Who cares about those fancy BlizzCon articles on the front page? The OTR™ is back this week to provide you with the essential StarCraft II nutrients you need during this offline tournament drought. This week we feature a North American tournament for the first time as well as speculate on the trends of a few Korean favorites as per usual. I hope you like TvZ because this week’s tournament crop was bountiful with super cool GuMiho versus Zerg games! Let’s reap the harvest and take a bite out of this week’s action!
Top Prize Money Earners of the Week
- #1: GuMiho - $1200
- #2: Reynor - $900
- #3: Dark - $600
- #4: Rogue - $500
- #5: puCK - $300
- #6: Cure - $225
- #7: JimRising - $200
- #8: uThermal - $150
- #Bly - $75
Best Games of the Week:
- GuMiho vs Rogue - Olimoleague #136
- GuMiho vs Dark - BTSL Cross Server Finals
- GuMiho vs Reynor - BTSL Cross Server Finals
- JimRising vs Cham - NA Ladder Heroes September Finals
OlimoLeague #136: Scouting Report: Rogue Resurgent (Oct 9)
TaeJa continued his comeback tour by making an appearance in this week’s OlimoLeague. While it was no surprise that Solar bested the rusty Terran, it was still nice to see glimpses of TaeJa’s unforgotten brilliance in his series against Korean Terran Sopai. Put aside the fact that you're probably hearing Sopai's name for the first time—it was still impressive to see how good TaeJa's raw mechanics were after such a long hiatus and how his sharp decision-making hasn't aged.
The prominent story of the Korean online scene this week is, however, Rogue. In previous editions of this post, I've frequently criticized Rogue for his lack of killer instinct in online tournaments. He's bizarrely unable to close-out games against players well below his previously demonstrated level of skill and talent. Following his rout of Zest last week in the September OlimoLeague Monthly finals, Rogue looks like he's rapidly whipping himself into BlizzCon shape. This week he won three different online tournaments: he made quick work of aLive in Ballistix Brawl, he took out teammate Cure in the Kung Fu Cup, and took down Solar in the OlimoLeague.
Rogue implemented a vast array of strategies as he navigated his mirror match against Solar with surgical precision. He opted for the simple yet effective two-base ling flood in game 2 before feigning a third expansion in game 3 and ling flooding Solar yet again. Rogue closed out the finals with even more deception as his full plan came to fruition. Keeping Solar at bay with similar ling aggression, Rogue, in secret, transitioned into a spire and had mutas out just in time to fend of Solar’s roach all in and cement his victory. Rogue looked good against formidable competition this week, and assuming this trend continues, he'll be in truly ferocious form come BlizzCon.
BTSL Season 2: Cross Finals: Goofy GuMiho Goodness (Oct 9)
I apologize. I did everyone here a disservice by not mentioning GuMiho's match against Rogue from the aforementioned OlimoLeague, because it was truly awesome. But there was so much GuMiho goodness to get to in the BTSL Cross Finals and the Online Tournament Round-up is already dangerously close to being the GuMiho Weekly Round-up (although some of you may have no complaint with that!).
GuMiho showcased his beloved disregard for the TvZ metagame in his series against both Dark and Reynor, both of which are recommended up above. GuMiho put his adversaries off balance in nearly every game, showcasing the potential speed and versatility of the Terran mech army. In his match against Dark, he incinerated Dark’s roach/hydra army by dropping hellbats behind the hydra line while pummeling the front with tanks. He routinely went for speed banshees as well, managing to outmaneuver Reynor’s queens and hydras even on creep. This new mech style made for some fun games to watch but it had some glaring weaknesses as well. GuMiho was caught a few times making eight plus cyclones simultaneously late into the game on a few occasions. While the guerrilla style of his cyclones and hellions was effective in the mid game, it fell apart any time his opponents reached brood lord tech safely. Also, mutas emerged as a popular counter amongst both Dark and Reynor to GuMi’s mech style; their success varying based on GuMi’s commitment to banshees. With mixed success against top echelon Zerg’s, it will be intriguing to see whether GuMi’s newfound style will gain any traction amongst Terrans qualified for BlizzCon. Regardless GuMiho claimed victory, the fattest monetary prize of the week, and looked damn cool doing it!
NA Ladder Heroes September Finals: The Rise of JimRising (Oct 14)
With all of the Korean and European tournaments featured regularly in this post, it’s high time the North American StarCraft II scene got some love. The NA Ladder Heroes series came to its conclusion this week in true non-Korean fashion as the RO4 was filled with Zergs. A brief glimpse at the bracket and the average fan would assume that Scarlett and JonSnow would be the Zergs who advanced to the finals. Scarlett and JonSnow have been frequent challengers in 2018's WCS Circuit events (pun intended), but instead it was Cham and Jimrising who claimed the spotlight.
JimRising proved in multiple games that the muta is the new black of ZvZ. He caught JonSnow unprepared in both games of their series as JonSnow’s hydras came out late. In fact, JimRising’s muta play was so impressive that he won four out of the five games that he built a spire. The JimRising vs Cham series was particularly exciting. Games 3 and 4 provided the viewers with some Brood War-esque muta vs. muta action, and game 1 ended in climatic fashion as JimRising utilized a smothering amount of blinding clouds to force Cham’s lurkers to uproot and allow his own ultralisks to charge forward triumphantly. Be sure to click the link above in recommended games and check this series out! With any hope, both Cham and JimRising will be able to carry this momentum into next year’s WCS Circuit and give the fans even more great ZvZs to watch.
TMS;DW (Too Much StarCraft; Didn't Watch) - Other Notable Tournament Results
ESL Go4SC2 Cup #821
- DnS 3 > 0 Namshar in the finals
Ballistix Brawl Week - Season 4, Week #4
- Rogue 3 > 1 aLive in the finals
Blue Shell Cup, Season 1, Cup #3
- uThermal 3 > 0 Bly in the finals
Afreeca World #23
- Cure 4 > 1 Keen in the finals
Kung Fu Cup Weekly #19
- Rogue 3 > 1 Cure in the finals
- Bee 2 > 1 Basset in the finals (EU #171)
- uThermal 2 > 1 SKillous in the finals (EU #172)
- Erik 2 > 1 Daydreamer in the finals (NA #116)
OSC JEC Weekly #22
- Solar 3 > 0 goblin in the finals
QCL: Power Overwhelming Pro Teamleague
- Selendis and Bugs (Stats, Dark, Solar) 4 > 3 94fam (Dear, Rogue, TY)
- ByuN and the kids (ByuN, GuMiho, Patience) 4 > 3 TitanEX1 (aLIve, Bunny, Impact)
Ultimate Series - Playoffs (RO12)
- uThermal 3 > 2 Scarlett
- Hellraiser 3 > 1 Future
- MaNa 3 > 2 Bly
- Neeb 3 > 0 Kas
Underdogs Season 49
- DnS 4 > 1 Clem in the finals
OSC Masters Cup #115 Qualifier
- Bly and hinO qualified.
OSC Allstars #62 Qualifier
- Bly and Creator qualified.