It's the second-to-last week of the OSL group stage, and I don't have anything clever to say in my introduction. So let's get straight to the games!
OSL Ro16 Week 5
Light[Alive] (T) vs. Savior (Z)
@ Monty Hall
This match has no impact upon who advances and who doesn't, but don't be fooled into thinking that either player is going to be complacent. Light is desperately trying to save face after getting trounced by both oov and Flash, and Savior is still struggling to regain his reputation as the strongest player in the world. Monty Hall offers players a lot of flexibility in terms of their builds; I wouldn't be surprised to see a very long game or a very short one, but what would surprise me—a lot—is if Light emerged the winner.
Bisu (P) vs. Hwasin (T)
Bisu and Hwasin have already secured their spots in the Ro8, which means that this match should be largely inconsequential, but I'm not sure that's going to be the case; the first and second place finishers in each group (B1 and B2, in this case) are assigned different slots in the Ro8 tournament bracket. So if, for example, Bisu felt that the B1 side of the bracket offered him a better chance to advance in the tournament, he would practice long and hard for this game. Conversely, if he preferred the B2 side, he might, well, you know... forget to practice.
But I don’t think the latter is going to happen. Most professional gamers have too much integrity to do such a thing, but more than that, there’s bad blood between these two. Bisu called Hwasin his insurance policy when he picked him at the group selection ceremony, saying, “Just in case I lose to NaDa, I chose Hwasin as insurance” (LosingID8, source). Hwasin then responded with what is probably the lamest comeback ever, “He thinks of me as insurance, but will I really be that? Or will I be poison to him?” (LosingID8, source). I mean, there’s no connection at all between insurance and poison! The proper comeback would have been, “If you’re going to think of me as insurance, you’d better take out a supplemental policy—on your life.” Like most sitcoms, Hwasin needs better writers.
Anyway, I could see Hwasin pulling off the upset victory on a map like Monty Hall, but on a standard, balanced map like Python, I’m confident that Bisu take home the win.
Justin (T) vs. Iris (T)
Justin doesn’t belong in the OSL, and Iris is going to win this game. I’d love to say something more non-partisan or insightful about this match, but I don’t think there’s anything else to be said.
Up (T) vs. GGPlay (Z)
Group D is turning into a true scrap, with GGPlay, Stork, and Up throwing haymakers while Casy frantically slaps their backs and calls them all “big bullies.” GGPlay needs this win to avoid a tiebreaker at 2-1, and Up needs this win to force a tiebreaker at 2-1. I’m assuming—and it’s a pretty safe assumption—that Stork will beat Casy next week.
Both players are going to come completely and totally prepared for this game. But the real question is whether or not Up will put his faith in his play or in a strategy. Fantasy presents its players with some unique decisions based upon position, but there is one constant: the distance between bases is very long. It’s virtually guaranteed that GGPlay will hatch at his natural expansion, which leaves him vulnerable to some sort of proxy barracks build; chances are that a scouting drone wouldn't spot Up’s trickery until it was too late. Then there’s the Legacy of Char-inspired position, which is aerially close to both the Gaema Gowon and Nostalgia positions. Knowing that he can “cheat” on marines—due to both the ramp and the long distance in-between bases—in order to tech more quickly, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Up employ wraiths, especially if either he or GGPlay spawns at the LoC position.
When it comes down to it, though, GGPlay is just better at the matchup. Up is a career 7-9 TvZ in televised games, and all of his wins, aside from his undressing of Yellow[Arnc] on Longinus 2, came against second-rate Zerg players, players like Clon (twice), Luxury[GsP], Ever)Z(Aqua (twice), and SaSin)bOy. GGPlay, on the other hand, is 7-2 ZvT since April. He’s my pick to win this game, but when Up’s playing, anything can happen.