Daigomi may be on vacation, but he's still kicking ass
I don't recall the last time the OSL went on tour, it's either been a long time or i haven't been paying close enough attention. But today, the OSL is on tour for the rest of Korea to gawk at. The games were held in Daego in the Daego EXCO Stadium, which has hosted some SC events in the past. This is a truly epic venue which packs a large crowd; and for the stunning lineup today, they pulled a huge crowd. To illustrate these points its time to pretty up this news post with some pictures, courtesy of http://fomos.kr
This is the Daegu EXCO Stadium
These are the fans waiting to go inside
Some kids receiving their EVER gear and heading on inside
This is a shot of the crowd once inside the stadium
To top it all off there were a number of dignitaries present, like Rock's mother! And someone elses mother! And someones girlfriend! Yes the stage was set for some for brilliant Starcraft, but the question lingering in everyone's minds was if it was going to live up to the awesome atmosphere.
The players took to the stage to give their obligatory pregame interviews while on tour. To no surprise, they all were confident in their success; but of course only half of the players standing on stage would be left by the end of the night.
Lets get it on!
The series of the night
A thunderous roar erupted from the massive crowd as the most anticipated game of the night began. Flash, despite being down 0-1, was still considered the favorite over Luxury. However, Luxury was being hailed as the hand of justice by his supporters and the player that would eliminated Flash from the OSL. Luxury (Zerg at 11) wasn’t interested in fluffing around today, and opened with a standard hatch/pool meanwhile Flash (Terran at 1) opted for the rush friendly 8rax at his natural choke, and began a wall in.
Luxury sensed something and sent an early scouting drone. The travels of the brave drone brought him in contact with a single marine making the trek across the map towards Luxury. Upon a brief confrontation, both parties retreated home. Flash’s scout gives Luxury some trouble in his main by stalling the third hatch, however it is quickly killed off and both players expand; Lux to his mineral only and Flash to his natural. As soon as Lux gets his 100 gas he immediately begins lair tech. Flash knows that with Lair tech comes mutalisks, and clears away the Power Generators above his natural for easy defense.
As expected Lux adds a spire and some sunkens, while Flash musters up a miniature army and marches across the map. However the daring attempts of speedlings to penetrate Flash’s wall force them to stay home without pressuring Luxury at all. Luxury’s mutalisks are out and they begin their elegant dance about the Terran base. Flashes defensive sense is right on today, and Luxury’s mutalisks are left hovering around not being able to attack anything.
Lux knows he needs to keep up in macro and chooses to expand to 7 while teching to Hive and getting his first lurkers out and about. Flash gathers his ball of death, which now features tanks and a lone vessel and begins to break out of his lurker surrounded base. Luxury capitalizes on this moment to pick off the valuable Tanks preventing Flash from breaking out for the time being. Once another tank arrives, Lux retreats and Flash begins to march across the map. Luxury seems to have nothing, and is still building masses of Lurker.
Flash pressures Lxuury and starts to look threatening, and even tags along a dropship for that added spice. Eventually Flash settles on using his Tank range and Vessel vision to harass Luxury’s mineral only from the low ground. Luxury reacts the only way a Zerg knows how- a full scale Flank. A myriad of Zerg units rip the Terran ball to shreds, and with defiler tech just finishing, Luxury looks to have a mammoth lead. Flash moves across the map, obviously trying to pressure 7.
Lux maneuvers around the map, ready to strike the assaulting Terran. Another brilliant Flank rips the attack party to shreds while scourges decimate the lone Vessel. Defilers begin to enter the fray, and all hope looks lost for Flash despite a sneaky drop at 7. Ultralisk tech is now online for Luxury. Glancing at the mineral count for Flash reveals a deep problem in his game play today as his money is starting build up. For the first time since he broke out on the scene, Flash isn’t macroing properly. Flash begins including Firebats in his army, and Luxury expands to 9. The Terran faction mustered up another army and stormed the new expansion of Luxury – slaughtering all the drones but, was unable to kill the hatchery. As the first ultralisks enter the battle, Flash is forced back into his main and concedes the game with over 2000 minerals in the bank, and says goodbye to his spot in the semifinals.
It's all over
After the debris had settled, and Luxury had stopped throwing posters out to the audience I can't help but feel that Flash just slipped up. Flash is known for his precision macro, never missing a mineral, but today he was short about 40 marines (due to 2000 minerals being in the bank). Luxury did nothing special in the game, he just positioned his units well and flanked beautifully. Flash on the other hand just didn't produce enough after his ball was killed. Kind of disappointing really.
This writer is not afraid to show bias in the form of pictorial display
Anytime a player has over 80% in a particular matchup you know that that player is a virtuoso. Although when you have all three matchups above 80%, like oov did, you know that that player is unstoppable. BeSt isn’t quite above 80% in all matchups, but he is boarder line 80% PvP with stats 19-5 which is just phenomenal. His win last week also cements his standing as favorite for this series. Much on the other hand is in the best shape of his life, but nothing seems to be clicking for him against Best; which really isn’t too surprising. Nevertheless, both Much (Blue at 10) and Best (Brown at 5) played a mirror game in this critical set.
Indeed the only deviation between their builds came down to the order of their robo and second gate; both players opened 1 gate tech with Much opting to go gate before robo and best going robo before gate. Both decided to go Shuttle-Obs-Reaver before doing anything interesting. Best then moved out to occupy his natural choke and expand to his natural, while Much decided to pressure Best. After a few volleys Much decided to go home while Best moved out to occupy the center – just behind Much’s (unoccupied) center expansion.
In order to prevent Much scurrying around the side and catching Best off guard, he builds a manner pylon in the expansion, But this pylon would catch so much more than troop movements, Much’s shuttle, loaded with two reavers, wanders in range of the pylon – Best promptly snipes the shuttle and without any reavers Much is helpless as Best destroys his army and natural. After macroing for a bit and teching to templar, Best moves in against Much for the final kill and destroys him effortlessly.
They got that right!
As Best throws his posters about the same length as Luxury, it strikes me once again how such an epic matchup was let down by a silly mistake. Much is better than wandering a Shuttle in front of Best, however it only takes one mistake for Best to be all over you. This game is a testament to Best's talent; he will match you move for move until you make a mistake, then you're going to get crushed.
Rock gets the advantage of family support
Thus far the games tonight have been, well lacking. Sure Luxury vs Flash was entertaining, but it had a big gaping flaw when Flash forgot how to macro; just as Much gave away two free reavers and the game. As Rock and July took to their booths I was hoping for something epic to spout from this confrontation; but my expectations weren’t high. July’s booth girl appeared to be checking out the champ as he warmed up his very nimble fingers. Rock’s booth girl looked disinterested; I can’t say I blame her either. July (Zerg at 5) starts off in that distinctly July way with 12hatch, scout into pool while Rock (Protoss at 11) opts for the standard 1 gate tech.
As both players continued with their builds, July was comfortable as his drone successfully scouted out the entirety of Rock’s base. For some bizarre reason after his cycore he began warping in a robo – in sight of July’s scouting drone. Seeing the hard tech of Rock, July simply omitted his 3rd hatch and went straight for lair tech. Just as his drone is leaving Rock’s base the drone catches sight of the Robotics Support bay; things are rapidly going downhill for Rock. Once the lair is completed (and the drone scout comes home safely) July starts his Spire and takes his center gas nat. Rock aimlessly loads up his brand new shuttle with a Reaver and two zealots and chugs across the map ready to harass July.
Lucky for Rock, July doesn’t have any units and is able to get some scarabs off in July’s natural. For some reason Rock decides to target the eggs rather than drones and before long a swarm of mutalisks hatch and dispatch of the Reaver and Shuttle. Rock has some dragoons ready to defend the mutalisks, so when July comes knocking Rock manages to fend them off. A 2nd shuttle harassing July’s natural is the real reason July goes home though, and before long (after the reaver is killed) July heads back across the map to finish off Rock. Mutalisks commence the pillage of the probe line and shortly after Rock concedes.
July victorious again!
July obviously has no time for wimps, as he biffs the posters deep into the audience making Best and Luxury look like wimps. There may be a lot of wonder about Rock’s build but it was clearly timed against 3 hatch mutalisk, and hence doomed to fail against the significantly faster mutalisks from 2hatch. While 3hatch was a reasonable gamble, when he probe only saw 2 hatch and had his tech scouted surely he could have switch to something less committal? Very disappointing game from Rock... Nevertheless, Tushin advances on! Oh and by the way, everything about July being on Soul is awesome. The uniform suits him, the atmosphere suits him, the history suits him; its just so great to see July happy again
Jangbi getting ready for business
Despite this being somewhat of a ‘downer’ to end the evening, the majority of fans were still sticking around to see these two unsung heroes battle it out. Jangbi, being up 1-0, looked poised to take on Backho however it looked (to me) as if Jangbi looked phased by the pre-game interview; perhaps his nerves were about to catch up with him? Backho on the other hand looked determine to come back and take us to game 3 for the first time this evening. However, it was Backho (Teal at 5) with the faster scout than Jangbi (Purple at 11) which I guess shows that Backho really wanted to ensure everything went according to plan. Because he scouted earlier, he had the privilege of getting a good look at Jangbi’s base, while Jangbi’s probe had to be content with a glance at a zealot walling between the assimilators.
Both players had chosen to utilize the standard 1 gate tech build but deviated fairly quickly - Backho opting for a faster 2nd gate and an early expansion to follow, while Jangbi went the safer robo gate. As the timing for aggression passed, and BackHo’s nexus and robo warped in, Jangbi decided to expand himself which committed him to a catchup game. As both players kick it into macro mode, Backho quickly jumps out to a lead in troops. Once he gets 2 reavers and a fairly large army of dragoons he marches across the map to 11.
Backho attacks Jangbi and despite the lower ground advantage and a slight mismicro of his reavers Backho breaks Jangbi’s inferior army. After trying a number of tricks like pulling his probes, Jangbi quickly realizes that his time on Troy is up and concedes to the might of Backho.
Jangbi fans look worried, and they should be! Fear the wrath of Backho!!
Finally we go to game three! Neither player seems content just yet, as the series comes to the deciding match. Jangbi (Orange at 1) is probably starting to freak out about now as the pressure really starts to mount. While Backho (Purple at 7) seems determine to succeed. BackHo is quick to place the pressure on Jangbi as he sends his first zealot across the map to harass probes and manner pylons Jangbi, trapping two probes. While Backho causes very little physical distraction, I’m sure it’s causing Jangbi some mental stress. After the brief harass, both players expand to their mineral onlys and get another gate and robo each.
Both players kick it into macro mode and begin to amass decent armies with reavers. Shortly Jangbi decides to expand to his natural which is seen by a sneaky observer on his cliff. Backho quickly takes advantage of this and places pressure on Jangbi. A short skirmish breaks out at Jangbi’s choke, where Backhos reaver/shuttle combination draws about even with Jangbi’s dual reaver no shuttle. To make things alittle worse for Jangbi, he suicides his shuttle into Backho which further delays any mobility for his lone reaver. Meanwhile Backho has started an expansion at his natural.
Despite not being able to break in, Backho manages to harass Jangbi’s mineral only using observer range. The Dragoons get a number of kills and delays the economic advantage that Jangbi has. Backho retreats and both players enter macro mode once again – adding a citadel for speed. However, it becomes apparent that Jangbi isn’t macroing as well as Backho as Backho’s army quickly inflates in size. With his superior army, Backho moves about the map trying to get in a good position to engage the mobile army of Jangbi. When the two armies do clash, Backho decimates Jangbi’s army and pushes him back to his natural. The camera flicks to a crying Jangbi fan in the audience, as her hero gets driven into the ground by Backho. It isn’t long before Jangbi gives up his spot in the semis and Backho’s treacherous run continues.
Backho joins the likes of Luxury and Best when it comes to poster throwing, why is it that July can throw the furthest? Must be all those gym sessions with MBC. Regardless Backho played brilliantly tonight, while Jangbi faltered at the final hurdle yet again. It was the combination of all the factors like being on tour and such which lead to the demise of Jangbi. And well, Backho advances - i guess he redeems himself for knocking out Jaedong now.
Given the lackluster games, the only thing i can think of to make these reports any better is by including each of the interviews which were translated thanks to silentreality:
+ Show Spoiler [Luxury's interview] +
- A clean 2-0 sweep to get into the semi-finals.
I thought the audience might get tired if I played a long game (laugh). It feels great to win 2-0.
- It was a pretty dominating performance.
It feels good to have had all the practice pay off. I'm glad all the hard work resulted in a semi-final appearance.
-How did you prepare?
Flash is great at creating chaotic matches, so I tried to experience non-standard plays.
-This was your first tour outside Seoul, were you nervous?
I was nervous when we had our pregame interviews, but once I stepped into the booth it felt like I was playing back in Yongsan. I was comfortable playing the match.
-Was there some added pressure considering your opponent was a previous OSL winner?
Sure there was.. but as time went by I figured that beating him in the quarterfinals would make my next matches that much easier. Winning like this gave me a new boost of confidence and I feel like I can win the whole thing.
-Are you confident in next match up?
I was really nervous and didn't really know how to prepare for my last semifinal appearance. This time around I think my experience will keep me from being too nervous. The maps favor zerg so I think I have a good chance.
-Do you have a particular opponent you'd like to face in the semis?
Not really. If I really had to choose though, it would be Much. We're pretty close and I'd like for him to beat Best and move up to the semifinals.
-People are saying that your ZvT has improved
I've heard that my defiler control needed improvement, but with practice I've become pretty confident. I think that will definitely impact my ZvT.
-What are you goals for this season?
To be honest I don't think I at the level yet where I can win the whole thing. When I counted my chickens before they hatched I've always had bad results... so for now my goal is to advance to the next round.
-Any last words?
Coach said that I'll probably be tired if I left for Daegu on the day of the match, so I got in yesterday. I'd like to thank my coaches for all their help, and Shine for coming down with me to help me practice. I'd also like to thank all the Terrans back home who helped me prepare.
+ Show Spoiler [Best's Interview] +
- A pretty convincing 2-0 win
It felt like an easy win because my opponent made a mistake. It feels good to advance 2-0 and I'm also happy because it feels like I have more time to prepare for my next match.
- Catching that shuttle made for an easy win.
I encountered similar stalemate type situations during practice, which basically lead to long matches. We both used safe builds that made it difficult overpower the other early, but destroying the shuttle led to an easy victory.
-Your opponent was Much who is usually strong strategically. How did you prepare?
The build I used today was a safe one that allows me to defend against whatever my opponent would use against me. The match played out the way it did because he decided to use the exact same build.
-Did you have any trouble practicing with all the other events that you take part in?
Coach told me to focus pretty much on my individual leagues, so that's what I did. Since I've won today I need to focus on tomorrow's matchup. I'll practice tonight in Daegu (where the OSL was held) and move to Guangju (where the SKT1 vs STX match will take place) tomorrow. I'll be tired physicially but the fact that I'm playing many games is a good thing, and I'm pretty confident considering I have a PvP matchup tomorrow.
-You must be pretty focused considering this is your first OSL semifinal
Coach told me to not let this opportunity slip by. I'm going to play like this will be the last tournament I'll ever play in and make sure I don't regret it.
-Your opponent is Luxury who just beat Flash.
Luxury is already a two time semifinalist, so I feel I have nothing to lose against him. He's a really good zerg player and the maps aren't quite suited for protoss but I think I can over come the odds with enough practice. I think I'll be able to prove my potential with this coming match.
-What are your goals for this season?
I'd like to shed the image that I am weak against zergs by winning in the next match and moving on to the finals. I'll think about winning the finals after that.
-Any last words?
I'd like to thank fans for coming down to Guangju to support me and I think I've repaid my fans by winning here today. I'll do my best in the future to make sure nobody regrets supporting me
+ Show Spoiler [July's Interview] +
-It took you 7 seasons to return to the semifinals..
It feels great. I feel sorry for Rock because his mother was here today. I'm sure he's disappointed he couldn't win for her.
-It's also your first semifinal since your transfer to STX..
I was looking forward to these games because I've been preparing really hard, and the coaching staff has been working hard to bring me back to shape. I think coming to STX was a great choice. I've been practicing more and, unlike some of my previous teams, the schedules are nicely planned giving me some extra free time while also working hard, which suits my style.
-How does it feel to play outdoors again after such a long time?
I'm proud that I'll be able to show case my games in front of such a large audience and also motivated to do better. I'm really happy that so many people will be able to watch my games.
-You've heard talk about how you were playing poorly even though you were still making it into the Starleague.
At that time I never thought I was playing poorly, but now that I look back I think I was. If I played well I would've made it past the round of 16, but since I couldn't I guess I was playing rather poorly. I was being a bit foolish, but since I've come to realize how I bad my game play was, I want to play well in my remaining games and get the Golden Mouse.
-Who would you like to play in the semifinals? (I guess this was before the other games were played)
I already know that I will be playing against a protoss so I'm fairly confident. I've practiced a lot with BackHo, so I would personally like to play against JangBi. I've heard that he's been wanting to play against me, so I want to make him regret ever saying that.
-You have the best shot of getting the second Golden Mouse
The fact that it would be the first Golden Mouse for a zerg player, and that it took 2 years and 4 months for this opportunity makes this even more special. My only thought is that I must win this season.
-Do you feel that you are back to your championship form?
I've only played a few games so I think it's a little early to decide. But I'll realize that I'm back in form once I've played more games.
-Any last words?
I'd like to thank my two coaches for coming along with me today (SoO, 조규백). I'd also like to congratulate by.hero on his birthday today. My schedule isn't set yet, but I'd like to finish my preparations for tomorrows games [proleague vs SKT1]
+ Show Spoiler [Backho's Interview] +
-Your first ever semifinal appearance..
I'm ecstatic! I'm not in the finals yet, but I'm happy I've made it this far.
-Were you nervous considering this was your first outdoor appearance?
Actually I think I was less nervous here than I was last week at Yongsan. I tried to think of it as having a nice picnic outside .. I think that helped me relax and play better.
-You started off with 1 loss
There really wasn't any added pressure. I just focused on the fact that I needed 2 wins to advance.
-You'll be playing July in the next round.
July is a great player, and I'm happy I'll be able to play against a player I respect very much. I'll try my best to Reach the finals, for myself and Jaedong.
-You had a very vulnerable moment in game 3.
After my initial Mineral expo I tried to focus on unit production and overpower JangBi early, but I was surprised at how easily he stopped my push. I wasn't too discouraged though, because I knew we both had a similar number of gateways.
-Is there any special reason why you've suddenly seem to have taken your game to the next level?
I don't think it's because I practice harder than anybody else. I think it's because I've come to appreciate the game atmosphere, instead of being focused solely on winning. Even today, when I came into the match down 1, I felt I was still ahead in confidence and was sure I could win.
- Is there anybody you would like to share this victory with?
I'd like to thank my coaches, and Jaedong. I've come this far by beating him, which made me that much more determined to win.
-Any last words?
I'd like to thank all my fans who have supported me on my run to the semifinals. I will try my best to reach the finals.
After all that, it's time to reflect and glance at the bracket
This is what happens when everyone but myself is on vacation
This means that the two upcoming Semifinals are;
Luxury vs Best
July vs Backho
There will be previews to come of these matches to come, so don't stress out! All the information will be given at a later date. For now you can check the calender if you are concerned
Before i finish off this post i just want to make a shout out to silentreality for the translations and some help he gave me with the pregame information <3 you rock! Also I'd like to shout out to G.s)Naruto for lending a hand as well <3 your help is much appreciated!