There will be much talk about Jangbi and his heroic Protoss victory, his perseverance and timing, his fortune and ascension to the finals. I am not going to talk much of that here.
This is a eulogy to ZerO's BW career. Every player in the OSL feels that these are the last games of professional, true BW they will get to play. The tension and emotions have never been greater. These last games are the games that they will remember and that fans will remember when they think on professional BW's final moments.
Perhaps you've never experienced it before, but in such a situation your fingers spasm with trepidation. Your heart races and your vision grows narrow. You're fast and more intense, but you're in a tunnel where nothing else exists but this game and your emotions for it. I saw ZerO's eyes twitch and close tightly many times. Whether it was from practicing too long and straining his eyes, or it was from the pain of not blinking on something you are intensely focused on, I don't know. But I know these games were important to him.
I've been a ZerO fan for a very long time. Since he first started appearing on TV with sketchy ZvZ, there was something very interesting about him. To me, it felt like watching Nada. It must seem like a Terran bonjwa and a barely average winrate Zerg have so little in common, but it's the way I feel. They are players known for being fantastically fast, for persevering and playing hard games and not giving up easily. If ZerO's early game had been a little more stable, he could have been a legend as much as any other big name. You know what I mean if you ever saw ZerO in any 30 minute or longer game. You know what I mean if you watched ZerO incorporate queens in ZvZ, and bizarre proxy hatch strategy wins. He was an incredible player.
I wrote most of the the above just after seeing those games of Jangbi vs ZerO. I wasn't sure I wanted to post this because I don't know how I can possibly do justice to who ZerO is, but reading his recent interview I feel so bad. He reminds me so much of Nada again.
I said that I have to practice for the OSL, and the team didn't even let me play in the SPL
He was a player working for the OSL when he played those games. He must have been so nervous. There is an unfathomable pressure in the heart of a player who knows that he has sacrificed the good of his team in proleague to individual league glory. Only if you win can you say 'it was the right thing.' Maybe these are the thoughts that were going through ZerO's head after game 4. "If I lose this I will embarrass my team." Especially with Jangbi proclaiming lightly that he is playing for fun, and practicing SC2 concurrently (who knows how much of that is mind games). Protoss hero or not, ZerO was humiliated. He was meant to win that series, played so well, but in the end his nerves caused critical mistakes. He saw victory with tunnel vision and couldn't stop Jangbi's tactics. I like Jangbi as a player, I don't blame him, and I know he'll practice hard for the finals, but I wanted ZerO to win because like I've said from the beginning, ZerO wanted this more and Jangbi was looking like he wasn't as concerned. The interviews reflect what I thought. Seeing Zerlings and an overlord just a hop away from those dark templar was such a heart breaking way to lose in ZerO's strongest suit, the management lategame.
I guess this is good-bye to the ZerO I loved from BW. Who will I say good-bye to tomorrow?