This weekend marks the end of the first stage of the TSL, and the beginning of another. After two full months of play, we have built a leaderboard and opened our doors to the eight most consistent players, those who have shown skill through the various trials and tribulations that inevitably come along with large tournament play. They are the players who have stood the test of time.
We have also invited another eight, the players who became king of the hill one Saturday and took home a first place prize. The most recent, and last of those kings is one of the most celebrated players on Mousesports: HasuObs. A person who thinks his own weakness is PvT, he played nothing but Terrans from the round of 32 and cemented his place in our hall of champions.
He sat down with us after his win to give some thoughts.
An interview with Mouz.HasuObs
Congratulations, how did you feel after qualifying?
Thanks. It felt great to win the last TSL Qualifier. I needed to be Top 2 so badly and I made it, I was really happy yesterday night. Sadly it was already too late to go out, so I just danced in my flat, haha.
Did you know you already qualified after winning your semifinal against KawaiiRice? Did you know the point situation with Strelok + Select? Those two owe you something for giving them another chance!
Yes, I knew that I made it to the TSL3 when I won the semi vs KawaiiRice. I also knew that I could help out my teammate by winning the final, so he gets a shot at the deciding match vs Select.
Did that give you extra motivation to win? You won the finals 3-0.
After I won the semifinal all the pressure was gone. But I was still highly motivated to win it, to prove what I'm capable of and also helping my teammate out.
Game 2 was especially close, you won with some key storms. Your style seems to be very high templar focused.
Indeed. Game 2 vs Baz was damn close. I actually was afraid to drop that map when he killed my main base, but I still had some forces in the middle of the map to pull off an counter-attack. I killed all of his SCVs and while I moved into his mainbase, I warped in some DTs to attack his main force. One of my DTs killed so many tanks and I realized I actually could still win it. Then i just contained his Planetary on the right side of the map to secure the game!
My style overall vs terran is definitely High Templar based. I just love to use Storms and Feedback. Colossus are quite boring to play, that's why I prefer HTs.
You also played a very great game on stream against Fury in the earlier round on Lost Temple as well, using warp prisms and many storms. Are you sad the new patch might take out the amulet upgrade?
Yes, i was glad my game on LT vs Fury turned out to be a macro game. My lategame vs Terran on LT is quite good and I was able to harass his economy everywhere with Blinkstalkers and some HTs. To be honest, I really fear the missing Amulet upgrade. Im not sure if thats a smart idea, it could break the balance of PvT. But so far its only on the PTR, so I still have hope that they change their mind.
Tell us about your TSL3 qualifier experience. You participated in many qualifiers.
I think I played five TSL qualifiers, I managed to make it kinda far in two and lost to QXC/Thorzain (they both won one Qualifier). I also lost quite early two times, so it all came down to the last Qualifier. There was alot of pressure during my games vs Fury and Kawaiirice, but I've been playing for a long time at a high level so i was able to deal with it. Overall I enjoyed all TSL Qualifiers and I really looking forward to the upcoming TSL3!
The TSL3 will have difficult matches every round. Who would you want to face if you had your pick? What is your goal for the TSL3?
Hmmm, I'm not sure who to pick. I don't mind that much, but it would be nice to dodge the Koreans in the first round =). Now i reached my goal to qualify myself for the TSL, I just try to play my best. I would be very satisfied if I manage to win the first rounds of the Playoffs. Time will tell!
What are your best matchups? Describe your style and your strengths and weaknesses.
My favorite matchup is PvZ. I just feels good to play PvZ. PvP is kinda annoying but I'm not bad in it, the least matchup i like to play is PvT. I guess my strengths are the microfights and my decision making. Sometimes I still mess up my macro, but I'm working on it.
For those that don't know you, tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Dennis Schneider, im 22 years old and im Living in Germany (Cologne). I'm playing for team Mousesports for round about 7 years now. I started my eSport Career in WC3. When SC2 came out, the German scene of WC3 pretty much died, so I decided to move on and play Starcraft 2, which I actually enjoy way more than WC3. Especially in the last 2-3 years of WC3 i lost a lot of motivation to keep on playing. So Starcraft 2 had a perfect timing to motivate me once again and I'm loving it.
Did you graduate school? What are your personal goals for your RTS career?
I went to school for 13 years and finished my high school. Then I moved to Cologne because of my Study. I absolutely want to qualify myself for the EPS Finals this season and also showing as many good results as possible in international tournaments.
Many Warcraft 3 players seem to be doing very well in the international SC2 scene. Many TL Open winners came from War3.
I think both games SC/BW and WC3/TFT helps a lot when playing SC2. Having a RTS background is always good. But in the end, we all started with a new game and had to renew our gameplay. Right now i don't mind playing a former SC/BW or WC3 player. We are all the same now =)
Tell us about your team, Mousesports. How is the team dynamic? Do you guys practice together often? Your teammate Morrow also qualified last week, and Strelok still has a chance in the playoff next week.
Well, I've been in Mousesports for ages now and it still feels the best choice I've ever made. We do have internal practice, sometimes its going well, sometimes not, haha. But we discuss a lot of strategies and helping us out wherever it's possible. I'm feeling a bit sad for Mana, he didn't do well in the TSL Qualifiers, but I'm also looking forward to Strelok's performance in the do or die match vs Select! I'm also pretty sure that Morrow will show great games during the TSL3.
We look forward to it! Any last words for your fans?
Thanks for the interview. Thanks to everyone who is supporting me and my team. Visit us at www.mousesports.com and follow me at http://www.facebook.com/HasuObs.
Hasu may not be the biggest fan of playing PvT, but it is difficult to deny how fun he is to watch. He has a unique style, often choosing builds that allow for templars earlier than typical and using incredible micro to put Terrans in uncomfortable situations. Few Protoss are able to make the army of Aiur look as mobile, something he showcased well in the first semifinal game against KawaiiRice.
In the round of 8, he faced off against Playzone.FuRy in a long game that showed perhaps amulet truly is too strong late game. Storm dropping everywhere at once and constant harass. It looks as if Templars, both High and Dark, are simply unstoppable in capable hands.
On Lost Temple, Protoss spawned in the base at 6, while Terran began at the 9 o'clock base. The game opened innocently enough, gate-robo-gate for Hasu and 2 rax marine-marauder with hellions for Fury. The hellions were unable to crack through the Protoss ramp, and after they were repelled Hasu made another gate, a nexus, and a robotics bay to begin assembling a midgame army. Fury opted for a starport and medivacs before starting his second command center.
Hasu sniffed it out and again the hellions are forced to go home without doing damage. Terran's army regroups and went for the front, but as the first colossus has just popped is unable to do significant damage.
The game settled into a relative lull as the midgame hit. Vikings added, Thermal Lance researched, the usual supplements. Before adding more gateways, Hasu decided on the increasingly popular double forge as he took down rocks blocking the gold. The upgrades are to help buy time, just enough for the gold to kick in and send Protoss into lategame with a reasonable advantage.
Terran decided to utilize his medivacs for double drops, both of which ended without significant loss to the Protoss economy. As 1/1 upgrades finished, Hasu took the gold and started upgrades for 2/2 while Terran had yet to start research on upgrades at all.
Hasu upgraded blink and charge back to back, and simultaneously added a Templar Archives for storm as the army his 2/2. Between upgrades and teching, his army was smaller than Terran's but would still be able to fight due to the access to powerful spells. Terran meanwhile continued to add barracks, and started in on the gold.
Terran initiated a battle by moving half his troops to the top of Hasu's base and going for tech structures -- a smart move as it would take a long time for the Protoss army to be in position to fight. He took down the Templar Archives and forced an uncomfortable conflict.
Hasu repelled him, but not before losing 4 colossus and warping in High Templars that would be unable to storm until another Archives was made and the upgrade researched. As Terran retreated he started his first attack upgrade, meanwhile Hasu was already on his way to 3/3.
As Hasu rebuilt his army he prepared for the long haul. Taking the natural of the 3 o'clock base he looked poised to split the map. He also began research on the Warp Prism speed upgrade, signaling that this game would take a turn for the interesting.
Terran sacrified his vikings and replaced them with ghosts, getting ready for the familiar EMP-Feedback dance. Meanwhile Hasu set up two warp prisms and peppered both of Terran's cliffs with High Templar and Stalkers.
Hasu's army now maxed, he put Fury squarely on his back foot. His army needed to be in all places at once, defending each cliff from blinking Stalkers and warping Templars. Hasu has hit 3/3 by now as well, making his main army that much more scary.
Fury recognized that at this point it becomes a "now or never" situation, and engaged Hasu mid map, head on.
He won that battle, and rather decisively, evening out the supply counts completely. Down nearly 50 harvestors, he would be in dire shape if this attack didn't do significant damage. He split his army and pushed into both Hasu's gold as well as the natural at 3. Seconds later, both nexuses died to an army that was nearly entirely stimmed Marauders.
While all this happened, however, Hasu had been doing damage at home. An archon killed the orbital at Fury's natural, while 4 freshly warped DTs killed the orbital in his main. Fury now down to no orbitals, his only way to deal with DTs at his army was to hit them with EMP.
At this point, Fury had 3 bases yet to be mined out but only 7 harvesters and 1 orbital split between them. As Hasu still had minerals banked from the time he spent maxed, it was a trivial issue for him to warp in an army to deal the killing blow.
With incredible game sense, and superb micro, Hasu was able to stay on top of seemingly all areas of the map at once. That is the kind of play that is rewarded with a spot in the TSL, Hasu went on to show that day why he was most deserving of the qualifier slot.
It is now nearly time for us to close the door on qualifiers. Before the gates are down and the key is locked however, Strelok and Select have to play a match to decide who will win the #8 slot for point standings. Their tie will be broken this coming weekend, in a best of 5 series to determine who fills the final spot.
Some qualified through a tournament win, some through performance in multiple events. A few were invited for performance in TSL2, a few were chosen participants for results in Starcraft 2. You can see the full list of players in the TSL players thread. One thing is for sure, none of them had an easy path.
Enjoy the coming weeks, it is sure to be a wild ride.
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Discuss with other fans in the TSL3 Forum.