SK Planet Proleague table and results at Liquipedia
Week 1 Lookback
The first ever all-StarCraft II Proleague began with a... maybe not quite a 'bang,' but the equally loud noise of expectations being shattered. EG-TL stumbled out the gates, suffering a humiliating 0 - 4 drubbing at the hands of the famed KT Rolster. Quite literally, things can only get better for EG-TL from here, but it was still an ominous start for the team that was suppose to help bring the Proleague to a global market.
The other major upset was a more welcome one for many, as the undermanned Team Eight took out Samsung Khan in a close 4 - 3 victory. After years of seeing Air Force ACE at the bottom of the table, more parity in the Proleague should be a welcome development.
Two time champions KT Rolster gave EG-TL a harsh initiation into the Proleague, massacring them in a 4 – 0 sweep. Even though EG-TL became the target of much mockery after such an ignominious debut, it was a fairly acceptable loss in the grand scheme of things. Core members TaeJa, HerO, and Stephano were all missing from the line-up, while ThorZaIN had only recently arrived in Korea. The poor performances of Jaedong (lost listlessly to an immortal all-in) and JYP (lost to a scouted blink-stalker rush) were a bit disconcerting, but it's nothing to worry about yet. If TaeJa and HerO show poor adjustment to the Proleague? Then EG-TL might have a serious problem on their hands.
For KT Rolster, it was a largely uninformative match. With EG-TL missing their core players, KT's mainstays from last season played up to expectations, while the untested Mind ended up without a chance to show his skills. The upcoming week two matches will be a better test of whether or not KT has improved from their 6th place SC2 record in the hybrid season.
A match-up between two teams with multiple players tested in solo leagues from MLG, IPL, GSL, to OSL lived up to expectations, going all seven games. Conversely, the widely anticipated fourth set between GSL semi-finalist Bogus and OSL champion Rain didn't match the hype, with Bogus crushing Rain with superior numbers after successfully pulling off a triple-orbital command build.
However, there was entertainment to be had in the other matches, notably BeSt's tactical dissection of Hyvaa on new-map Bifrost, with cliff stalkers and a warp-prism full of sentries earning him a stylish victory. Fantasy's strong bio vs. mech play on half-isle map Arkanoid tied up the series at 3 – 3, forcing an ace match.
Surprisingly, Trap was sent forth as the ace for STX instead of Bogus, with Rain coming out as expected for SKT. Rain was able to make up for his earlier loss, putting on a better laser show to defeat Trap and give his team their first win of the season.
Defending champions CJ Entus got off to good start in the new season with a 4 – 1 victory over Woongjin Stars. Entus' two most accomplished players in Bbyong and hero[join] won as expected, but they also got a surprise boost from Hydra (who handled Flying's two-base mothership rush without trouble), who had not factored heavily into last season's campaign. From Woongjin's side, it was a deflating loss after coming in as the top-performing SC2 team in the hybrid league. On the other hand, CJ Entus had recovered from poor regular season SC2 performances to go 8 – 1 in their playoff run, making this match less of an upset.
Game three proved to be pivotal, with key players Bbyong and Soulkey facing off on Antiga Shipyard. A failed roach-bane bust set Soulkey heavily behind to start, but he showed admirable tenacity to keep the game close before tapping out. Having won the battle of the heavy guns, CJ was able to close out the series with Skyhigh taking out ZerO with mech on Bifrost, avoiding a duel between the untested Songduri and Code A player hOn_Sin (aka Bravo).
Severely depleted after losing Jaedong and Sea between seasons, the KeSPA Eighth Team looked destined to take the place of the defunct Air Force ACE team. Yet, somehow, a combination of scrappy performances from the Crazy Eights, and one epic throw from Samsung KHAN gave the underdogs a valuable opening match win.
After Baby's Arkanoid over-aggression backfired in game five, and TurN scorched dozens of Speed's SCVs in game six, the series looked like it would end in a 4 – 2 win for Samsung KHAN. However, TurN embarked on a series of disastrous mech vs. mech engagements, allowing Speed a comeback victory to tie up the series.
The ace match had Baby going up against Shine on Bifrost, a match where the Samsung Zerg started off with a mostly unsuccessful roach rush. Shine tried to follow-up with mutalisks, but they were also ineffective as Baby defended ably and slowly expanded his territory with mech. Shine was unable to get together a serviceable hive composition in time, and fell to a combination of direct attacks and drop tactics from Baby.
With Baby also playing well to make it into Code S, there appears to be some hope for Team Eight. Having a solid ace is a great foundation, and if Team Eight can find their version of Stats to KT's Flash, or Anytime to Oz's Jaedong, they could be a contender yet.
Week 1 Standings
Featured Game: Flash vs. Zenio
Our first spotlight match of the new Proleague season also happens to be the first set of the first match, as Liquid`Zenio went up against the Brood War legend, KT_Flash.
With the recent nerfs to the infestor, Zergs may be looking to revert back to older styles of mutalisk play or rushing up to hive tech on a low infestor count in the Zerg versus Terran match-up. In this limbo period where there is no dominant style, expect many different concepts to be explored by pros in their unofficial and official matches. However, on top of the recent balance change, we also have new maps coming into Proleague. The new Proleague maps are a breath of fresh air - they allow for innovative gameplay and discourage some of the static and completely defensive styles that we have seen over the past several months. The map where our featured game takes place, Caldeum, is no exception.
At first glance, Caldeum can appear to be overwhelming: it's a 2 player map filled with small patches of minerals, assimilators, and destructible rocks blocking different pathways. You can find gold minerals in the middle of the map, and a labyrinth of twisting pathways splits the middle into multiple avenues of attack. Perhaps one of the most interesting features of this map is the lack of watch towers in critical positions - players must rely on their units to comb through the map in search of the enemy infiltrating their territory. Overall, the map layout restricts one base all-in plays, forcing players to play a longer game and deal with aggression all over the map.
Interestingly, the recent trend of Zergs choosing mutalisk play would impact the outcome of the game and determine who would use the map to his advantage. One of the critical problems with going for mutalisk play in the Zerg versus Terran match-up is the inability for Zergs to do damage nowadays - Terrans have simply become too good at stopping mutalisk harassment and protecting their mineral lines. We see this lack of harassment potential in Flash versus Zenio, as Zenio had little to no open options to harass Flash's worker lines with his mutalisks without incurring heavy losses. Throughout the game, we see Flash’s foresight as he uses small moves to build up a lead, allowing him to create a massive push with 2/2 upgrades finishing. The first of such moves is sending out an early SCV to build an engineering bay and block Zenio's natural.
An Engineering Block
By sending out an early SCV, Flash forces the Zerg to open with a spawning pool instead of a hatchery
Zerg has 2 options to deal with this kind of block: throw down a spawning pool in his main, or take their first hatchery at his third base (similar to what many Zergs do versus Protoss). Neither of these options is a good one for Zenio - He reaches 300 minerals just as his drone reaches his natural, so building a spawning pool in the main would mean that the pool would be delayed 100 minerals from its most efficient build timing. Additionally, since Zenio will not have creep at his natural hatchery, his creep spread for the game will be heavily delayed and this allows Flash to maneuver around the map more easily in the mid game. On Caldeum, the third base is extremely far away, meaning that if Zenio had taken the third base as a natural hatchery the mid game hellion banshee composition would have practically ended the game forcing Zenio to struggle and defend two hatcheries with no creep connecting them. Either option results in a delay in the Zerg's economy that helps Flash keep even with the Zerg in the mid game in terms of economy without having to go for a very fast three command centers.
Costs for Terran:
Loses minerals sending out SCV very early, loses minerals by canceling engineering bay. Puts the Terran slightly behind in economy
Benefits for Terran/Damage to Zerg:
Zerg has to choose between 2 bad scenarios: build spawning pool late or build hatchery at third base before building at natural (worst of the two)
Zerg is thrown off of optimal build: any way you put it, the Zerg will be putting down either a pool or a hatchery late. In contrast, Terran is the one choosing to engineering block, so he will have a build planned out.
Creep spread gets delayed due to later natural
Instead of getting up three early CCs, Flash follows up his economic delay with standard hellion banshee (sticking to just 2 CCs), using his mobile composition to take map control away from Zenio and force zerglings. Remember that not all economic damage comes from killing drones - at this point in the game, Flash hasn't killed any. However, he has used his engineering bay block to stall the Zerg’s economy and his hellion banshee composition to pressure the Zerg into making units instead of drones, further delaying the critical drone count that Zerg needs to overwhelm Terran in the mid to late game. It is essential that Zerg get up as many drones as possible, as early as possible - this massive buildup in economy before exploding with units is what makes the Zerg race so unique and is exactly what Flash is inhibiting with his early game moves.
The Great Walls of Flash
At this point in the game, Zenio has 2 tech choices: mutalisks or infestors. Recently, more Zergs have been opting for mutalisks to try and harass and keep the Terran in his/her base while the Zerg player rushes towards the hive tech needed to survive the later portions of the mid game. Knowing that mutalisk styles depend upon counterattacks, Flash goes back to a technique he perfected in BW.
Flash begins construction of the great wall of Terran. Look familiar?
Using supply depots as walls to prevent run-bys is a tactic that is being more commonly deployed, but not all Terrans are using the tactic to its full potential. Often you see Terrans moving out without a fully completed wall, or forgetting to re-raise their walls when games get hectic. In this game, Flash shows none of that kind of sloppiness, making sure that he doesn't just have the standard walls at his main and natural, but walls at both entrances to his third base as well. When Zenio later tries a series of runbyes, this multi-tiered defense proves to be invaluable. It allows Flash to leave fewer units behind on defense when he moves out for the typical Terran mid-game timing attack, an attack that must be powerful as it sets the pace for the late game.
Supply depot walls delay pushes, and allow for Flash to rally more units to defend before his base gets overrun
The Careful Push
All of Flash's preparation - delaying the economy of Zenio, using map control to take an early third base, and using depots to prepare for a counter attack - all come together in Flash's first push. This timing attack is of the utmost importance - It hits just as +2 attack and +2 armor finish for Flash, so he is able to create a very beefy marine backbone supported by several tanks. This one timing attack is what every single one of Flash's earlier moves adds up to - if Zenio is able to crush Flash's push efficiently or without losing a base, he will likely win the game with a huge economic advantage that will carry him into the late game and allow him to overwhelm Flash with hive tech units.
Flash pushes carefully, crawling along the bottom of the map to creep up on Zenio's fourth base and put himself in position to threaten Zenio's natural. One of the biggest mistakes Terran can make is to move out onto the map unaware of what the Zerg has prepared for him just outside his base. But not Flash. Flash builds a sensor tower covering the exit of his base from his supply-depot wall and has control of the bottom watchtower so no Zerg army can catch him out of position. With so much hinging on the success of one timing attack, losing an entire army just because the Terran is caught off-guard seems foolish.
And then there's the raven...
Once Upon a Midnight Deary
When a Terran opens bio, the raven is a unit we seldom see in the early game. But Flash knows better. As Flash already had a tech lab on his starport for a banshee, there was no wasted downtime to construct the infrastructure needed to obtain an early raven. Flash chooses to invest in this raven for 2 main reasons: killing creep, and using its spells during Flash’s massive timing attack. Killing creep takes place during two parts of the game: When Flash still has his banshee and handful of hellions, he is able to kill creep tumors and limit Zenio's map control without scans. Later on, the addition of raven to Flash's main army allows his 3 base timing to kill creep without wasting precious orbital energy. He instead uses his orbital energy to scan ahead in order to see if he has to stop and siege his tanks before moving up the ramp into the fourth base.
These creep tumors are nevermore.
Usually, Terran players are shocked to find that creep is already three quarters of the way across the map when they move out of their three base bastion, all sprouting from an uncontrolled early game of Zerg creep spread. An early raven both adds to the engagement and helps to constrict Zerg creep spread so that the eventual 3 base push is easier to execute. In the engagement, the raven's abilities don't actually serve that much of a purpose. Flash attempts to get off a cheeky seeker missile on a pack of banelings, but Zenio sees it coming (or hears it, seeker missiles are quite noisy) and is able to split his units.
Flash perfectly positions his army to deny Zenio's fourth.
By this point, Flash has gotten into the exact army position that he wants.
He protects the tanks in the middle of his composition so that mutalisks cannot easily snipe them.
His tanks are slightly spread to prevent zergling or banelings from getting to the tanks and killing them easily.
His army consists of pre-split marines in a multitude of separate little packs waiting to receive the Zerg army.
Although Zenio does move in and defeats Flash's army, this doesn't necessarily put Flash behind. Flash was expecting to lose his first three base push - however, it had accomplished 4 key objectives for him:
Flash was able to keep his army alive and threatening Zenio for a substantial amount of time (1:00+), eliminating the likelihood that Zenio is building drones and teching to hive tech units (investing for the late game)
Flash was able to kill the Zerg’s fourth base which is critical to the Terran's survival in the later mid game.
Flash is able to trade his army in an economically efficient way. Although Zenio did manage to kill all of Flash's forces, he left the engagement 15 supply down and is in trouble because of his heavily delayed economy and tech.
Flash was able to sneak in a successful drop that caused yet more damage.
Flash drops Zenio's main while the main engagement happens, sniping Zenio's spawning pool and killing drones
And the Final Drops to Top it off
Dropping a Zerg during an engagement is critical to Terran's success in the mid/late game (sometimes dropping in multiple locations at once). There are 2 possibilities that come from dropping a Zerg right before or during an engagement:
A) The Zerg player pulls back units to defend the drop before the engagement happens, weakening his main army. This will usually result in the Terran player gaining a more favorable position on the map. or
B) The Zerg player waits until the main army engagement is over before dealing with the drop. This usually results in some damage being done by the Terran, either by sniping tech buildings or killing drones.
In this game, Zenio falls back on option B, so he loses his spawning pool and multiple drones. However, Zenio does not trade efficiently in the main fight and so he gets the worst of both situations. He both deals with Flash's drop poorly AND fails to completely crush Flash's main army. From this point, Zenio is being pushed at his natural and can no longer deal with Flash's widespread aggression. Despite mounting a counterattack that manages to get inside of Flash's wall (there is a hole in Flash's supply depot wall at the third; even Flash falls for typical SC2 Terran mistakes), Flash is still able to hold his natural and loses minimal SCVs at his third. From this point, after crippling Zenio economically and delaying Zenio's hive tech, Flash is able to easily push Zenio's natural and main while dropping Zenio's 10 o'clock base for a victory.
Again, Flash uses positioning to his advantage and deals with Zenio's defending infestors and zerglings efficiently
Terrans can use many different tactics to keep even with Zerg in the mid game before moving out and trading units efficiently. We again return to the problem brought up in the introduction - if Zergs are to go for mutalisks in the mid game, they have to be able to get some kind of damage done to the Terran economy, mount an effective mid-game attack that deals damage, or crush the Terran with an excellent engagement when he moves out. Zenio also chose to not go for the popular +2/+2 ling baneling mutalisk all in off of 3 base, which would have been much less effective versus Flash's excellent wall and unit positioning even if Zenio had made this choice. Zenio's only real option to create an effective harassment failed, and after he was able to only trade against Flash's 2/2 timing, he was crushed by Flash's precise play and excellent decision making.
From the post-game interview:
We're curious to hear what resolutions you've made for yourself this season.
I did very poorly last season, so I want to take back my title of "King of Most Wins". I want to achieve results that are worthy of my team name and make sure that we take the championship.
If Flash can keep playing like he did against Zenio, then there's no reason the Ultimate Weapon won't be able to build upon his success from this fall and continue to dominate other players with his superior macro and excellent decision making.
Week 2 Previews, Part 1
A brief look at the week two games, starting with the four weekend games played on OnGameNet.
With both Baby and Flash drawing easier opponents from the opposing team, the fate of this match is the hands of lesser known players from either team. In particular, Mind and Check come into this series with very limited official SC2 match experience, and they could be the unexpected difference makers in this match. If the supporting casts end up trading games evenly, then there's a tantalizing ace match possibility: Flash vs. Baby. Of course, unexpected Ace choice are a defining feature of Proleague games, which means nothing is guaranteed, but you get the feeling that Flash would really like a chance to avenge his loss to Baby in their recent Code A match.
Predictions are mostly guesswork in the early season, as we're seeing a lot of the KeSPA players for the first time in months. The SKT vs. Woongjin match is something of a rarity, as we actually have some recent data on a fair number of the players, as they have played in various solo leagues during the Proleague off-season. If we go by just by what we've seen in MLG, GSL, and so forth, then you can call a 3 - 2 advantage for SKT, with Rain, soO, and Fantasy expected to win their matches, while Soulkey and sHy (aka sOs) look favored on Woongjin's side. The X-Factor could be ZerO vs. Best, featuring two players whose skills stayed relatively hidden in the months between Proleague seasons. While we'd normally say the series would be in the bag for T1 should it go to an ace match due to the Rain factor, the ace match map of Tal'Darim gives Woongjin a shot at a PvP upset.
Both Samsung and STX lost their opening week matches by narrow 3 - 4 scorelines, and in week two, they've adjusted in slightly different ways. In STX's case, it's more of a lack of adjustment, as they are bringing the exact same line-up from last week. In fact, it'll be the same six playing in their Tuesday match as well. It's a very curious situation, as they're leaving the GSL tested mini, and top Brood War star Calm on the bench for three consecutive series. In Samsung's case, they've taken Turn out of the line-up and replaced him with hOpe, but it's not to punish Turn for blowing a lead last week. No, Turn seems to be the designated Planet S player, and he'll be in action on Tuesday. hOpe fills in to play on Tal'Darim Altar, a map where both sides have decided to go with Zerg.
However, it will have to go to an ace match for us to see if either side has made the biggest adjustment: their choice of Ace. Neither team went with the ace of popular opinion last week, as Shine played for Samsung and Trap played for STX. Bogus vs. Roro seems like the obvious ace match in this duel, and we'll have to wait and see if the two head coaches agree.
And finally, the match we've all been waiting for! There won't be any excuses for EG-TL to make if they lose this week, now that HerO and TaeJa have returned to Korea. "But Stephano's not here yet!" Puh-leez. Even without Stephano, this is one of the best rosters in the entire Proleague, and the least EG-TL could do is win a match.
That said, the match-ups are actually quite good for CJ, and a TeamLiquid forum-crashing, second defeat for EG-TL is definitely in the picture. TaeJa's been poor against Protoss lately, and he's playing a Protoss. HerO's been bad against Zerg lately, and he's playing a Zerg. On the bright side... well there's not really a bright side, the other match-ups are decent but nothing for EG-TL to be really happy about.
The other thing to watch for is whether or not we'll see the first foreigner Proleague win since the handsome Australian Legionnaire defeated Cloud (no, not that ClouD) back in 2005. It's been over seven years now, and hell, it's about - nevermind.
First Round Picks
Most Popular:Liquid`Sea Sea, the BW proleague legend and master of mech in SC2 TvP, was the most picked player and thus voted the most undervalued player of this league. Sea has 2048 picks out of 5826, which means 35% of all FPL players have Sea on their main team. In contrast, there were only 104 picks for Sea on the anti-team. In week one, Sea was not on the lineup; this, in addition to the fact that his team, EG-TL, suffered a horrible defeat, means that Sea has not scored any points thus far. But I'm sure everyone who picked Sea was aware of this possibility. Perhaps even more disturbing was the fact that Sea was nowhere to be seen on the bench during EG-TL's week 1 match. We'll see in the future whether Sea is worth his two points or if this is just the fanboys getting overly-excited at a player who won't get to play much due to sharing the bench with so many teammates.
Biggest Anti-team to Main Team Pick Ratio:8th_Jaehoon For every person who picked Jaehoon on his main team, there were more than nine people who picked him on their anti-teams. The exactly numbers are 106 : 976. Everyone seems to have rushed to the highest valued player on T8 who wasn't Baby. Or maybe they've heard of Jaehoon's infamous choking habits where he recalls nothing but thin air while gushing sweat from all his pores. Whatever the case, maybe people forget that Jaehoon does win sometimes and even plays Ace matches. Jaehoon's win this week will be sure to remind them of this inconvenient truth.
Most Controversial:SKT_Bisu Ah Bisu. He may have been the revolutionist in BW, but today, he's just a below average player in SC2. If the average BW turned SC2 player performed at Bisu's level, no one would think twice about him. But for Bisu, a 3-6 score in proleague and second to last place among Kespa players in the MLG MVP Invitational, this is a catastrophe. Because of this, Bisu, at the same time, is both one of the most picked players for main teams and THE most picked player on anti-teams. There are many who see an underlying potential that's just waiting to be unleashed; other see Bisu as washed up and overvalued. Whatever the case, it seems that everyone has an opinion about Bisu.
The Big Winners Rain and BaBy The theme of this week's Ace matches seemed to have been redemption. All four players who played ace this week(Rain, Trap, Baby, and Shine) lost their regular matches and were then sent to play the deciding match. For Trap and Shine, this would mean even further shame and embarrassment, but for Rain and Baby, it would mean they would be the highest scoring players in this week's FPL. Congrats to them for having this distinct honor!
KT Rolster KT Rolster showed us how much what team you pick can make a difference on your final score. By gaining a score of +8, KT made sure that it was mandatory for FPL players to own this team in order to make it to the top 100 this week. Does this mean that KT was overvalued or just that faced a weak opponent in a Hero/Taeja/Stephano-less EG-TL? We'll have to watch the rest of season to find out.
The Big Losers Trap and Shine Both Trap and Shine, this week, showed us how it's possible to actually gain points from your anti-team. Not only did they lose their opening matches, but they were sent out for ace and lost their subsequent ace match. Trap is especially a disappointment as he was valued at 7 points and lost both his games extremely disappointingly. In his opening match against soo, Trap played overly cautious and then even misrallied one of his first colossi, a grievous mistake which cost him the game. In his ace match against Rain, Trap even had a great advantage going into the match. Though STX has a variety of potentially aces of different races, SKT1 will almost always send out Rain. And even though sniping build against Rain got him a sizable early lead against him, Trap seemed to throw it all away by forgetting a twilight council and then trying to take unfavorable battles.
EG-TL - Not the best start for our newly fused fan-favorite foreign team. When announced, EG-TL seemed to actually be the favorites to win this whole thing. After all, they had the most well known players who have all been playing Starcraft for over two years. Even valued at a whopping 6 points, far beyond any other team, EG-TL was the most picked team of the league. There were big expectations for EG-TL to dominate this league and score big points for their FPL team owners. But a -2 score to start off with probably isn't what people had on their mind as return for a 6 pointer team.
TerrorTerran's team seems to hinge on predicting the 4-0 or 4-1 in favor of KT over EG-TL as his five KT players were the first five players KT sent out against the Unholy Alliance. Though this strategy seems risky and all-in, it sure paid out in dividends for TerrorTerran. Each of TerrorTerran's players scored some points, even his singular non-KT player, Hydra, a great BW player and MSL champion who hasn't performed so well in SC2, but definitely has potential. With TerrorTerran's strategy focused on calling entire matches, I'm sure we'll see a lot of trading from him in the next week.
The Best Possible Team?
Have you ever wondered what the best possible fantasy proleague team is? Well, using linear optimization, we can now easily determine the optimal team after any given week! Note that for week one, because many players scored very similarly, the results aren't very meaningful. (For instance, there are many teams that could have scored the same as the team we have listed here.) But as the weeks go on, the results will be eventually become more interesting and insightful. So without further ado, our highest possible scoring team for the first week is:
Anti-Team Cost: 19 points, Anti-Team Points: +2 Total Points: 36
Again, there are many possible FPL teams who could have gotten this maximum amount of points (36) and this is just one example. What's special about this example is that this team has the least expensive main team that can score 34 points and the most expensive anti-team that can score 2 points. It's nice to note that this team gets a full 6 points more than the current highest ranked FPL team, which means there's always room for improvement!
Writers: Glon, monk., and Waxangel. Graphics: Hawaiianpig. Editors: monk. and Waxangel.
Last edit: 2013-01-09 13:03:42
Coolhwip Sweden. December 15 2012 00:30. Posts 1228
This is some Epic SHIT! Watching my favorite player from broodwar playing against each other in sc2 with a foreign team there also. If only there would also be some broodwar here... Well, i guess i have to take what i get!
BLinD-RawR India. December 15 2012 00:55. Posts 24632