TeamLiquid: Final Edits
The five month Protoss Revolution began in March (image by zxk3).
It is a week before the GomTV MSL Final, and the fans were crowning a double champion. Savior had just dominated Nada in a Shinhan3 OSL Final that everyone, including Savior, had hyped and focused on quite a bit more. The Maestro, winner of two straight MSLs and in his fifth straight MSL Final, would walk over “his Protoss opponent.” The classification that was very telling. The Bisu/Ra semi was a mere formality, after all, they were just two Protoss, classified by their race and matchup, nameless except for their inevitable place next to the Zerg champion on the podium. No Protoss since Garimto had beaten a Zerg in a Starleague final. Reach and Ra had multiple chances and had always lost in unspectacular fashion.
It is a week before the GomTV MSL Final, and something was happening in the jungles of Thailand. We will never truly know why Bisu went on vacation a week before the Finals. There were two possible thought processes:
- "I am a huge underdog in a really difficult series. I suppose I will try my best and whatever happens, I will be proud of how far I came."
- "My name is Kim Taek Yong, commander of the Protoss, the prince who was promised, Dark Templar reborn. Leader of a disrespected race, victim of an imbalanced matchup, and I will have my vengeance in this MSL Final or the next."
Dominance has two requirements. Midas and recently Flash are good examples of players having a lot of one quality (mechanics) but very little of the other: the "magic" or "X-factor." It is that indescribable quality that you as the fan do not see but rather feel when watching a player who has it play.
Just as you can't dominate without it, you can't win with magic alone. Non-PvT Reach and to a lesser extent Garimto are examples of players whose great experience can take them far but not far enough. They do not currently have the technical skill to match the modern elite players. You simply need both qualities.
When mechanics and magic did converge, they produce players like 2004 Iloveoov, 2005 July, 4-badge Nada and Shinhan3 Savior. The convergence not only produced champions, but dominant ones.
A player’s confidence begins as a snowball rolling down a hill. It is a stream from a mountain peak or a baby tyrannosaur hatching from an egg. It is easily melted, diverted or even killed by the smallest of events at infancy. It needs to be nurtured and given time to grow. One bad experience at the wrong time in a player’s career and their magic will forever be lost, their confidence irreparably damaged. Dominance is unforgiving, and thus it is rare. To achieve it players must be not only be among the elite in technical skill but must walk a confidence minefield, vulnerable to circumstance and bad luck.
The "magic" must be nurtured, preferably in Thailand.
Yellow is the poster child for the sad story of being so close, literally with his fingers around the magic but never able to hang on. I firmly believe that had Yellow won that first Coca-Cola OSL Final against Boxer back in 2001 their places in history would be reversed. We would be talking about Zerg and Terran completely differently today. The two most significant players in Brood War history came to their biggest crossroads at the most fragile point in their careers. We did not know it then, but player-wise it was easily the most influential, historical moment in ProGaming history. So much came down to one game on Neo Hall of Valhalla. It is what made Boxer "Boxer" and Yellow "Yellow." One player left that game with the magic, one player did not.
It is forged in deciding Game 3s and Game 5s. As ProGaming developed, as parity reigned and "great" win percentages hovered in the 60%’s, that special quality became more and more elusive. It was just impossible to be consistent, especially for Protoss. Looking through the list of champions, there has never been a dominant Protoss, one who had the magic. Until now.
The series that shocked the world.
Bisu is the most talented Protoss to come along in the history of professional Starcraft. His macro is the best. His micro is among the best. He has no weak matchups. He has one extremely strong matchup that is so far above every other Protoss in terms of quality and consistency that it’s laughable. Bisu has perfect, relentless scouting. Bisu successfully pushes the line between victory and defeat like no other player outside Savior.
But most of all, Bisu posseses the highest Protoss multitask ability. It is not even close. I have said this countless times but I will re-iterate. The "Beesuit Build" itself is not special. The build that beat Savior, the build that is basically a modified Protoss FE that slightly delays its storm and intermittently cuts probes for early DT/Corsair, is only good because Bisu does it. Other players have tried it and failed where Bisu succeeded. His Corsairs do not die. His DTs act like there is someone watching them at all times, finding holes that no other player can find. You could just drop the "-Build" part of that designation altogether and simply call it "Bisu," because it's all him.
But forget those last two paragraphs. What is special about Bisu is that in addition to his best-ever talent, he is 8-1 in elimination games in 2007, with the lone loss coming to Flash in the Daum OSL Ro8. It is part luck, part skill, part concentrated power of will, but somewhere along the line, Bisu got "it." He has the confidence now that he never did before, and with every successful do-or-die game win, his confidence and his magic grow.
Bisu is the Protoss chosen one. But worst of all for his opponents, he is finally starting to believe it.
TeamLiquid is also starting to believe it.
You could see it in his comeback against Light in GomTV1, in his almost too good to be true 6-0 tear through GomTV1 semis and finals. You can see it in him calling Hwasin “insurance” in the Daum OSL group selection and then humiliating him with Scouts. Most of all, you can see it his clutch stasis against Stork in the decisive GomTV2 finals game 5.
Protoss dominance had arrived. Bisu, the Revolutionary, changed the game.
It is a week before the July-GoRush GomTV2 MSL quarterfinal. The winner would go on to face Bisu in the semifinals. The match was a mere formality, after all, they were just two Zerg.