TSL Finals Hype Ladies and gentlemen, within a mere 24 hours the 4th installment of the greatest Starcraft tournament ever will hold its finals. Throughout the history of the TSL many stories have been told, each with a unique story-line like no other. And it all started with this:
TSL1: The Beginning
The battlefield was set in iccup, for a couple weeks every and any Starcraft player that had anything to their name would be hoping to get one of the Top 48 seeds, preparing for long hours before ladder games, just to secure those few extra wins that'd get them to the top. After a couple weeks of grueling competition, a German came out on top, the one and only, the German War Machine, the leader and creator of the most successful and oldest starcraft team in history (Templars of Twilight), it was the one and only Mondragon. With an impressive 108-24 run he secured first place on the ladder and became the heavy favorite to take the tournament.
The Round of 16 came, and Mondragon fell to the BBQ-toss Dreiven. This huge upset gave Dreiven an even scarier reputation than he already had. On the other side Nony demolished Ret, the White-ra IdrA rivalry continued with White-ra winning 2-1, BratOK ate Haypro, and Draco the terrifying polish protoss practicing in Korea won his match with ease.
Quarter finals come along, and the now scary-looking Dreiven falls 3-0 to the Russian Terran, and BratOK is through, and already everyone is expecting a Draco vs BratOK finals. Nony does his part at makes it to the semi's in convincing fashion where he will face Draco who took down White-ra, by now everyone can see Draco is completely untouchable.
In the semifinals IiefNaij edged out a victory over BratOK and the perspective changes from just some decent player in the tournament. Draco fights Nony in the other semi-finals which after the performance of both players some considered to be the finals by many, and easily takes home a 3-0 victory.
The finals starts, Draco starts with two quick wins and people are beginning to turn their streams off assuming a quick win. But JF; The King of the Reaver wins the next two games with reavers, could a reverse comeback be possible? See for yourself... (Hint: Reavers were made)
TSL2: Rise to Glory
TSL2 - the pinnacle of evolution of foreign starcraft. Again, the stage is set on iccup, Top 48 players qualify, those will shrink to 12, to join the 4 seeds in the Ro16 - Draco, JF, BratOK. That leaves one spot left, the person who gets the first position on the ladder will face against the 4th spot winner from TSL1;Nony, and fight him for the seed.
Every person who called themselves a Starcraft fan was F5'ing the automated ladder rankings every 5 minutes, to see who was gaining points, who was losing points. At the point Idra and Ret were the heavy heavy favorites. They have been practicing in Korea for months, and it was time for Idra to show what he learned there. As the ladder came to an end he did not disappoint:
Idra claiming after Morrow coming within 100 points of Idra in the last few hours. There was Yan, the multiple time iccup 2v2 champion from Canada, there was Kolll, the 14 year old zerg from Germany, many feared him more than anyone after seeing his insane APM and getting a top finish at the WCG beating the likes of Idra. Sen, the scary Taiwanese zerg, as well as the expected Ret, Mondragon, Mana, Xiaozi, and the likes. There would have been more, but the competition was so stiff, that many players scooped to cheating to secure themselves a spot. This included the likes of one of the favorites for the tournament; F91, and the community beloved Dimaga, as well as the Russian player who took a game off Jaedong at the WCG.
Idra unsurprisingly beat Nony for the seed who has been on a hiatus 3-1. Other players that have been away from the game for a while now included the reigning champion JF, and the runner-up Draco. The Top 48 quickly became the Top 12 + 4 seeds and we were left with Ret, Idra, Nony, Sen, White-ra, Kolll, Fenix, Mondragon, JF, BratOK, and Gosi[Terran] (Now known as major)... No major upsets, the best 16 players on the planet represented the Top 16 in this tournament.
The tournament is split up into 2 matches per day, all the way up until the quarter-finals, taking place on the weekend, just so the fans can absorb the quality of every single game and see this history in the making. First day the audience is ready, and jaws drop. The defending champion, the guy who doesn't play Starcraft anymore beats Gosi[Terran]. Next day comes, Nony 3-0s Tarson, whaaat... One week of practice and a complete clean sweep. Ret takes his game by winning with only having one extractor left as his last building, Sen takes down Draco, and Idra and Mondragon win their games as well.
Quarter finals, nobody knows what to expect. The heavy favorites Ret and Idra are still the favorites, but the results were surprising. JF vs White-ra is the first Round of 8 match, White-ra who has been consistently tearing the foreign scene up is expected to win, but JF... He makes reavers, and to what could have been the closest and most nail-biting PvP of all time, JF secures a 3-2 and a spot in the semifinal... Only to play the winner of the most anticipated match of all time in the foreign BW scene. Idra beat Nony in the qualifying, but here they meet again, in the Ro8 - Nony with his newly found skills...
Nony wins with a 3-2, in a drama filled series where Idra cancels a command center on accident and instantly leaves the game speechless, Nony becomes the Great American Hope. Other quarter finals are very anticipated as well. Ret vs the Taiwanese zerg. Ret is not comfortable with his ZvZ, he was a race picker, meaning he played ZvP and ZvT, but did not wish to play ZvZ and played TvZ instead, just days before the tournament he announced he would be played ZvZ because he learned a lot in Korea (and his muta micro was exceptional). After a close series he does fall victim to Sen, who defeated Fenix; who defeated Kolll and his godly muta micro with the most impressive strategic play of the tournament.
Semifinals- all the original favorites are out. Nony and JF were as unexpected as any, Mondragon hasn't been too active lately, and he keeps saying he doesn't practice, but he keeps winning, and Sen is Sen, always holding that title of the "I don't enter many tournaments, but if I'm there you wont win" zerg. Nony's streak continues as he beats JF with relative easy, but the excitement is in the other side of the bracket in which Mondragon has really returned to glory with amazing defiler lategame usage the previous round... And another complete surprise, a quick 3-0 from the humble Mondragon, people were starstruck, was one of these two players really going to win the tournament.
Two men, gotten this far on pure hard-work and talent, playing half of the day every day of the duration of the tournament, to secure themselves that 10k first place prize, and they are one best of 7 away from that bank. A finals like no other, a finals to determine the King of Foreign Starcraft 2 Broodwar. TSL2 was expected to be the last big foreign starcraft tournament, and there was a lot riding on the line, and for Nony it was all about the pride. The viewers turn up the volume of their streams on the Sunday morning, nothing in the air but the smell of zergling blood and craters from fallen Carriers was to be expected. The first two games went fast, and before Nony saw what was happening, it was 0-2. Nony recuperated and went on to bring home the last 4 games, and became known for his amazing strategic sense, and on the spot thinking. He became a legend in divine right, it was a tournament nobody could forget... well, until TSL3 came around at least.
TSL3: Korea vs The World
TSL3. 3 seeds, 13 invites, 8 qualifiers, in total 32 players. I am going to be completely honest, TSL3 has unquestionably been the best Starcraft 2 tournament of all time. Never in Wings of Liberty has there been so much story to a tournament, never have you seen 80k viewers watch a Round of 32 match. It all started with the invites, announcing a couple day by day, us, Teamliquid... Watching koreans play in their shadow, always wanting to be on a level to compete, and each day the invites were announced, each day people were more excited.
Genius - WCG 2010 Champion Fruitdealer - Miracle zerg, winner of the first GSL. MC - Best sc2 protoss ever? Period. MVP - Best sc2 terran ever. Not even a question mark. Nestea - Macro monster, GSL champion, part of the MC-MVP-Nestea trio. Boxer - Lim Yo Hwan. Nada - Look at all my gold medals?
And then to add everyone's favorite foreigners, Huk, Ret, Idra, Jinro, returning Nony and Mondi, qualified White-ra. Some of the other players seemed underwhelming and not having much to their name, like Naniwa and Thorzain would have to prove themselves, while others such as Cruncher and NightEnd already proved a lot in their qualifier where they took easy victory.
This man... in TSL. LIM YO HWAN
Day one starts, Nony vs Strelok, Ro32, Nony shows us a revolutionary double forge style and takes the series with spectacular style. Never has a Ro32 had this many interesting games... Mondragon who doesn't play Starcraft 2 won by countering Stargate with roaches, "you make more air, I make more roach", poor Zeerax. Adelscott beat MVP with a new style where he only let his zealots die, Goody(Yes Goody, the 80APM guy) beat Nestea with his mech style in one of the closest series of the tournament, Thorzain beat Fruitdealer, Boxer bunker rushed and won his series, Cruncher smiled and received to response back, Naniwa beat Ret with another revolutionary style to counter Ret and his mass roach aggression, and overall it was a super action packed start to a tournament.
The tournament carried on, and several player - Kas, Thorzain, Naniwa and the likes were making a very scary reputation for themselves. We saw the highest level play in Starcraft 2 yet. We saw Boxer take a 3-2 over Sen in the Round of 16, we saw Thorzain beat MC 3-2, saw Nada fall 3-0 Kas... And to what we believed the Korean were vastly superior... There were none left by the time we reached the semi-finals. From the 7 best Koreans down to 0 in 3 rounds was a huge triumph for us, for the first time Korea saw the presence of the foreign scene. More importantly however this tournament was bringing the community together, us the foreigners were cheering with boosted morale and we were fighting a common enemy which we were for once evenly matched with.
With time and bloodshed the top 4 emerged victorious, but only a week later two of them were stomped in 4-1 fashion, crushed so badly that any impressive accomplishment of them reaching the semifinals faded so quickly... All eyes were on two players, the two-base timing specialist Naniwa, and Thorzain, the king of chess, the king of strategy, and the king of taking his time. Having proved they were the two best players in the world they flew to New York to decide who would be the winner of the most prestigious Starcraft 2 tournament yet.
In an epic best of 7, the fan favorite found himself down 1-3 after losing 3 straight games. His mental state after that many crushing loses must have been in the gutter, but even after all that the next 2 games were won by Thorzain because of surreal micro, impressive EMP's, and star-sense strategy and positioning in some of the closest games ever, holding onto his tournament life with a piece of thread. It was time for Game 7, the questions on everyone's mind were will Thorzain bring it home, will Naniwa keep the pressure with the same 2 base timing attack strategies, especially on these favourable positions for protoss on Tal'Darim... The game was a crowd pleaser, everyone enjoyed it; but two people. The fallen son of Aiur who could taste that 15k USD prize, and Chill... The poor guy having to watch from the sidelines.
TSL4: Best of the Best
TSL4 is the first of its kind. There has never been a tournament that allowed ANY koreans and ANY foreigners easily accessible to anyone in which there was ample time for preparation. This is the tournament that decides which player on the planet is the most versatile, a player who is strategic, a player who knows how to prepare for a certain opponent, a player who can create strategies on the go, the winner of the TSL4 is the player that has no weakness.
Each of these players had to start this competition in a grueling 1024 man qualifier where one game was the difference between a win and a loss, each of these players required to win 10 series consecutively against the worlds top players before they would even qualify for the Round of 32 (or have an outstanding performance in many), in other places winning a qualifier this difficult would be rewarded greatly.
Quick plug to the best Starcraft song (:
The high level of play was quickly shown in the Ro32 when the winner and runner-up of TSL3 went down in quickly to Hasuobs and Johnnyrecco respectively, which both showed consistant solid place in the qualifiers, Hasuobs with his perfect understanding on timings and Johnny's lategame economy management. The Ro32 was unfavorable for the foreigners, many of them went down in close 3-2 fashion such as Ret, Elfi, and Bischu. In total only 2 koreans fell in the first round, one of which was the doing of their own.
The foreign hope quickly dwindled as Creator demolished Coca, and Life beat the greatest foreign hope in the tournament in a swift 3-0; Kas was no more. First definitely seeming like a huge contender when he knocked down the Liquid hope, LiquidTaeja, who was the favorite coming into the tournament, later who proved his worth at MLG Summer Championship.
As the quarterfinals approached fans were scratching their head, they didn't know what to make of the situation. Nobody very notable was in the quarter finals, some even refused to the tune in. But for the ones that were, holy shit the level of the games was absurd. Creator quickly solidified himself as the new favorite of the tournament after he beat Hack 4-0, not having dropped a single game in the tournament yet, and Sting, who being an underdog of the tournament took down First who seemed to be picking up momentum. Life faced off against Curious, a former IPL finalist, proving once again when he's a monster in online events where his nerves aren't against him when he took game 7.
The semifinals did not receive much anticipation, but that is so much more the reason why the finals will be great, TSL holds to the tradition of the semifinals being complete stomps, Life made Keen look like a diamond player taking the victory 4-1, and Sting was praised by many because he managed to take two games off of the other finalist; Creator.
The finals are a battle of fresh blood, the contestants are only 15 and 16 of age, an age total lower than any other major SC2 tournament to date. The Korean powerhouse Creator.Prime, possibly and probably the most dominant and ruthless protoss in the world right now, just look at his currect record:
An unreal 26-6 in his last 32 matches, he is out for blood. Haha wait you think that's scary? Did I also mention his lifetime win ratio in PvZ is 79.4%? Higher than any other GSL pro with over 15 games registered? Whether you are tuning in to see entertaining games, to see the highest level games, or learn something to improve your own play, this is the man to learn from.
Onto life, if there's ever been a dark horse in a tournament, this is the one. Each new interview we have, we see how young, hardworking, and how dedicated this gamer is. He loves that he is here, and with the motivation he's had so far, I don't see why he wouldn't win tomorrow. He has stated previously nerves do get in his way during live events, and his results do agree with that. He doesn't have any major accomplishments under his belt right now, recently he did beat Sheth, Hero, and Ret in the IPL Team Arena... Or so you'd think... in the last 75 days he has not played a single tournament game besides the TSL4, all his preparation is here, his eyes are on the prize, watching him dismantle players like Keen definitely make me think he is a scary and TSL finals worthy opponent.
It's TSL4 time, the tournament where legends are born, and the place legacies never vanish. This is the series of their lives, and you know these two will give it their best. Be there to see it, or you will miss the once in a lifetime opportunity to see the continuum of the greatest esports story of all time. Teamliquid fighting!
Listen for some extra hyper after.
Remember, this is our tournament, this all started with a few guys having passion about a computer game, paying their way to run a site, and after a decade of hard-work growing big enough to put on a spectacle like this. Every TSL, every single teamliquider should be proud of what they are a part of. This is the moment I've been waiting for. Teamliquid pride!
PS- I know I totally suck with any graphics are visually nice looking stuff, but I just love the TSL and I really wanted to do something because this tournament means so much to me. Cheers!
Last edit: 2012-09-08 09:19:55
ACrow Germany. September 08 2012 07:57. Posts 3562
The drawings for TSL3 were so hype! Great collection, seeing all those old pictures, good job. Will watch, and expect a rather interesting matchup - and Creator to come out ahead with a comfortable margin. TL had bad luck with how the brackets aligned and a lot of upsets early on, so there didn't build much hype up unfortunately
Last edit: 2012-09-08 07:58:35
ExPresident United States. September 08 2012 07:59. Posts 197
SlayerS_MMA | Flash | IM_MVP | EG.HuK | Liquid'TaeJa | ST_PartinG | Liquid'HerO | SK.MC | STX_INnoVation | Dignitas.SeleCT ¯\_(シ)_/¯ - TL user Pucca is a nosy idiot who shouldn't try to order people around