TSL3 on Liquipedia
Every TSL has its fairytale story and for this season, Thorzain is the TSL Cinderella. It's hard to believe that a mere 2 months ago Thorzain was "just another Swedish Terran" along with the likes of Jinro, Sjow and Jimpo. Now he's about to play the series of his life on one of the largest SC2 stages on Earth. He has overcome some of the biggest names in StarCraft 2 and demonstrated that he definitively belongs in the upper echelon of gamers in SC2.
Prior to the TSL, Thorzain was one of many players considered good but not great. Despite holding a top 40 ladder position for most of Season 1, Thorzain failed to make an impact on the tournament scene. It wasn't that he didn't have the talent though, it's because his attention was split between SC2 and Warcraft 3 for the majority of 2010. It wasn't until his transfer to Praetoriani in late 2010 that Thorzain devoted all his time to Starcraft 2. Immediately the concentration on one game paid off as he won one of the last DreamHack Qualifiers to gain entry to Winter DreamHack.
Thorzain immediately made an impact on the TSL Qualifiers with a Top 4 finish in the first tournament (losing to Ciara 1-2). After being eliminated by Terran all-ins in the next three qualifiers, he hit his stride and won the fifth TSL Qualifier. His path included wins over Nerchio, Cloud and SaSe's 4gate/probe all-in on Lost Temple. In the final he defeated Adelscott with a convincing 3-1 score - and we all know how strong Adel is PvT.
Thorzain's TL Open runs gave us insight into his style and how he approached the game. It was clear very early on that he was a very capable player. Stylistically he switched between unbreakable defense coupled with harass and pure relentless aggression. He focused on a lot of mech oriented strategies and in particular used the Thor to great effect - something which we continued to notice as he tore through the TSL.
Starting as a 9:1 outsider against the GSL Champion Fruitdealer, Thorzain defied the odds dominated Fruitdealer 2-0.
"WELCOME TO THE FOREIGNER SCENE
- Casters after Thorzain defeated Fruitdealer
- Casters after Thorzain defeated Fruitdealer
The first Korean-Nonkorean matchup in the TSL, Thorzain instantly became a household name as "the guy who beat Fruitdealer". Perhaps this achievement was overshadowed by other players who also defeated their Korean opponents, but Thorzain still remained a huge outsider in the TSL. The Round of 16 had Thorzain come up against another former champion, Tyler, and was once again considered the underdog. He silenced his critics and cruised into the Round of 8 with a clean 3-0 sweep.
The Round of 8 proved to be Thorzain's defining moment in the TSL and one of the TSL3 series that will be remembered for years to come. Thorzain was matched up against MC - the undisputed king of Protoss at the time and winner of the Copenhagen games. Thorzain, once again, was given little to no hope of winning but once more was able to surprise us all. In five outstanding games, and a Thor timing push to seal the deal, Thorzain had immortalised himself in the Starcraft 2 scene. People everywhere knew exactly who he was, what he was capable of, and that he liked building Thors. Indeed, MC acknowledged him as one of the top 5 Terrans in the whole world. It was only fitting that Thorzain walked all over Kas in the TSL semifinals and entered the TSL finals as the fairytale story of the tournament.
Thorzain remains somewhat of a wild card in the tournament. His presence outside of the TSL is essentially nonexistent. He rarely participates in LANs and when he does, he never seems to perform to the level expected of him. Moreover, Thorzain has even avoided laddering during his TSL training to keep his preparation secret - a move which cost him Grandmaster rank on Europe. As such, there is practically no information about him anywhere for people to access and study.
Perhaps his poor showings at LANs is best explained by noting that Thorzain prepared exceptionally well. For instance, game 1 against Kas was tailored precisely to punish Kas for his typical TvT opening. If he is able to sit down for a week and solely focus on the task at hand, Thorzain's potential is unlimited. For this reason it's not absurd to expect him to thrive in a tournament which allows players ample time to prepare for their opponents and a good reason to get excited if Thorzain decides to travel to Korea anytime soon.
Thorzain's story has us all glued to our screens awaiting the conclusion. He has gone through one of the toughest possible tournament paths and made history along the way. Only Naniwa stands in his way of completing the heroes journey and bringing a happy ending to the TSL3 fairytale.
Q: Both TSL finalists are previous Warcraft 3 players, does this surprise you?
Well I'm not really shocked. I knew that it could be any combination of WC3/BW players because I think that we're pretty much equal. I'm more surprised that I'm actually in it.
Q: Last year you told Fragster.de that you don't see yourself as a progamer yet, has this feeling changed since SC2's release?
I guess it changed now when I joined MouseSports and have more opportunities than before with Praetoriani.
Q: Do you have any history in War3 with Nani?
I only actually played with him once, and he was only semi-active then. I beat him 2:0 and he flamed me and my race when he lost. I made tanks. :D
Q: You played Human in WC3, did this make Terran the obvious choice for your race in SC2 or was there a lot of practice and thought behind it?
Actually I liked Protoss the most in BW at the time SC2 came out (now I like BW Zerg the most), and I played Protoss the first 200-300 games of SC2. I was actually pretty good. I remember having like 3:1 against MorroW's Terran and beating other top Terran players such as Strelok and Brat_OK. I was pretty good against Zerg as well. What made me switch was the PvP. I was absolutely horrible at it because I refused to go the cookie cutter Phoenix build that everyone were doing at the time. In the end, I got so frustrated that I decided to change my race.
Q: You didn't dedicate yourself completely to SC2 until later than a lot of War3 players, what was the hardest part of switching?
It wasn't hard at all. I guess that the only hard part was that I had to become good all over again. But other than that I don't think that I had any issues with switching, becuase WC3 was basically as good as dead.
Q: Do you have any insight as to why Sweden does so well inernationally?
Actually I have no idea. If it was only in one game I would say that it's chance. But Sweden seems to be doing and have been doing well in very many e-Sports titles. I guess it's a combination of what everyone else already are saying. Early introduction of home PCs, fast and steady Internet, and maybe the cold winters.
Q: Are you aware that since beating MC, casters Artosis and Chill have been fawning over you? Do you like the attention?
I love it! Though sometimes I need to stop myself from just browsing through match comments because I would get devoured in it. :D
Q: You have been preparing exceptionally well throughout the TSL, do you do anything special to get ready for a match against specific opponents?
I just think a lot about the matches and try to prepare accordingly. I feel very comfortable with my mechanics and most of my strats. My biggest weakness usually is the in-game decision making. I've been trying to improve that aspect of my play.
Q: How are things going with your new team?
So far everything has been great. Great team mates, great management and great communication between them both.
Q: Give us some idea as to who you are outside of the game. What do you like to do when you aren't practicing?
At the moment I study Chinese. It's a lot of fun. I also like spending time with my friends, be it online or offline. I also have a ferret whom I love dearly. I obviously play a lot of StarCraft 2 though ;D. But it's still fun to me so I don't mind.
To get to know you further, we're going to try a series of questions that have short answers. This is our lightning round.
Q: What do you eat for breakfast on a normal day?
I don't eat the same every day. Usually either toast, muesli or oatmeal.
Q: What is your drink of choice, while practicing or out on the town?
Q: Have you ever been to New York? Are you excited to see anything in it?
This will be my first time in the US. I'm not excited about anything in particular, rather just the whole experience.
Q: What is your favorite movie?
This might sound a bit stupid but I forgot it... I just remember there was this movie I watched for less than a year ago or that I thought was soooo awesome, but I forgot both the name and then story....... Naming any other movie than that one would be unfair! I like movies which makes you think, though.
Q: Dogs or cats?
Q: Do you have anything to say to your fans and supporters before the finals?
Thanks for supporting me. I will not dissapoint you on sunday!
By the way I'm tired of people saying that I choke on lan. The only lan I've played since Dreamhack in November was The Gathering where I lost to NightEnD, who is a great player. That's basically all. In WC3 I performed very well at a lot of lans.
Also thanks to Mousesports and its sponsors HoH.de, Razer, MEDION, GeIL, Intel and Sansibar.