Maybe it's just my hangover, but trying to discuss this week's games—there could be as many as eight—makes my head hurt, especially after last week's results. But as the challengers frequently say on Iron Chef—the real one, not the inferior American version—I will do my best.
OSL Ro8 Week 2
Savior (Z) vs. Iris (T)
@ Hitchhiker and, if necessary, Monty Hall
I don't care that Savior lost to FirebatHero (though he did win the battle of heterosexuality by not turtling for 20 minutes, not cheesing, and not doing a victory lap around his opponent). I don't care that Savior lost to Iris. I don't care that the map is Hitchhiker, and I don't care that the next map is Monty Hall. Despite it all, Savior is going to win this series 2-1. He's playing too well to have two second-tier Terran players oust him from both Starleagues.
Despite my confidence in Savior's abilities, however, I do have a few small concerns. First, Iris' micro looked pretty sharp last week. Second, Savior is 2-2 on both Hitchhiker and Monty Hall, and if anyone remembers back to the last OSL, one of Iris' wins in that epic Bo5 against Savior was on Hitchhiker. So as confident as I am, I’m still scared.
REACH (P) vs. Stork (P)
@ Fantasy and, if necessary, Python
I said it last week, and my opinion hasn't changed: I just don't think Reach is playing well enough to beat Stork. The problem is that skill might not be the issue; PvP, more than any other matchup, is luck-based. On any given day, Terato can take down Bisu—or Soo can beat Reach, if anyone remembers. So there's really nothing to do but root for your favorite Protoss! And if you're a true Protoss fan, you should be rooting for Iris, too; neither Reach nor Stork is capable of taking down Savior in a Bo5, but both would be the favorite to advance over Iris into the finals.
Bisu (P) vs. Flash (T)
@ Monty Hall and, if necessary, Fantasy
This is it for Flash. He's a game away from taking down the most well-rounded Protoss in the world, and his TvP record is a spotless 8-0. And then there's the map: Monty Hall. Monty’s balance depends upon whom you ask. Protoss players will say that the 20-13 PvT lead is the result of Protoss players using any variety of proxy builds to gain an early lead (or win outright), and Terran players will tell you that the low mineral count at each base cripples their ability to play a conventional style. Protoss players will shoot back that the cliffs in the top-right and bottom-left corners give the Terran too much control over those critical, late-game expansions, and Terran players will say that the multiple paths make it too easy for Protoss players to divide and conquer with their superior mobility.
But I'm a Protoss player, which means I have this to say: Monty Hall is a difficult PvT map. If Bisu can pull out the win, he's the unequivocal favorite to win on Fantasy, but getting that initial win to level the series at 1-1 could be problematic. I'm looking forward to this one!
Hwasin (T) vs. GGPlay (Z)
@ Python and, if necessary, Hitchhiker
Except for a late-game hiccup, GGPlay dominated Hwasin last week. But as I noted then, Hwasin had been practicing for his Bo5 against Bisu the entire week; he only had one day to devote to honing his TvZ. Now that he's had a week to prepare for these two games, I expect Hwasin to turn things around and advance 2-1. As good as GGPlay's ZvT is, an in-form Hwasin, such as we're dealing with at the moment, is a terrifying TvZ opponent. Hwasin is 21-8 TvZ—with three of those losses coming from Savior—since late August of 2006.