I thought about all the previous competitive tournaments I've ever been in. I feel like I have experience of that tournament experience and I don't feel shaken when I play. I learn a lot of the time when an event starts or a great endeavor is taken on, I usually get excitedly energetic only to be bitterly disillusioned by the endeavor as more of a responsibility rather than a fun recreational activity. Taking note of my previous experiences, and realizing TLS would take a long time to complete, I signed up not taking the tournament too seriously.
At the start of the tournament there were 90 people but only 32 will survive to go onto the next stage. There are seven preliminary rounds of which five have been completed that will be played where people will play bo3's versus an opponent of similar win/loss score. The 32 highest scoring people would then move onto the next stage.
I came pretty close to getting walkovered a few times but as luck would have it I half-heartedly went to play my games with minutes to spare knowing I didn't really have anything better to do on a Saturday when the games were held.
The first round I played versus Naugrim, a Swedish Zerg player who is in the defunct and formerly renowned clan, Templars of Twilight. As a Zerg player myself, I didn't feel exactly confident in ZvZ, but knowing from my previous tournament experience I simply had to stick to what I knew best and was most confident in. Having a mentality that is easily sucked into last minute deviations of a reckless and untamed style of play would prove detrimental.
Unfortunately, I did exactly that. I can't remember the first game clearly, but I think I tried to go for a quick lair style that wasn't refined and I pretty much got outpaced due to poor economic management. The following game I tried to go for a straight forward game plan start to finish - a highly risky 9 hatch 9 pool 9 gas 9 overlord build. I pushed all of my hopes in one basket so that I would catch my opponent off guard, but alas, I was doing another build I hadn't practiced much.
I tried hiding my 2nd hatchery but I placed it in a blatantly conspicuous place so its reveal was inevitable to the opponent's eyes. I often fall victim to this build unable to notice the subtle difference in ling/2nd hatchery timing compared to a 12 hatch, but my opponent warily identified exactly what was up my sleeve. After my initial aggression the ling attacks quickly paled in comparison to the impenetrable defense my opponent had readily prepared. Soon enough the economic advantage and tech quickly surpassed my hopes of gaining a quick victory. Defeat certain, I plead good game.
A downtrodden start to the tournament, a minor 0-2 had planted the seeds of slight disappointment. However, the next 6 rounds still bore promise for my plight and aspirations to become a survivor.
The second round came swiftly, but I felt rather apathetic and I hadn't practiced at all. I was playing against a player I knew wasn't quite up to my general skill level. The matchup was ZvZ once again. My fighting spirit against my new opponent however had visibly faltered compared to the previous round. I played excruciatingly sluggishly like a newborn baby trying to walk. A part of me felt very slow that morning and uncaring about winning. I underestimated my opponent thinking I'd win single handedly which is a deleterious assumption to make in the first place.
The first game I lost somehow due to poor muta micro and generally poor ling micro. The second game I won but was behind in almost every way possible. Only my muta micro offered a saving grace to what was a game headed into disaster. The third game I lost prematurely after severely underestimating the strength of my opponent's lings in the first four minutes of the game. Another defeat, albeit with one win, had been dealt, settling my score to 1-4.
Round 3 I was none the more enthusiastic for but to my fortune my opponent didn't show up so I got an automatic walkover. The score was now 3-4.
In round 4 I had to play against zs-adun, a protoss player. I didn't feel inspired that time either to play in TLS. I couldn't play at the designated time so I requested a reschedule. I made some comments of empathy that I understood if he wanted to take the walkover which I slightly wanted strangely so I could be done with TLS. My opponent however so graciously accepted a rescheduling.
The first game was set, and unaware of my opponent's playstyle I grew wary. I think my opponent went for a gateway into expand build which had ineffective aggression. I noticed a lot of inefficiencies in his play that made me increasingly aware the caliber of player I was up against was low. I swiftly won the second game with a 5 pool sensing my opponent had little tenacity. Victory had won myself a 5-4 score. The situation was beginning to look up.
In round 5 I had to play another player from the n.stop clan. Knowing the more victories I garnered, the difficulty of my opponents would accordingly follow. At first I was wary at the time. Prior to the games I was busy with other things and I only played a few games the day before. I offraced Terran and I won somehow. The second game I switched to Zerg and my opponent tried to go for a cannon rush which I stopped. Afterwards, I managed to win with a specific strategy, although clearly unpolished as I didn't practice before. My opponent's shortcomings though rose above my own so again I managed to claim victory. I'm guessing maybe my opponent was thrown off afterwards as he went for a strange nonsensical build and maybe had some mental abandon after the cannon rush failed and the loss of the first game. My score currently concludes with a solid 7-4, placing me within the top 32 of the competition.
Now in the next to last round I must play NW.Mayyas, and the recently sprung NW clan is not a name taken lightly. A force of gravity is carried within the name so I become wary of the new proportions of skill my opponent has that far exceeds my previous adversaries. With greater victories come greater opponents and once again my strength is tested, or maybe sheer dumb luck.
I didn't expect to come as far as I have but I shouldn't be in a preemptively celebratory mood. Again, like in preceding weeks, I don't feel particularly desiring of victory. A part of me wants to practice a little but at the same time really, do I really, really want that victory? A part of me says yes but a part of me is saying I have some higher priorities to fulfill.
edit: Changed inconspicuous to conspicuous. Removed life story and monologue of random tidbits of life's mysteries and stream of consciousness.