Code S Ro8: Day 1 Recap
Results from Live Report Thread by opterown.
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All animals are equals, but some animals are more equal than others.
I have seen the future and it works
– SKT_By.Rain demolishes Liquid`HerO 3 – 0 to advance to the semi-finals.
This quarter-final's only PvP had an interesting premise. On the one hand, you had HerO, a fan favorite, historically weak at the matchup. On the other, you had Rain, historically good at everything, albeit with a short history. HerO did look strong as he advanced to the quarters defeating Squirtle, but the odds did not seem to be in his favor given the bracket. Meanwhile, Rain went into the match with an OSL victory over Parting, though interestingly most of his notable losses in both ProLeague and WCS Korea had been in mirror matches.
As much as HerO fans saw glimmers of hope in HerO’s demeanour and trajectory, some cold, hard truths were to be revealed. It should scarcely surprise anyone that Rain is an outstanding player, but perhaps it has not yet sunk in just how powerful.
The games were quite frankly brutal. It looked like HerO had prepared to face a Protoss he could fight straight up. Rain insisted on opening safely, incorporating robotics all three games. It was a representation of the faith the SKT player must have in himself at this point; he knows that if he can stay safe and not fall to build order losses, he will win. While HerO’s openings were not bad per se, he was never able to get a clear hold on the game. And whenever Rain found himself largely even or ahead, he would inescapably turn equality into advantage, advantage into momentum and momentum into victory.
Within the constraints of PvP, what impressed was how Rain was always getting ahead in terms of what matters the most. I commended Leenock on doing the same against HerO in the round of sixteen, and this was more of the same but on a different scale. Rain would lose his natural in game one, but stay far ahead on immortals. He would also use that advantage to be the first to transition to colossi and attack upgrades. In game two, the same story unfolded before our eyes. With HerO going blink stalkers instead of teching to dark templars like the last time. Rain again deflected attacks with an army superior to his opponent’s head to head. And these small advantages would again transition into bigger ones in the form of colossi and upgrades. Finally, facing elimination from the tournament, HerO opted to open robotics to mirror his opponent. Again, when they first met on the battlefield, Rain’s engagement was superior. This time, it was all but enough to be the final blow needed. Rain finished off the task in style, dispatching of his Liquid foe 3 – 0.
The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.
Rain is making good on the claims that he can win both of StarCraft’s two premier tournaments in the same time frame. When he competed in WCS Korea, he defeated Horror, Leenock, Jaedong and Curious and we thought his PvZ was clearly his best matchup. Then, in the group stages of Code S, he defeated Byun, Taeja and Polt and we thought his PvT was clearly his best matchup. Now he has defeated Parting and HerO in his round of eight appearances in OSL and GSL.
When a player looks like he has three different best matchups in the space of a few weeks, it's understandable that there's a considerable amount of hype. When he does it while also increasing his skill exponentially, he looks set to become the best player the world has seen.
I have seen the future and it doesn’t work
– LG-IM_Mvp shows signs of a return to glory, defeating TSL_Symbol 3 – 1.
There are a few common elements when it comes to most descriptions of Mvp by Team Liquid writers. Most would say that he is not as good as he once were, that he relies more on trickery and guile than brute force now than he did before. It will also commonly be noted that while this is true, he has a will to win and knowledge of how to win unparalleled by his peers.
Quite frankly, Mvp remains a bit of a mystery. Given his physical condition, it seems like there should be no way for him to be as good as he is. His TvZ, good enough to basically single-handedly get ghosts nerfed, was perhaps his worst before IEM Cologne happened. With that tournament win, completing his trifecta of continental championships, he showed that not only can he keep on getting top results, he can engineer ways to play that will counteract his limitations.
During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.
As was the case in the first match of the day, this was another display of dominance. Mvp started off the day on what most pros consider a top notch ZvX map, Abyssal City, with his trademark mech play. Since its inception, it has become a staple of both the ladder and tournament scene, thus one would believe that Symbol would come fully prepared. However, as much as this should have been true tactically, Mvp simply brushed his opponent aside with mechanics.
If what we have held to be true about Mvp since he won season two actually is, this should not have happened. Symbol is the kind of player one would expect to match up well in every respect but experience. The TSL Zerg might have lost some of his ZvT lustre since being the chosen one in both GSTL and last season’s GSL, but long, drawn out macro games should be his forte.
Game two featured a detour into roach/bling/ling attack, but Mvp came back to take the last two games with beautiful bio/tank play. As much as Mvp’s introduction of mech TvZ as the new standard brought back the image of his former, dominant self, this was a full return. In games, his macro, micro and decision making was a cut above that of Symbol. He took few risks, but played a solid style we see in players perfectly comfortable in their own prowess. For a player portrayed to mask his own weakness with new strategies, this sends a powerful message. Mvp held the games in a vice-like grip, reminiscent of Mvp at his very peak.
It did not matter whether Mvp was playing with hellions, banshees and thors or whether he deployed marines, tanks and medivacs. He was the better player. He was in control. He was Mvp.
With Mvp, we face an interesting question. Is this a triumphant return of Mvp, the undisputed best Terran in the world? Can his health sustain that in the long run? It is doubtful it can, but for this season, all he needs is two more matches of being at his best. To say that those days are squarely behind him would be blind; just when we thought he might be out of tricks and out of surprises, he busts out the biggest surprise so far. He returned to glory, returned to form and returned to dominance in all aspects of the game.
About as similar as two completely dissimilar things in a pod.
Rain is from the future. He is a messenger of things to come. He is what we reach for.
Mvp is from the past. He is the guardian of how things were. He is what we learn from.
It is interesting to think of what could have been. If Rain had been the one transitioning to SC2 early on, would Mvp have been the one to make a claim to be the strongest KeSPA player? Would Rain have been a four time champion?
Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
It is as if they are approaching the same point from opposite sides. They both do it with momentum, with dominance and with brilliance. That point will be illustrated by their meeting in the round of four. We might not be big brother, but Mvp and Rain; we will be watching you.