White-Ra or The IEM (Intel Extreme Masters) European finals were held in the city of Kiev 2 weekends ago. The participants were players who traversed through their own national qualifiers, and while all 10 players are worthy participants, the racial distribution was rather embarrassing. 8 Terrans and 2 Protosses qualified. The two heroes that hail from Aiur are
Socke, a German player who’s creativity has no limits, especially in the Protoss vs Terran Match up. Socke’s style has had the tendency to create epic games, for reference watch (Jinro vs Socke) (Socke vs Drewbie, cast is in German but the game is still sick) (Socke vs Sen).
There are no better two players to represent the Protoss race in a field of Terrans in Europe (Except for Naniwa) However sparring off with Terran players such as:
Sjow- a flawless Terran player from Sweden, has shown incredible tactics and multitasking in his gameplay
Kas- A macro monster terran, has shown his solid play by steamrolling opponents in the 1st TSL Open Qualifier (Team Liquid StarLeague)
Naama- Winner of Dreamhack Sweden who showed his Tank heavy TvP in that same tourney
The other players like Tarson, Predy, Goody, Demuslim, Sarens are all beasts in their own rights as well.
A game that was played though that I found comforting as a Protoss player was Socke vs Sjow on Xelnaga Cavern. Socke played a beautiful game to say the least, using the Protoss arsenal to its fullest and making Sjow fight on Socke’s terms. Things to watch out for in the VOD
- Sockes Map Control is brilliant, using Void Rays to keep Sjow in his own base while securing his own expansion
- A smooth transition into Collosus play, but once the Terran gets that critical mass of Vikings, changes aptly into other tech. Also Socke’s micro and unit positioning is phenomenal, and all Protoss players should take notes.
- A Dark Templar transition after the 3rd is secured, creating a constant threat and making the Swedish Terran player waste valuable scans to end the cloaked assassins.
- His High Templar usage on harassing Sjow’s expos late game decimated the Terran’s economy
While Socke’s play is nothing revolutionary, it is just that his execution and decision making are amazing. This was Sjow’s only loss in the tournament before the finals (He played more than 15 games).