Legacy of the Void Competitive Record
TRUE: 296-176 in maps, 120-54 in series; vZ, 111-48 in maps, 48-13 in series; vKR Z, 41-34 in maps, 16-11 in series
Symbol: 90-62 in maps, 43-27 in series; vZ, 36-30 in maps, 17-12 in series; vKR Z, 10-8 in maps, 4-3 in series
In the two months after the release of Legacy of the Void, the new expansion has unfortunately not brought the revitalization much of the fan base had hoped and sought for. In the past 2 years, Korea, the beacon of StarCraft for nearly the whole of the franchise's competitive lifespan, experienced a steady atrophy of talent. This inexorable drain seems to have only accelerated in the past 2 months, with notable characters such as Rain, FlaSh, and FanTaSy taking their leave.
With these players leaving large gaps amongst the top and middle tier of Korean players, will those stuck at the lower end arise to dominate? For TRUE, the time seems almost ripe. Leaving Dead Pixels last year for greener pastures in PSISTORM Gaming, the zerg, formerly of Jin Air, has been grasping for results ever since he joined a foreign team. With only dual top 4 finishes at DreamHacks Moscow and Tours in his foreign adventures, it can safely be said that TRUE is no TaeJa. But LotV presents new opportunities for him, so who knows how he may do? However, he must first pass through the first gateway to glory that is Symbol.
Derided as a patchzerg in Wings of Liberty, forgotten in Heart of the Swarm, and now deprived of a team, Symbol is hungry for any chance to revive his career and perhaps end it in a blaze of glory. We should not forget that Symbol has been in this position before; 2 years ago, in the GSL Round of 32, he was, as now, teamless. Then, he had the luck to encounter Maru in his group, and promptly got knocked out. He then got into MVP, and then, Jin Air Green Wings, though achieving nothing of significance in them. Now, in SC2's last expansion and with what looks like a reduced number of teams in Proleague, his chances to taste victory have been nearly bled dry. This match is probably yet another great trial for him; can he rise up into Code S and thus further his opportunities, or will he fade back into the void that is Code B?
While both players have not achieved anything of note in recent times, this match is of great significance for both; with the Korean system changing, this is the only opportunity for the 2 of them to qualify for the last Korean starleague of the first half of this year. The volatility of the Korean scene, combined with that of the game itself, added with the fact that neither of them have showed up in many matches of note, makes this a hard series to guess. However, TRUE is known to have played masterful games before, while Symbol has always remained just another mediocre zerg.
Symbol 1 - 3 TRUE
Legacy of the Void Competitive Record
Reality: 191-105 in maps, 81-34 in series; vT, 69-40 in maps, 30-11 in series; vKR T, 52-39 in maps, 22-11 in series
SpeeD: 14-14 in maps, 5-6 in series; vT, 4-7 in maps, 1-3 in series; vKR T, 4-7 in maps, 1-3 in series
It must be deeply unfortunate to know that one has the ability to defeat those at the very top, those that hoist the trophies and cash the checks, and yet not be the one standing on the podium. This is the story of Reality. In his 3-year SC2 career on Samsung Galaxy Khan, he has defeated numerous giants in the field; of note are sOs, Solar, Soulkey recently in 2016, and doubtless more in the endless list of unknown online cups he has played in. Yet, while we may speak of what he can do on a good day, what he can't is the main point of his career. He can't defeat ByuN, his worst nemesis, he can't defeat the countless list of opponents he has faced in crucial qualifiers to make it into a Starleague consistently. And yet, he is still here, trying to roll the rock up the hill like Sissyphus. Yet, he still managed to grasp a miracle top 4 finish at DreamHack. The question is, will he fail again, or will he rise to the occasion?
The person who will answer that question for us is an unknown quality. Spending the second half of 2015 rotting away in KT Rolster, while seemingly not receiving the benefits of practicing with the likes of Zest and Life, SpeeD has spent the majority of his SC2 career in complete anonymity. Playing against either washed-up trying to make a comeback, like MarineKing in the IEM Shenzhen qualifiers, or losing against far more well-known fighters who must have viewed him like a simple stepping stone to greater glory. Still, this is a rare moment for SpeeD, crystallized in this match is a singular opportunity for him to qualify for the greatest Starleague on Earth, and with that, who knows what may happen to him?
While both players are relatively obscure, Reality has actually played an incredible amount of matches in the new expansion, as compared to SpeeD, including beating SpeeD twice. His experience and knowledge of Legacy of the Void and its nuances should carry him to victory here. However, an upset is always possible.
Reality 3 - 0 SpeeD
Jin Air Creator
Legacy of the Void Competitive Record
Creator: 30-34 in maps, 11-14 in series; vZ, 4-7 in maps, 1-3 in series; vKR Z, 1-5 in maps, 0-2 in series
Armani: 48-39 in maps, 21-15 in series; vP, 13-6 in maps; 7-2 in series; vKR P, 9-4 in maps, 5-1 in series
An eternity ago, back in Wings of Liberty, when Creator was not yet a legal adult—Creator was considered a genius. At that time, protoss was, for the most part, the weakest race. It was a time when protoss players were mercilessly and consistently struck down by the dreaded Terran 1-1-1. And when protoss finally raised their heads, Creator was at the head of the vanguard of the protoss revolution with his famous double forge style. But then, this state would not last for long—the brood lord-infestor composition would soon make its appearance, and Creator would sink back into anonymity, after a glorious victory at the South Korean WCS Finals and a triumph over Life at the TeamLiquid Starleague. He would remain thus for the next 3 years, rotting away in Gerrard's roost, though occasionally arising from his slumber to perform miracles, such as this.
Now, liberated from the confines of Prime, and into the brilliant Jin Air, Creator looks to finally awaken from his long hiatus from any meaningful competition. To do that though, he must first overcome Armani. Who is Armani? Not many people know, but he is a zerg on Samsung Galaxy Khan who has achieved little of significance. However, it is always from insignificance that the great arise, so we shall see whether he is of that mettle. Still, the matter appears to be simple—Creator should win, right? The person with the superior experience, results, and reputation should always crush the lesser under heel, right? Not so, for there are always extenuating circumstances.
One of these circumstances is the fact that protoss have been performing extremely poorly against zerg—in fact, taking global winrates into account, this is the worst protoss players as a collective whole have ever performed against zerg, even worse than the age of the brood lord-infestor. But then again, not all is lost—as SC2 is a game made anew, the performance difference may yet be accounted for by strategic imbalance, rather than some sort of fundamental imbalance within the game. After all, herO annihilated Life 3-0 in the GSL Pre Season—surely Creator could pull it off against a lesser zerg?
Creator has been nonexistent for the better part of 3 years—aside from Proleague where he was once the ace for Prime—, while Armani has been seen regularly in all sorts of tournaments. Furthermore, we cannot take a 59% winrate against protoss worldwide lightly.
Creator 1 - 3 Armani