An Opinion Piece #6
Gather 'round children while uncle Chef rambles to himself
Gather 'round children while uncle Chef rambles to himself
At the risk of unoriginality
After a Jaedong vs Flash finals, the forums would be filled with every Tom, Dick, and Mary making a new thread for each of their opinions. I think for Great vs Hydra, however, we will sadly see less discussion. I don't like it when there are a million threads of people saying the same thing, but I don't like it when people don't want to talk about it at all.
There are a number of reasons why people might not be talking... Chalk it up to the players participating, or the lack of YouTube VODs on the popular channels, or the slow torrent. Those are all possible reasons, but I think the real problems were the unfairly negative stigmas about ZvZ.
Some might call it disappointing
And some might have been expecting exactly this result. I belonged to the party that wanted to see Great's revolution. I really like Hydra as a player normally, but today he was an enemy of the revolution. Any enemy of the revolution, is an enemy of mine—so I told those who were watching with me. Believe me, I was pumped for these finals and those games were very exciting for me.
So why the lack of feedback? Maybe it's going to sound obnoxious, but I am going to blame the way hype is getting buried on TL. How long was the article for the FINALS of the MSL up for on the front page (in that nice, clickable picture)? A few hours? I don't actually know, because despite checking this site quite often, I didn't see it until after the fact. Instead it got buried under some random announcements for preliminaries of SC2. Is that the way this site is going? I have to admit, it is disappointing for me.
The contents of the article were just as sad. A half-hearted attempt to hype the MSL finals, which included saying 'ZvZ is boring, but maybe this one won't be!' Maybe the authors of that article were just trying to be honest, but I think calling ZvZ boring could have been omitted. There was so much to like about this finals. The romantic notion of Great's attempt to change ZvZ, the incredible micro mechanics of Hydra, the defender of the old style, vs the revolutionary. It was fucking cool. Then you read the first few replies to the down-tempo article, and they say things like 'I might not even watch this, since it's ZvZ.'
ZvZ is fun to watch
But people need to know how to watch it. Unlike Korea we don't have the benefit of former progamers to tell us what's going on. We have a bunch of people on the forums who think every ZvZ is the same and decide to tell everyone that, so that it becomes the popular opinion. I don't believe that's true, but if anyone was going to make a big change, one that wasn't going to be possible to ignore, it was Great. The subtleties in ZvZ can sometimes be hard to appreciate for the uninitiated, but Hive tech is not subtle.
How many ZvZ finals have there been in the history of BW? Why did everyone groan so loudly? It is such a rare event, such a wonderful opportunity to see what kind of ZvZ will come out of a finals, I wonder how the stigma foreigners have for ZvZ could be so powerful? How much pressure is on the players already, before adding into the mix the most high tension matchup in BroodWar? Every click is life or death, and neither player can afford a lapse in concentration. These games were a lot of fun to watch, even excluding the Hive tech game. It's the one time when everyone is hyper aware of everything in the game. The time when you can't just tell yourself 'it's just another game,' but you are on the edge of your seat trying to take in everything the players are thinking. What can I say to people who dismiss a ZvZ finals without even watching it? I'm disappointed.
I didn't begin this with the intention of being upset with the community's reaction to a ZvZ finals. I began it with the intention of talking about the future of ZvZ. Hydra played really well this series and won it fair and square. He defended the old way. But he didn't defend it without losing the first set to Hive tech. That means that Great's quest to change ZvZ is far from over.
If you have any sense, you're going to be watching Great's ZvZs closely from now on. I suspect that it's still his intention to change the matchup, and that although he couldn't beat Hydra this time, his Hive tech style is going to give many another Zerg a run for their money. After all, how did he lose the last three games? It wasn't during a switch to Hive tech.
You might say that in the one game where Great switched to Hive tech, he was already doing quite well and could have won off his Lair. You might be right. But I think the Hive switch was safer. It was safer, and it was showmanship. I call that a winning combination, so I don't see Great giving up on it anytime soon.
Do these players have a name yet?
Some pessimistic people said before the match that this series would be really unpopular since Great and Hydra are both relatively new names. I think the power of those words was more damaging than the power of the fact. So what if Great and Hydra weren't known before this? Guess whose games I'm looking out for next season. Guess whose name is going to jump out at me in the proleagues. Great and Hydra, them's whose. Their names are solidified in my mind. I'm not going to forget them.
BroodWar almost never has no names get to the finals. I thought it was really exciting and interesting that two relative rookies were battling it out. Oh, Flash/Bisu/Jaedong/Stork/Kal etc etc didn't get in the finals? I'd call that amazing. I am holding myself back from making an SC2 reference. I will not be tempted into comparing the scenes. But I think you can guess exactly what I'm thinking. This is uncommon for BroodWar, and isn't something to be lamented. It's not going to happen every finals from now on. This was really interesting.
BW FOREVER~! Let's not let the changes of policy in this site keep us from enjoying the greatest game. People should be excited for the whole week leading up to the finals. I was, and I know many others were. But we need to share that excitement with the people who are not so familiar with the scene. Let's not waste the next final idly, and let it be known that we love BroodWar, ZvZ, TvT, and emerging talents included