Saturday May 7th 18:00 GMT (+00:00)
Sunday May 8th 18:00 GMT (+00:00)
Sunday May 8th 18:00 GMT (+00:00)
The Koreans are out. TLAF-Liquid` has been left in the dust; the Gracken harpooned, the Dragon lanced. We are left with a group of players that reminds me of "The Goonies". Thorzain is Mikey, the hero of our tournament thus far. He is daring, brave, and mannerful. His opponent Kas is Francis Fratelli. Older and more experienced than Mikey, he wants to reach One-Eyed Willie's treasure first, at all costs. Naniwa is easily “Brand”, the strongest and most stalwart of the goonies, while HasuObs is “Mouth”. Funny and charismatic, but someone you worry about in a tight pinch. The TSL Goonies have made it to the semi-finals by navigating through the traps of the bracket and outsmarting their enemies. The treasure is close at hand, The Inferno ready to whisk them away to New York. It's hard to watch your favorite players fall so close to the finish but by the end of the weekend, only two will remain.
The semi-finals are this weekend. Thorzain vs. Kas and Naniwa vs. HasuObs. Insanity. Serious props to the current leader of the bracket contest, TL user HenL, who correctly predicted both semi-finals. Mayhaps we can hit up a casino together.
Have Thorzain's TSL matchups made him weaker in TvT, or stronger overall? And what is up with HasuObs' PvP? Is he ready for Naniwa? Look for our educated guesses and a break-down of both matchups in the sections below.
It is well-known that TvT is Thorzain's weakest matchup. His Achilles' Heel, perhaps. On top of this is the fact that Kas is incredibly strong in TvT - as he demonstrated against NaDa in the TSL and more recently, against Brat_Ok and Cloud. After 3 rounds I finally joined the cult of Thorzain, but now I feel like it's about to end.
Loner, the only Terran who could have played Thorzain in his weakest matchup before the semis, was bested by the Beast from the East in round one. Together with Tyler and MC's dominant performances, Thorzain knew from March 20th that he could practice for TvP exclusively. Thorzain had 21 days to prepare for Tyler and 13 after that to prepare for MC. Like Daniel Larusso training for the “All Valley Karate Tournament,” Thorzain had a total of 34 days to bone up on his TvP before worrying about any other matchup. Without GSLs, NASL, or other tournaments to worry about, Thorzain was able to focus all of his ill skill to butcher Tyler and clutch out 3 wins versus MC. His opponent Kas, on the other hand, along with the other pair of semi-finalists, Naniwa and HasuObs, played a different matchup in each round. For all but Thorzain, this is their first repeat.
If we were talking about an ordinary tournament and an ordinary player, it would worry me that Thorzain's TvT has gone unpracticed. Fortunately, Thorzain is not an ordinary player. After seeing what happens when he puts his mind to something, I am sure that he has used his 13 days of practice efficiently. That said, I'm sure Kas has as well. And he is already able to beast out in this matchup. With Kas, who is so slick with his transitions and macro, I feel like his practice will include one or two tricky builds, but will be mostly a process of polishing. It will also be a process of polishing for Thorzain, but I think at a more rudimentary level. That polishing will, of course, be done with close attention to Kas' TvT in the TSL, however, and Thorzain has left nothing remotely similar for Kas to analyze.
Prediction: Whenever I try to imagine this matchup, Kas' gosu turrets keep looming up, reminding me that he has insanely polished builds. I try to think of something else and recall his queue-less macro. Then I remember Thorzain's “You Should Have Been Faithful" cheerful and I can't make sense of anything. My head says Kas but my heart says Thorzain.
Liquibet Stat: Thorzain: 3291 Kas: 3378
People don't give HasuObs enough credit. He has had one of, if not the most difficult route to the semi-finals. 2-1 Huk, 3-2 Morrow, 3-0 Boxer. The guy should have 5 pages of dedicated cheerfuls. Maybe people are holding their breath, waiting to see if the quiet German is the real deal. It's hard to doubt HasuObs looking down his TSL record. But then again, this is a PvP. And Naniwa is good at PvP. Really, really good at PvP.
Sitting on a 13-4 PvP record for April, Naniwa is an intimidating opponent for anyone in this matchup. His 4-1 win over fellow PvP phenom Socke in the Gadget Show Live tournament finals is especially telling, and damn scary. Naniwa is known for both trying and making work new strategies in PvP, and following and executing the most standard builds to a T. In this matchup that is (currently) so limited in scope, I am really not sure what HasuObs can do but beat Naniwa at his own game. 13 days is a short amount of time if you want to revolutionize a matchup. But as rigid and taciturn as PvP is, it is just as volatile and chaotic. No other matchup is so unforgiving. The smallest mistake can end in instant death. As strange as it may sound, I think this fits well with HasuObs' general style. He has praise worthy crisis management, great unit compositions, and is patient, yet decisive. I'm thinking that, like he did in his former rounds, HasuObs will give us something we don't expect.
Prediction: HasuObs himself says that “Naniwa has some of the best PvP worldwide”. I like HasuObs more every time I see him play Naniwa's skill in this matchup is reaching a crescendo. Naniwa is too far ahead of the curve. He will win 4-2.
Liquibet Stat: Naniwa: 5473 HasuObs: 1209
This TSL is sponsored by PokerStrategy.com, the world's largest poker school and community. With hundreds of Poker VODs and an assortment of learning material in 18 different languages, PokerStrategy.com offers the chance for aspiring Poker players to learn from a beginner to a professional level. Sign up using TL's referral link.
By signing up, you can also enter the TSL3 Raffle, where you can win a 5-night trip to South Korea for 2 people to watch StarCraft live in person and tour the oGs-Liquid house.
Discuss with other fans in the TSL3 Forum.