warning for anyone who does – the statistic is highly misleading. He only has a 40% winrate in the matchup but his games are against some of the best TvT players in the world; including 10 games against TaeJa. Sting can play some pretty scary TvT.
Beastyqt on the other hand has been extensively training in the USA under the guidance of Mr Bitter in the Razer Academy. Now I wouldn’t say that Beastyqt is known for his TvT, if anything people would know him for his good results against Protoss. But he has been posting fairly good results in the matchup recently (70% winrate since joining the Razer Academy). But as always, statistics are misleading – against Koreans Beastyqt is 1-3 in series in the same time period. Watching the games, they aren’t ridiculously one sided, but it is clear that Korean TvT is on another level to non-Korean TvT.
Predicting this match is quite difficult because of how untested Sting is, as well as trying to get a proper assessment of Beastyqt’s current skill. My gut tells me that this should be Sting’s series (Beastyqt is a step down from his usual TvT competition, after all). But if Beastyqt has been working hard on this matchup is not impossible that he pulls an upset – he’s been coming ever so close in his other series against Korean terrans. With both players having something to prove the match should be close and hard fought.
This match between two household names from the European scene also features two top four finishers from TSL3, with Hasu barely missing out on the third place seed against Kas, and ThorZaIN not needing any introduction in the TSL. Fortunately for HasuObs, he managed to (barely) qualify on points nonetheless, but being the #32 seed in TSL4 has left him with the task of dethroning the defending champion.
The major story of TSL3 was ThorZaIN’s rise from being a little-known mid-tier European Terran to becoming one of the world's elite as defeated a truly titanic lineup of players on his way to the championship. Fast forwarding more than a year, ThorZaIN has had his share of ups and downs, but has mostly kept pace with constant stream of solid results. Though TSL3 accentuated ThorZaIN's build order preparation awareness of his opponent styles, victories at DreamHack and WCS Sweden, and his anchoring role for Mouz proved his ability in multiple formats.
HasuObs pretty much defines the archetype of the German/European standard Protoss player, for better or for worse. Not one to take risks, Hasu’s mantra for StarCraft II success seems to be “defend”. Although this has hurt his ability to gain a fan-following commensurate to his skill outside of Germany, his solid Protoss style can compete with nearly anyone in the international scene. Though he lacks a single, career-defining performance in a widely watched tournament, that can be attributed to a lack of opportunities (as is the case for many Europeans). That makes it a little hard to say exactly where Hasu stands right now, but if his past consistency is any indication, he’s can be expected to hold his own against the vast array of international players in TSL4.
Both ThorZaIN and HasuObs play macro-based, safe styles with, occasionally mixing in a timing attack as to not be too predictable. You can imagine the average ThorZaIN vs HasuObs game to have a fairly standard linear progression: both players open up with a fast expand, ThorZaIN adds ebay(s) and possibly a third command center, while HasuObs gets a forge or two and makes some Colossi, Templar, and a third base. ThorZaIN will probe around at his medivac timing and annoy HasuObs, but barring any major mistakes, HasuObs will defend well and take it to the late-game. They will eventually fight and whoever controls the first big engagement better will likely take the game. It will be interesting to see if either of the two chooses to change up their style completely, as they surely are familiar with each other after having been teammates for so long.
In any case, ThorZaIN has a slightly more proven track record of taking down top international players (especially Protosses), and his recent results and training with SlayerS have certainly done nothing to change that. With two players that seem similar in many ways, it’s hard to pick against ThorZaIN, as HasuObs just doesn’t seem to have that spark that sends him over the top as a championship contender. However, I certainly wouldn’t count Hasu out of it, and no result would truly surprise come game time.
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I'll root for Beasty and Bischu just because I want some more foreigners in the Ro16. I hate going against Taeja, but I want more protosses to avenge their fallen brethren in PvZ. I'd love to see Bischu pull that upset against a high level Korean and then roflstomp all the big names to become champion like the prophecy says.
And I guess Nerchio.
Last edit: 2012-08-05 22:56:34
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AgentChaos United Kingdom. August 05 2012 22:55. Posts 4563
Taeja 3-1 Bischu Nerchio 3-1 DF Beastyqt 3-1 Sting ThorZaIN 3-2 Hasu (I think this will be the closest series by far, hope it doesn't disappoint )
Watch Bischu win though, it would be FD/ThorZaIN level upset lol.
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