It’s the third week of the OSL, and the quartet of games this evening is as good as it gets. There’s not a single mirror matchup, and every game has the potential to be tense and exciting. Here’s why:
OSL Ro16 Week 3
Savior (Z) vs. By.Flash (T)
This game embodies all that is good about StarCraft. The most-prestigious StarCraft tournament in the world? Check. A champion against a prominent rising star? Double check. A Terran? A Zerg? Triple and quadruple check. All that’s missing is a map with consistent starting positions; crafting one of the starting positions in the image of Gaema Gowon is not a decision I would have made.
To ignore that addendum, however, this really is the most exciting game we’ve had in a long time. Even though Savior has lost a few tough games lately, to say nothing of the dreaded OSL Curse, he is still Savior. He’s even managed to scrape together a miniature winning streak, going 3-0 in the past two weeks. Flash, on the other hand, hasn’t been “nigh unbeatable.” He’s literally been unbeatable. In televised games, Flash is 6-0. Beyond that, he hasn’t lost his composure once. In every single game, he’s looked unshakable, dominating his opponent from start to finish. Five of his games, however, have been against Protoss players. I’d be concerned that he was another Midas-esque TvP specialist if not for his brief interview during the OSL selection ceremony.
OGN: A lot of fans don’t know about you so much, what is your best matchup?
Flash: I am best at TvZ.
OGN: So then if you were to play versus Savior, do you think you can win?
Flash: Yes, I think I can win (LosingID8, source).
And Flash hasn’t changed his tune. After the second week of the OSL, Flash said, “I am going to face Ma Jae Yoon (SaviOr[gm]) next but I am confident that I can win now” (joohyunee, source).
So here’s my logic (try to follow the progression): Flash has looked really, really strong in all of his games, but he’s yet to play a TvZ. But if his TvZ is even better than his other matchups, then Flash is actually God Himself. I voted for Savior because my conscience prevents me from doing otherwise (unless a Protoss player is involved), but I think Flash, regardless of the starting positions, is going to emerge the winner.
Bisu (P) vs. DarkElf (T)
@ Monty Hall
Despite being the least-attractive fake woman in the OSL, DarkElf has displayed some pretty strong TvP as of late, taking down Anytime and Reach since the beginning of 2007. Further, Monty Hall offers Terran a significant late-game advantage, given that the two island expansions overlook four additional expansions (to say nothing of the sheer number of vespene geysers).
Then there’s Bisu. I can’t imagine anyone arguing that he isn’t the best player in the world at this point, but his PvT is beatable. After his game against ChRh on Monty Hall, I’m prepared to say that any semi-competent Terran is a threat to Bisu, and DarkElf certainly fits that description. My money is on Bisu, but if DarkElf plays for the late game, he could take this one home.
Iris[gm] (T) vs. Shark[gm] (Z)
Last week, I said that Shark didn’t have the skill to win the OSL, and I stand by that statement. But what he does have is the opportunity to cruise into the Ro8. With his win last week and nothing more than a slumping Iris and a balanced map standing between him and a 2-0 record, Shark could nearly cement his place in the single-elimination tournament without even needing to beat Reach, which, as we all know, is impossible. Iris, given his consistency, is still my pick to win this game, but Shark knows how important this game is; I’m expecting him to elevate his play accordingly.
Sea.Up (T) vs. Stork (P)
This has the potential to be the best or worst game of the evening. Up could use some insane strategy to try and counter Stork’s generally amazing play as of late—or he could be a lazy bastard and abuse the fact that the map is Hitchhiker. Another fact to consider: while Stork is 17-4 as of late, Up is an impressive 7-0 vP since the end of 2006. This game is simply too close to call.