For some reason, I thought Fantasy had more loses. TLPD tells me I'm wrong. In the last four months, Fantasy is 14-2, with his only two losses coming from Last and Leta (so these are understandable). But Fantasy doesn't finally clinch the number 1 rank on the Power Rank just due to his excellent record. Instead, he achieves this long-overdue distinction thanks to his fantastic play in the PL Grand Final against Flash. Bisu may have won the Ace match, but Fantasy won the game that propelled the KT-SKT final to the seventh set, and I don't think anybody is going to argue that Bisu played better in his game against Flash than Fantasy did.
In the past year, Fantasy has made great strides towards carving his name into the history books of Brood War. He won the 2010 Bacchus OSL, had one of the best (if not the best0 records in the 2011-2012 SK Planet Proleague, and helped SKT finally clinch the gold over KT.
The OSL is coming up. I hope Fantasy doesn't disappoint.
"Flash went 5-5 in the last round of Proleague and playoffs, losing both his games in the Grand Final."
In the previous sentence, replace Flash with Jaedong, Bisu, Stork, or any other professional BW player other than Fantasy. If it was somebody else but Flash, would he be getting the second slot on the Power Rank? In short, the answer is no. Despite the recent losses, Flash is still the player who led his team to three Proleague finals in a row (and each time, KT worked its way up in playoffs); Flash is still incredibly scary; Flash is still the best player in the world.
My broken record indicator is going off. I'll end with saying that I fully expect Flash to be back at the top slot next time around.
I wish Stork had won over Stats in the first day of KT-KHAN playoffs. In the end though, this is not the case, and even though Stork revenged himself against Chin(less)toss the next day, KT ended up triumphing over KHAN and Stork's season ended. 15-6 overall and 6-1 in the third round and playoffs isn't as good as Fantasy's record, but Stork actually has a better record than Flash. What I'm trying to say is, Stork's done pretty darn well this season, and it's a shame he couldn't help KHAN take a stab at gold. I still stick to saying that a KHAN-SKT final would have been more interesting than KT-SKT, since Stork would have definitely given us a good showing. He hasn't had that many wins over notable players this season (besides Bisu and ZerO, and ZerO is sucking it up as of late), though overall he's just been remarkably solid in planning and execution.
Even though his ODT group definitely won't be easy, I have faith that Stork will be able to 2-0 his group and move on to the Round of 16.
Woongjin Stars didn't make playoffs, but you can't blame Neo.G_Soulkey for that. True, he had a tough third round, ending with only a 3-3 record. Yet Soulkey had the toughest opposition overall, having to face off against Jaedong, Leta, Flash, and Bisu. And even though he lost to the first three listed, those games were all amazing--especially the game against Jaedong. Any other Zerg in Jaedong's spot would have probably lost, and that game is more a testament to (the shadow of) JvZ than it is an indicator of Soulkey's lack of ZvZ prowess (which is definitely not the case).
I wrote last time that I wanted to see Soulkey demonstrate cleaner play. This last round has shown us that he is indeed capable of doing so, and I believe that he'll be able to go far in this OSL.
Like Stork, Leta also lost to Stats in the first day of playoffs and revenged himself in the second day. In the third day of KT-CJ though, Leta (along with the rest of his team) got swept by KT, and Leta lost to playoffs Hoejja. Seeing as how this was against playoffs Hoejja (where playoffs = Super Saiyan apparently), I'm not going to fault Leta for this too much.
Pre-playoffs, even though CJ at times straight up failed, Leta maintained a pretty consistent showing. He's one of two people to beat Fantasy (and that url=http://www.teamliquid.net/tlpd/korean/games/102210_Fantasy_vs_Leta/vod]game[/url] was good, so go watch it if you haven't), and he also has convincing wins over other notable players such as Soulkey and Jaedong.
Leta's failure to make it out of OSL preliminaries hurts him quite a bit though (how did he lose to Princess...) so he's going to have to settle for fifth place.
Team 8 broke my heart this season (well, not really). It was like watching Jaedong on OZ, but worse. The difference is that I expected OZ to not do so well because of the lineup. Team 8 was supposed to have the talent--yet only Jaedong "consistently" pulled through. And even so, I have mixed feelings about Jaedong. He didn't make the PR last time due to my lack of confidence in his play, and I'm still not really certain he's got what it takes. Don't get me wrong, his highs are still wildly high; JvZ seems to be manifesting itself again in his play, and even though his competition for Round 3 has been mediocre, Jaedong himself has been more solid in the past two months.
Before Jaedong moves any higher, he needs to prove himself more. The ODT group is a good way to start, and I'm going to be watching Jaedong's play with particular interest. I want to see the fire, the passion, that I've associated with the fallen Tyrant.
It's relatively tough choosing between Bisu and Jaedong. On one hand, Bisu did win the ace match over Flash in the SPL Grand Final. Yet on the other, Bisu also failed to qualify for the OSL, losing in his best match-up to RorO.
Even though Bisu clinched gold for SKT (third time's the charm, eh?), I stand by what I said last PR: Bisu's play this season has been mediocre and does not inspire confidence. He's ended the 2011-2012 SPL season with a good record (12-7), though his opponents have mostly been mediocre.
But results do matter. Even though Bisu didn't have as strong of an impact in SKT taking first place in regular season this year, he still maintained a solidly positive record with a 2-0 showing in the grand Final. Bisu played a good game of micro/harass against Flash, and was definitely the more prepared of the two players. Yet due to some mediocrity and his inability (again) to qualify for the OSL, I cannot place Bisu any higher than he is right now.
Action was barely noteworthy during regular season and didn't really play that much during the third round, but stepped up his game heavily for playoffs, going 5-1 with only a loss to Shine. I don't know what KT feeds their zergs for playoffs; Action not only played much cleaner StarCraft in the post-season, but also took the aftereffects and qualified for OSL. Given his current state, I think he's the favorite to advance from his group.
I have no clue how HoeJJa does it, but yet again in playoffs a different monster appears. HoeJJa goes 2-6 in the regular season (with only one appearance in Round 3), and then come post-season, bam. Suddenly HoeJJa is 6-0 with wins over Hydra, EffOrt, Leta, RorO, Shine, and BeSt. Flash isn't KT's best player in the playoffs--somehow, HoeJJa is. And because the playoffs are so central to this Power Rank, this anomaly that HoeJJa demonstrates once per year is enough to snag him a lower end of the Power Rank. He didn't qualify for OSL preliminaries though, so I suppose all I can say is "see you next playoffs."
When I began writing this PR, I was prepared to place Horang2 relatively high up. And then I saw he was 7-7. However, the quality of his play has really ramped up in the past two months. In Round 3 and post-season, he's taken convincing wins off of Flash and Stats (I still actually don't know how he won that game against Flash), and he swept his way through OSL preliminaries. I actually think he's in one of the toughest ODT groups, but due to his recent play I think he's going to 2-0 Group D. Expect to see him move up on the Power Rank, should he advance into the OSL main.