Big thanks to Daigomi for the banner
As always, the OSL Rnd 1 (formerly known as ODT) is giving us our fair share of upsets, good games and drama. On Friday we had another group go at it where we had three extremely talented players and one mishap brawling for 2 spots in the OSL. And it's fair to say that there was quite a bit of surprise when the results came out. That being said, I wasn't disappointed with the results As always, there a little OSL preview for the upcoming week and well, if you plan on missing a night of the OSL make sure it's not tomorrow! But more about that later.
Don't forget about the TSL either, it's easy to get lost in the plethora of activity here at teamliquid and its just going to get worse with MSL, TSL, OSL, GSL and Proleauge about to move into full swing (thats a lot of acronyms). And on that note, I'd just like to throw out there how impressive MBCHero are this season - go win it boys! Anyway, back on topic - check out the second round of TSL this weekend. It's going to be great and we've got some nice stuff lined up so stay tuned!
This first game of the evening was the clash of a God and and Angel. Anytime is tipped as the favorite here and for a good reason - he's been showing great form bar one or two questionable PL performances. Frozean on the other hand does know how to win a single game via cheese/rush but never more. He'll be lucky to advance from this group let alone win against Anytime.
+ Show Spoiler [Game Comments] +
And that is what i get for having any kind of faith in Anytime. Well, to be fair it's not his fault - Frozean preformed a decent bachanic build and its only unfortunately Anytime scouted it just as he was about to move out. After fending it off and playing a very 'anytime' game of backstabs and great troop movement around the map i felt that Anytime lost it when he decided to stick with Reavers. In that huge break in fighting was ample time for him to grab Storm tech and from there win the game. Oh well.
This should be a fairly interesting. July, having just switched teams, may not be up to his old self and well, fall short against one of the best Terrans right now. Theres no shame in that either - Mind is great Terran. If July brings his A-Game it could actually turn out to be a reletively decent game.
+ Show Spoiler [Game Comments] +
Wow, Tushin is back and kicking ass! With all these new age Terrans trying metal against Zerg its about time the old school came back and showed Jaedong et al how to deal with it properly. July's play was spot on and he reacted brilliantly to Mind's metal tech. Right in the final battle you see a reletively simple micro trick used by July that i haven't seen from Zerg's against metal in a while. That is the simple focus fire on goliaths. With the sheer number of glaives being emitted July was one shot killing them and wow, Mind got raped.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFmzVvDNWzM+ Show Spoiler [Game Comments] +
Okay, didn't expect these two to be in the winners match haha. Anyway, the Zerglings are loving July today - they saw Mind's tech in the first set and well, now he shows to own a 14CC Terran with a 9 pool. Short, sweet, rape. July looks great in the STX uniform.. reminds me of a white version of the black POS uniform
It's sad that one of these two have to be eliminated - but oh well. This game is all about Mind's vultures and how awesome he used them throughout. Anytime got a nice lead with his Reaver antics, but things went down hill once they died in what was a stupid move at best.. Then, Mind took control of the game with smooth mine defense against a Spirit-like onslaught of Zealots. His vulture control throughout was great, and at the end of the day Anytime just ran out of steam. I liked how the game ended as a base trading game - with Anytime's last mining nexus on like critical hp and the commentators going nuts every time Mind got close . It was a fairly decent game over all.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kwar2oVmHI+ Show Spoiler [Game Comments] +
Oh god Frozean, sweet justice. For cheesing Anytime in the first set he gets 9 pooled by July and then proxy raxed by Mind - and he tried to 14CC both games. Frozean was simply cut down by Mind's build and was behind all game until Mind ended it with tanks. Short and sweet.
So in summary;
Frozean > Anytime
July > Mind
July > Frozean ---> July advances!!
Mind > Anytime
Mind > Frozean ---> Mind advances!!
- 19:30 KST Wednesday
This is a rather interesting group for a number of reasons. Let’s have a look at who we have; for starters we have the ever talented Sea[Shield]. There’s no doubt Sea is one of the most talented Terran’s in the scene, and well he has been for a long time now. The real problem, if you could call it a problem, is that Sea has never been considered the premiere Terran in Korea; always coming up 2nd or 3rd. So while he is very good, he’s never attained that dominance which we associate with the Masters of Terran. With each new OSL comes the opportunity for Sea to make it – and this time around is could be his time. While I doubt he will actually follow through and win the OSL, theres no doubt he’s still got enough to take this group.
Then we come to one of the most peculiar Protoss ever. Daezang, like good wine, has improved with age and once he started to get good he was cruelly plucked from the scene and recruited into the army. At that time he was noted as one of the most promising Protoss on the scene, despite his age. Of note the Ro16 wildcard tournament for MSL which lead to Daezang shredding a series of top tier Zergs to win the whole thing (and creating a certain revolution in the matchup) – indeed his PvZ was arguably on par with Bisu’s. Now, about a year and a half later, he’s finally returned to the Majors – and the first Ace member to do so with this magnitude. While there’s no doubting the fact he has talent, with the reduced practice hours he is at a serious disadvantage compared to the other players. I’d love him to advance, but I don’t know if that will happen.
While we’re talking about great Protoss potential, the next player certainly fits the category. Jangbi has always been the little protoss that couldn’t, he was hyped as the best player on Khan (based off the intrateam ranking) and has never really delivered. But then, in an instant you witness some brilliant execution worthy of being dubbed a top 3 pimpest player and you start to have hope again. Indeed, that is the case for Jangbi for me. One moment he seems like the biggest joke of a progamer, then he does something unimaginably awesome and my faith is completely restored. If you haven’t seen the clip (or game) of the ‘Storm blanket’, you haven’t seen one of the greatest pieces of execution since Reach’s maelstrom or Zeus’s recall/mindcontrol move. And with this group being largely Terran Jangbi looks like a strong contender for qualification. This kid could very well be teetering on a PvT revolution and as a spectator that’s exciting. It’s just a question of how his nerves hold up on the day.
To conclude this group we have the veteran Xellos. The thing about Xellos is that he always seems on the verge of leaving us then does something drastic, like his B-Team demotion, and comes back to obliterate. While this isn’t GomTV MSL S3, Xellos is still a force to be reckoned with. Remember, any former Starleague Champion has the potential to come back and destroy – because they’ve proven already they have the nerves and talent to do well in these tournaments. Thus I’m never one to rule out a Starleague champion for a good reason, and I think Xellos’s style tends to work well in these ODT brackets so yeah, he’s got a shot. But he’s still on the outside lane for me, this is a tough and evenly matched group and the winners should do very well in the rest of the tournament. So let’s get down to the nitty gritty.
First up we have Sea vs Daezang on Hwarangdo. With Daezang on form, and Sea just off peak form this is a very tough game to call – and with my recent track record I don’t know how much certainty I can have in my predications. But I will say that any time you present to Daezang an opportunity for creativity he is not one to disappoint. Given that he has limited time, I expect some abnormal strategy that is still within the bound of sanity. Sea on the other hand should have a ball with this map. Not many people remember his impressive TvT against Goodfriend back in his first OSL (on old peaks) but it really shows how keen Sea is at exploiting facets of the map. So essentially, you have two masters of innovation going at each other on a map which just begs for creativity. The “safe” bet goes to Sea purely for his consistency, but if Daezang brings his A game its all up in the air.
The second match is also a toss up. Xellos and Jangbi are huge variables when it comes to this match. Jangbi has his nerves to deal with while Xellos has questionable form. With Jangbi’s recent games however, I’ve simply got to tip him as the favorite in this series. Using the Best/Nada game as a model, I think the game will progress similarly with the exception of Jangbi teching reaver drop as opposed to DT drop. Jangbi, obviously, wants to drag this game out until around the late midgame where he really shines. If he can make it there then you know his nerves are settled and he’s ready to win – and then we’ll witness some amazing move from him. Xellos would do well to end this with a 2fac timing push, which I don’t think Jangbi can stop, but even so I don’t know if he will try something like that. All fingers point to Jangbi if he can hold to midgame – and I think that’s within his grasp.
Set 3: Winners
|< Andromeda >|
We could literally have any combination of players battling it out for the winners game, so ill just stick to the most likely scenario. Sea and Jangbi should make it here with some difficulty, but they should get here nonetheless. It’s difficult to pick holes in Sea’s playstyle but if he has a weakness it’s generally his early midgame. He’ll fall behind in some area which quickly snowballs into a large problem for him, which often he can’t fix. That being said, that only happens on rare occasions – and rarely is Sea outplayed by opponents. If Jangbi is here that means his nerves should be decent for this game – which means he will be gunning to “out execute” Sea in the latemidgame/endgame. Ironically, these two players, in my opinion, have the same areas of strength and weakness hence we’ll see a great end game if it gets there. Both Sea and Jangbi specialize in the latemid/end game above all else and typically that better execution in the last half of the match leads to victory as their opponents can’t keep up. This time, their opponent will and it should be close. I’ll tip Sea to make it through, because I feel his midgame on the whole is stronger than Jangbis.
Set 4: Losers
|< Andromeda >|
In the losers match we’ll probably see the two oldies brawling in the mud trying to avoid certain death. As much as I love Xellos, I think Daezang has the edge here. The moment you give him a heavy macro map like this the number of options he can pursue increases exponentially. He should be able to devise a cunning build/strategy to catch poor Xellos with his pants down and steal the match away. Xellos I feel just isn’t flexible enough, rather similar to NaDa really. To me he really seems like a player who applies a generate strategy to all maps only taking note of the major nuances in the maps geography. Against a player like Daezang who exploits all the feature of a map for his benefit, and a player who shares comparable skill – it simply doesn’t cut it. I’m going to give Daezang the edge here – although I just might be trapped in a pipedream of the resurgence of Ace and a fallen hero.
Set 5: Tie-Breaker
< Troy >
Thus we come to the final match of the evening where, if everything goes as predicted, we’ll see Daezang trading blows with Jangbi. PvP is a matchup decided by a knife-edge. Commonly the division between a winner and a loser is paper thin – but I don’t think it will be that close this time. Daezang really is inexperienced against Protoss, given his standing in Ace, and hence lacks the more modern and developed style of Jangbi. I think the map suits both players well, but Jangbi ultimately has the better execution, strategy and sense and sadly will stop Daezang from making it through.
Thus my predictions are as follows;
Sea > Daezang
Jangbi > Xellos
Sea > Jangbi
Daezang > Xellos
Jangbi > Daezang
(but I’m hoping both Jangbi and Daezang advance )
- 18:30 KST Friday
Group F gets a giant ‘so what’ from me. I really feel as if this is the group which will produce the worst games, and the worst winners. Regardless of who make it through, the should be eliminated in the next round with ease – the talent of the players advancing is just higher than these guys. I may be being harsh, but with the absence of the Karma being violated Rock can’t do squat. Yarnc and BestGod just aren’t up to the standard required for the next round – unless Yarnc learns a thing or two about winning won games from his brother. The only sign of hope from this group is UpMagic who should just blitz this group – but rape doesn’t make for great viewing. My excitement for this group is so low that I can only be bothered linking you to the UpMagic story as the others aren’t important.
First up you have the game of the night – Rock vs UpMagic on the creative paradise Hwarangdo. What more could you ask for? No doubt UpMagic is going to come out with some ballsy abstract build and it’s going to blow Rock right out of the water. Last I heard UpMagic had not disturbed the Karma Gods and thus shall be defeated with relative ease by the Cheese-machine.
Yarnc vs Bestgod should be... special (?) in it’s own little way. Yarnc hasn’t shown us a decent ZvP in God knows how long now, and is continually faltering against Protoss. Luxury might be able to lend a hand, but with his recent performance against Stork I wouldn’t count on it. BestGod on the other hand might actually be able to win. With Soul caught in an updraft, the morale boost should be enough to push him forward. When you look at the map, you’ve got to like how it looks for PvZ, and with the aid of Kal he should be able to ‘borrow’ a build and game plan and apply it for an easy victory.
Set 3: Winners
|< Andromeda >|
Should Up not mess up cheesing Rock, it’s highly probably that he and BestGod will end up dueling it out for first place. UpMagic should be prepared for an abstract game – something I don’t think BestGod can handle being an inexperienced rookie. When you’re one game away from advancing, and your opponent is playing mind games with your head it can really mess your game up. Up’s style is so cruel to the weaker minds as it takes them out of the book from move one – and only Up knows where the game is going. Up should thus walk over him and take an easy path to the next round.
Set 4: Losers
|< Andromeda >|
The losers match should be a big disappointment. With the names Yarnc and Rock playing you’d expect the match to be half decent, I on the other hand have far lower hopes for the series. I don’t think either player knows this matchup as well as they should – both really are anti-Terran specialists. Ultimately I think Rock will flail out of this match a winner but it won’t be pretty. I forsee DT drops killing bases and many zealots sent running to their death into lurker walls. Oh god, I’m not looking forward to this at all.
Set 5: Tie-Breaker
< Troy >
If we do see Rock/Bestgod here I think we’ve got ourselves a match. PvP is not the hardest matchup to play and both are half decent at it (I mean, Bestgod is here by beating Pusan) and thus should be close and entertaining. For the sake of saving the night, I envision storm and reaver drops aplenty with a gradual switch over to Carrier tech and a full scale PvP showdown – it would certainly make up for the lackluster lineup presented on Friday that’s for sure. I hope BestGod takes it purely because he is on Soul; but Rock has a 50% chance of taking it as well.
I guess this is how I see it playing out of Friday;
UpMagic > Rock
BestGod > Yarnc
UpMagic > BestGod
Rock > Yarnc
BestGod > Rock
My advice is to take that with a grain of salt
So there you have it! Should be a mixed bag of games this week - but whatever you do, don't miss out on tomorrows games, they are set to be epic! Theres a full week of starcraft to entertain your senses so make sure you get your Daum Players working! (Or hope YY holds strong). Group E is going to be played out on Wednesday at 19:30 KST, and Group F on Friday at 18:30KST - so no excuses! Anyway, see you back here next week