With my last major article published several days back, I have officially stepped down and handed over the reigns of BW staff to the next Editor-In-Chief, EsportsJohn. He's motivated to keep things going, and so are the rest of the staff with ASL7 around the corner so I hope you guys can continue supporting them indefinitely. I mentioned in my retirement post that I'll write one more blog as a sort of wrap-up and here it is. I figure that I can respond to the feedback I got for my last article and share some of my thoughts on the writeups I wrote if anyone asks. I'll also make this my own article archive, aka things I wrote personally over the years, seeing as time has a bad habit of making you forget what you've done in the past and it's always nice to nostalgia. If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask!
On that note, Nada qualified for ASL7 which means...
Does Tesagi exist? A Response to the Comments Provided
My latest and last article which is still on the FP is regarding the topic of Tesagi and its prevalence in BW in the post-KeSPA era. The reason I decided to take a look at the subject of Tesagi in more detail was due to it being such an interesting topic. As many fans that followed ASL and KSL would know, it's something that has come up several times in the last 2 years. Flash beating Jaedong in ASL2 and Last beating Jaedong in KSL1 were two times where there were heated balance discussions, and there were potentially more that I missed. The situation was even worse in the Korean community where Last got a lot of backlash after the win. Makes me wonder if Jaedong said anything to his fans about their outrage or not. Also, I'm a Terran player and I wanted to find out if there's some truth to the claims.
For someone who has closely followed the scene for many years due to leading BW staff, I've noticed that the majority of time, Terrans haven't been performing as well as I'd think they would. Even more so in the Afreeca era where aside from Last's recent KSL win, it was only Flash who was a champion. My own suspicion was that Terrans were doing average as a whole, and Flash was boosting the stats by making all Zerg groups or just killing it in TvZ on his own. Seeing as you can't be objective when just comparing units, their stats etc... the best objective measure was to do a thorough look at tournament winrates. In other words, this writeup was born out of my own curiosity towards the subject, and I'm glad to see that the discussion has been fruitful so far with folks discussing it in depth compared to the usual balance topics over the years. Now, I've seen some of the feedback and comments in the thread. I'll respond to the ones that come to mind:
1) Numbers: I've seen at least one poster call my numbers BS which is far from the case. There was a lot of meticulous data collection, aka I scoured a lot of data sources and I've double, tripled and quadrupled checked my calculations constantly. If I found a single small error, I rechecked everything again because I wanted to make sure that the results are the best they can be. I also wanted to provide the best data set possible since I'm trying to draw a conclusion on this topic, and I wholeheartedly believe I collected the best one possible within current limitations. Feel free to ask some of TheNewEra for details.
2) Bias: Well, no one is free of bias, not even myself, however, what you see is what you get. The numbers were not fudged in any way, shape or form to try to make Terran seem less imba or to help me come to the conclusion that I did in the article. Folks are free to attack the analysis if they believe I was being unfair in a certain section, but the numbers were clear to me.
3) Sponbangs: Truth be told, I didn't even consider these. My main concern was looking at tournaments, notably offline ones since they are imo the best measure of skill. I originally looked at major tournaments, then realized that this removed some good tournaments out of the equation and that wouldn't be fair so I re-evaluated and decided to include all offline Korean tournaments. Once I did that, I became curious about online tournaments and decided to include them too since I was interested, but as mentioned in my conclusion, offline is always better than online imo and sponmatches are in the online category. They are important, but everyone will weigh them differently is all. On that note, I didn't realize this started the Tesagi talks in the Korean community, I mostly went off what happens in the foreign community.
4) Best Era: KeSPA vs Post-KeSPA era is something else that I saw in the comments. This is a bit of a hard one because things can go either way. The post-KeSPA era is where we currently are at, and while I think it's important to remember the KeSPA era for its amazing games, teams, rivalries, history and so forth, we should also realize that BW is being played in the present. Players are teamless, and it all comes down to desire and effort. Afreeca is the leader for BW nowadays, not OGN or MBC or whoever else. You're probably thinking, well, that was the highest skilled era, but I tend to disagree. I think we've seen high level intense games in both eras. Furthermore, strategies have evolved a lot more since 2012. IMO, this is the era where skill is a huge deciding factor for the players compared to the past where new builds were being discovered etc... I'm sure someone will point to 5 rax +1 or the Flash 1-1-1, but those are refined builds, not a brand new one. In that case, it comes down to who's able to macro, micro and play better overall.
5) Other variables: yes, maps, player vs player matchups etc... are important in analysis but imo, you can't reliably do a sound analysis when you try to consider all these other factors because some of these can be subjective too. That's not to say they are not important, but I think there's a fine line to walk if you include all these variables since you have to get the proper weighing down, and it honestly makes it a lot more complicated with a potential chance of messing it all up too. For instance, let's look at Jaedong's form in all ASLs. How would you rate his skills from say, 1-10? Would you say Jaedong in ASL2 was an 8, then 8 in ASL3 then what? How can you reliably predict this for Jaedong with his form? Was he a 10 in KSL1? After all, he did beat Rain 4-0 and was as many were saying, back and performing at his peak, aka making a final serious run? Ironically, Jaedong is an easier one. What about Sea in 2013? 2014? 2015? 2016? 2017? Then you have to consider how you'll reliably account for maps and other factors too? That type of analysis is intensive and frankly extremely time-consuming and difficult, not to mention that BW's history even in post-KeSPA is long. We're talking over 6 years of tournaments and stats here!
6) Flash: I've seen some argue that taking out Flash defeats the purpose, but Flash is an outlier here. How many players have won 3 straight ASLs in the post KeSPA era? There's youtube videos where players have spoken highly of Flash? When I say highly, I mean that they seemed to be indicating that he was on a level of his own and it's the common perception among many community members. On that note, why would I try and take out a Zerg or Protoss for this analysis? This was focusing only on TvX matchups and trying to see just what Flash's contribution was to the Tesagi effect. If someone wrote Zesagi and started removing Soulkey, EffOrt or Jaedong then that would make more sense or Pesagi and tried removing Bisu for instance.
Keep in mind that in some of the earlier tournaments listed such as 41 Starleague Season 2 and BCTV Starleague, I did all recaps and previews. Other tournaments such as SSLs, TLC/TLS:C etc... in that era were mostly recaps. Once we hit the Afreeca era (ASL1 onwards), I covered whatever needed to be covered since I transitioned to the EiC role by then and was responsible for writing the introduction and editing, formatting, and publishing things on time.
Also, in some cases, I came up with questions for interviews, but unless I came up with the majority of them, the interviews were not listed below, but those can still all be found in the article archive thread in BW General. Furthermore, if you are someone who has read and enjoyed my articles, I thank you. If you went a step further and commented on any of them, I thank you even more. Articles, especially standalone ones, are really time intensive so knowing someone took time out of their busy day to comment is great!
41 Starleague Season 2:
- Ro16 Recap
- Ro8 Preview
- Ro8 Recap
- Ro4 Preview
- Ro4 Recap/Finals Preview
- YT Vods
- Ro16 Recap
- Ro8 Preview
- Ro8 Recap/Ro4 Preview
- Ro4 Recap/Finals Preview
Sonic Starleague 10:
- Ro32 Preview- Hold On, We're Going Home
- Ro32 Preview- From ZerO to by.hero
- Ro16 Preview- So This Is The New Year
- Ro8 Preview- Extinction Event
- Ro4 Preview- Triumph of War
- Finals Preview- The Last Stand
- Finals Recap and a Look Back
Sonic Starleague 11:
- Ro24 Groups C/D Preview- Bisu Returns
- Ro24 Groups E/F Preview- Zerg Rising
- Ro16 Preview- Rushing Forward
- Quarterfinal Preview: Fateful Eight
- Quarterfinal Preview: Carpe Diem
- Semifinals Preview: Proportionate Response
- Finals Preview: Deja Vu
- Finals Recap: Book of Records
- Ro16 Preview- And It Was All Yellow
- Ro8 Preview- The Elite 8
- Finals Preview- Bring out the Kong
- The First King of Kongdoo: Finals Recap
TeamLiquid Legacy Cup:
- [TLC] The Story So Far (Recap)
- TLC: In Numbers (Numbers+Design)
TeamLiquid Legacy Starleague Championship:
- Semifinals Preview
- Finals Preview
Afreeca Starleague Season 2:
- ASL2 Power Rank
- Ro24 Preview Pt. 2 - Flash and Jaedong Return (Group B Recap)
- Ro16 Preview Pt. 1 - Expectations (Group F Recap)
- Ro8 Preview Pt. 1 - Bisu to Best Sea and hero
- Ro8 Preview Pt. 2 - Bisu Swept and hero dismantled (Group A Recap)
- Semifinals Preview Pt. 2 - Flash vs Jaedong
Afreeca Starleague Season 3:
- Ro24 Preview Pt. 3 - Old and Older
- Ro16 Preview Pt. 1 - Easy Way Hard Way
- Ro16 Preview Pt. 2 - Survival of the Fittest
- Ro8 Preview Pt. 1 - SKT T1 Feud with Bisu
Afreeca Starleague Season 4:
- Ro16 Preview Pt. 1 - Flash and Zergs
- Ro8 Preview Pt. 1 - Let it Rain
- Ro8 Preview Pt. 2 - Bisu and Flash Killers
- Semis Preview - Heroic Larva and Dazzling Bisu (Recap+Preview)
Afreeca Starleague Season 5:
- Ro16 Preview Pt. 1 - Flash et al
- Ro8 Preview Pt. 1 - Forget Bisu Here Comes S
- Finals Recap - Rainy Start to a New Era
Afreeca Starleague Season 6:
- Ro24 Preview Pt. 2 - Tip of the Iceberg
- Ro16 Preview Pt. 1 - A Storm is Coming (2 Recaps)
- Ro16 Preview Pt. 2 - Flash vs Jaedong Rematch
- Ro8 Preview Pt. 1 - Outlasting Rain
- Ro8 Preview Pt. 2 - Lights Camera Action!
- Semis Preview - Two of a Kind
- Finals Preview - Flash vs EffOrt OSL Rematch (Recap+Preview)
Korea Starleague Season 2:
- Ro16 Preview - The Crucible (2 Previews)
- Finals Preview - Soulkey vs Sharp
- Xenix' 7th National PC Bang Event Finals Recap
- BW ReUnion Tour Reminescence
- [VNSL] Ro16 Preview: This is War!
- [ATB] God has Fallen
- KSL Ro8 Preview - Terran Graveyard
- Revolution: 10 years on (With Plexa)
- Sonic's Legacy: SSL's Lasting Impact
- 2017 Reflection - TeamLiquid BW Awards
- Jaedong: Never Give Up! -----> Russian Translation
- Larva No More - The Evolution -----> Russian Translation
- Eternal Bond - For Aiur
- Hero - Farewell to a Consistently Great Zerg
- The Legend Killer - Last
- Shuttle - Farewell to the Monstrous Progeny of Capitalism
- EffOrt - Farewell to a Monstrous Zerg
- Does Tesagi Exist?
- TaekBangLeeSsang Interview
- Flash Interview: "My rival was Bisu"
- Hero Interview: "Zergs are doing very well"
This one is quite tough. I feel like a lot of my articles ended up being what I had in mind, and in one case, I even snuck in an easter eggm but had to spoil it since I figured that no one would find it if I didn't. Having said that, I believe it's a toss-up between the SSL article and the Tesagi article. Both were extremely important topics and while the SSL article was an important bridge for folks coming back with RM+a farewell to an old friend, the Tesagi article was hitting a vital topic for the BW scene.
Granted, some other articles like the Jaedong, Larva or Last one told a story of a player who struggled trying to overcome all odds and reach a certain level. Both the Jaedong and Larva articles got translated as well, though the Jaedong was far more popular than the Larva one, netting a lot of views on both TL and the Russian site that translated it. In terms of work, the SSL, Tesagi and TL Awards were by far the most intensive ones, but that's not to say that the other articles were written quite quickly either. All in all, all of my articles took quite a bit of time to put together.
My oh my how the time flew by.
It's the semifinals of ASL6, the time is nigh.
The third quarterfinals had sparks flying,
as a mad scientist and a protoss player kept vying.
In the end, the scientist admitted defeat,
much to the dismay of his fans, and his colleagues.
The fourth quarterfinals was much more of a stomp.
A 3-0 win by Flash, a Terran scum.
Never doubt Flash, he was truly great.
He always brings hope to a doomed race.
Hope you all learned your lesson, I did too.
Now read our recaps, I know you want too!
The semifinals promise to be good, or at least they should.
Last vs EffOrt, fantastic Terran vs great Zerg.
Will EffOrt rise to the task, or will he despair?
Flash vs Shuttle, a match of titans.
Can Shuttle bring the hurt, or will he be sent home frightened?
Truly a great time to be a BW fan so witness the games, and be there!
Seeing as this is a staff-related blog, I'm going to focus on staff shoutouts:
BW Staff: 2pac, prech, Bisudagger, Stratos, v1, BLinD-RawR, Sayle, FlaShFTW, amazingxkcd, c3rberUs, bioboyat, lemmata, EsportsJohn, Ty2, Ziggy, TheNewEra, Peeano, HaN and TaardadAiel
Wish you guys the best moving forward, and hope you can keep the BW flame alive! Oh, and be careful of v1!