Best Games of the Month: June 2019 EditionCompiled and written by Ej, Elentos, and Durn
We're back with another edition of Best Games of the Month! We're pretty sure you're not here for the sarcastic intro paragraph, so let's just get straight to the games.
• Zest vs Elazer on Turbo Cruise '84
HomeStory Cup XIX - Losers' round 4
This game demonstrates the fine line between genius and insanity.
HSC is a good tournament for Zest. Since the 14th edition of everyone's favorite Krefeld Klassiker, Zest has attended every time. While Zest's former KT teammate TY eventually ended his run at HSC XIX, Zest's play—alcohol fueled or not—left us some of the highlights of the entire tournament.
Most notable of all was this playoff game on Turbo Cruise '84. While the map in and of itself is a bit strange, Elazer and Zest decided that alone simply wasn't enough. With the Polish Zerg in trouble after the early game harass, Zest decided to close things out with a gateway unit all-in. He failed to strike a killing blow and had no further tech on the way, but a critical oracle backstab during the frontal attack killed enough drones to keep Zest in the game. The game was about to normalize, but then Elazer decided to mass swarm hosts because it's a good idea on Turbo Cruise. Zest responded by making a lot of blink stalkers and some DTs, hoping to exploit the weaknesses of swarm hosts.
As one might expect for a game on this list, these unusual compositions saw the two players battle their way into a rather bizarre and messy end-game situation. In an ending befitting the genre of 'real-time strategy,' the more ingenious and quick-thinking player escaped with the victory.
• Trap vs INnoVation on GSL Cobalt
2019 GSL Code S Season 2 - Quarterfinals
Four player maps—amirite, guys?
In his 2nd consecutive Ro8 appearance after a near 6-year absense from the GSL playoff stage, Trap was still pegged as somewhat of an underdog. Before him stood INnoVation, one of the Titans of Terran. Yes, Trap had taken down TY in the previous season. But there's hardly a more iconic duo than TY and choking in the GSL Ro8 stage (preferably from up 2-0), so it was an easy victory to dismiss. Especially since a dismissal was all Trap's subsequent semifinal series against Maru turned out to be. Meanwhile, INnoVation had taken down Stats in the Ro16 relatively easily with some lethal pushes.
Trap was meant to find himself at the hands of one such push on GSL Cobalt, the only GSL map not on ladder. However, Trap expertly managed to fend off INnoVation's assault in a game that proved to be a showcase for the good parts of 4-player maps. The players traded punches back and forth, but neither could easily kill each other by rallying across the map, as its sheer size would not allow it. Instead, we saw tech trees develop further along while the fights were occurring. But the game never got stale and one small village of indomitable probes that went undetected by INnoVation made all the difference.
• HeRoMaRinE vs Reynor on New Repugnancy
HomeStory Cup XIX Losers' Round 2
Grizzled veteran and yet perpetual up-and-coming talent HeRoMaRinE, master of the Terran late game.
While everyone knows Reynor is extremely gifted at the game, his journey is not nearly complete. He still has room to improve, as his results are not quite on par with his reputation as Serral's supposed 'rival' on the Circuit. As a certain German Terran with an extremely unnecessary amount of capitalized letters proved in this best of five, there are plenty of foreigners who can give Reynor's swarming style a stiff challenge.
It may have been an arduous task and by no means an easy feat, but from the looks of things, HeRoMaRinE carved an advantage by himself merely by surviving for 15 minutes. At that point, Reynor's play stopped projecting an aura of confidence. He didn't seem as though he knew what to do. It's unlikely he will stay like this forever, but on this particular day, Reynor just didn't have what it takes to beat Big Gabe.
• Dream vs Impact on New Repugnancy
Olimoleague #159 - Quarterfinals
Bio/mine/thor vs ling-bane-muta—how I've missed you!
Without too much fanfare, former SKT and MVP Terran Dream has returned from his military duty. He was picked up by a Chinese team to play for them in the Chinese Team Championship, and he's qualified for GSL Season 3 on the 2nd day of qualifiers by defeating Trust. While he's competed in some online events, this was the first deeper run he's managed. And it was on the back of the match-up that made many people fall in love with Dream back in 2015.
While never statistically his best match-up, Dream's TvZ at its best may well have been the very peak of the match-up with a few legendary games and probably the cleanest marine splits of his time. While Impact is more well-known for doing cheesy stuff with roaches, he was nice enough to play muta-ling-bane against Dream in this beautiful throwback to Heart of the Swarm TvZ. The sheer nostalgia value of seeing Dream play against that composition complete with the fact that the game is great entertainment lands it on our list.
• herO vs Patience on King's Cove
China Team Championship Season 1 - Grand Finals
If the game's not strange, in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? Patience and herO. Not the Ghostbusters.
Throughout Legacy of the Void, herO and Patience have stood out among their Korean Protoss brethren in a specific way. They've taken over from sOs and Myungsik as the Savants of Strangeness, Connoisseurs of Craziness, Titans of Tomfoolery, Patron Saints of the Peculiar, Icons of Insanity, Monarchs of Mayhem... you get the gist. If you insert them into any given game, normal as it may look, leave it to them to turn it into something you don't and will never understand. And more likely than not, they won't really understand most of it either.
In this game featuring not one but two of the craziest Protoss players in Korea, herO was quick to secure a tremendous advantage for himself in the early stages of the game. Victory was merely a matter of time from such a position, and Patience needed to throw the curviest of balls to give himself the smallest chance of a comeback. And thus, Patience turned to the ever 'reliable' disruptor. Did herO attempt to stop him at all? Or did he decide that he didn't want to win this game anyway? Watch, and find out!
The "Has Award" for games that so are stupid you feel like you're stuck in a time loop
• Zest vs HeRoMaRinE on Acropolis
HomeStory Cup XIX - Ro32
Zest and HeRoMaRinE were in their 5th HSC showdown during this game
HeRoMaRinE vs sOs on Blueshift from the 2018 WCS Global Finals may have been the most bizarre game of StarCraft 2 to have ever graced Anaheim. Suffice to say, not too many people were expecting to see anything like it at HomeStory Cup XIX. And yet here we are presenting this 'award.' with Zest taking over for his Korean Protoss compatriot and HeRoMaRinE taking over for himself once again.
It is through a myriad of confusing decisions, from Zest going up to 5 bases before the 8 minute mark to Big Gabe making nothing but marines and tanks against a 3/3 Protoss, that we eventually found ourselves in a situation where the Terran on no economy was throwing everything at Zest in a desperate attempt to choke him out of the game. It's wonky, it's down and dirty, this game is everything the Has award was created for. Well, except Has himself...
More recommended games from JuneBut wait, there's MORE!!!
GSL Code S Season 3 Qualifiers Day 1 - VOD
GSL Code S Season 3 Qualifiers Day 2 - VOD
FanTaSy vs herO on Thunderbird - VOD
INnoVation vs Scarlett on Turbo Cruise '84 - VOD
Lambo vs Reynor on Thunderbird - VOD
Serral vs TY on Cyber Forest - VOD
Serral vs TY on Thunderbird - VOD
TY vs soO on New Repugnancy - VOD (starts at 01:09:50)
Credits and acknowledgements
List committee: Ej, Elentos, Durn
Photos: Andre Hainke (via Blizzard)
List committee: Ej, Elentos, Durn
Photos: Andre Hainke (via Blizzard)