images by Pachi the great
One reoccurring problem with the spring leagues of StarCraft is that it generally runs through the exam periods of most of our writers. While some of us were history majors and were scarcely affected by the testing, others on the TL staff were involved in slightly more demanding fields of study. Thus the MSL, the ugly step child of the OSL, has been neglected. For that, we apologize.
But not anymore. Just as the tournament is reaching a fever pitch it is time to take a brief look back and a long look forward at what is to come.
What's happened so far?
Well, the MSL starts us out with 32 players divided into 8 groups. Each group plays a two-win-in, two-loss-out format in one day to determine which two gamers move on to the next round. There were few surprises in this round. Anytime had to be disappointed with his 0-2 performance in an all protoss group, but he is much more of a proleague ringer these days, with his teammates picking up the 1v1 slack - more on that later. SaviOr left us all disappointed after his loss to firebathero, but that too is becoming an easier (or at least more frequent) pill to swallow. On the flip side Canata turned in a strong performance in his group, taking out both UpMagic and Luxury to advance along with Sea. A final point of notice was that only two of the eight zergs managed to make it through, and neither of those won their group.
After the pool was cut to 16 players, they were paired up for a best-of-three with the 2-0 winner of the last round being able to thumbs-down a map. Both protoss players thumbed down Othello while the terrans were divided between Tiamat and Athena. Things went well for the armies of Aiur as KaL, free, and Much all won against their terran opponents. Jaedong also made it through to the round of eight as the last remaining Zerg representative. Finally, Hwasin continued to improve his form against NaDa, and will need to be in top shape with his TvZ vs the Lecaf juggernaut.
So where does this leave us?
As mentioned earlier, the second and third members of the Lecaf proleague wrecking crew are tearing a path through this MSL and look to be on a collision course in the finals. We already have fOrGG, the terran who macros telepathically, coming off a great comeback win vs KaL to grab the first semifinal spot. This win was all the more impressive when you consider the success protoss had on these maps in the earlier round.
On the other side of the bracket is the tarnished champ. The one time heir to the Mae Jae Yoon throne, Jaedong's image has been sullied by the ascendancy of Flash and his loss in the OSL. Nevertheless, he is the defending champion and still lethal in any matchup. His next matchup is on Thursday against the surging Hwasin. The winner of that match will meet Much in the semifinals.
June 26: Hwasin vs Jaedong
1st Set Tiamat
2nd Set Colosseum
3rd Set Athena
4th Set Othello
5th Set Tiamat
Winner faces Much in the semifinals.
July 3rd: Lomo vs Flash
1st Set Othello
2nd Set Tiamat
3rd Set Athena
4th Set Colosseum
5th Set Othello
Winner faces fOrGG in the semifinals.
We will have thorough game reports following the matches on Thursday night. Go get your liquibet!