With the awesomeness of TSL bearing down on us it’s easy to forget the most prestigious Starcraft Tournament in the world is still going on. Last Friday saw the opening to what we veterans are referring to as “the real OSL”. No more silly ODT brackets and stacked schedules – we’re into the real deal now. So what did happen on Friday? The 16 combatants of the OSL lined-up and were drafted like sheep into four distinct groups with more than surprising results.
Let’s recap what went down and dish out some awards (which sadly have collected a fair amount of dust…) then preview what’s in store this week for the OSL. Don’t forget about the Razer TSL Ro8 starting this weekend – there’s bound to be some more epic clashes in these Bo5 series. Don't forget about the Razer TSL Contest where you can win some top quality gear from the good folks at Razer simply for picking the winner of the tournament! Easy as that! Be sure to check out all the latest Razer TSL information at the Razer TSL website - http://razertsl.teamliquid.net/
But without further chatter, let’s look at the picks:
Flash -> (1) GGPlay -> (8) Rock -> (9) Sea
Stork -> (2) JangBi -> (7) Best -> (10) NaDa
Luxury -> (3) JulyZerg -> (6) YellOw[ArnC] -> (11) Rumble
Bisu -> (4) Mind -> (5) Much -> (12) BackHo
And now for the coveted Mensrea group selection awards!
The Studliest Choice Award – JulyZerg. What’s the best way to get back at some prick who just chose you as his free win? You draft his brother into the same group as him. That’s right, for the first time on TV we’re going to see Luxury go up against Yellow[arnc]. A battle for their parents love, pride, and the title ‘number one twin’ – the implications are enormous. Bisu comes in a respectable second place here for picking his GomTV S3 Final opponent Mind. Bisu has a habit of picking superior players [read: jaedong] far too early on in the tournament and getting eliminated, so this is probably act of stupidity rather than manliness as there is little chance of Bisu walking away the victor.
The Group of Death – Group B. When you slap three of the strongest PvP players together into a single group, who also happen to have killer PvT your bound to end up with an insane group. To put the icing on the cake, you have NaDa making his triumphant return against the three best PvT right now. This group is wall to wall talent and will be closer than Fakesteve to Sea at a fan meet. Even if you hate PvP (which you might do by the end of the month if you watch the Razer TSL) you simply can’t overlook this stellar lineup.
The Guilliver Award to the player surrounded by lilliputian giants – Luxury. What do you expect to happen when you stick a 60%+ ZvZ monster into the first Zerg only group ever in an OSL? Rape is what you get. Ironically the only player that could possibly touch this monster is his brother.
The My Race Suxor Award - Terran. Gone are the days where Terran’s entered the OSL with 8 players to zergs 5 and protosses 3. Now they have been culled back to four of the pillars of the Terran legacy. But no matter where you look they are surrounded by vT giants making their advancement fairly difficult; it’s going to be an interesting starleague for them!
The Return of the King Award – NaDa. He’s been looking shaky lately, but as the only player who advanced into both Starleauges I’m starting to believe that the Genius will be gracing the winners podium once again. He’s got a long journey to go, and making it out of the toughest group in the tournament it but the first hurdle.
The “I belong in this Starleague” Award – Jaedong. Jaedong getting eliminated in the Ro8 is one thing, but the number 1 player at the moment not even making the OSL is simply incomprehensible. BackHo must be a soulless shell of a former human being after Jaedong was through with him at team headquarters. It’s sad to know that we won’t get to see the pinnacle of the Swarm do battle – Flash, Mind, Stork, Bisu, Luxury are all there just missing one…
The “I don’t belong in this Starleague” Award – BackHo. GTFO. Players like you deserve to retire and work in some third tier pizza joint in the Seoul slums. The mere fact you have deprived me of Jaedong is enough to warrant your death.
To close off the group selections the seeds got to pick their starting maps; Flash chose Hwarangdo, Stork chose Troy, Luxury chose Othello and Bisu was left with Andromeda. And hence the schedule you see in the calendar was produced. This leaves one question left – will the Winner’s Curse live on this season? With Flash in top form this looks unlikely – but we said that about Oov after EVER 2004. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
There’s two sets of games this week –
OSL Playday 1
Wednesday 19:30 KST
So first up we have the reigning champion against a former champion. Flash's form has simply been impeccable of late, with a single loss to Mind being the only chink in his otherwise glorious armor. GGPlay is no Knightsword these days and will ultimately succumb to the monster that is Flash. The map also works against GGPlay as Terran have proven very strong here against Zerg - if GGPlay wants a decent shot at winning his best bet lies in the magical 5 pool.
These two just can't separate themselves. They just got out of an ODT group together and then Best decides that he wants NaDa back in his group. And well I can't say i blame him - their last encounter was a dominating performance by Best on Hwarangdo which set the trend for future PvT's in the ODT. Troy is a map with strong Protoss tendencies and Best has shown that he knows how to exploit this map to it's full potential (see BeSt vs Sea). NaDa has his hands full here - if somehow he can survive the inevitable Dark Templar use then he just needs to stop BeSt from getting a dominant Carrier fleet going.. a tall order actually. BeSt is the strong favorite here.
Group C is simply a training ground for the ZvZ titan Luxury. The only person he should be afraid of is the beastly Jaedong, and now that the Jaedong factor is eliminated he basically has a free walk in his group. That walk starts with JulyZerg. No doubt he will be wanted to exact revenge against him for placing his brother in the same group as him. But no doubt July will come prepared. There is no better team for him to be on (in terms of history). Soul's proud Zerg lineage were some of the most dominant Zergs in history - and now July is trying to carry on that legacy. I have every faith that he will... just not against Luxury The smart man places his money on Luxury in this match, the baboon places his on July. I, sadly, am the latter
The final match this evening will be the anticlimactic rape of an underage boy by an old grandpa. A disgusting thought really so turn your children away for this strictly R18 showing and cover your eyes because it will be bloody.
OSL Playday 2
Friday 18:30 KST
This should be a great game to kick of the festivities for the night. Rock is a well known PvT only monster while Sea is known for being the little monster. Nevertheless, Sea is hungry for OSL success having made the last god knows how many without passing the Ro8. I think MBC have realised this too and decreased his Proleague commitment. While the map favors Rock's style, I still have to pick Sea as the favorite here; he's got everything to take him to the next level of this game and im sure that this time he'll go all the way and make it big. That starts on Friday with Rock - so he better watch out!
What the hell was Stork thinking? He chose his teammate as his first choice which begs the question 'why?'. Stork is still the best PvP in the world right now, and there's not a protoss right now that can beat him in my opinion (except for perhaps Best). Jangbi is certainly not known for his PvP, notably after his loss to Kal. But that series was surprisingly close for two players with sub-50% winrates in the matchup. That being said i don't think Jangbi can go the distance and im rather confident Stork is going to take the victory.
I don't know how Rumble keeps qualifying for Starleagues. His ODT performance for one was rather impressive, I certainly was not expecting him to perform at the level he did. However, seeing as he has done squat in the real league he's quickly becoming the new Mumyung. Yarnc on the other hand is such a variable player; one moment he on the top of his game the next he is playing sloppy B-Level Zerg. I'm hoping he brings his A game on Friday as i don't want him to suffer the embarrassment of losing to Rumble. Yarnc is the favorite, but ZvZ is so random - so Rumble just might sneak through.
And this is the match we've been waiting for - a rematch of the GomTV S3 MSL Finals. Bisu had some huge balls to pick Mind as his first opponent - especially seeing as he has been so strong lately. However, Bisu is no pushover himself. I'm excited about this match for a number of reasons, but most notably because Mind always brings his brilliant TvP timing to the forefront went he plays top tier Protosses and thats always brilliant to watch. Bisu on the other hand is really playing PvT like Pusan/Best do (heavy arbiter/dark templar) which generally doesn't yield the best results but sure as hell makes for entertaining games. This is one match you simply do not want to miss. Mind is the favorite here, but it could just as easily goto Bisu.
So there you have it! This weeks set of OSL matches and a brief preview of each group. Don't forget to check out the Razer TSL Contest and cast your vote to be in to win great Razer gear! TSL also airs on Saturday/Sunday so be sure to check out the star-studded lineups dubbed "Protoss vs the world".