Monday, November 14, 2011
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Monday, October 31, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Friday, October 7, 2011
With all the hype this weekend about the IGN Proleague tournament taking place in Atlantic City, the GSTL finals happening Saturday night (Korea Time) should not be missed. It’s MVP vs Prime, two teams who have stories worthy of a potential E-sports movie.
Prime came out swinging in these playoffs, relying on two of their “lesser” known players, Creator and Annyung to slay 4 members of Startale. By the time it came for Bomber to come and play, MarineKing was their waiting, fully prepared to snipe the deadly Startale Terran.
In their match against TSL, the theme of this series was “down but not out.” Sorry MarineKing, you need to give your title of the “Comeback Kid” to your teammate Creator, who ran through gauntlet of TSL’s Terran lineup and Revival to 4-kill the seemingly undefeatable TSL. Prime wins and goes to the finals.
MVP’s tale starts off with a “David vs Goliath” theme, as they take on Incredible Miracle, a team that has someone relegated to trophy cleaning duties in their house. All hope looked lost when players not named DRG could not even beat IM’s starter terran, Happy, but thanks DRG and their new protoss hero Tails, they edge out a dramatic victory against the legendary IM team.
Waiting for them in the semi-finals was New Star Ho-seo, a team who took the whole league by storm by showing dominant results in the regular season with many players not known by the scene. However, MVP is a team that just beat IM, and they were not intimated by the new kids on the block. In this series, the MVP team rode the wave on a seemingly in-form Genius, who showed brilliant play in all 3 matchups, including an exciting post 1.4 patch PvP in his final game.
Storyline of the playoffs so far? It’s the Protoss man, Genius, Creator and Tails were all the star performers in the 4 sets of matches. Even though they don’t have any representation in the main GSL tournament, at least they reppin’ in the team league -_-
Prime’s strength nowadays comes from their zerg lineup, BboongBboong, Annyung, and Check. Also the coach of the team has a lot of faith with these players as he had no qualms in sending them in the TSL match (but only god knows why he was feeding them to JYP, the zerg killer). Their old stars of Maka, Anypro, and Hongun are not the main players anymore, but will serve more as a sniper role. Their ace is still of course MarineKing, but Creator has shown that he has the tenacity to win against the best players in the world.
While MVP might be called a “one-man team” by many, this is far from the truth though. DRG is the ace, but he has the support to help them lead to a victory. Genius looks to be in form, Keen is a solid terran, Guinea Pig and Tails have shown promising play but their consistency can be questioned. Look for Monster and Noblesse to make a special appearance in this match, as Monster is a mini-DRG and Noblesse is Code S material.
It’s a tough match to call as both of these teams are so evenly matched. In the battle of the aces, MarineKing just gave DRG a smackdown in the Arena of Legends. Also the ZvT god just lost a hearbreak series against Supernova in the GSL, people might have found a chink in his armor so to speak. For MVP to win, they need someone to take down the Prime’s Zergs and for Prime to win, they need to shut down DRG’s support, Genius or Keen, and they’ll claim the championship.
Mock Bo9 series
Check vs Vampire
Keen vs Check
Creator vs Keen
Creator vs Monster
DRG vs Creator
MarineKing vs DRG
Genius vs Marineking
Genius vs Annyung
Genius vs BboongBbong
MVP takes it 5-4, yeah I’m rooting for them but realistically speaking, I think they have a small edge over Prime. Cheers for a great set of games!
Monday, October 3, 2011
Friday, September 30, 2011
The MVP team was worried. Their handsome terran ace Keen was outmeched by a man named Happy. The random player now Protoss player Guineapig played PvT like it was 10 months ago and massed 10+ colossus, and he watched all of them get obliterated in 10 seconds by Happy’s Viking fleet. Genius, the man who always has a proxy stargate hidden up his sleeve, lost to a 3-base bio timing attack that hit a few seconds before Genius’s Templars had storm. A maxed out bio army against gateway units with no AOE? This would even make the most hardened zealots cry.
Their 4 most well-known and seasoned players have been fielded, and with MVP in the booth and Nestea looking smug on their bench, all hope looked lost for the MVP squad and their fans. The camera pans to the bench, who is it? It is….. MVPTails! Wait what? The Code A mainstay or errr player? The teams, commentators, and all the spectators wait in anticipation, will he do the impossible?
About an hour later, a Korean E-sports reporter would nickname him the “Nietzsche Toss,” because “God is Dead.” A name that I think is completely fitting of the situation.
Yes he is pouring Nestea on his head, the drink that is.
Tails showed some crafty defense to MVP’s 1/1/1 build on his against him on Crossfire. Not being flustered by the banshee focus of the IM’s terran version of this “imbalanced build.” He keeps his cool and eventually ends up winning by the work of one Phoenix in sky. MVP is known as the “Conscious Terran” in Korea for stating publicly that this build is
too strong against Protoss players, and he refuses to use it. Oh the irony of this situation.
While Nestea is certainly the best player in the world, I think he is unbeatable in a BoX format, like the GSL tournaments, but in a format like the GSTL, he is beatable but it is not an easy task. I like the build Tails used, a tricky build off a FFE that was a reaction to Nestea’s taking of the gold on Antiga Shipyard. It is Quick 5 gateway pressure that may or may not work but puts the Zerg on the defense, and forces him to make units. While Nestea was producing an absurd amount of units, little does he know that the Dark Shrine is warping for the MVP Protoss. Tails was losing his Zealot/Sentry/Stalker army so badly, but during that time he was sneaking in 3 Dark Templars into Nestea’s main base, where it was the only place that had no spore crawlers (Nestea played a macro based heavy T1 style, that got a sick amount of drones a
nd units, but no tech). Just like that Nestea lost his hatchery that was morphing into a Lair, and all of his tech structures, but this just evens the game as Nestea takes his 3rd, and retains his macro lead though. This is just a testament to Nestea’s calibre as a player, Tails punished him hard but still has no definitive advantage.
The game becomes much more standard after this, and Tails wins the game not through some gimmicky DT runby, but just solid defense of his expansions as Nestea came with a mass Roach/Hydra drop style. Nestea probably didn’t realize how even it was as he
was trying to do some ultra-aggression T2 tech style that ran into a wall that is Tails’s Stalker/Collossus ball. He had time to tech to Broodlords and Infestors. Nestea GGs out and Tails gives much meaning to the cliché saying and Oliver Stone film, “… On any given Sunday.” Just another great day of Starcraft in the GSTL.
Sorry Zergbong, Reach is not here to carry you like in BW
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
Before I delve into any criticisms, I would just like to state that I find State of the Game, the SC2 podcast hosted by MLG’s JP McDaniel, hilarious and entertaining to boot. They know how to entertain and their SC-related stories are always so fantastic, and on this personal level the show works well.
However, the truth of the matter is that the show is not as informative as it can be. I would not hesitate to say that their coverage of the scene is just straight up lacking. I know they are all busy people with lives and work, but to most of them their work is Starcraft and to deliver a product that is called “State of the Game,” they could be much more thorough in their discussion. And honestly, it does not mean watching every Go4sc2 or CraftCup to get a decent grasp on the situation.
Point 1- While their show is of course North American based, and that will get the most coverage, and I do not mind that bias, but what bothers me is their lack of knowledge of the EU scene, and even the KR scene is just bad. On episode 50, Artosis did not even know that his new protoss crush Sage was in Code A, and he didn’t get an invite but made it through the qualifiers. Also the Stephano recap was so horrid and one-sided, that it made me cringe. Incontrol never commented on the fact that in France, when contracts are signed, there is a time period where the worker can retract his commitment, and Stephano is French and heaven forbids him to act like a Frenchmen. The whole thing is a messy situation but there are other cultures in the world than American, people tend to forget that.
And if you talk about a huge tournament, and it only has 8 players (*ahem* Dreamhack Valencia), it wouldn’t be so hard to figure out who is who. Lucifron, while he may be known as the guy that got 6-pooled by ActionJesus, he came back this past summer break and tore up the EU scene. His TvZ was the best for a couple months, where he bested Stephano, Nerchio, and Lalush in tournament play. It was said that around the actual time of Dreamhack, he had drastically cut his hours of play due to his studies, but still I don’t think that he would have a chance versus DRG.
Point 2- European players are good because they produce results. Most EU people are not being facetious when they say “Europeans are better…,” the results do not lie. Look at Stephano’s run in IPL, Dimaga’s splash in the GSL World Championship, Thorzain and his reputation in Korea as the best foreigner, Mana’s PvT not only the best in Europe but a lot of people say in the world. I get annoyed when they dismiss players like Nerchio, who embarrassed top NA zergs like Idra in ZvZ. Please have an open mind, these guys are the foreign hopes.
Point 3- No Racial Balance, The makeup of the show now is 3 Protoss Players (Artosis, Tyler, Incontrol) and Day9 who churns out more content nowadays so he has less time to play, we do not really know his skill level. Not this only creates bad (meaning really skewed) balance discussions (JP you’ve ran the PvP discussion into the ground so hard), but even the discussion content about pro games is stale. Here’s a typical conversation about a GSL match:
JP: So who watched this game between *blalal vs blalala”
Tyler: No Protoss, so I stay ignorant.
Incontrol: I watched it, and Mariners, Bunkers, boring,….
Artosis: Gotta catch up with the games (assuming he didn’t cast it but he usually offers great insight)
Day9: … (He always leaves early -_- )
Yes Korean Terrans are good but they are a lot of different people breaking into the scene there. Also when Leah Jackson makes her appearance on SOTG, I appreciate the fact that she watches a lot of the content out there and it showed when she was talking.
Point 4- Get new blood (Idra as a guest is not that special anymore) in as guests, this leads in from point 2, but when DeMuslim was on the show, he was a godsend. He was a fresh face and a top terran. Guests like this man need to be more frequent on the show, his insight on the NASL players were astounding. People from the scene who are not from the NA circle so to speak would make exemplary guests. (EU, KR, or even CN)
Point 5- More in depth analysis, while the show has to cover a lot of events, I’m really curious what would an in-depth analysis of a specific series would look like. Where they would watch a series, take notes, and just comment in general about it. I think it would be very educational and entertaining. Maybe taking a stab at this would be great. Actually more thematic topics, rather just saying what’s up and talking your mind would produce quality content.
Final Thoughts- Please pillars do some more research and get a firm grasp on your talking points. Your popularity and outreach to the community is there and you are never short on entertainment, just deliver more truths to the masses.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011
The 1st Dreamhack invitational is still one of my favorite tournaments conducted so far in the competitive Starcraft II scene. While the finals were a heartbreak, White-Ra was up 2-0 against MC but loses the next three games to 4 Gates and Proxy Zealots, the whole tourney delivered in entertainment and production. The 2nd installment looks to be as of high-quality, with a list of invitees of all champions. Not only are though the top players in the scene right now, there are actually quite of few storylines between some of the participants. Such as:
Thorzain vs Huk- they just played each other in the Evil Geniuses Master’s Cup Series, with it going to a tense 3rd game on Shakuras Plateau. The map was split, and Thorzain showed such great army control that teared apart Huk’s late game plan. Can Huk get his revenge in Spain?
Rain vs Naniwa- Rain nuked Naniwa at the 9 minute mark during MLG Raleigh, I pretty sure Naniwa will not let that happy again.
Huk vs Idra (Worse enemies now best friends)
Hero vs Thorzain (Slayers trained Thorzain versus the protoss hope)
And what I am looking forward to the most, and my personal prediction for the finals is DRG vs Hero. Hero eliminated the beastly zerg from Code A qualifiers couple months ago, but DRG got his revenge in the GSTL when he 3 killed OGS (Who are struggling in that league despite their numerous Code-S level players). Their next encounter was at MLG Raleigh, where they played in the Losers Championship Bracket in an extended series, and DRG had a 2-0 lead from pool play. Hero fought valiantly back, but the Zerg from MVP edged him out in a game 7, and advanced in the tournament far enough to secure 3rd place and a Code S spot. Hero, who is known as Mini-Bisu because his PvZ is deadly just like the legendary protoss from Brood War, is looking for redemption for his debut in Raleigh. Liquid’s newest recruit is amazing, but I think DRG will take the whole shebang, ending out Hero in a close 3-2 series in the finals.
The tournament starts later today!
Monday, September 12, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Since the Protoss “Heroes” so to speak were discussed last week, it is only appropriate that the Swarm get the same treatment.
Larvae- Idra, the Macro monster himself, just his traditional view of the game really can only be summed up by these maggots that spawn from Hatcheries
Creep Tumor- Seal, see his game versus Bomber,
Overlord- Haypro, well known for his drop play, he is often credited as being one of the 1st Zerg users to use baneling drops in ZvP
Overseer- Zenio, See GSL S2 Ro16, Idra gets gooped
Drone- Ret, self proclaimed King of Drones
Queen- Spanishwa, well whether or not he was the sole creator of the no gas build for Zerg, he sure did popularize it
Zergling- DRG, well not only does he love his mass ling play, but check out his Zergling impersonation for the 1st GSTL that his team MVP participated in
Baneling- Fruitdealer, the Zerg hero from Season 1 who even received personal art from the Blizzard art team (see top picture), I really want to put the Wind here though because of this match
Roaches- Sheth, see his ZvT, blind roaches every game
Hyrdras- Moon, may be the only player who used Hydras and yielded positive results, see the IEM World Championships where he got 2nd place
Mutalisk- Sen, in all matchups, he uses them, for better or worse (remember his ZvZs at Dreamhack versus July?)
Infestor- Dimaga, he used them before they were cool and buffed, see his ZvTs circa the GSL World Championships
Corruptor- JulyZerg, a harder one to call, but his game versus MC on Blistering sands in GSL S3, where MC was going heavy stargate play and July plays cool and calm and doesn’t get Hydras (What pretty much every Zerg did at the time), but instead builds 8-9 Corruptors that just completely shuts down MC and takes the game.
Broodlords- Stephano/Nerchio/Darkforce, 3 Zergs that exemplify the EU scene, they all are well known for creating this turtle zerg style where the name of the game is survive until you get broods.
Ultralisk- Dimaga, the Muscle Zerg is such a bad-ass that he gets 2 mentions, nowadays, when people watch Destiny do his Ling/Infestor/Ultra build, just remember Dimaga was doing that strategy last year.
Spine Crawler- Nestea, watch his game versus Hongun Prime on Dual Sight (GSL Code S July), it was so good even Dustin Browder gets excited when talking about it
Spore Crawler- Honestly I don’t know, still looking for a match ; (
Nydus Worm- Losira, his game versus MC at MLG Columbus. The map was Tal’Darim Altar and Losira was building worms all over the MC’s base, showing tenacity and persistence
Infested Terran- Morrow, wins championship with Terran, “too ez” he says, let’s play Zerg, and one of the only race pickers right now in SC2 (ZvP ZvT TvZ)
Broodlings- MasterAsia, "I have the Broodlings" Probably the most watched SC2 game on Youtube.com
Friday, September 2, 2011
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
With Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty eclipsing its 1-year anniversary and with already hundreds of professional games behind us, it would be fun to play an association game. The task at hand is to associate a specific unit to a top player.
Probe- Huk, see the MLG Dallas game versus his teammate TLO, where TLO 6-pools him and Huk is going with a FFE and scouts super late, gosu probe micro, and known of course for his harassing probe ever since the beta.
Zealot- Adelscott, 3 Base, 1 gas Pvt style?!?
Stalker- Liquid Nazgul, knew that Blink Stalkers were really really good before everyone else
Sentry- MC, Obama toss throws them down like no other
Dark Templar- Inca, a more sad association though, his games versus Nestea in the GSL finals : (
High Templar- Socke, pre KA nerf and even after the patch : )
Archons- All Protoss Players after Patch 1.3
Observer- Mana, watch his PvTs, when they get sniped he ques one up with the robo even if it means on skipping out on the Collossus
Collossus- Naniwa, in all games he builds them, he is always microing them in the big fights and he is known for sticking with them in PvP
Warp Prism- White-Ra, Special Tactics since 1998, or 1999
Void Ray- Genius, 3 Gate Voids since the game release.
Phoenix- Hero, a newer association but he makes them religiously in PvT and PvZ.
Carrier- Hongun (See GSL season 3, his game between JSL)
Mothership- Kiwikaki, no gimmicks here, he used it every PvZ for a 3-4 months period
Photon Cannon- Wannabecool, NA Protoss player and a Notorious cannonner in all 3 matchups, poor Mana did not know about this
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
The Money of E-sports
If anyone is still negligent to the fact that there is no money in playing video games, show them the site Sc2earnings.com. On this site, the creators make a global database on the top earners of Starcraft II. It is important to remember that prize money for most players is just icing on the cake, as salaries, lessons, or streaming tend to be more of steady and reliable source of income for players. With such a young game, and plenty of players already making 6 digit of money solely on prize money, it really is astonishing what the future will hold.
Some interesting notes
* While the top earners are obviously Koreans who have excelled in the GSL, Ukraine's White-Ra leads the foreigner the pack in prize money, passing Huk through his IPL Season 2 Title.
* Nestea has shown that he doesn't need to travel (...MC) to international events to get the money, rather just focusing on GSL and producing amazing results. But still, MC has won (No pun intended) everywhere (Denmark, USA, China, etc.)
* Puma, who has not even qualified for a GSL, holds the 8th spot, showing his fellow countrymen that even if you struggle through the gauntlet that is the GSL qualifiers, there is still way to hone your hours of practice on the alarming amount of international events.
* Online cup warrior Kas is remarkably ranked 50th, with his biggest cash only being 3,000 dollars, those small cup victories do tend to add up
ST_July has been having poor results lately in South Korea.
After getting 2nd in GSL March, he was knocked out in the first round of the last two GSL tournaments, and hasn't performed well in the GSLTL either. He placed high (4th) in both the NASL and Dreamhack, but there seemed to be limits to his play when he reached the highest levels and he couldn't seem to get any further.
This was something July himself seemed to realize when he was interviewed during the GSL Code S selection, where he was placed in a group with LosirA, Genius and Ensnare.
LoSirA returns to the stage for another run at the championship. Will he be thwarted again? Certainly not by anyone in this group. Both LoSirA and July have been to the promised land of a GSL Code S final but July hasn't gotten anywhere close again. In fact, his performances have been slipping steadily and he narrowly avoided the Up / Down matches last season.
Ensnare had the misfortune of meeting NesTea in the Ro16 last season and had his run cut short, while Genius met the same fate at the hands of another ZvP terror in CoCa. Thankfully for both, July hasn't been at that level lately. That leaves the door wide open for second place in the group.
Form suggests that it won't be July. Looking at the stats, a gambling man would put his dollars Genius as he hasn't been bested in a TvP since he lost to NaDa back in May.
The prediction was that July would be 0-2 in the group and get knocked down to the Up and Down matches.
Such did not happen though, as this strange group turned schizophrenic in terms of results. LosirA, the gamer that almost everyone thought would make it through with no problems (after just finishing 2nd place in the previous GSL). He however ended up 0-2 and will go straight to the Up and Down matches. Ensnare and Genius fought over 2nd place, with Genius making it through. July, through a mixture of balls of steel and poor play made it through 2-0.
In his match against Genius on Bel-Shir Beach, July gave up his clear map advantage and instead chose to baneling bust his opponent who had forge expanded. Even though Genius had scouted the gas, he responded too late and was crushed with a volley of banelings and zerglings. It was a bold movie, July perhaps playing a mind game on Genius and taking advantage of his expectation that July would use his map advantage to play a longer safer game.
Later against Ensnare, July fought back a bunker rush, which had in the previous game set back LosirA eventually helping Ensnare win his game against him on Terminus. Clearly behind, Ensnare muscled up his forces for an all-in with Marines and Helions. July had droned heavily in the meantime, but had some defenses (banelings and spine crawlers). By the time Ensnare attacked he had a large enough force to possibly destroy July. But due to some nervousness and meekness from the Terran player he fumbled his potential advantage, and July destroyed his push.
ST_July mumumu! His next opponent in the Round of 16 is HungunPrime.We!
Monday, August 15, 2011
Mr. Bitter says to Husky while casting a game.
"I just looked up at the other screen to see what everyone was yelling about, and it's a T v T, and I'm so glad that we aren't casting it."
Sunday, August 14, 2011
I'll still be watching the NASL, but without the Korea teams participating, some of my favorite players won't be there. I hope that for Season 3, they can work something out so that the Korean players can return.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Another GSL is over and what a surprise, it ended in a 4-0 stomping. Luckily for us, the games were good, but it marks the third straight final where one player couldn't win a single game. Now, with the tournament behind us, it's time to look back on the things that we've learned from this GSL:
- First and foremost, Nestea is the best player in the world.
- Code-S is becoming a really even competition. All of the "upsets" this season weren't so much about the underdogs getting lucky; it's just that the gap between the underdogs and favorites has closed significantly. Except Nestea, he's still 500x better than everyone.
- If you pick Clide into your group expecting to beat him, you'll end up getting knocked down to Code A while he makes it out of the group stages.
- Immediately after getting out of the group and looking great doing it, Clide will then fall apart and never make the quarterfinals.
- Wolf and qxc are the best Code A tandem GOM has put together so far. Many houses have been burned in their wake.
- MarineKing can not only get 2nd place in countless GSL's, but he also can go 0-2 in the Round of 32 as well.
- Putting makeup on kids who play video games for a living wasn't the greatest idea in the world.
- It doesn't matter if he never wins a GSL title, Nada will always be a champion to me.
- Real ESPORTS fans care.
- sC's decision to pick MVP first in his group can be summed up in one word: oops
- Optimus is beatable in TvP, just don't fall for his tricks.
- It doesn't matter if Huk is Korean, American or Canadian. All I know is that he's a really good Starcraft 2 player.
- Foreign pro-gamers clearly don't watch enough GSL, as their horrifying deaths to unexpected blue-flame hellions at MLG shows.
- Foreign fans clearly don't watch enough GSL, as their surprise at the horrifying deaths of foreign pro-gamers at the hands of blue-flame hellions at MLG shows.
- Despite all the gloom and doom at MLG, Sheth, Jinro, and Huk showed that success is not TOO far away.
- Zenio can't actually win a match when he's half asleep.
- If you bribe your player with a puppy as a reward, he will more than likely make the semifinals of a GSL.
- It doesn't matter how long a PvP series is. In the end, 90% of the games will come down to 4gate.
- Leenock is still the unluckiest player in the entire universe.
- Puzzle has a bright future ahead of himself and will be a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming Code S season.
- HongUn has a guardian angel following him around.
- Any time Artosis starts saying you're the best at something, and your name isn't Nestea, you will more than likely get eliminated right after.
- It doesn't matter how much you hype up a GSL final because it will always end up 0-4 or being a terrible series. It is known.
- While sC looks foolish for picking MVP with his first choice and getting knocked back to Code A, Losira looks like a genius for picking MarineKing, beating him, and ending up in the finals.
- Did I mention that Nestea is the best player in the world?
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Monday, August 1, 2011
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Like most GSL Finals this one did not disappoint in terms of being onesided with very little doubt about who was going to win. Nestea dominated LosirA. Nestea showed some great skill and awesome play, but ultimately I had to go through yet another lopsided and 4-5 game GSL Finals where you have to wonder if the GSL is designed to showcase only the skills and strategies of one player and for the other it is like a massive month long Punk'd episode.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
They didn't do too well in their first few games, taking a few games, but never winning a match.
Four games later, FXOpen was literally living and playing in a different world. qxc had been sent out as their first player and he went on to all-kill IM. Granted the first three players were not the best IM had to offer, but the fourth game was taken off of Mvp.
Here's an interview with qxc after his all-kill from TL.
Friday, July 22, 2011
Interview with Coach Lee from TSL
Please provide us with some more details regarding your decision to release PuMa from the team and PuMa’s decision to join EG (Evil Geniuses).
Shortly after his arrival from the US, PuMa was not himself and was seen frequently sighing for about three days as if he was stressed out. Naturally, I was concerned to see this coming from someone who had just won the NASL. This attitude continued even after we won our GSTL match a few days later. I had never seen this side of PuMa during the one year we were together. Sensing something strange was going on, I asked him repeatedly what was wrong, but he did not give me an answer. But he finally opened up to me the day after the GSTL match about his dilemma. At that point, I felt that he had already made up his mind to leave the team.
I am sure you were very displeased at that point.
Definitely. When FruitDealer and Tester decided to leave TSL, we agreed that we would do our best to keep the remaining team intact, play together, and perform our best … all the while not putting heavy pressure on tournament results. But after hearing this news from PuMa, I did not know what to think or how to react.
I am sure you tried to keep him from leaving. What kind of conversation have you two had during this whole process?
That he shouldn’t leave like this and that this was not an agreement made through the right channels, nor an official trade between two teams. I even told him that there will be a lot of negative feedback surrounding this, but he was adamant that he would be able to live through this negativity. He felt bad about his decision and told us that he knew a lot about the team (EG) already. Since we are bound to run into each other again in the future, we decided to part ways amicably.
You have announced that the team is currently in “rebuilding” mode. I would presume that this event caused some turmoil internally as well.
Having been blindsided by the news, we did not know how to react. SangHo and Clide were worried and it came to light that they were also approached similarly in the past.
Are you saying that some other TSL members were approached as well?
Yes, I found out through this whole ordeal. When SangHo and Clide were approached by other teams, they told me that they declined the offers due to their respect for TSL and the importance of continuing with the team that they originally started with. They thought it was best not to tell me since they thought it would cause unnecessary distractions and concerns.
Why do you think this happened?
I think foreign teams approach them due to their fan base. Clide has a lot of foreign fans … about 2 to 3 thousand Twitter followers that consists mostly of foreigners. SangHo does as well. It’s a lot of fans considering they haven’t won a major tournament yet. As for PuMa, I believe the offers came in due to his victory at NASL, but am just disappointed that he made such a big decision in such a short time.
Why do you think he made the decision to join EG?
I guess the environment has a lot to do with it, and by that I mean the state of the Korean pro-gaming scene for Starcraft 2. If PuMa was placed in Code S, I believe he would not have taken the deal. From the Korean player’s perspective, getting into Code S is hard, and winning the GSL is even harder, thus the door of opportunity is very narrow. Experiencing the foreign Starcraft 2 scene, and seeing first-hand the impact it has on a global level probably made him think that his accomplishment in Korea is small compared to what he is capable of doing in the foreign scene.
I sense that you are not satisfied with the Korean SC2 pro-gaming scene.
If I said I was satisfied I would be lying. The difficulty in getting placed in the GSL and the fact that we have no other leagues are some of my concerns.
So why didn’t you sign PuMa to a contract beforehand?At first, we wanted him on a contract, and so did the other teammates. But we did not feel it was necessary at the time since everyone showed so much passion and commitment. I trusted him, but now I am regretting my decision [to put off the contract] a little bit.
It seems like a lot of members have left TSL recently. Anything you would like to say about this?
Rain’s dad lives in New York and his dream has always been to go abroad. It was only after he left the team that he signed with Fnatic, so what happened with Rain is different from Puma’s situation. Part of the reason why Rain left originated from some of the issues that arised once our team entered into a “rebuilding” mode
What other issues did the team go through during this “rebuilding” phase?
TSL has not had a very good showing in tournaments so far this year, which lead to a decrease in number of members as well as sponsors. We initially cultivated a low pressure practice environment within our team, but we did not have good results in the tournaments. We had many members placed in Code S but none of them advanced far enough, which is why we decided to go into “rebuilding” mode. During this transitional process, FruitDealer and Tester preferred the low pressure environment, whereas the other team members felt it was best to incorporate a more rigid practice regimen. Due to poor showings in tournaments, the sponsorship funds decreased which naturally lead to pay cuts across the board. This whole incident lead to the eventual departure of FruitDealer and Tester, and Rain had trouble meshing with the other members due to the age difference (Rain being the youngest) on top of his desire to go abroad. If only we had accelerated our rebuilding phase, I believe Rain would have stayed with the team.
There are some rumors that there were salary issues with the players. What are your thoughts on this?
While I can’t give you the exact amounts, FruitDealer, Tester and Clide received a monthly salary from the team. Besides those three, the other members were on a stipend basis. After the rebuilding phase, Clide and SangHo returned the salaries / stipends that they received to provide some additional financial support for the whole team. We were very thankful for their gesture. Now that I think about it, our team was fairly quick in providing salaries compared to the others. Starcraft 2 was slow to catch on in Korea. On top of that, back then the economy was in a poor state and the sponsorship endowment was quite low. We were even in danger to losing our main team sponsor.
It seems like you should be taking appropriate measures to prevent this from happening again.
We are going to put everyone on a contract. Every team member has agreed to sign and no other player has a desire to leave the team.
What are the contract details?
First and foremost, we will be putting our 6 main players on a contract right away. The new recruits will eventually get onboard in the near future. We will be paying for all living expenses and focus on creating a favorable practice environment. As for the contract expirations, we are thinking about 1 year, but ultimately it will be tailored towards the players’ needs and wants.
I understand that there are very few sponsorship opportunities in the Korean market.
It has definitely become harder today than in the past due to poor tournament showings. I would like to take this time to thank our current sponsors for sticking with us through thick and thin. Some have even contacted us to tell us how much they appreciate our passion to do better and to wish us the best.
Anything you would like to say to the other teams?
I hope that the other teams don’t end up in a similar situation to us; furthermore, I would also like the players to understand some of these implications. It may not be easy to implement, but I hope to see standard agreements to become the norm when it comes to recruiting and having the rights to a player.
Some are putting the blame on your lack of coaching ability.
I agree to an extent, but this was really out of my control. Part of the blame lies on the systematic risks in terms of the bad economy and the small Korean SC2 fan base compared to SC1. Very few professional Korean SC2 players currently “enjoy” playing Starcraft 2 due to the small fan base. This needs to be solved in order for Starcraft 2 to flourish as an e-sport.
And how do you propose we solve this?
Our team’s mission has always been to promote the growth and popularity of Starcraft 2. We have published video tutorials and training videos for beginners, and so far, our first video received about 20,000 hits. We even purchased HD equipments to provide the viewers with quality content.
Any final words?
First of all, I would like to apologize to FruitDealer and Tester for not fulfilling what I’ve promised to do. Despite our differences, I really hope that they do well in their respective teams. I’d also like to thank my current players for believing in me and the team. Lastly, I would like to thank the foreign fans for their continued support.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Saturday, July 9, 2011
In July v. Moon this morning in the Round of 8 of the NASL Finals, Day9 stated very well what effect Z v Z has on poor, daffe' nerds such as myself. While July teched to Roaches and Moon rushed to Banelings, July wandered around the map scouting with a squad of zerlings and narrowly dodged Moon's banelings several times. After doing this several times and narrowly avoiding defeat in the form of the green oozing corpses of his zergling army, Day9 yelped for July to stop this, he eats fatty foods and his heart can't handle this!
Here's some of the #NASL tweets from July and Morrow's match earlier today:
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
If you've been reading this blog for the past few months you know who I'm rooting for.
He crushed plenty of nerds at MLG Columbus and came in 4th at Dreamhack. I hope that this is finally his chance to take a major title in Starcraft 2.
Monday, June 27, 2011
In truth this image comes from Team Liquid's twitter page and is July watching Idra and MC play at Summer Dreamhack 2011.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
I just saw Naniwa defeat Huk 3-2. This is LiquidHuk after his loss while watching the replay of the match. In a final match of a PvP he went Dark Templars which failed miserably as Naniwa did a Robotics Bay build and left his observer at his ramp with his units. Don't have much sympathy for Huk as he crushed miserably my favorite player July in the Summer Dreamhack 2011 earlier this month. Although I can always admire and recognize the skill of even players I don't like or care about, part of the enjoyment of esports is the pettiness automatically hating all who are against those you want to win.
I wish I could watch the next rounds as Huk goes up against oGsMC, but I'm getting sleepy and I'm supposed to wake up early tomorrow and work out.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Below is the GOMTV interview with the players from yesterday:
Q. What are your thoughts on the final of GSL Super Tournament?
MMA: Semifinals was really tough for me and I know a lot of people considered the semifinals to be the actual final. I personally think the final will be easier because MKP is better than Polt.
Polt: Starting from Ro64 ,I faced stronger opponents as I advanced. And I think MMA is stronger than oGsTOP. But since I have been getting better progressively I am confident.
Gerrard: MKP is the most hardworking and most talented player in the team. But I believe Polt facing MMA is better than having to play against MKP. We will work on building good strategies to defeat MMA.
Cella: MMA is considered as the king of TvT. And Polt is well known for his TvP sklils. I personally thought Alicia was gonna win and meet MMA in the final but was surprised to see Polt win. But he is not gonna be good enough to defeat MMA.
Note: MMA has 73% win ratio against Terrans. Polt has 35% win ratio against Terrans.
Polt: Alicia has better win ratio against Terran but I beat him so I think I will do good against MMA.
Q. MMA. You already exposed a lot of strategies against Terran. Do you think this will work against your favor?
MMA: We (SlayerS) still have an infinite number of strategies and we are ready display them in games.
Q. Polt. You have MKP, a great teammate, on your team. Are you working with MKP to come up good strategies to beat MMA?
Polt: MKP creates many good builds. Most of the builds players are using now are modified versions of what MKP has introduced first. MKP showed me a new build recently that is really great. I am ready to show it off at the final.
Q. Polt beat Alicia and MMA beat MKP. Were you asked to carry out the revenge for your teammate?
Polt: MKP said that if MMA wins the final then he will not be able to sleep comfortably. To help him sleep peacefully I will do my best to win the final.
MMA: Alicia didn’t really say anything. Alicia actually went to the reserve forces training so I will see him once he gets back.
Q. MMA. You have been showing similar patterns in your games such as secret expos or Medivac harassment. How are you going to develop this strategy?
Polt. How are you going to prepare against MMA's play style?
MMA: My strength lies in multitasking and double-way Medivac harassment. But even though people know that I am going to use that strategy in advance they don’t know how to defend against it.
Polt: I am kinda weak against Medivac harassment but all out war is also important. I am going to push through with strength.
Q. Since it’s TvT, maps are not going to affect the gameplay that much. However, which map do you think will be the deciding factor and what’s your prediction for the score?
Polt: I believe it will be the maps for 3rd or 4th set. The player who wins both sets will win the final. If the wins are split over the 3rd and 4th set, then it will go to the 7th set. I am expecting 4-1.
MMA: I believe that first set is most important because how you play your first game will affect the result of 2nd and 3rd set. I believe the score is going to be either 4-0 or 4-1.
Q. MMA. BoxeR also plays Terran and he can help out MMA with good strategies. How has BoxeR helped you make it all the way to the final?
MMA: Boxer is a great motivator and whenever he watches my game he helps me out a lot. He told me to stay calm at the semifinals after I was down 2 games. He helped me get back into the game and that’s how I was able to come back and win the game. I believe he will be of a great help to me at the final.
Q. Polt. Prime team does not have BoxeR helping out the team. How are you going to overcome that gap?
Polt: It is true that MMA has BoxeR supporting him but I have my teammates that I care about and have to lead. I have to get a revenge on MMA for MKP and I will do my best to win the team its first champion’s trophy. I will work hard to fill the gap to the best of my abilities.
Q. Prize money for the champion of GSL Super Tournament is 100 million won. Is claiming that money one of your goals in the upcoming final.
MMA: Even though the prize money is big I just want to win the championship as a pro-gamer. I have someone from SK Telecom (team) who have motivated me to win this final no matter what but I am not going to disclose more information on this until I actually hold the trophy in my hands.
Polt: Every time you play a match you have to win to take the prize money home. And it is true that money does concern me sometimes. However, once I make it to the studio and sit in that booth, the money disappears from my sight completely. And I just feel like I want to destroy the opponent in front of me. Right now defeating MMA is my only goal.
Q. Polt. This is your first time to advance to a final and your biggest enemy could be your nervousness. How are you going to overcome that obstacle?
Polt: I have not lost games in which I was able to display my full skills. I believe that if I can draw out my full SC2 skills at the final then I will have no problem overcoming the nervousness.
Gerrard: Polt is a good player but he has been having camera frights and was only able to show only 50% of what he is capable of. I just want him to stay calm and maybe I will have make him take some sedatives to do his best at the final (hahaha).
Q. MMA. After winning MLG Columbus, you said that your next goal is winning the Super Tournament. Are you nervous about the upcoming final?
MMA: The pressure from the final of an individual league is nothing compared to the pressure I faced from the GSTL final. I was the team captain and had to lead the team to the victory when they needed me the most. I think I will be able to cope with the nervousness pretty well.
Q. Polt. You are quite of a celebrity at your school. What are your thoughts on that? And is it hard to study and play at the same time?
Polt: I am grateful that people recognize me and cheer me on when the see me on campus. It is a bit tough doing both at the same time but college is college and game is game.
Note: At an interview Polt said that studying is easier than playing the game.
Q. Cella. What is MMA's biggest strength?
Cella: Other players sometimes take a break to take their mind off the game for a bit but MMA always pratices hard. When he is not playing he watches the game VODs and analyzes his opponent thoroughly. He doesn’t have any interest in other things and only takes his time off to work out. His strength is also his weakness because thanks to his characteristics, pleasing the community is a little hard.
Q. MMA do you know of Rainbow (Korean Girl Group) who will be performing at the upcoming final?
MMA: I have heard of them but I don’t know how many members they have. I just know it’s a girl group.
Q. Gerrard. What is Polt's biggest strength?
Gerrard: I believe most gamers are very focused on the game. Polt also practices a lot. Cella said concentration and constant practice is the strengths of MMA but Polt also has those strengths. On top of that, Polt also uses his practice time very efficently and effectively.
Q. Polt do you know of Rainbow (Korean Girl Group)?
Polt: Yeah I know of Rainbow and am familiar with their main song.
Note: Fans asked him to sing a line from the song but Polt kindly declined.
Q. Famous players have nicknames. Are there any nicknames you have been thinking of and would like the community to call you that nickname? And what would you do with the prize money?
Polt: I like the nickname I already have. I don’t really have anywhere to spend the prize money so I will save it and pay my tuition with it.
MMA: I have heard people call me Military Terran and that one is my least favorite. (MMA is short for Military Manpower Administration in Korea.)
I want the fans to give me a good nickname and if I win the prize money I want to help my parents get a new home.
Q. Is there a SC2 unit that you think you can use/control better than everyone else?
Polt: I am good with Marauders. Marauders are usually used against Protoss and that’s why I think my TvP is good.
MMA: I am good with Mules. Just kidding. I use Marines pretty well.
Q. MMA. Not Medivacs?
MMA: Wel I can control Medivacs well but Marines are the ones that get in the Medivac.
Q. What are the differences between MKP’s Marines and your Marines?
MMA: Don’t really wanna face his Marines really and I don't want to talk about the differences. I will need my Medivacs.
Q. Are there times when during break you feel like you want to use cheese rush or strategies other than the ones you have prepared?
MMA: I try to stick to my original plan but when I feel like a certain strategy would work better then I use that strategy.
Polt: I always stick to the strategy I have prepared. There is a saying that whenever you take a test the first answer is always the right one. I don't want to be wrong.
Q. Polt. Do you actually guess on some of your answers during the test?
Q. What do you think of the balance?
Polt: I believe it changes depending on the map. Overall, GSL maps are comfortable for me as a Terran player but I am not sure about how it is for Protoss or Zerg because I don’t play those races.
MMA: I also believe that it changes depending on the map. There were certain maps that were good for Terran but I believe when the new maps come out people will complain less about the balance. I think Protoss is a strong race but some players don’t use its strengths well.
Q. MMA. You were recently eliminated from another tournament. What happened? Also what do you think about the comments about your looks?
MMA: I lost yesterday because I lack skill. And I know my face is little shady due to my facial hair. I shave often but it just keeps growing back. I am planning on doing something about this in the near future.
Q. Polt. What do you think about the comments about your looks?
Polt: People get mad when others say that I am good looking. I haven’t personally thought about it and don’t really care about it.
Q. Coaches. What are you doing to prepare your players for the final?
Gerrard: We have MKP who is helping out a lot. Polt had to do his school work while playing the game and that’s why he had trouble making up new builds but MKP has been of a great help. MKP is good at building new builds and strategies but Polt is good at adapting to those strategies, analyzing his opponents and making that strategy one of his own. We will do our best to help Polt get ready for the final.
Cella: There aren’t many things I can advise MMA on regarding TvT strategies since MMA is already on a high level. However, SlayserS is known as the top notch Terran team. We have BoxeR and are able to make good strategies. Ganzi, BoxeR, and Ryung will be a good support for MMA.
Q. Many people didn’t want TvT for the final. But there are various types of Terrans. When you have to play against a Terran player which type is worse? A classic textbook Terran that is predictable but strong or unorthodox Terran that is using risky but powerful strategies?
Polt: Speedy Terran is pretty tough to play against but you end up winning when you defend their attacks. However, players like NaDa are hard to fight against even though you know what they are trying to do.
MMA: Strategies like double Barracks, Mech and Gas first are being used these days.However, classic textbook Terran is strong. And sticking to the basics will win you the game.
Q. What are some of the hard things you have been facing preparing for the final?
Polt: I had a busy schedule and I am exhausted but I believe MMA had to go through the same schedule so maintaining a good condition for the final is important and is definitely necessary.
MMA: I don’t agree with Polt. I went to MLG and was so tired after the event. I was in zombie mode for a while so I don't think Polt and I had to go through the same schedule. I agree that maintaining a good condition is important, however.
Q. Coaches. You will have a champion from your team soon. What are your thoughts on this?
Cella: I want MMA to do his best since the opportunity doesn't come often. SC2 is still in its beginning stage and I want the fans to help us make this game something bigger than what it is now.
Gerrard: MKP advanced to the final 3 times but couldn’t take home the trophy. And now Polt is at the final. Many players share the dream of becoming the champion but I am going to help Polt win the Optimus ID and this will be passed on to the next player who wins the championship. Hopefully this will motivate MKP to work harder as well. It’s going to be some form of title at the Prime house.
Q. Players have to face slump at some point. How do you overcome your slump or stress when you practice?
MMA: Whenever I experience slump I tell myself that it’s okay as long as my skill level doesn’t drop. Whenever games don’t work out well I exercise. I play soccer or go hiking with my teammates.
Polt: The game changed rapidly recently and when I couldn’t adapt to the change I experience slump. Thinking about my current situation and adapting to the change helped me overcome the slump.
The NASL playoffs are here and the finals are just around the corner. Here's a link to Team Liquid which gives a great overview of the playoff brackets and who's got a good shot at making it to the finals.
Para bai hu faisen i che'lu-hu hayi i gayu-na gi este na inachai'igi. Lao anggen un taitai este na blog siempre esta un tungo' hayi i gayu-hu no? Si Hulio, pat Si July i mas ya-hu. Ha ikak todu i kontrario-na gi i dibishon-na.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Part of the reason I haven't cared to watch it because of the early exit of ST_July at the hands of Slayers_Min. Now after a few weeks we're down to the final four players and so I'm paying attention again. The format of this tournament led to plenty of upsets, and the team Slayers in particular seemed to dominate round after round with the only players eliminated early being Boxer and Yugi-oh. As we reach the final four we've only got one Slayers player left, MMA, who is fresh off his nerd-crushing, choking and all around savaging performance at MLG Columbus (a victim of which was July).
One of the icky things about this Super Tournament has been the Terran dominance. Protoss were destroyed early on, leaving only one Slayers_Alicia in the final 16. And while the final 16 had 6 zergs, (IMNestea, oGsjookto, SlayerS_Min, ZeNEXLine, LeenockfOu and TSL_Revival), only one made it to the round of 8, ZeNEXLine, and he was eliminated in a close series by oGsTop.
The only reason that I'll be watching the final four and hopefully the finals themselves are if MarineKingPrime.We can make it. After making it to the finals three times now and coming up short each time, he is hungry for a win, and a chance to ensure that he does not become the quick King of Silver in SC2. I'm rarely a big fan of Terrans, a case in point is SlayerS_MMA, who is a brilliant player absolutely, but whose style of Terran while technically incredible, since his abilitly to take apart zergs in particular by consistently denying them their late bases, while holding off their large pushes in the center, is nonetheless boring. MKP, has so far been a joy to watch and so I'd much rather see him get to the finals and win.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Startale July is at MLG Columbus crushing nerds and taking their MLG points.
Sadly, Gretorp is also at MLG Columbus, not doing very well and reminding people that his talents may lie elsewhere.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Saturday, May 28, 2011
One of the great things about the book is that it gives some history on some of the great players of Brood War.
One player who received alot of coverage is Savior, also known as Maestro for his reign as the greatest Starcraft player in the world a few years back. His career was forever tarnished however, when he and several other players were convicted of match-fixing.
On TeamLiquid.net, there is a great, very incisive and indepth story on what made Savior such an incredible player. Although I don't like or appreciate Starcraft or Brood War very much, it is still very inspiring to see someone analyze the moments and strategies of a player to such a level.
If you want to know more, check it out here: God of the Battlefield Part 1