DRG's Unofficial Theme Song
MVP DongRaeGu will return to Code S on Monday November 5th, 2012. This tournament will mark the final Season of Starcraft on GomTV and will grant DRG one last chance to grab another GSL trophy before the year's end. However, things will not come easy for our Zerg Hero as the level competition has never been greater. Thrown into one of the toughest groups ever created in the Round of 32, DongRaeGu must be in his best condition if he is to have any chance of pulling forward.
At the Eye of the Storm, there is IMMvp, the unchallenged King of Terran. Mvp has won countless titles since the dawn of SCII. His latest record was sealed by Silver from the last GSL. No doubt his thirst for gold has grown to new heights. The group also features Creator Prime, arguably just as dangerous as Mvp, himself. Creator has been on a meteoric rise to fame since July of this year, claiming the championships of both WCS Korea and TSL4. This young Protoss player is not someone to take lightly. He has beaten DRG before and may well do so again should preparation be ill. Finally, the group rounds out with Bbyong, a KeSPA star from the CJ-Entus team. Very little is known about Bbyong's playstyle in StarCraft II, which will make it difficult for DRG to anticipate and prepare against.
Normally, I would not be too worried. Afterall, DongRaeGu is STILL the best Zerg player in the world (Let's see you win two MLGs and and make it to the OSL finals, Life!!). But as it stands, I thought perhaps both DRG and his fans deserve a bit of closure and some words encouragement after what has happened last weekend.
Yea he just won a TV, 17 thousand dollars, and the hearts of fans world wide.
A Monumental Feat
Last Saturday, MVP DongRaeGu found himself on the stage of the OSL finals, the first eSports Federation player to do so, and once again, as the last Zerg standing. He did not win the championship...what DRG did win, however, was the respect of many and the hearts of all who watched. Yes, winning championships is important, but you have to look at the big picture sometimes.
The story of the Auction All-Kill OSL isn't about KeSPA players and eSF players coming together, it isn't about the switch from BroodWar to StarCraft II, it isn't even about Rain continuing the Legacy that is the Legend of the Fall!
No! This OSL was really about DongRaeGu, a man who was broken but came back rising from the ashes, all the way to the Grand Finals. If some of you don't know why DongRaeGu's Silver in the OSL was such an incredible accomplishment, let me break it down for you.
1. DongRaeGu was not at his best.
In July of 2012, two things shattered DongRaeGu's god-like grip on the world of StarCraft. He lost to MC in the GSL Season 3 semifinals, missing out on his chance to grace the finals in his own hometown, Busan. DRG then went on to lose to Leenock the very next day in the GSTL, deprived again of the same prize that he yearned for so much. And for two months after that tragic week, DongRaeGu was not the same. He began falling to people he would have otherwise crushed; his mentality had surely been shaken. Yet for all his loses elsewhere, DongRaeGu pushed forward in the OSL. It was the one tournament that he vowed to pour his soul into. He could not lose there, he would not, DRG promised himself.
Slowly but surely DRG began his remarkable recovery. His wins came pouring in once again and by the time of the OSL finals, it seemed like he was back to his old self, ready to ride the lightning once more. Yet, in an interview the week of the finals, DRG admitted that his play was only 70-80% of what it used to be. Recovery is a long road full of twists and thorns, but DongRaeGu has shown that he is someone that could not be kept down. Even in his weakest moments, he made it to the finals of the OSL. That in itself is something worth having your mouth agape for.
2. The OSL map selection sucked for Zerg.
Anyone who disagrees is just flat out insane. It really didn't make any sense why DongRaeGu kept winning when he did. The maps were so bad that by the time the OSL-proper started (round of 16) only 2 Zergs were left, in a sea of 6 Terrans and 8 Protosses. Ohana was perhaps the most abysmal of the bunch, so prone to abusive play such as the immortal sentry all-in that it got tossed out of the GSL completely this coming Season. Follow that by Antiga Shipyard, a map that forces Zerg on 3-base play by making expansions extremely challenging to hold on to. Entombed Valley rounds out the bunch of bad Zerg maps, full of terrible chokes, close spawn imbalances, advantageous high grounds to abuse and an easily defendable 3rd bases which are immune to run-bys or backstabs. As expected, Zerg players dropped like flies; by the Round of 8, only DongRaeGu was left standing. And he strong he stood, carrying the swarm's flag all the way to the finals.
3. The opposition was immensely strong.
To call DongRaeGu an underdog is no small a compliment to the caliber of opponents he was facing in the OSL. Having to play against people who are in their prime while you're struggling at 80% is no easy feat. At the start of the OSL, DRG was immediately pit against Symbol in a ZvZ matchup. Some were already calling Symbol a contender for the throne of the swarm, but DongRaeGu fought hard and thwarted Symbol's reach for his crown. Next DRG had to run the gamut of monstrous players such as Jangbi, the reigning OSL champion, MarineKing, an old rival from the international stage, and SKTT1Rain, the rising Protoss hope and eventual champion. DongRaeGu defeated two of the three, earning his place in the Round of 8 where he continued his rampage by stomping over Fnatic Oz with a 3:1 score. DongRaeGu was then greeted by his nemesis, MC, in the semi-finals, the man who crushed his dreams in the GSL Season 3. DRG not only survived the encounter, he made it look easy by destroying MC with another 3:1 score. Thus the player known as DongRaeGu made it to the first OSL finals in StarCraft 2 against all odds and personal struggles.
The Hard Pill to Swallow
DongRaeGu lost the OSL finals, and as much as I would have liked to blame the maps or game imbalances, I simply can't. His opponent SKTT1 Rain played better that day and deserved his time in the spotlight. That isn't to say that DRG played poorly, so much as he was outplayed.
Consider the wide availability of DRG-VODs garnered through the years for Rain to look at and practice. Now consider how many VODs of Rain in PvZ that DRG had to learn from and prepare for (not many). It all comes down to a war of information, Rain clearly had more to work with than DRG, Rain was able to deny information and scouting from DRG, Rain was on top of his harassment game and forced DRG to do things he didn't want to, Rain attacked at perfect timings right when DRG made fresh rounds of drones. Overall, DongRaeGu might have prepared well for the OSL finals, but Rain simply prepared better.
The loss was hard for all of us to swallow, and I'm sure it must have been unbearable for Soo Ho as he stood on that stage in the Silver's light.
But...I believe in DongRaeGu.
I believe that he can take this painful experience and become a stronger person. I believe that he can improve his play by learning from his mistakes (such as learning how to protect his Greater Spire) and become a better player than he already is. I believe that DRG has what it takes to gain back that last 20% and become 100% whole again. And I believe that DongRaeGu will win another championship before this year is over.
I also believe that...he's going to need some motivation and support from his fans to get there.
Fans, I challenge you to reply to this blog with something nice for DRG. DongRaeGu reads teamliquid a lot, and I'm sure your words of encouragement will mean the world to him in the days to come. Please show your love for Soo Ho as he prepares to enter the group of death this coming monday.
I have a small prize to hand out to the best responses by monday's end. So give him your best shoutouts! Tell him why you became a fan. Tell him to not give up and that there are brighter skies ahead! Comon, this is what fans are for!
Fans gather after the OSL finals to cheer on DRG even after he had lost (photo by Moletrap)
Champion of Hearts
If there is one thing worth cheering for when it comes to DongRaeGu, it is that he plays his heart out for his fans, friends and family, as oppose to other pro-gamers who only play for themselves. So when DRG lost the finals, he tearfully apologized to everybody for not pulling through for them.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is a player with a heart of gold. I hope you all will continue to support him as much I will. A player with a heart like his is just someone worth cheering for.
And though DongRaeGu walks a hard road ahead, I hope he knows that he will not alone.
We'll be there...
Until he rises again.
We'll be there...
Until he rises again.
Written by neoghaleon55
Music composed and performed by neoghaleon55
From the MVP DongRaeGu Fan Club on TeamLiquid.net