Best Games of the Month: September 2019 EditionCompiled and written by Elentos et al.
If you get past the sea of Zerg-imba complaints in September, you'll find that there was actually a ton of great StarCraft II played. Even Serral himself managed to make the list, contrary to claims that his particular brand of late-game Zerg is killing the game. Also, this month's Has game of the Month is extra special, despite not featuring Has for several editions straight.
• Serral vs HeroMarine on Winter's Gate
2019 WCS Fall - Quarterfinals
Big Gabe's big break?
Big Gabe has quietly become one of the best and most consistent performers on the WCS Circuit. At the offline portion of WCS Circuit events in 2019, only uThermal, MarineLorD, Reynor and Serral have managed to beat HeRoMaRinE—which speaks to his peculiar set of strengths and weaknesses.
At WCS Fall, it felt like deja vu for HeRoMaRinE as he drew a quarterfinal match against Serral after making an otherwise solid and impressive run. However, Big Gabe wasn't just about to roll over and die. Even after his economy was ravaged by constant counter-attacks from Serral, HeRoMaRinE managed to scrap together an ultimate army for a last-ditch attack. Usually, those kind of scenarios end in an easy defense for Serral that leaves his opponent wondering why he even bothered to stay in this game. But in this game... Frankly, some sort of Jedi mind trick is the only reasonable explanation for how things played out.
• herO vs soO on Acropolis
China Team Championship 2 - Group B - Regular Season, Round 4
Conundrum: a Protoss won a late game PvZ, but the Zerg was soO 🤔.
The strength of Zerg in the late game has been an immensely heated topic as of late, fanned on by the top Zergs in both the Korean and foreign scenes. Now, we're seeing Protoss players avoid the late-game like the plague, while Zerg players are trying to deflect by claiming cannon-rushes and other cheeses are still pretty good.
From all the debate within the community and pro-scene, you might think we never get to see a good PvZ game. But that's not quite the case!
Playing as Triumphant Song Gaming's ace against Chivo SC's soO, herO decided to go against his all-inning reputation and go for a macro game. Mixing solid play with some of his unpredictable moves, herO ended up delivering one of the better ace matches of the China Team Championship. While late-game play is one of soO's infamous weaknesses, it was still impressive to see how herO clinically picked him apart as the game went long.
• ShoWTimE vs HeRoMaRinE on Acropolis
2019 WCS Fall - Ro16
(Timestamp - 20:35)
The two worst ID's in progaming?
The rIvalRy beTwEEN TObiAS 'DIE MAUeR' SIeBeR aNd gabRIeL 'biG gAbe' SeGat MOst DEfinItEly DesERves TO BE calLed DeUTSChE WerTaRBEit. WIth No MORe ePs (Or ESL meISTeRschaFt) tO PLAy iN, THE wcS PlAyOFF sTage finaLly saw a CLaSh OF stRenGTH bEtWEEN ThE TWO gErmaN titAnS. WHILE thEiR HIstOricaL RECOrD is SolIdlY in SHOWtIME'S fAvOr, ThERE wERE cERTaiNly QUEsTIONS to bE aSkEd aboUt BOTh PlAYeRs goInG into THe maTcH. shOwTimE haD nOT PlaYEd a HiGh cALIbER TErran OPPOnENT BETWeeN his eLIMINaTiON At ASuS Rog At THe HANDs Of TImE, hErOMarine's ResUltS weRE MixEd, with tHe most lAsTINg ImpRESSIOn COminG fRoM hIs oveRALl 2-3 MaP scorE AGaINst trap (mOst likEly bEsT pvT plAYEr aT the MOMENT of WrITINg ThiS aRTiClE) at GSl vs thE WOrLd.
SOmE ADDED IntRigUE GOInG Into wCS falL cAMe fROm tHE BalANCE CHAnGES BLizZarD Had reLeaseD THE wEeK AfTEr gSL VS The wOrld. MOst NoTaBLy, a neW UPGradE haD BEEn adDEd To THE gHOST ACadEMY TO INCREAsE The rangE oF emp. biG Gabe dECIdED To mAKe fuLL Use oF thIS New OPtIon AT hiS DisPOSAL aGaINSt hIs PROToSs oppOneNT. ANd DIE MaUEr FouGht bAcK veneRABly, sHOWing hOw ONe miGhT cOMbAT THe nEW tERRAN OPTIonS. aCroPOlis SerVEs AS tHe bATtLEGRoUnd FoR thE stANdoUT gAme IN An OvERAll VeRY GoOD seRies.
• Maru vs RagnaroK on King's Cove
2019 GSL Code S Season 3 - Quarterfinals
(Timestamp - 42:06)
22-year-old veteran vs 23-year-old rising star.
In one corner, we had Maru: 4-time GSL champion, undefeated in GSL playoff matches since June 14, 2017. His winrate against Zerg since 2018 was just over 75%. In the other corner sat RagnaroK, in his very first GSL Ro8 match. His winrate against Terran in 2019 was around 55%. A favorable meta for Zerg, perhaps, but the question "Will this be any close?" was certainly not completely out of place. But the first game went to RagnaroK very quickly, and while the second went to Maru, it was certainly close enough.
On King's Cove, things went to the late game without either side taking too huge a blow. But this allowed RagnaroK to build up the dreaded broodlord/infestor combination that has left its mark on the minds of many StarCraft II fans and players with relative ease. How could Maru possibly combat this? In the Ro16, his ghost/mech play against Solar was a complete failure. His answer this time was certainly more standard for the situation. Engaging in nuclear warfare on one side of the map and using guerrilla tactics on the other, the Terran picked his opponent apart.
Frankly speaking, a Zerg maxed out on broodlord/infestor with 4000/4000 in the bank has never looked as hopeless as in this game.
• GuMiho vs SpeCial on Ephemeron
China Team Championship 2 - Group B - Regular Season, Round 3
(Timestamp - 11:00)
Is the cheesiest thing a GuMiho can do to research stim?
GuMiho is one of the all-time greats when it comes to TvT. Over the many years of his career, he has built up an incredible understanding of the match-up. He's one of the few pro players who even in today's meta will throw in mech play as a curveball (though I guess with GuMiho you'd expect it so it's not as much of a curve?). While he's never consistently the best TvT player in the world, he's someone that has to be taken seriously in the Terran meta, no matter who you are and no matter in what era of StarCraft II. His opponent is an all-time great when it comes to non-Korean TvT. Very few non-Koreans have managed to rival him over the years (though with TIME and HeRoMaRinE he faces sterner competition nowadays), at his best he can make any Terran bleed.
This sounds like the perfect pre-match analysis at any given tournament that just inevitably leads to a terribly one-sided bop of a match that makes everyone disappointed. Except this time, it actually played out the way it was supposed to! GuMiho and SpeCial produced an exciting, legitimately back and forth TvT that was key in helping PSISTORM reach an ace match that ultimately made Group B of the CTC immensely close.
The "Has Award" for games that Has is outsourcing to Ukraine
• Bly vs Aqueron on Triton
NationWars 2019 - Qualifiers
Is this what they mean by #BlyOnFire?
The Has award winner for the month was all but decided already going into September 30. iAsonu making Maru's workers-lost counter reach 76 only to lose anyway (check the additional recommended games for that) could surely not be topped on the final day of the month. And then NationWars started.
While the tournament already had its fair share of 'interesting' games to behold up to this point, none of the others come any close to this. Not just because Bly by himself is uniquely qualified to receive a Has award in just about any given game he plays. The Spanish Terran Aqueron also decided to play along. So both players decided to lose their everything and see who could make the most something out of nothing.
More recommended games from SeptemberDark vs Rogue on Thunderbird - VOD
Dark vs TY on Triton - VOD
INnoVation vs TIME on Ephemeron - VOD
INnoVation vs TIME on Thunderbird - VOD
Maru vs iAsonu on Triton - VOD
Maru vs Stats on King's Cove - VOD
Maru vs Solar on GSL Cobalt - VOD
Reynor vs Serral on Acropolis - VOD
TRUE vs Solar on Acropolis - VOD
Trap vs Maru on Thunderbird - VOD