This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell; my blessing season this in thee!
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell; my blessing season this in thee!
I Loved Victory (Part Two)
Welcome to Kong Country
TeamLiquid: Final Edits
Oov rocked the world of progaming to its very core. He had no weakness and appeared unbeatable. As with all of the Bonjwas, he was ahead of his time in strategical thinking and always eager to live life right on the edge. The difference between victory and defeat often was a few seconds - but oov would always be on the victorious side. He started the macro revolution and led the way for the new generation of Terran players.
While his innovations in strategy moved Starcraft in different directions, his legacy as one of the best will always live on. Never before had there been such a dominant force in progaming. To this day, Oov holds the record for the highest ELO according to TLPD. His cheater macro seemed hack like; but, for the first time outside of the strategy section, the secret to Oov's insane macro will be revealed. Also, the true meaning behind the id 'iloveoov' will be exposed.
Iloveoov changed the way Terrans played the game. His brutal dominance of the proscene came hand in hand with revolutions in strategy. The strategic innovations he developed can be credited to Boxer. Boxer did not teach Oov how to play Starcraft; he taught him how to understand Starcraft. Rather than spout off builds for him to use, Boxer taught Oov the inner workings of the Terran race and the fundamental principles of each of the matchups. When Oov detached from his Master's guidance and started to perform well in the individual leagues, these core principles influenced his innovations.
Oov's innovations in TvT stem from his playstyle. It is common knowledge that Oov favoured a macro heavy style and that he also had very good multitasking skills. Oov was eager to exploit this in TvT.
Gas units are the life blood of TvT so generally the player who has the most gas expansions wins the game. The natural expansion can be taken relatively easily, as it can be defended without too much hassle. But the third gas is generally a long distance away from the natural so must be taken much later (so that it can be defended). Oov wanted to take his third gas earlier, but needed some way to overcome the inherit liabilities that come with an earlier expansion.
- 400 minerals for a CC is nothing in TvT, but the investment in defenses are costly
- The third expansion stretches his defenses thinner
- The third expansion weakens his position (very important in TvT)
Oov needed a mobile unit to defend multiple places but also be able to harass pushes. Oov found the solution in the Wraith - the mobility of the Wraith was perfect for defending his earlier 3rd gas but at the same time could punish those who foolishly pushed too fast. The drawback of Wraiths is that they cost a lot of gas - reducing your tank count. However, by making Wraiths it forces your opponent to invest in Goliaths - which reduce the tank count of the opponent. You come out slightly behind, but the inherent defenders advantage allows for you to defend with less units. The maps of the day (e.g U-Boat, Requiem, Namja Iyagi) favoured Oov's innovation with the Wraith as their mobility worked well on the maps, and he was very successful with the build.
It should be noted that Oov changed the way Terrans thought about the wraith. Never before had Terran players used wraiths in this way and he essentially saved them from strategic isolation. They were always seen as a wasted investment due to their high gas cost and weakness to goliaths - which put the wraith user far behind. Oov revolutionised the position of the wraith in TvT strategy, which in turn became one of the standard TvT openings.
Oov's innovation with the Wraith is his biggest claim to fame in the matchup. While he pursued other methods in achieving the same goal - the wraith innovation changed the face of TvT forever. Oov focused strongly on securing a fast third gas and solidifying his position. Then he would move out and with his superior macro would destroy his opponents. This was in contrast to the TvT style of the day which centered on taking the natural early then playing aggressively before taking a late third gas.
As with TvT, oov sculpted TvP to suit his style. Oov took center stage in TvP in a time where 2 base timing rushes from Protoss's were standard. Oov was always looking to nab that third expansion faster than deemed sensible by contemporaries. Of course a timing rush by the Protoss would mean that a fast third expansion would simply be run over because his defenses would be too thinly spread. So once again Oov needed to find a solution to this problem.
Protoss had become experts in minimizing the effects of Vulture harass by this time, so Oov did away with the traditional harass. Obviously, Oov followed the rationale that if the Vultures could not pay for themselves in the harass, it would be better to retain the units and use them in defense. Oov's defensive style was born. Any sort of timing rushes would be cut down and turned into goon soup, but if his opponents did not follow through with a timing rush, they would be behind in macro. With greater numbers of units available, Oov was able to take a third base easier.
Oov was a master at reading a Protoss. His far superior understanding of the game allowed him to adapt at will. Oov was always able to get that third expansion in just in time for it to kick in and overrun the Protoss. Many opponents tried to stop Oov from going into his macro mode and they all failed. Oov's perfect adaptation and defense prevented any attempt at stopping him. Oov's TvP style quickly changed the face of progaming as more and more Terrans were turning to macro oriented play.
The map Luna, a product of the macro revolution, came midway through the Iloveoov era (2003-2004) which further strengthened the TvP innovations that Oov had put forward. But it had no real bearing on how Oov played his game. The maps where Oov developed these innovations were the likes of Nostalgia, Requiem, Mercury and Into the Darkness. The hardcore macro Terran that developed in the Luna era was a byproduct of Oov's innovations, probably better credited to Midas.
The alternative to Oov's faster third base on the maps he developed his style on was the 2 base push. On all of these maps the 2 base push is a terrible idea; Nostalgia only has 1 gas between your main and natural so you can't effectively push out, IntoTheDarkness and Requiem gave Protoss an easy time to crack pushes with Shuttle maneuvers and Mercury already gave an easy third expansion to Terran. Thus, Oov's defensive macro style removed a lot of their inherent disadvantages and gave way to his success.
That said, Oov pushed the boundaries of Terran macro further than Nada had done. The maps reflect a time where 2 base play was central to every matchup, but Oov was always pushing it that one step further - trying to get that Third up and running.
Oov's innovation in the area of TvZ is significantly more subtle than the other two matchups. He opted for a much later Factory than most Terrans of the era meaning his tanks came out later. He had a huge confidence in his mnm micro against lurkers, thus he expanded a lot earlier than other Terrans (before Factory) and relied on his control to stop the first wave of Lurker.
Oov was always pushing the boundaries, building everything as late as it possibly could be built and emphasizing a stronger economy in its place. Despite other Terran's of the time trying variations of this style TvZ (e.g. Nada) Oov pulled it off the best. It was plainly obvious that he was gifted in the matchup, despite him being 'weak' to July. The weakness to July came about through Oov always trying to 'cheat' his way ahead by skipping his factory in favor of a faster expansion. July's hyper-aggression coupled with perfect control punished the greedy style of Oov.
July had a large influence on Oov's style, and Oov struggled to adapt to it. The crushing losses in Gillette and iTv made Oov reevaluate his TvZ style. His later TvZ builds pushed the first Command Center considerably faster than he had done before. He also incorporated wraiths into his play more frequently with mixed results. Oov started Terran on its way towards 'bunk rush if close, FE if far' which would be later developed extensively by Midas. However, the fast expand build left him vulnerable to Savior - meaning he never really exposed the style well. Nevertheless, his experimentation in TvZ post-Gillette to find a counter to July began the 'Midas' revolution in TvZ.
The experimentation with wraiths came about due to Raid-Assault. Due to the close mains separated by snake like path meant the mobility of the wraith was strong. He was able to pick off Overlords and Drones because hydralisks were terrible at moving around the map. JJu came up with a solution for the wraiths in the form of Queens which fared well against Oov's strategy. The fast expansion builds were made possible thanks to maps like Luna and RoV which had easily defended naturals.
Nada arguably had the largest impact on TvZ with his SK Terran revolution. This is a style which focuses on pure mnm and vessels. As Nada developed this style extensively, he discovered that his build benefited from the revolution that Oov presented to the world. Nada would progressively expand faster and faster which allowed him to get more gas - which gave him better Vessel numbers. This all was developed in late 2004 and eventually became synonymous with "Perfect TvZ". This all came about due to Oov pioneering the faster command center, thus we can see that Oov's simple innovation in producing a faster expansion influenced TvZ extensively after his reign.
Oov's development of the Terran race was vital in the progress of Starcraft. Many advents of Oov pushed Starcraft heavily in the macro direction. When Reach found out that the only way to defeat Oov was to macro heavily himself, there was no more turning back from the macro focused route. On the whole, Oov took the wraith into new waters creating strategies for them where they were previously thought to be purely paper planes. Yet he retained a strong macro ethos about his play. Eventually, Midas would pick up where Oov left off and extend Oov's fast expansion builds into the FD and Fast Expand vs Zerg.
Many thanks to RaGe for all the help he gave me in this section
Iloveoov's legacy will not be quickly forgotten. He affected every facet of Starcraft culture, strategy and results. He was the Cheater, he was the Monster, he was the Villain.
Iloveoov is without a doubt the most dominant gamer in Starcraft history. His reign was the most brutal anyone had ever witnessed. Across the three MSL's he won he lost 8 games in total, winning 31. Thats a winrate of 79.4%. But statistics don't reveal just how monstrous Oov really was. The fact is, Oov's legacy will be remembered for generations to come. No one has ever reached the levels of dominance that Oov reached to date. Savior came close, as did Nada and Jaedong, but they all failed. He truly was the Monster Terran.
He revolutionized Terran strategy in his reign and shaped the course of Brood War with his macro oriented play. His macro defied all logic and reason within the game of Starcraft, and left crowds in awe of his massive troops numbers. But how did he do it? How did he macro so much better than his contemporaries?
Oov single handedly changed the way we thought about macro in Starcraft. For those old enough to remember, how many times did you sit there at your monitor thinking - 'that is way too many units' - when you were watching Oov's play? His unit production was incredible, unrealistic - he must have hacked! The fact that the sheer number of units suggested that he hacked earned him the nickname 'Cheater Terran'.
The age old question regarding Oov is: how did he do it? How did he produce more units than anyone thought was reasonable? Oov's play was actually rather sloppy. Very often he would forget midgame supply depots or mismanage his money and be forced to build more factories to compensate. So very often those billions of factories that were an Oov trademark were the result of sloppy play. Cold hard unit production was not Oov's strongest point, not by a long shot.
Boxer's tutelage had taught Oov the fundamentals of the game and this honed his game sense above all other things. His game sense is what is revolutionary about Oov, not his unit production. He knew the right time to expand and pressure and when it was time to defend and consolidate gains. His razor sharp sense allowed him to push the boundaries of what was deemed acceptable, and was thus able to compensate for his lack of production/supply management.
Also he frequently incorporated hidden expansions into his game, allowing him to get in more cash. Of course, these expansions were placed at the right time. Oov has been slated for his use of hidden expansions in interviews, and responded by saying that he just expands when he feels like its time to expand, and that often means making many expansions.
Oov was also a heavy vulture user, in contrast to Nada's heavy tank style. Vultures are cheap and take minimal time to build - and they take up a lot of supply. This means that Oov maxed faster than contemporary Terrans who favored a Tank heavy style. This gave the illusion to many that his macro was superior, which further trademarked Oov as being a production machine.
Despite this, Oov's macro was unparalleled. Macro comprises of many elements; supply timing, unit production, SCV management and expansion timing to name a few. While being weaker than contemporary Terrans like Nada in the field of unit production and base management he excelled in expansion timing. The extra cash of a fully operational base and the extra units it gives you far outweighs the units from the supply timing and base management side of things.
Oov's game sense was above all else and many contemporary progamers noted him for this. Nada has said multiple times in interviews that the thing he admires most about Oov is his game sense. With his superior game sense he created the illusion that he was a master at producing units, whereas he was just a master of macro. The 'Cheater Terran' circumvented the macro paradigm and developed an entirely new system that we use today.
Oov is the most dominant player in Brood War history. He hit the Brood War scene like a tornado, and quickly swept up wins left, right and center. His peak game was against Silver on 2004-07-01, the day before his loss to July in Gillette OSL (soon after Gillette he lost to July in iTv as well). Before those series, Oov had a disgusting 79.38% win rate with stats of 77-20. That's from the start of his career as well.
No player to date has ever matched that kind of record.
The first graph charts the elo peaks of various top tier progamers. What is incredibly striking is that oov still has the record for the highest ELO. Players like Boxer, Reach and Bisu all have surprisingly low ELO peaks, meaning they didn't go on long winning streaks. Oov went on an insane 27-0 vs Zerg streak until he lost to July before his peak game, and also won numerous tournaments to back up his large streaks. This graph in essence shows that Oov was the single strongest force in progaming throughout history. Interesting enough, both Oov and Jaedong hold the record for the most number of consecutive wins with stats of 13-0.
This is a very interesting graph charting the last 4 most 'dominant' player's ELO against time. No one has risen as quickly as Oov did. It took him only 8 months to win a MSL, only 16 months to reach the highest ELO ever achieved in starcraft, and only 21 months to win 3 MSLs and an OSL. By comparison, it took Savior more than 16 months to win his first MSL. Jaedong is hot on the heels of Oov, but time will dictate what happens to him.
There are very few players that are more accomplished than Oov. Obviously, Nada is the most accomplished with 3 OSLs and 3 MSLs, but then comes Oov, who won 3 MSLs, 2 OSLs and a WCG across a time span of 4 years. Boxer is stuck with 2 OSLs and a MSL, while Savior has 3 MSLs and 1 OSL. Oov has achieved more in his 'short' career as a progamer (5 years) than almost every progamer that has ever existed.
Thanks to snowbird and pachi for this image
Oov's success lies within his cocky and arrogant roots. He was never content with 2nd place. He could not stand it if he did not come in first. In his younger years, he got very abusive when he lost. He believed that he was better than any gamer that ever existed, and when he watched the first televised tournaments, he knew that he could play better than the progamers.
He expressed his love of victory quite blatantly on battle.net. When he joined the notorious 'ilove' clan he chose the name, 'oov.' The "oo" is a face and the "V" stands for victory. Simply speaking, He loves victory O.o. He was a dominant persona with a huge ego, and that lead to his arrogance. Despite the somewhat humbling experience of being tutored by Boxer, he only began to shake off this attitude after Gillette OSL.
JulyZerg changed how Oov played his game. Oov had never experience a televised loss against Zerg before, let alone a series defeat - so when it hit him, he felt it hard. You could see how the game had affected his confidence in his 3rd/4th playoff match against Silent_Control. Any other day Oov would have stomped all over him with ease, but it took him the full 5 sets to end the match with numerous close calls along the way.
The experience made him re-evaluate his own style, attitude and mindset towards the game. In doing so, he shed the arrogant Oov of his younger years and eventually matured into the mannered, responsible Oov that eventually became a coach. The attitude change was not an instantaneous thing by any means. It started from the top down. His father told him to behave more like Reach in his interviews; Reach was known for being overly generous to his opponents in interviews. Oov began to give more gracious interviews, but he still believed in his heart that he was the best there ever was. This two faced approach of dominant manner won him EVER OSL, Shinhan 2005 and WCG 2006. Throughout 2006 Oov became less and less motivated to be the best and more content in helping others - thus Oov was lead onto the path of being a coach.
While the 'monster' Terran died in 2006, his legacy as the most brutal and dominant force in progaming history will live on. Players in the future, like the recently successful Jaedong, will always be compared to Oov's giant run until the day someone surpasses him. Until that day the legacy of the Monster Terran will live on.
It is a sad day when any progamer retires, but especially sad when we lose one of the best. Iloveoov will always have a place in each of our hearts as one of the greatest players ever. He changed the way we thought about macro and he developed each of the three matchups extensively, gearing them towards the macro revolution and showcasing some brilliant games along the way.
Oov, you will be missed. Every facet of your style revolutionized and influenced an entire generation of gamers. In the modern times of full scale macro wars, we can turn to you and say: 'this is all thanks to you.' If Boxer is the father of Starcraft, then you were the Son. It is only fitting to give the final word to the man himself:
So what I'm saying is that although I've won all the major leagues it will eventually become a forgotten past. The only choice is to keep moving forward, instead of dwelling on how well you did in the past.