It's a word that's lost popularity with the community. Some of you might not even know what it means. To be honest, I might be about to force a very personalized definition upon you which other older players could disagree with.
Gosu is an expression that used to be the word of choice when describing a great player or play. Chobo, essentially its opposite, was a way of describing an unskilled player. It was usually considered a much nicer way of calling oneself or another a noob, but it carried the connotation newb does, in that it wasn't calling a player an idiot, just unimpressive.
To me though, gosu didn't just mean someone who was skilled. Gosu meant someone who could both execute a strategy effectively, but who was also so intimately familiar with the game that he or she would go far beyond standard execution, either by incredible tactical decision making in micro that is rarely seen, or (and I think relatedly) incredible creativity on a high level. Gosu was what you called the muta micro of a player that could destroy a competent Terran's base. Gosu was what you called plague users before defilers became standard. A gosu player was an innovator who could beat the best players with his or her novel tactics.
For the remainder of this post, I hope to show you five of what I think have been great moments in the last month or so of StarCraft: Brood War. Please enjoy.
Flash's Turret Cage
It's only appropriate that I start with one of the biggest gosus of this age, Flash. In this game Flash's opponent, Modesty, went for an extremely aggressive mutalisk play. At first it seemed like Modesty was over-committing, and not killing very much, but as Modesty's marine kills started rising, so did the pressure on Flash. Any Flash fan would have been seriously worried when he started losing his barracks and the aggression seemed to have no end in sight.
What to do, Flash, what to do? Okay, I've got it! He thinks Flash is the one in trouble because he's got more than a control group of mutas hailing Flash's structures, but really, he is the one in trouble because Flash has just created a cage. A cage made of turrets. A lot of turrets.
Would any Terran have done it? Maybe. But most Terrans just try to protect their buildings and SCVs and hope the muta get tired and fly away without Terran spending too much money. Flash decided he wanted to kill all those muta so that he could move out quicker in the midgame. That's a gosu move in my opinion.
Suny's Zanny Valkarie Drop
Suny builds a quick factory. Okay, that's normal. Suny builds a starport. Okay, still pretty normal. I haven't seen Terran do anything but 2port wraith on this map. Okay, Suny builds a quick academy and armory and doesn't get a second starport. Wait what?
Suny's build this game was gosu. He ships a few marines and a medic and an SCV, then elevators a vulture and some more SCVs. Then he starts building a bunker in the Zerg's main. Then his valkarie comes over to help his drop continue dealing damage even after the Zerg's muta have entered the scene. This kind of rag tag, fast tech build has a special allure to me, and I think a lot of other players as well. Valkaries have been used as an option for defence and strengthening the mid-game push before, but I haven't seen it used to support a drop. Holy crap that's gosu.
Midas' Silly Bunker Push
When I watched this game, I was thinking 'what the?' the whole time. Midas is an old player, and old players need their tricks to compete with the new players on the scene. First he builds a bunker far away from the Zerg's hatchery, right by the bridges. Kind of uselessly far away, in fact. I even wonder if it was an accident. Then he hops two more bunkers closer and closer to the hatch. They aren't in range of the hatch, but they are damn annoying.
I don't know how to describe it. It delayed the Zerg a lot and forced a lot of lings. It was surprisingly strong for something so nonsensical. When I'm surprised by a play in StarCraft that works, I tend to think it's pretty gosu.
Turn's Vessel Cloud Rush
Let me get it out of the way: I love Turn. He's one of my favourite players to watch right now, so I hold incredible bias. But that doesn't stop his play from being nothing short of hilarious. Turn's basic premise is that a late game army of vessels, tanks, marines and medics is the ultimate army. What if the ultimate army came way faster than it should? What if it came while Zerg's first lurkers were still morphing?
Well, in exchange for his soul and about two thirds of his SCVs, Turn is able to get 3 vessels while the Zerg is still muta harassing. He's done this in a lot of games, and it always turns out this way. It seems totally out of control that he loses most of his SCVs, but he's getting what he wants, and that's the late game army to kill an early mid-game Zerg. A true gosu.
Tempest's D-Web Conclusion
Tempest isn't a name I respect much, but this play is picturesque and it's definitely a nice note to end on. With a fairly regular opener, Tempest finds himself allowing the Zerg to take his fourth base. Or does he? Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see Tempest building that FLEET BEACON.
It's so obvious, isn't it? If you're gonna buy a bunch of corsairs anyway, what's 500/500 minerals and gas for a fleet beacon plus D-Web? Okay, it's a lot. But this one timing was amazing. Corsairs can't cast D-Web until they have 125 energy, so it's not a spell you can cast over and over like storm. Normally players will only get it when they have a seriously huge number of corsairs and are going speed shuttles with reavers. But using it to compliment the regular army while breaking that impossible Zerg wall? Gosu.
+ Show Spoiler +
I would have posted this in BroodWar General, but my posts always tend to get moved to Blogs, so here it is anyway!