[SWL] At the Top
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SKT T1 vs Hwaseung Oz Recap
Beat of the Revolution
Winner's League Finals Preview
- Previews and Prediction
- Fan Interviews
Return of Odds and Ends
By Milkis, mustaju, Mystlord, Spica, and tree.hugger
Perhaps, it was destiny.
Or maybe it's something even simpler. We all remember what iloveoov had implied before -- it was only natural for SKT to make it to the finals, to meet KT there. They are, after all, the two biggest sponsors in Brood War, investing more money into their precious teams than entire Starcraft 2 leagues combined. The sponsors were just seeing the effect of their money.
But money isn't everything. This is e-Sports, after all -- there must be something more fundamental at work. They are, after all, rivals -- and we always get fired up by seeing our rival at the grander stages. It was the underlying motivation, perhaps, as they looped through hoops and hurdles to get all the way here.
At the grandest stage, the rivals meet again. For SKT T1, they reached their final destination. For KT, they have awaited their rivals with a smirk in their faces. SKT swore that they will meet KT at the top, and they kept their promise. KT greeted them, as if they expected them all along.
All the formalities are now over. It is now time.
SKT T1 versus Hwaseung Oz Recap
Killer vs Ssak
It has been a good 2.5 years since Mech finally became a good strategy to use in TvZ, and it's evolved a lot over the time period. Even still, it's almost kind of scary just how many Zergs just don't seem to understand how to properly defeat Mech. So what should you not do when fighting Mech?
Don't attack a massive Tank ball with only Lurkers and misfire the Dark Swarm.
Don't ever let this happen.
Don't ever let Terran's Science Vessel count build up if he's going Mech. And when you snipe 4 of his Vessels, and he has no Goliaths, go Mutas.
Don't think that Ultras can let a 5.5 base Zerg beat a 4 base Mech. Ever. As a subnote, don't make about 12 Ultras, and essentially suicide about 6-8 of them in a failed drop attack with no Swarm.
Don't ever let Terran take 4 bases uncontested while you feel content to mill about your side of the map with Lurkers and Defilers.
And how do you know if you're failing something in TvZ Mech? Well if the Terran is attacking you more than you are attacking him... You have a problem. So how did Killer lose? By never gaining an economic advantage, by letting Mech get too strong, by never being aggressive, etc... Killer, I know it hurts, being in Jaedong's shadow and all, but you can't reject literally everything he does. I expect better from you.
Ssak vs Dear
Hm? What? There was a game? Oh I'm sorry...
I was too busy watching Bunkie molest girls.
So uhh, whose decision was it to have Dear go 1 Base Reaver on a map with no ramp and a damn big choke? Well I doubt it really mattered anyway, since you certainly can't defend a Terran push of 6 Marines, 2 Vultures, and 4 Tanks with only 2 Dragoons. Oz Protosses... Sigh.
Ssak vs Perfectman
In a rare flash of intelligent decision making, Perfectman played extremely aggressively against Ssak's forward Rax. It was a great decision, partly because of exactly where Ssak decided to place his Barracks, and it was so far removed from his natural that it would have been hard for Ssak to defend, even with a Bunker at the front. At the very least, Ssak would have had to pull so many SCVs to just stay by the Bunker at the front to both repair and stop run-bys that he'd be pretty behind economically. If he put the Bunker in his main, he risked being contained until he could amass a decent Tank force because the reverse ramp would have given Perfectman such a poweful advantage.
Even still, a Bunker would have been better than no bunker, but Ssak thought that somehow Marines + a Vulture can hold off Zealots and Dragoons. So what happened?
s2 vs Perfectman
PvZ has changed recently. The pendulum always moves back and forth in terms of whether Protoss favors a ground army or Corsairs, and it's a careful balancing act. Bisu lately has been favoring a mass Corsair play, and it's amusing to watch lesser Protoss players try to emulate his success with his style of play.
So let's see how Perfectman does with regards to some of the hallmarks of Bisu's play.
1) Be aggressive with early game units.
Check, but I think he's doing it wrong.
2) Get lots of Corsairs.
3) Do something meaningful with the Corsairs
4) Get Storm, and don't lose High Templar to random snipes
Ok I'm oversimplifying, but it's really surprising just how late Perfectman's Storms came. I mean he didn’t have Storm at about 12 minutes into the game. For comparison, your first Corsair should come out at roughly 5-6 minutes on a standard timing. So why, if you know that the Zerg is going mass Hydra, do you forego Storm? Well that's a mystery for another day.
s2 vs Jaedong
Interestingly, Jaedong had been 0-2 against s2 before this game. And just watching this game, it's hard to understand why. Jaedong's strength, ever since the Summer of 2008, has always been this scary knowledge of how many Zerglings to field to just barely overrun his opponent, and either win outright or deal sufficient economic damage to give him a lead. Supplement that with some of the best Mutalisk micro, and you have an absolutely winning combination.
While I would love to give all of the credit to Jaedong, s2 kind of handed the win to him. Sure, Jaedong destroyed s2's Zergling control and delayed gas mining while picking off 2 Drones, but when it came down to it, s2's mistake was...
2 Drones on gas.
It was a pretty big mistake, especially given that s2 didn't catch it for the rest of the game. Being down on Drones and on gas... So he'd be at a disadvantage in Mutalisk and Scourge count. That won't work out well.
And it didn't.
fantasy vs Jaedong
fantasy's been on a roll lately, but Jaedong pulled a trick out of his hat from a year ago that crushes fantasy's early Vulture play.
2 Hatch Mutas.
Terran has a tough time getting any type of solid air defense off of 2 Factories, and it shows in this game as fantasy struggled to defend against Jaedong's early Mutas. Even with all those Drone kills that fantasy got, he was only able to break even with Jaedong on worker count once those Mutalisks finished with his base. From here, Jaedong abused the fact that fantasy never truly got any Valkyries or anti-air like that, and just went straight up mass Mutas.
However, the moment that sealed Jaedong's victory was when he spotted fantasy's hidden expo, took it out, and Sunkened up at his natural so fantasy couldn't attack. fantasy never had a chance after being knocked out economically.
Bisu vs Jaedong
Ah yes, Bisu’s PvZ. One of his strongest matchups, and also one of his most consistent. So it’s nice to see Bisu returning to what earned him his killer PvZ record in the first place. Mass Corsair play.
But this time around, he isn’t complementing his mass Corsair play with Reavers or DTs. Instead, he’s going to power through Zerg’s defenses with Corsair/Zealot. And it’s such a deadly combination. Since this is just a battle report, I won’t bore you with details, but suffice it to say that Mutalisks have a really tough time against this combination. And that’s what Jaedong found out (again).
Though while Bisu’s play was great, Jaedong’s play really wasn’t. Jaedong was able to get an early run-by, but he made a strange decision afterwards to pump around 12 or so additional Zerglings, when there really was no need to do so. It was a mysterious decision because Jaedong knows that Zerg really has no opportunity to Drone up in the mid game, as all of their larva would be tied up in unit production, so early game Drone production is crucial.
Jaedong was slightly down economically, but that wasn’t what clinched the game for Bisu. It was his repeated attacks that completely slammed Jaedong’s 12 o’clock base.
The power of Mutalisks in ZvP is that they exercise map control. Protoss has to fear for his expansions, has to fear for his HTs, and has to fear for his main. But Jaedong never really had the opportunity to properly utilize his Mutalisks because they were constantly being tied up defending Bisu’s attacks on 12. And Mutalisks really aren’t known for their ability to defend.
As Bisu just continued to attack 12, Jaedong found himself being constantly worn down, and the result was that he lost more Mutalisks than he should have because of mismicro. At one point, Bisu dropped 2 Zealots and an Archon in Jaedong’s 12 main, and the result?
8 kill Archon. 6 of those kills are Mutalisks, not to mention the splash damage.
Multiple times throughout the game, Jaedong failed to split his Mutalisks properly, and so took more damage from Corsairs and Archons. Eventually, when his Mutalisks too battered to do anything, Jaedong transitioned into HydraLurk, but it was far too late. Bisu had already gained an insurmountable economic advantage, matching Zerg base for base. At that point, there was really nothing that Jaedong could do, so all we saw was
While Bisu ended up playing a good game, Jaedong’s play was just lackluster. A disappointing end to a disappointing series.
Beat of the Revolution
The revolutionist slumped onto the ground as the last ten beats told him that he was down and out for the count. Tears were shed, accounts were banned, and the final thread of faith SKT fans had in Taek-Shin was lost as Bisu was carried out like a lamb to be slaughtered to the tune of Polaris Rhapsody at the grandest stage.
The beats could be heard no more. It was the end of the score, the revolution movement was all thought to be over. People started to leave. Some were distressed, that something so majestic, so dominant, could fade away without even a whimper. Some just sat there, waiting, hoping.
Then the beats started again. Slowly, but surely. The pulses reverberated all around the hall, sending chills down the spines of everyone. Some broke down on to their knees and wept for their faithlessness. They all returned.
Some were still doubtful. To them it was just an echo, they were being fooled. Some said this wasn't a revolution, but an encore -- it will end soon. But little did they know that the real revolution had only just began.
Bisu's Proleague Stats by Season
The beat has never been as dominant, the melody never been as shrewd. People revelled in the phantasmagoria -- a grand master plan seamed together through a fluid, masterful control that seemed to occur everywhere at the same time. They remembered why they had call him Taek-Shin once -- this was something no mortals could do. When they watched Bisu play, they saw a chess grandmaster, thinking moves ahead of his opponents, scheming to bring to his game, herding them into positions through his incredible mechanics. His plan is planned out to the most utmost detail -- and a single moment of passivity is all that is needed for Bisu's rhythm to dominate.
Yet in the end, people have a special place for the first time they hear a masterpiece, wrapping it in nostalgia and treasure it, much like their first love. The second movement has yet to sink in to many, but when they do, they will once again realize that why it was Bisu who overthrew the Maestro. But this will take time, of course -- you can never know what era you are in while you are still in it -- it is only when you finally manage to step out that you are able to see that the beat of the revolution has never been stronger.
And now, here is tree.hugger with a gruesome documentary of what has went on in the SKT dormitories last night.
The lights have long since gone out at the SKT T1 house, but Sea.Hak is lying awake, unable to sleep, tracing the cracks in the ceiling. A thousand thoughts run through his head and he fights against them, but the currents in his mind are too strong and they come spilling out.
“I wonder if it was the right decision to come here,” he thinks, “Maybe I should’ve just switched to starcaft two or went to school. Will I ever make it as a progamer? am I wasting my life?”
A tear winds its way down Hak’s cheek, and he turns over in his bed, happy that nobody can see him crying. The only person on SKT1 who is allowed to cry is Bisu. This happens quite frequently.
In the gloom of the dorm, Hak stares across at his zerg teammates. In his mind he replays a favorite dream of his. There’s a large striped tent and spotlights cutting through the sky. Hung from tall poles is a banner that reads “Hak and Hyuk: The Amazing SKT Zergs!” People queue for miles, eagerly waiting for a ticket to see the show. Inside, Hak sits next to his idol and the two play starcraft all day long, destroying Flash, picking apart Jaedong, clipping Stork. Then Hyuk performs a piece of stand-up comedy, Hak sings a farewell song, and the show ends to rapturous applause.
As he pictures the scene, Hak tries to stop his tears, but they flow freely like waterfalls and he whispers softly to himself. “Why can’t life be like my dreams?”
“It’ll all turn out as we planned.” says a harsh voice from nearby. Hak sits bolt upright and looks around. The players around him are all sleeping. Hak shivers slightly and is about to dismiss the voice as a product of his imagination when he hears it again, clearer and closer.
“They will not know what has been prepared. They will not expect it.” says the voice, and Hak immediately knows that it comes from beyond the closed door of the room. Anxious, he listens intently and hears something cumbersome shuffling past the door and down the hall.
“But Flash, he’s so good.” comes a new voice higher pitched and wavering. In a moment, Hak recognizes it.
“Fantasy?” he asks aloud.
The shuffling grows quieter as the speakers move down the hallway. Hardly believing his own actions, Hak rises from his bed and tiptoes to the door, opening it a crack. Disappearing around a corner into the kitchen he sees the doubled-over figure of the team’s ace terran. Hak hesitates for a moment, then nudges open the door and slips after him.
Fantasy does not notice his follower, instead moving slowly through the kitchen, bent double and muttering. There is nobody with him, and for a moment Hak is horrified that there might be someone else whom might be lurking nearby. But in a moment he hears the same raspy voice coming from Fantasy. Hak hides behind the table, afraid to approach much closer, but he makes out words from what sounds like the ravings of a madman.
“Vultures!” fantasy says loudly, “Vultures in dropships!”
Hak looks around again to see if anyone else has been awakened and come out into the hallway. But the SKT dorms sits in brooding silence. When Hak turns around, fantasy is unlocking the front door of the suite, still muttering. Hak follows him out the door and up the apartment building stairs, remaining just out of sight but following the strange sounds he makes. The raspy voice dominates, but occasionally Hak again hears the high, nearly feminine voice of the fantasy he knows from practice.
“I wonder if I should do something...” Hak thinks to himself, remembering an article he read on the internet about the dangers of sleepwalking. “Perhaps I should tell coach oov!”
He stops suddenly as the sound of a bolt being released reverberates down the stairwell. When he slips up the next flight and peers through the banister, he sees fantasy opening the door to the roof and stepping out into the night air. Panic overtakes Hak and he rushes to follow. “Is he going to jump—?”
When he rushes up the stairs and bursts through the door, fantasy is staring directly at him, arm outstretched, palm raised. Hak stops short and something heavy falls from his throat into his stomach.
“You!” says the deep raspy voice, laced with menace “You followed me here. What do YOU have to offer?”
Hak fumbles for words, but they refuse to come out. “N-n-n-othing” he eventually offers, “Nothing. I have nothing to offer.”
“Then why are you here?”
“I followed you here, uh, I was worried, you need your sleep, I mean we have the playoffs—”
“What’s that? PLAYOFFS? You kidding me? You’re telling me about the PLAYOFFS?”
Hak backs against the door that he just came through. “Sorry, it’s just, Coach Oov, he said to get sleep.”
“WRAITHS!” roars the voice, “MANY WRAITHS. WHAT DO YOU THINK?”
“I, uh, I hate wraiths,” says Hak, “Your two port wraith play is really difficult to stop!”
In one motion, fantasy steps forward and grabs Hak by the throat. “WILL IT WORK?” he bellows.
Hak tries to speak, but swallows a stream of saliva instead.
“Leave him alone, he’s just a boy!” says the high-pitched fantasy voice.
“WILL FLASH EXPECT WRAITHS?!”
“Stop, you’re hurting him, he’s a new player, we should be nice!”
“SHUT UP. NOW IS HIS TIME TO CONTRIBUTE.”
“Leave him alone!”
The hand around Hak’s throat relenquishes its iron grip and Hak collapses onto the roof, gasping for breath. When he looks up, fantasy seems to be dancing, his hand around his own neck, his other hand grasping his wrist. Fantasy bends back and twists, falling to the ground. He writhes and contorts into a number of tense poses, skin taut, muscles straining.
“Stop! Stop doing this!” Hak yells, throwing himself ontop of fantasy and grabbing at the arm around his neck. In a second they are locked together, pulling and then the hand breaks free. Hak falls back onto the roof, and fantasy is suddenly still, then slowly beginning to relax his muscles.
“Are you okay?” asks Hak.
“I’m fine.” says fantasy in a new voice that is deep and assured like bourbon, “Thank you.” He picks himself up from the roof and brushes dust off of his uniform.
“What happened there—wait why do you wear your uniform to bed?”
“Do not be troubled by these things.” says fantasy, walking towards the door, “Let’s get some sleep. Winners league finals is tomorrow.”
“Are you feeling okay?” says Hak one more time, “Are you going to be ready.”
Fantasy turns in the doorway and looks at the young zerg. “I’m ready.” he says.
Winner's League Finals Preview
Empire of the Sun
+ Show Spoiler +
+ Show Spoiler +
The maps of course, play out oddly. The initial maps seem to favor Zerg, although Fortress SE makes any Zerg starter snipeable. This could be a risk that both teams should be willing to take, it seems, as the first game will definitely dictate the tempo of the game. The later maps are more favorable towards Terran. Protoss is playable on any of these maps, overall.
The best chance SKT has is to try and bring Flash out by Aztec. Of course, Empire of the Sun is also a comfortable sniping venue.
I could honestly see Bisu being brought out early. Stats, after all, isn't an automatic win against Bisu as everyone pouts it to be, and despite the maps Bisu is on a different class when it comes down to it. The goal is to bring Flash out early so he could be sniped as soon as possible -- although I could see Action and Crazy-Hydra with a build designed to take down Bisu, but even that is very risky.
It's not as one sided as people make it out to be, I think. My prediction is that KT will win 4:2 if they win the first game, and SKT will win it 4:3 if they take the first game. It'll be a pretty close series.
+ Show Spoiler +
Now this is going to be a sticky situation for SKT. It all comes down to who they will attempt to field against Flash. My guess? Bisu. His PvT has been very shaky in the past, but the driving factor here is the map order. The last four maps, in order, will be Circuit Breaker, Aztec, La Mancha, and finally Empire of the Sun. Bisu has a solid chance of facing down Flash on all four of these maps, and with the first few maps not Flash's favorites, it's likely that Flash will come out later in KT's lineup. Now the key here will be whether KT will save Stats to try to take down Bisu. It definitely is a possibility, especially considering Bisu’s PvP performance as of late. As a result, they might leave Stats for their Ace slot, and place Flash third in their lineup. The only problem with that idea is that then Flash is far more likely to come out and be forced to play on Aztec, which will be a big problem map for him. So KT might have enough faith in Flash to just place him last to have him hopefully dominate Bisu.
Now there is one real problem area for KT. Aztec. Aztec seems to favor Protoss, so should Flash come out on this map, Bisu should knock him down easy. But the thing is that fantasy has a 4-1 record against Protoss on this map, destroying Snow, Jaehoon, Tempest, and Stork. So I'd say that he has a fair chance of taking down Stats on this map, should he meet him. So where to send out Stats? Perhaps the most prudent choice might be to send out Stats early, to reduce the opportunity of a fantasy snipe. So Flash would just practice on the last 3-4 maps, which would reduce the uncertainties that he'd have to face.
But while the maps essentially determine where Flash is getting sent out, they are also the kink in SKT’s plans. The early maps are Bloody Ridge -> Fortress -> Icarus. Both Bloody Ridge and Icarus are Zerg favored, and KT has traditionally fielded Crazy-Hydra or Action on those two maps. Now the question is who to field on these maps? I can't really say that SKT has a good XvZ specialist other than Bisu, so their best chance on these maps might be to counter fire with fire and send out s2 or another one of their Zergs. However, Fortress is a tricky map for Zergs, so if it comes down to ZvZ on Bloody Ridge, the winner might just get taken out immediately afterward.
One problem for SKT is that fantasy’s best maps are spread out among the map pool. fantasy’s style is best suited for Fortress, Circuit Breaker, and Empire of the Sun. Then what to do? My preferred option is to send fantasy out as a snipe as opposed to a mainstay of the team. In fact, if fantasy trains to snipe Stats, I’m confident that he’ll put up a good fight against him on any of the last four maps. Best case scenario is if fantasy can face down Stats on Aztec, and given that SKT will likely throw their Zergs out early in the game, fantasy should have a good chance of facing Stats on Aztec.
SKT will undoubtedly get stronger as the match progresses, but the early maps are a problem for them. I feel that if SKT is able to get one win on the first three games, then they will be able to make the series close, and that it will come down to either a 4:3 SKT or 4:3 KT. However, if SKT is unable to nab a win on the first two/three maps, then KT will come out on top 4:2 or possibly 4:1.
+ Show Spoiler +
Both teams will be reluctant to commit their big guns until they absolutely have to. It's going seven games, and will depend on Flash vs Fantasy. SKT wins 4-3 if fantasy plays after Bisu.
Ideas + Show Spoiler +
Antoine + Show Spoiler +
KT 4-3, bisu and fantasy only have 1 win combined
]343[ + Show Spoiler +
Last Romantic + Show Spoiler +
KT 4-0 YellOw all-kill
(KT 4-2, Bisu/Fantasy each 1K)
Roffles + Show Spoiler +
Empyrean + Show Spoiler +
I'd like to see SKT 4-3, but I think KT will actually pull it off and win
But put me down as SKT 4-3
Corinthos + Show Spoiler +
This will be an epic battle between the two telecom companies. Crazy-Hydra and Flash will bring the series to a dead even. However, a hero will emerge from the Best, Bisu and Fantasy trio, and he will bring victory to SKT. SKT 4-3.
Carnac + Show Spoiler +
s2 will all-kill KTrash. More seriously I'm hoping for a SKT 4-2.
Ares[Effort] + Show Spoiler +
Bisu will all-kill
1) It’s Winners League finals time! Be honest, did you expect the finals to turn out this way in the beginning of round 3?
Lightwip: Sort of. KT would obviously make it to the top, as WL is their strength. But SKT isn't the best sometimes in WL, though it certainly didn't surprise me how it ended up. It was neither unlikely nor guaranteed to happen.
moopie: I was definitely hoping for it, but I was extremely impressed with Stats, Action and the rest of KT. To a certain extent everybody figured Flash would carry the team through SWL (again), but in the end he didn't even get to play that much.
2) Both those teams have an extensive history of reaching the finals and the rivalry is very well known. But the mere fact that THESE two teams feature so often means the other teams must be doing something wrong. What is it that separates KT/SKT from the rest?
Lightwip: Quite simply, it's because the other teams just aren't as good. Each of these teams has an ace and a supporting cast that can help them out in WL. In PL, SKT is known for its depth, and KT had a pretty good run last year. It's no surprise that these two teams can meet fairly often. I hope it doesn't turn into the disappointment that Flash vs Jaedong has become though; that matchup has deteriorated into a series of disappointing games.
moopie: The biggest thing is probably consistency of their star players. Knowing you have a player like Flash/Bisu behind you lets the starting players play more at ease as we saw from KT this SWL. The second point is coaching. KT and SKT have some of the best coaching staffs in the scene which plays a huge role in predicting matchups and preparing the rest of their players accordingly. Lastly, it comes down to nerves. Going up against a team like KT/SKT is a pretty daunting endeavour and we often see rival teams choke in games they really shouldn't.
3) Historically, SK Telecom T1 has had the upper hand. However, lately, KT won their first Proleague title and Winners League title. Do you think we’re witnessing a new trend or an outlier? Or maybe even a third option, where teams are starting to replace KT/SKT?
Lightwip: The answer is quite simple: KT found their means to success while SKT's were deteriorating with the slump of Bisu and the inconsistency of Best and Fantasy. Seeing a legitimate chance for victory probably led the KT players to work harder too. Though in recent times, it's seemed as if KT has had a few troubles with the loss of Luxury, Violet(get well soon!), and fOrGG, while SKT's Bisu and the zergs have slowly been showing more. It doesn't seem that they are quite as strong as they could be, but they're starting to get better.
moopie: Ever since last SWL KT stepped up and have dethroned SKT. This SWL finals shouldn't be any different. While these two teams are constantly at the top, their lead in both rankings and skills isn't too far ahead of the competition. There are so many teams with solid lineups this season that I wouldn't be surprised if the SPL finals give us something new to see.
4) Will the Kong curse play a role in the outcome of the match? Or is it just silly superstition?
Lightwip:The Kong has been losing followers recently. Stork left with his OSL win against another Kong, and Fantasy eventually won an OSL too. Now, still unwilling to turn to JangBi,the Kong will have to curse his own team to be forever 2nd place.
moopie: Normally I'd be afraid to tempt the gods by calling it a superstition, but fortunately god is on KT so they should be ok. I would love to see YellOw come out and help prove he isn't cursed anymore.
5) From the past and the future into the present: in a recent interview, Coach Park of SKT claimed he attempts to outthink KT this time around, and Bisu stated that they have a special strategy in store to snipe Flash. Is this a poker-face or will the SKT-preparation strike again? And if it isn’t mere talk, who will do the sniping attempt?
Lightwip:I think that the games won't really feature any strange plays, just standard games. For SKT to win, they really have to play consistently throughout the whole series; Flash is not an unbeatable opponent. The only preparation that will be needed is preparation for a standard management game. As long as the rest of the team is taken care of in a reasonable fashion, then there won't be much trouble.
moopie: The interviews read to me as pretty standard, so they don't really affect the outcome of the match. While this match could potentially go either way, attempting to out-think the opposing team and sniping their lineup is pretty standard. As for Bisu, he said that every time he loses to Flash he learns from it... well, he ought to be pretty knowledgeable by now then.
I look forward to seeing the two of them face off again.
6) This question has been asked in the former PL finals interview, but let’s ask it anyway, since quite a bit has changed. The least prominent part of both teams lineups are the Zergs. KT Zerg or SKT Zerg?
Lightwip: That would be a hard question to answer. While Action has better vT, s2 has better vZ, and both are prone to utter idiotic failure. I'll give it to SKT though because there's more of them, and at least 1 can usually play at a competent level, while KT is often left with no zergs.
moopie: KT Zergs all the way. Action finished slumping in SWL, rOo is getting better and with YellOw helping them out they're only going to go higher. Crazy-Hydra will hopefully avoid the curse and prove to be a major asset as well.
7)Fantasy is currently almost as hot as Bisu was in Round 3. Bisu has been no slouch either, though, eliminating Jaedong in a spectacular PvZ. Stats, however, lost his MSL group 0-2, just like Action. Only Flash remains in the MSL, while SKT has 3 players there. Will this finals herald the return of KTFlash and a murderous spree for SKT in round 5? What will happen after the match in Proleague proper?
Lightwip: SKT isn't as well off as they were a bit earlier, but they should recover in time to have a nice Round 5. KT may very well be KTFlash soon after, just like they did in Round 1 after appearing very strong. I expect both to do equally well for a short time, and then SKT surpassing KT after that.
moopie: I'm not too worried about this series just because of the MST outcomes. People have bad days from time to time, I still expect Stats to perform in the SWL finals. As for SPL, KT's lineup did suffer for a while after losing both Violet and fOrGG (and Luxury last year) but KT has bounced back pretty well. Acquiring Crazy-Hydra will help a lot in round 5 as well. With any luck the performance of rounds 1 and 2 will just be a distant memory.
8) Both of you have been extremely critical ofthe opposing team at times. But let’s give the opposing team a chance. What could SKT/KT potentially do to redeem themselves in your eyes, bar immediate disbandment?
Lightwip: Two of their key lineup players are what really annoy me: Stats and Flash. If they were to be replaced with more likeable characters, though I doubt this will happen for quite a few years. I suppose a problem like that is hard to solve, though I doubt I would've been a fan of the Oov-Midas-BoxeR SKT had I been around back then.
moopie: Having BeSt back in form would be the biggest redeeming quality in my eyes. That aside I'd like to see SKT bring out more fresh faces to their lineups. Ssak has stepped up a bit recently, but Paralyze and n.Die_soO have been no shows. I hope some of their draft recruits will show nice results in the future.
9)Analyse the maporder and predict the moves of the teams. It has been pointed out already, that it is extremely hard for a Terran to Allkill, but a Terran of Flash’s/Fantasy’s calibre could still do it.
Lightwip: The maps don't look very AK-friendly. The only place I could see a terran making an AK is if they caught a protoss on Icarus and then had some remarkably good play on Aztec and La Mancha. I doubt we'll see an all-kill.
moopie: This could go a lot of ways depending on how the opening match ends. I expect Stats out first for KT. SKT might send out Ssak first to try to snipe him (another 2 fac perhaps?). Fantasy will probably be sent out on the Fortress/Icarus if needed, and Bisu on Circuit Breaker/Aztec. Assuming KT can get at least 2 kills early Flash won't be showing up until map 6. BeSt will be saved for Flash.
10)Who will surprise the most in this final of the non-aces? Or will the teams just play it plain and safe?
Lightwip: Best could potentially come back and impress us, but I don't really think there's that many players this time that are going to make a surprisingly powerful appearance. s2, Ssak, and Action might, but I seriously doubt it.
moopie: I think KT's players will mostly play it safe, hopefully scouting early and often for cheese/proxies/all-ins. As for who will surprise, I'm very curious to see how Crazy-Hydra will do (assuming he plays). Just prior to his transition he AK'd MBC, so I have high hopes.
11) Finally, any last words and cheers for fellow fans?
Lightwip: Bring back Fighting Spirit!
moopie:Time to break the Kong curse once and for all :D
Special thanks to Lightwip and moopie for participating in the fan interview. Also, thanks to _romantic for compiling the Winner's League finals post together -- please check out his thread for some more additional hype!
With all this to look forward to, you couldn't possibly look forward to more, right? But here is something more -- the return of Odds and Ends. Everyone welcome Spica on the team -- our new writer who will be bringing us the latest tidbits from the Brood War scene in Korea!
Return of Odds and Ends
With the situation of getting more and more hung up with real life events, Milkis had to find a successor that would continue to bring everyone BW news. But who could he pick from the great, massive sea of users out there? After setting his sights on one potential user, he decided to approach them. Little did he know that it was going to be a hard struggle to recruit them in one of the biggest, most uphill battles in LR history. But in the end, they grudgingly decided to accept the position of news writer and help contribute to the PL write ups. They still consider themselves as 1:0 against Milkis though.
Hello, I'm Spica, your new news writer, bringing everyone fun, minor news from the Korean BW scene! I'll be delivering unposted news that aren't considered "important" enough for a thread by itself, so the saying, "One man's junk is another man's treasure" certainly applies here. But to all fans of BW, no piece of news deserves to be considered as trivial junk, yes? On that note, please enjoy this section as a new feature to keep you up to date with the latest news of your favorite teams!
Coach Park: *Looking over at Coach Lee's snazzy new iPad and thinking* "Man... We gotta beat KT in the finals so that they don't rub it in that they have better skill and technology than us."
It seems that all Zerg champions make similar facial expressions when they play football. Take this comparison to JulyZerg, for instance.
+ Show Spoiler +
Coincidence? I think not.
Winner's League will finally be over today. But let's not forget -- we still have two more rounds of goodness before this season is over! That's 10 more weeks of some high-end Brood War -- something to definitely look forward to. And of course, we are looking to see which teams will stand on the grandest stage at the end.
Writeup brought to you by the Proleague Writing Team. Thanks to Antoine again and again for the charts and tables. Thanks to disciple for keeping us constantly hyped with amazing posters. Make sure to check out our recruitment thread if you're interested in contributing in the future! We are currently looking for someone who has an indepth knowledge of builds and trends in Brood War -- if you meet this qualifications, please apply!
Man those Ipads are crazy, lucky bastards.
God I always love seeing this picture.
lol, most epic boot ever!
Awesome writeup, Gonna be 4-2 KT!
(If KT loses we can always blame the Kong curse. If KT wins SKT fans can only go FFUUUU)
Bring on finals now my friends
Damn Bisu. 21-3 vs Zerg. damn
Reminds me of the good old days. Though I'm all about Sc2 now.
Keep up the good work.