Shinhan Proleague 2010/2011 - Team Liquid Coverage
It was the BeSt of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of Broodwar, it was the age of MBS, it was the epoch of queens in ZvT, it was the epoch of banshee TvZ, it was the season of Bisu, it was the season of Jaehoon, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Shanghai, we were all going direct the other way...
- With apologies to Charles Dickens
This week's Proleague update arrives just in time for the start of play, so if you're not here to watch them already, be sure to join us for OZ vs MBC and KT vs STX. In fact, while you're at it, why not have a look at the week's schedule, where mustaju highlights the BeSt games of the week ahead. If you on the other hand missed any Week 2 games, you can jump below to see the BeSt of the week gone by, as summarised by Kiante. If you'd like to just skip to the BeSt of the BeSt though, read Konadora's battle report of Bogus vs Neo.G_Soulkey.
In terms of features, we have CSheep's tribute to YellOw, one of the BeSt Zergs to ever walk a tileset. As announced earlier this week, Hong Jin-Ho is retiring, and the PL team pauses for a moment here to say thank you, YellOw. Thank you for being a part of the greatest E-Sports rivalry of all time.
As usual though, we've saved the BeSt for Last, with Spica taking you into the mind of SKT T1 Protoss Doh Jae Wook, who took out KT's BeSt player Flash in a neat game on Circuit Breaker. Read on for the post game interview!
Snow < New Empire of the Sun > Sea
Movie < Neo Aztec > Tyson
Horang2 < La Mancha > Lazy
sKyHigh < Circuit Breaker > Jaehoon
Hydra < aLternative > HyuN
CJ have been off to a flier so far this round, and it looks like nothing has changed this week, as they crushed MBC into dust. Once again the CJ coach is showing his strength with most of his players, apart from sKyHigh and to an extent Movie getting their ideal matchup. The result was quick and painless for MBC, with their star players getting taken down in rapid succession, after which, apart from Jaehoon, the rest of MBC crumbled.
Anyppi < Beltway > By.Sun
BarrackS < Icarus > s2
Action < Alternative > Bisu
Stats < Neo Aztec > n.Die_soO
Flash < Circuit Breaker > BeSt
Ah, and so the SKT-KT rivalry continues with their meeting this round occurring early on as it did in round 5. The result in favor of SKT was also no surprise. Its been a long time since KT have managed to beat SKT (that Stats all-kill in round 4) and it seems like SKT are taking their dominance over KT to a new level. Lets take a quick rundown of what went wrong for KT. Now I know there were other games played in this set, but the only one that needs speaking about is the obvious. BeSt vs Flash. Interesting statistic, BeSt is 3-1 vs Flash this season. What a record. It seems like BeSt got the better of Flash, utilizing a greedy build to exploit Flash's own greed, taking almost 8 bases before flash pushed out, and expertly whittling down the push with well placed storms and stasis' while re-macroing giant armies. However not only does Best have the better of flash, but the Coach Lee(the KT coach) is being dominated by Coach Park(SKT coach). There's a reason that BeSt keeps beating flash. It's because Coach Park knows exactly how his opposite number thinks and expertly sniped his trump card.
Shuttle < Beltway> Light
Modesty < Icarus > Really
Calm < Alternative > free
Kal < Neo Aztec > ZerO
Bogus < Circuit Breaker > Neo.G_Soulkey
hyvaa < New Bloody Ridge > Flying
It's nice to see STX get a win here and there. Round 5 was particularly horrible for STX as my FPL would support (I was dead last after picking an STX based lineup). What's more interesting about this set was Kal's victory against ZerO. Their game wasn't even close, with Kal being on top from the beginning with a clever Bisu build opening, which let him sneak a DT into ZerO's fourth that denied it for almost the whole game while racking up almost 20 kills. Kal followed up brilliantly with DT and zealot drop harass and finished ZerO by plonking two reavers outside his natural and waiting for the GG to be called. The other good match in this set was SoulKey vs Bogus. We all know SoulKey's late game zvt is a thing of wonder and it was on show in full force. SoulKey managed to be incredibly behind after Bogus showed a really cool tempo based marine/medic aggression play that transitioned into drops. Entering the late game with about 30 drones and a base behind, SoulKey decided he would win. And win he did. It was unfortunate that such a wonderful performance was marred by the loss of his team.
firebathero < New Empire of the Sun > HiyA
PianO < Neo Aztec > Killer
Canata < La Mancha > Anytime
ggaemo < Circuit Breaker > Jaedong
Peace < Alternative > PerfectMan
Iris < Icarus > sHy
Oz winning without Jaedong. What is this madness! once again Jaedong managed to drop another zvz, this time to the AceDong himself, ggaemo, but luckily this time his team was there to back him up. They fought and clawed their way to a victory, with the highlight being sHy vs Iris, where sHy used a crazy mass dropship strategy for mass reaver drops and mini recalls. It was a really excellent display of innovative strategy and good multitasking from young protoss and hopefully we get to see more of it in the future!
Hydra < New Bloody Ridge > Mind
Horang2 < Circuit Breaker > Wooki
BByong < New Empire of the Sun > LuCifer
Leta < Icarus > BaBy
Movie < Neo Aztec > herO[jOin]
Despite CJ hitting a couple of relatively "easy" teams (fox has been low on the ladder all season and MBC were gutted after they lost light), they have really impressed, by utterly dominating their competion. Where a side like SKT will have thrilling close matches with teams that have much weaker lineups than their own, this current CJ side is simply destroying those weaker sides, and as such are starting to look a cut above most teams in the running for the playoffs this season. As for the games themselves, there were some highlights, and some laughs. Mind had a brain aneurism and decided that mass goliath was the correct counter to mass hydralisks and lost fairly convincingly while Horang2 played his usual entertaining PvP with the promosing rookie Wooki and won convincingly.
Always < La Mancha > Bisu
JangBi < aLternative > Hyuk
Stork < Neo Aztec > n.Die_soO
Sharp < Neo Beltway > By.Sun
Reality < New Empire of the Sun > Fantasy
Grape < Circuit Breaker > BeSt
SKT are the other team apart from CJ really looking hot right now. Not only did they take two pre-ace match wins against strong teams this week, but they slayed two of TBLS (flash and Stork). This time it was SoO to take out the weary dragon, who decided to go nexus first against a 9 pool speed. I think that in Stork's old age, he's started getting amnesia, because I remember clearly the last time these two played in round 5, soo 5 pooled stork, and he lost because he didn't 9 scout. I dont really understand the thought process that goes into "well I got 5 pooled so i should 12 nex next game" but it was altogether really dumb. As for the rest of the matches, we got to see Bisu win with carriers again, which is a somewhat rare and welcomed site, and BeSt took another win in the round closing out the game with an impressive display of post-expansion 3 gate goon defence and excellent map control throughout the midgame to deter reaver harass.
Crazy-Hydra < La Mancha > Lomo
Action < Alternative > Killer
Flash < Neo Aztec > Jaedong
Stats < Neo Beltway > HiyA
Tempest < New Empire of the Sun > hyo
So why is it, the ONE time I miss a proleague game it's Jaedong vs Flash . Unfortunately I was suck in a boring database exam while everyone else got to witness the clash of the titans. It's interesting that Oz have managed to step up their game this week and KT have fallen. Maybe this is the start of a turnaround. While I'm pretty sure that without some insane luck oz wont make the playoffs this year it's nice to dream. Anyways lets jump in and have a look at the games. FvJ was relatively dissapointing. Flash decided to be super cool and bunker rush a third that never came. Jaedong wasn't planning on expanding anytime soon and he rolled into flashes base with a bunch of mutaling and Flash was left feeling a little chargined. The other match of this set to have a look at was the ZvZ between Action and KiLLeR. Hivetech zvz's are always cool to watch because all of the multicoloured goo flying everywhere and the insane amount of options each player has. ie: The polar opposite of a regular zvz. Action threw the game away with poor scouting, but it gave us another Hive tech zvz to put in the books so I'll forgive him.
Sea < Circuit Breaker > hyvaa
Tyson < New Empire of the Sun > Shuttle
Jaehoon < New Bloody Ridge > Calm
Neo.G_Sang < La Mancha > hero
Tiny < Neo Beltway > Bogus
HyuN < Neo Aztec > Kal
When two lower ranked teams like MBC and STX go at it, you usually get a much harder fight than you see in the more hyped matches. These teams are fighting to try and secure their playoff spot for the post-season and with all that drive comes spectacular broodwar. It's unfortunate then, that this match coincided with KT vs Oz because i think there are alot of live viewers who were probably dissatisfied with the games in the KT vs Oz set and could've easily been satisfied over on the Runt of the wednesday proleague streams. While it had it's share of not as fun games, there were a couple of crackers. The first was the epic duel of Jaehoon and Calm. When you bring two players, capable of so much brilliance and so much failure all in one package together in the one game, it's almost impossible to predict what will happen. Spawning in the dusty valleys of Bloody ridge, Jaehoon opened up with a gateway first build while Calm went for a 4 hatch before gas opening which was quickly scouted by Jaehoon's wiley probe. Somehow, from these openings the game managed to transition what is accepted as standard pvz fare but instead of abject failure we've come to expect, the game was refreshingly entertaining. Jaehoon triumped in the end with a well timed 2 base timing attack destroying Clam before he could get enough tech to defend it. The other game to watch in this set was Kal vs HyuN. Kal, full of confidence following his destruction of ZerO earlier in the week tried to play a dynamic sair/reaver style, with speed shuttle harass attempting to cull HyuN's 4 base economy. Then HyuN decided mutas were pretty good and 1a2a3a'd a bunch of them into Kal's base fastest map style to close out the set for MBC.
Today is not a tragedy. Today may be tinged with grief, regret, and disappointment, but today is not a tragedy.
Today, we bid farewell to a legend, with tears in our eyes. But it is not a tragedy.
The Storm has gone, but after every storm comes the calm.
Yellow’s retirement letter is poised and collected – but also charged with the emotion that accompanies a decade of progaming. It is simple and straightforward, but nonetheless succeeds in making a huge impact. After all, what is Yellow now? He is more than just an old veteran – he is a living relic of the birth of professional Broodwar. He lives an almost mystical existence, one that draws and compels you to watch him, to cheer for him, to support him.
Yellow’s letter has all the calm and intellect of one who has lived through it all, and has risen above it. What hasn’t he experienced? From the greatest trumphs – King of Kings, Snickers, and even the 2010 Shinhan Proleague – to the deepest regrets – Coca-Cola, Olympus, Ever 2004 – Yellow has seen it all. And it is only after all of this that one can truly transcend the game.
All progamers enter this world because of a deep, burning love of Broodwar. They enter this world where they will succeed and fail in equal measure, because that’s what progamers do. But only a select few can live through a decade of this world and then return, full circle, back to where they began - to that young boy whose greatest joy was to pour his heart and soul into the keyboard, without a second care in the world.
For the last four years, Yellow was not a star. He still commanded legions of loyal fans, but he was not the starleague contender that he once was. The pain that this caused his fans was real and biting.
What lay behind that idiotic smile? Regret? Disappointment? Apathy? No one can answer that but Yellow himself. But what is evident to all who cheered for Hong Jin Ho is that, at some point, that smile turned into genuine contentment, the kind that can only come from devoting your whole self to what you love. Maybe it wasn’t evident in Yellow vs. Child on Andromeda, the first game (and loss) Yellow experienced in two years. Maybe it wasn’t evident in the countless offline prelims he was eliminated in. But it was certainly evident against Bisu on Heartbreak Ridge, against Jaedong on Match Point, and dancing with Violet on the beach of KwangAnRi in the Proleague grand finals.
These games held little significance in the grand scheme of things (indeed, Yellow wasn’t even a direct participant in the SPL finals), but for Yellow, they were played in absolute enjoyment, for nothing other than the sake of a great game.
Of tournaments, prizes, and trophies – Yellow certainly knew of them, and better than most. But as Yellow’s career comes to an end, he can proudly proclaim