Carariyo put the pedal to the metal to 4:1 Socrates Tteokbokki.
The car-dealership-sponsored roster move one step closer to glory, leaving Socrates in the dust with a convincing 4:1 score in the first round of the playoffs. The spiritual successor to ASTL Season 1's Charariyo Buffalos, the Snow + firebathero combo seem to be in prime shape to take on LOGINmedia for a spot in the grand final of the tournament.
The first match of the playoffs was highlighted by Carariyo's late bloomer JyJ who took down both of Socrates's star players in Larva and Bisu, claiming redemption for his lackluster 1:3 map score in the round-robin. The scene has seen a fair share of Terran departures in recent years, with the likes of Last and Mind all but absent from competitive play, another one stepping up to the plate is a welcome sight in the modern landscape of professional StarCraft. With little to no influx of young blood the scene is at a perennial risk of stagnancy that, while not necessarily detrimental to the skill ceiling of competitive Brood War per se, can certainly lessen the entertainment factor. And while some may be upset by Larva and Bisu dropping maps to JyJ, I believe many welcome these upsets (even involving veteran players who haven't had as much time in the spotlight) as a much needed breath of fresh air. I know I do.
21/02, 1900KST: LOGINmedia vs Carariyo
Fresh off back-to-back ASL championship runs, ZerO managed to put together a team that, despite certain supposed shortcomings in the morale department (we're not going to let Stork live the ASTL1 draft meltdown incident down), placed second in the round-robin. What felt like a motley crew of mismatched leftovers actually proved (be it through sheer luck or intricate design) too tough to handle for all but one team in the groupstage. That one team were Carariyo. Should LOGINmedia lose to Carariyo again, I'll say it was the former (sheer luck, that is). Stork isn't supposed to beat Bisu after losing a proxy Nexus. MIsO isn't supposed to go 3:2 in maps against the cream of the Korean crop. Credit where it's due, Rush is by and large the best Terran outside of Flash and Light (JyJ close on his heels, apparently). But they also picked up Bravo whom they didn't even field out once. (Whom I doubt anyone has even seen play since the dissolution of SC2 Proleague in 2016 for that matter). Should they claim revenge and take down Carariyo, I'll concede it was the latter (that ZerO has a wrinkly brain when it comes to putting together teams on top of having the biggest cojones as a competitior, that is). I reckon a lot might come down to whether Carariyo care about actually taking down ZerO in up to 2 sets or if they choose to centre their strategy around conceding said sets and scoring the remaining maps.
I choose to trust in firebathero. Carariyo 4:2 LOGINmedia.