Sunday, August 21, 2011

July to Round of 16

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.

I was obviously nervous, that once again July would fall in the first round and that he might even get knocked down to the dreaded Up and Down matches, which look more and more like a postapocalyptic movie where everyone is trying to eat and kill each other. July's group was the last of the Round of 32 and looked to be a bit uncertain. The preview from Team Liquid was as follows:
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!

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