Sunday, March 20, 2011

GSL- Thoughts

The GSL finals were sad sight to see if you are a Zerg player or sympathizer. The anticipated finals of MC vs July, the Gods of War of their respected races, was more of the "Protoss President" outplaying and outpreparing the Starcraft:BW legend. MC showed impeccable play with superb timings and flawless micro, July never was in control. (Except for the 3rd set in which July conducted a slick Hydra drop timing while MC was teching)

However what made MC play so frightening was that he basically won the series only using Tier 1 Gateway Units. Dark Templars made a brief appearance but really they did not shine in any way. MC’s Sentry and Stalker control was awe dropping. His pushes of “infinite forcefields” (8 or more sentries) were just cutting up July’s forces so badly that the notion of a fair fight was nonexistent.

Not one Colossus was made, which has been the buzz word for Zerg players who cry ZvP imbalance. *cough* Artosis and Idra

One Void Ray was made, but that game was the only one that MC preceded to lose.

No High Templars were produced as well.

So what is the big story? Well gateway pushes are incredibly powerful especially backed with top notch micro and such creative timings. In Game 2, MC’s 1 Gate Expand, a build catered for Crevasse, to a 6 Gate push came at such a fast time because his build allowed him to tech to warp faster by skipping a forge (Which is usually the crucial structure for fast expansions in PvZ). Were these pushes unstoppable though? The answer in my mind is no but it is not easy. In game 1 July could have held it off if he built a few more spine crawlers but the nail in the coffin was the last couple of Forcefields at the ramp, which blocked a huge amount of Reinforcements. They were mistakes made by Tushin (July), but in the bigger picture, this series lacked something that we came to expect from the Brood War Champion.

July, who in Brood War was known for being one the best BoX players in the game. His match preparation was legendary; see his series against Best in the EVER OSL where he truly played the player and not the game. It was surprising to see him getting outsmarted by MC here.

One thing that was disheartening as well is that July was not adapting at all to his opponent’s play. The one thing that MC lacked in these brute force pushes was detection, he completely ignored robo tech in 4/5 games. Rushing roach burrow would have stopped these pushes cold, with burrow being the best way to handle force fields in the mid game. Instead we saw the Zerg units get completely torn apart. This was a bad time for July to not bring his A game especially when he is playing the best player in the world. MC’s aggression is so refined; it truly is a scary sight to see.

In my mind, this GSL final is not evidence for ZvP imbalance (Its still favored for the Protoss but the matchup itself is not broken imo) but rather that MC is really good and July simply was not up to par. He lost the mental edge that earned him his nickname in BW.

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