Love of my Life
Read the first part here! http://www.teamliquid.net/blogs/viewblog.php?id=393138
The stage was set. The hype was at a loud roar and everyone was excited. This could end up being the greatest, most epic match seen this year, maybe in Starcraft 2 history.
Oh my god oh my god oh my god!!!
Life had not lost his cool and confident demeanour going into the game. Even when facing a giant such as Mvp, he quite simply was not intimidated. As the kpop blared out from the speakers in the GOMTV studio a hush went over the crowd and the tension was ramped up to a ridiculous high. The old master vs the protégé. The Nokia brickphone vs the iPhone 5000. Mvp had defied all his expectations to get to the finals...as did Life. Who could deny the expectations one last time? Would the game deliver?
It certainly did. From a tactical standpoint, it was sublime with Mvp opting to go for blueflame hellions in 3 of the games and subsequently mech in all of them. Life played his normal style of very heavy speedling infestor aggression, delaying his brood lords in favour of never stopping attacking and the styles worked so well against each other and made for amazing games to watch. While Mvp seemed to dominate the early and midgame, repelling early pool builds, fast mutalisks and constant aggression, he just didn't have an answer when Life reached hive tech and broodlords. In a back and forth series, which started with Mvp 2 games down, before he won 3 straight in a row. Life looked down and out, but in both games managed to delay for his broodlord tech and win 4-3.
It was a historic moment in Starcraft 2 history. Not only was Life the youngest GSL champion ever and the first royal roader, he was a symbol. The zerg race wasn't just a turtle fest until broodlords, it wasn't based around 12 minute hives. Life showed us that he could use absolutely dominating multitasking combined with monstrous macro to defeat even the strongest of opponents.
After this, most people would probably take a break and just focus on practice for the rest of the year, so they can come back refreshed into the GSL tournament season. Not Life. Not even 2 weeks later he was on a plane to the other side of the world to attend his first foreign tournament. He was a huge favorite to win, as his confident attitude and entertaining play had gained him a great deal of fans. He started off well, beating Major, Violet and TaeJa (twice!). These victories earned him a seed in the winners round 1, against esteemed Brood War bonjwa Flash. Flash pulled out a huge upset (I never thought I would say that) and beat Life 2-0, knocking him down the losers bracket. Once there, he easily dispatched of Heart which gave him a rematch against Flash in the semifinal. Flash fought well in both games, but it wasn't enough and Life won 4 games straight and advanced to the final.
FXOLeenock was his opponent. Someone who had risen to become one of the only people who could consistently take games off Life, who was hungrily looking for his foreign championship. Things started out badly, to say the least. Leenock was looking unstoppable after winning 3 games, to Life's single victory. Everyone had written Life off, attributing it to the sometimes volatile nature of the ZvZ matchup. They forgot who Life was though. He was the comback kid, the prodigy and he did not just sit down and give up, he did not surrender and he did not accept defeat. He fought and he fought, and won 3 games straight to win his first MLG championship, his first foreign tournament. It was a big milestone in Life's career and many people thought a fantastic end of the year.
Red Bull gives your lings wings!
Once again, Life one upped the people who thought things just could not get better for him. The 2012 GSL Blizzard Cup was announced and, of course, Life had been given a seed from his GSL Code S championship. If winning 2 premier tournaments in the space of a month seemed pretty good, Life decided to make it 3 in 2 months. He destroyed his group, only losing to Violet (in ZvZ, which was arguably his weakest matchup, or so people though). DongRaeGu would be Life's opponent in the Round of 6 and despite DRG's very formidable ZvZ, Life pulled through with a close 3-2 victory. His semifinal foe was his nemesis, Leenock. People just could not predict which way the match would go, some saying Life, some saying Leenock and others predicting a 2-2 draw with the final game ending in stalemate.
Life showed just how much his play could improve in such short amounts of time, beating his rival 3-1 and advancing him to the finals, where he would face teammate Parting. This match could have perhaps been more hyped than his finals against Mvp. Parting, the only non-zerg to make it out of the group stage with his astoundlingly strongly executed soul train WonWonWon immortal/sentry all in and Life, the charismatic young aggressive zerg, always finding solutions to problems in ways no one else could. Would he be able to find the solution to the strongest build to have ever been used against zerg's?
To put it simply, he could, with immense style.Parting only won a single game with his WonWonWon, the other being a very defensive style against Life's economy cutting aggression. Despite Parting having won BWC not too long ago, Life just looked like he was in and won with a decisive 4-2.
It was the perfect end to a perfect year for our zerg prodigy. While in the beginning there were ups and there were downs, he is undoubtedly the best player in Starcraft 2 right now. The world will watch with bated breath as to whether he can continue this domination in 2013.