Aquatic Birds Opens October Report
Light told me winter, I mean, November is coming. (Light: It’s spring in Aus!)
At the start of the month, October looked like it would be the month of regulars, SDO #42 having few new sign ups and SDO #41 having none. That said, our regulars came out of the woodwork and made these a memorable two weeks.
Daunted’s run seeing him hit the finals for the first time spelled a good omen for the Duckling whom we picked up shortly after. Now to see how this translates to VTL. We are fielding him right, Light? Oh wait, PiGPan might see this and try to snipe him. Eh.
Daunted ended up falling in the finals however to now three-time SDO champion ionlyhavethisfor, of whom I now dub King of Week 1 noticing his strong performances in the first week of each month. Ionlyhavethisfor may have walked away with the championship last month, but this month he reminded us why he was a worthy contender with a quick sweep in the finals.
Coming back from a self-imposed exile for SDO #42 was long time regular, and fun fact: my opponent in the first ever SDO, Suprotivist. Suprotivist is a bit of a character in SDO, not exactly the most cheered for but one with unquestionable skill, he often fell short in finals and semifinals.
Deciding that something needed to change, Supro left on a journey of enlightenment with a promise to Cranky fans, that he would show them the best performance that he would ever give when he returned. And that he did, with what I like to call the aLive factor of seemingly scaling to his opponents (though nowhere near as drastic as Yaku), Supro showed us a delightfully scrappy semifinal against Phoenix and an incredibly clean final against grim.
Supro discusses his thoughts and experience with SDO and Cranky Ducklings in general #RealSingaporeGangster
SDO #43 though would bring a new wave of players, most notable of them being the brains behind OSC, Eddiesc2, also known as CaVaLieR. Having been in a bit of a money fight with our own captain Light_VIP for the past few months to see who can throw more money at the scene, I think we can call it now that Light provides a ten-dollar-ish prize to Eddie for being the latest SDO champion.
Sea Duckling Open Monthly Stats
Our usual suspects returned once again in Master Swan, with some players whom we’ve seen only in SDO dipping their feet in the water. A starting round of upsets, Blisk showed promise after defeating defending champion Chelch while Oishi took out former SDO champion, now MSO regular, Terranlord. Though in the end from their side of the bracket it was Salivanth who made his way to the finals again, facing Ruiyichi who in turn, bested him and filled up his trophy cabinet with the MSO win that eluded him a while ago.
Aquatic Bird Monthly Awards
Terran Of The Month: ionlyhavethisfor
Last month I practically called ionly’s SDO win a fluke, this month ionly reminded me how he smashed me previously and why he’s not one to be underestimated, winning SDO without dropping a single map.
One need only to look at his final against Daunted to notice his strengths. It was here he not only demonstrated his trademarked aggression in game 1, but throughout the rest of series, incredible micro and decision making, basically holding Daunted’s proxy 4-rax with a Cyclone, 2 Reapers and precise KD8 micro. And now a moment of silence for all the sacrificed SCVs that won him that game.
Though not a regular with the sign up rate of Nemesis or RadAir, ionly has been consistent with signing up for at least one SDO a month, typically the first of each, making him our reverse-Innovation, The King of Week 1.
Zerg Of The Month: not awarded
Honourable Mentions: DARKWATCH, grim
Last month started a bit of a dry spell for the Swarm, and this week sees it continue.
Though things are looking up, with Zerg players who gave us noteworthy performances in DARKWATCH and grim, neither of them could truly be called consistent enough to be given the title.
Going into November, the only thing to do is to see if this trend continues or if our drought of Zerg players worsens, though from what I gather, some of our regulars wouldn’t mind that too much.
Protoss Of The Month: Eddiesc2
Suprotivist came back from a long break to show us the best SC2 he’s played in SDO, but Eddie showed us a style of Protoss we’ve not seen before. Between a greedy playstyle that reminds me of TY and impressive positional awareness that makes me think of Polt, and just a deliciously cheesy PvP, Eddie left us with little to be desired for when we followed his games.
Best Non-Diamond: Johnathan
Honorable Mentions: Quirky
With the way we follow series, SDO rarely gets to stream much Platinum players and see how they fair vs the more common Diamond pool.
Such is the case for Johnathan, our regular Platinum Protoss player from Australia. We didn’t get to see his games, but we were in for a major upset when he
ecstatically declared his close victory over Diamond 2 player and SDO semifinalist RadAir.
This, after 5 weeks in a row of getting knocked out in the first round meant as much to him as winning the whole thing. It was proof that he had what it takes to compete, and after witnessing Plat players come and go after getting put off by the idea of competing against Diamonds, proof that persistence pays off.
Quirky gave us an interesting series in SDO #41 against Daunted but hitting Diamond a week afterwards made our decision easier. Grats tho.
Best SDO Series: Eddie vs TheHamman (SDO #43 Semifinal)
Honorable Mentions: Daunted vs Quirky (SDO #41 Quarterfinal), Suprotivist vs Phoenix (SDO #42 Semifinal)
Ever since, I want to say, Nemesis won SDO #37, a noted trend throughout September and now October was an increase of Protoss players at the cost of Zerg. This meant that for the past two months, we’ve seen more TvP than ever before.
Though the match-up has its fans, it certainly can get old quickly, so when Eddie and TheHamman brought us both of their unique play styles, it gave us such a breath of fresh air that re-invigorated our excitement for the match-up.
When I mentioned earlier about how Eddie reminds me of TY and Polt, it’s mostly from memory of game 1. Without hardcore turtling up, Eddie knew how to keep TheHamman on his side of the map with as little units as possible, allowing him to make as many bases and Probes as he could get away with (hence the TY). TheHamman though, being able to sense how greedy his opponent was being, went for a straight push, smashing through Eddie’s weak defense, shutting down his production and sniping Nexuses left and right.
Yet Eddie had one secret weapon, one he waited for the exact right moment to reveal. With a Stim and no Medivacs able to heal them, Storm made short work of TheHamman’s army, resetting the army count and giving far more than enough time to rebuild for the second big mid-game battle, one that truly baffles me.
As they were even on upgrades, with TheHamman arguably being better because of Vehicle Weapons, Anti-armour Missiles coated Eddie’s army while Hamman dodged Storms as quickly as he could react. When Hamman’s Marine/Marauder/Medivac/Tank army clashed with Eddie’s Stalker/Chargelot/Archon, Eddie still managed to take the fight, creating a concave that only continued to surround Hamman’s army as the fight went on (hence the Polt).
Game 2 would see TheHamman learning his lesson. He knew he was weaker in a longer macro game, so he did what most Terran players do when they want a quick game against Protoss, go for a Cyclone rush. Despite the opening though, this game was anything but quick, though I guess if you compared it to game 1, it seemed fast as a worker rush.
After the initial rush failed, Eddie went on to counter-pressure, once that was defended, TheHamman went on to counter-pressure once more, and then once that was defended, we saw counter-pressure again. Once this was dealt with, our two players subconsciously decided to revert to the old mantra - No Rush, (X) Minutes.
Ultimately this worked out in Eddie’s favour, the reason why TheHamman went for the rush in the first place. Though Hamman made the right move to get as many Liberators as he could for defense, when he saw a potential opening in Eddie’s army, he got overzealous with his bio, moving out of liberation zones and losing his buffer. A final push with Tempests shortly after would secure Eddie’s victory.
Two games were played in this series, yet with the strategic transitions, tech switches and army resets, it felt like four action-packed tight games in this Bo3.
Best MSO Series: Salivanth vs Blisk (MSO #8 Semifinal)
Honorable Mentions: Ruiyichi vs Lumiya (MSO #8 Semifinal), Blisk vs Chelch (MSO #8 Ro16)
+ Show Spoiler [VoD] +
(YouTube VoD TBA later)
(YouTube VoD TBA later)
One of the reasons Light wanted to start the monthly reports was to keep track of rivalries and storylines, and with 3 series between these two within 4 MSOs, I think we can declare Blisk and Salivanth rivals now.
Historically, Salivanth has held the edge, but Blisk came into MSO a new man, eager to show how his time with SC2 Swarm changed him as Blisk didn’t proxy Hatch once this series.
In a move that told us he remembered what Light taught him, Blisk took game 1 with the Cucaracha build, though more crude on account of Salivanth’s Oracle shenanigans.
Those Oracles came back with a vengeance though on Game 2, picking off the occasional Hatchery here and there. Nexuses though fell in almost equal numbers as Blisk showed off his newly re-acquired ability to swarm, overwhelming Salivanth’s Immortals with Zerglings time and again. Blisk would’ve supplanted these Lings with Brood Lords if not for Salivanth’s aforementioned Oracles. By 15 minutes both players found themselves in a basetrade, but while Blisk tried to do something with 6 Corruptors and a bunch of Ling/Bane, Salivanth walked into Blisk’s bases and later army with +2 Archons popping any Zerg in their path.
We come full circle with a clean Chargelot timing in game 3, that Light won’t let me call The Reverse Cucaracha, to have Salivanth reach the finals once again.
Between Blisk playing more standard and Salivanth showcasing more builds, both players showed that there’s more to them than their reputations would tell you, and with Blisk seeming to bring the edge closer, I see this as a progression, another chapter, in a rivalry that’s only beginning. (inb4 neither of them ever signs up again)
Player Of The Month: not awarded
Honorable Mentions: ionlyhavethisfor, Eddiesc2
This actually surprised me as much as last month’s lack of Zerg. While we don’t always get an August of Light or July of Ruiyichi, October was uncharacteristically unpredictable, with no player reaching the Semifinals more than once.
Player of the Month is more than just “Best Player”, if it was we’d simply award it to the winner of MSO each month. One of the criteria of Player of the Month, which I understand is intangible, is the presence they have within the month, like how we can’t think of September without Chelch for instance. As such, it demands a level of consistency that simply wasn’t around this month.
That said, I’d be remiss not to mention ionly’s peak in SDO #41, not dropping a single map, or Eddie showing us a new style of Protoss and being a clear head above his competition. One has to wonder what we’d have seen if they played in more.
Whether one player dominating or a more unpredictable bracket is better to watch is up to opinion, but the fact remains that for October 2018, no single player made their presence felt enough to be crowned Player of the Month.
Writing: Yakuzaku | Proofreading: Light_VIP & Steelmold | Editing: Kuro
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