Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Flagship LAN event Major League Gaming will begin its new season in Dallas this weekend. Look for the biggest names in the North America and Europe to compete in the 1st stop of the MLG pro circuit for SC2. In anticipation of the event, AskJoshy compiled a terrific highlight video of some of the major storylines that occured in last years event. With the prize pool doubled and competition fiercer, look for it just to get better.

Monday, March 28, 2011

World GSL is About to Start

Eight of the best from Korea are pitted against eight of the best from the rest of the world.

Here's a pic from the GOM Studio taken by Doa.

Head to GomTV to watch for free.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Taiwan the Mekkah of Starcraft 2?
Posted by Patrik "Raistlin" Hellstrand 16 minutes ago

Asia. Five professional teams with StarCraft 2 competition on live television. Monthly salaries for players and team houses. Thinking of Korea? Think again, as Taiwan attempts to become the new mekkah of StarCraft 2.

If you thought the boom of StarCraft 2 had only reached North America and Europe, you were wrong. There are nations that truly has taken StarCraft 2 to heart. So much that they can boast with having the first league in the world that gets shown on live television.

The Taiwan eSports League is in its fourth season, and StarCraft 2 was brought in as one of the disciples as of October 2010.

It was in an NASL application video from FnaticMSI player Chia Cheng 'SEn' Yang that viewers got to see a round tour of the venue as well as a couple of minutes with the front man of the Taiwan eSports League. In the video clip, he explains the league system and its player support.
"We are also the first StarCraft 2 league where all players have a base salary," says 'SoBad', game shoutcaster. He added, "Every player of the 5 teams has a steady monthly salary."

The league consists of 5 teams that take turns playing on live TV on weekends: Xpec Ironmen, Gama Bears, Wayi Spider, Tt Apollos and Tao Yuan Jets.

According to an FAQ by 'BanelingMalt', players earn between $700 and $1,000 USD.

While the Taiwanese superstar "Sen" is not a part of any team due to alleged sponsor conflicts with his home team FnaticMSI, there are other bright shining stars such as the Terran player Jen-Yu “SoftBall” Chan (picture) who was seen playing at BlizzCon 2010.

"Our goal is to help all of our players get to the point where they are better than Sen. Of course currently we still have a long way to reach that goal, but I believe that you will be able to see Taiwanese players in the GSL and the NASL, so everyone keep an eye out for us," said SoBad.

The organization is considering allowing non-Taiwanese to join any of the five teams at the start of next season, but no details of it has been announced.

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.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

July Interview

This Friday is the finals of the March GSL, as I was hoping it'll be ST_July v. oGsMC. I'll be writing more about this later (pa'go ha' tinane' yu' ni' i che'cho'-hu). But in the meantime, here is an interview with July after he defeated his old rival (who had defeated him many times in Brood War Nada), on his way to the finals. The interview comes from this link.


Q: Feelings for advancing to Ro4?
A: I have never felt this anxious/nervous for such a long time. I do not even know how long have I not felt such feelings. When I win I kept on thinking, did I really just win?

Q: 1st 2 matches you won easily.
A: I thought today I could perform a 3-0 victory. It will be 3-0 as long as I take down the 1st match, even if I lost the 1st match it will be 3-1 victory. However, during the 3rd match I actually did a low level mistake, not scouting.

Selected strategy and spawning locations are good, but I did not see opponent's hellion coming out of base. After I saw my spawn location which are all in the correct location, I feel ladyluck is blessing me.

Q: Today matches strategy are similar
A: I saw many comments from friends on the internet. They say my matches contain aggressive elements, extremely entertaining. Even if I lose I will still see good comments for my play. I love these comments. Without these comments I will never be able to take down today's matches.

Q: You have a match with Nada after 2 years, feelings?
A: Both of us should be pretty excited about this. We trained very hard after all, and result in panda eyes. In SC1, I lose alot, thus in SC2 I hope I can win him.

Q: In 4th matches, do u notice not the small passage between the 2 barracks?
A: I do not know about this. If I knew, I could have won alot easier. Main thing is, after losing the 3rd round I felt a little bit at loss. In addition, 4th match bunker rush I defended poorly. Key factor in winning the 5th match is due to having adjusted my mental condition.

Q: Not using late game units on purpose?
A: Ultralisk is really not good. Even if I max out 200 food count on ultralisk, it is hard to win. Analysing Nada I have realised he love doing a Timing All-In. So I have decided to specifically counter against his unit's mobility. Against other player I may choose other strategy.

Q: MC said between July and Nada, whoever wins will enter the Finals.
A: I totally agreed with MC! Now I cannot see other opponent, only MC. Although in Ro32 I lose to MC, but at the finals I WILL LAUGH TILL THE END.

Q: MC said to win the finals, a zerg opponent will be the best bet.
A: Indeed, due to ZvP matchup. I can only sigh.

The races characteristic is wierd. A 200/200 maxed out engage basically Protoss could have won with just a net loss of 30 food count units. Then another push from Protoss Zerg would have KO. Zerg is too fragile. ZvP is indeed hard to fight.

Q: Next match could be Lyn or MarineKing
A: Lyn is famous @ War3, so I want to play a match against him. I have not fought him yet, I will win lyn to advance the semifinals, in the end everything will play out according to my script and I will win the finals.

Q: Alot of audience from SC1 wished today's victor would go to the Finals and win. Are you confident?
A: During group selection I have said that I have climbed from the lowest point. I will let everyone know how did I climbed to this place. I have the capabilities to advance from Code A to Code S Ro4, what is so difficult about going into the Finals? On the contary, I feel entering the Finals would make my mental condition even more stable.

Q: As of now, Zerg who advances to Ro8 take the finals.
A: There is alot differences between the past and now. Compared to last time, now racial balance is much better. But after hearing this I feel I must take the finals. Now I can only think being champion.

Q: Feel any 'Champion' Omen incoming?
A: Today, when I washed my hair, I think back of the past. Suddenly I thought of...should I dye my hair red again? Still, I feel now and the past there is some differences, now I am at the stage of climbing 1 step at a time.

Q: Last words?
A: Yesterday I discussed alot with my teammates, thank deeply for them. Many players accompanied me to train. Especially Clide whom I eliminated in Ro16, still he sincere helped me in training. Finally, I want to thank my coach.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

GSL- World Championship

With the inability to play cross server on, the opportunity to watch regions battle it out have always been a treat. Last weekend in Germany, the IEM World Championships was one of those rare occassions, and we saw the 3 Korean Representatives (ST.Ace, Fox.Moon, and ST.Squirtle) take the top 3 spots respectively with amazing games all around. Also the casting was top notch with Rotterdam (EX-Warcraft 3 pro), TLO, and Day 9 rotating matches, I recommend it to everyone and make sure to check out the VODs.

However, GSL is not going to be outdone, as they just announced a world championship tournament at the end of this month. Everyone has handpicked by their results and by the personal recommendation of Blizzard. The selection is process is interesting, it basically cuts down their nominations to two 8 man teams. One is team Korea All-stars and the other is the World All-stars (4 Europe, 2 Asia, and 2 North America). With these two teams formed, they than actually play a team match (1st team to 8 wins, Winner's league style) alongside an individual tournament in Seoul.

This tournament has potential, with players like MVP, MarineKing, Nestea, and Nada already have been named as the half of the Korean Team while Jinro, Moonglade, and Morrow have been announced as the anchors of the world all-stars team. While the other half of the Korean team will be picked by GSL results, the world team will go through a tough online tournament with these great players fighting each other for last 5 spots.



North America




With such starpower and big money behind the tournament, expect an exciting event from GOM.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Kelly from GOMTV

Here is a pic from Kelly, the new commentator on GOMTV for the Code A matches. She's from Singapore and flew into Seoul to help out Tasteless and Artosis so they can ladder more. So far she's done very well, she knows her stuff and does her best to join the nerd-love-always-ready-to pun-banter of the Casting Archon. But like anything, I couldn't help but notice several trolls, haters, whatever word you want to use to describe them attacking her for her accented English.

This is one of the difficulties of the globality of online games such as Starcraft 2. For all the rhetoric of breaking down borders, barriers and connecting people, the internet, for all the supposed freedom from identity or locality that it is supposed to provide, is a great way for people to find new ways of reproducing their particular identities of actually invigorating them to new levels. Gaming is one such way for the United States and for English speaking communities. Although the majority of people on the internet are not English-speaking, the internet is a place built around English. The sites which connect places to each other have a heavy dose of English or originate in a place like the United States.

As the internet has connected people in the United States to the rest of the world virtually, it has done little to challenge their mindsets linguistically (and in other ways as well). There is still that almost unbelievable expectation that everyone speak English and that even if they already do speak English, that they speak it "correctly" the way they are used to. It almost boggles my mind.

Good luck to Kelly as she continues her casting. If you are on Twitter you can follow her there. Or you can check out her blog a diva and her demons.

(Otro fino'-ta) the player that Kelly is posing with in the picture is oGsNada, who is considered to be one of the best Starcraft players ever in the world.

Friday, March 4, 2011


I'm going to take the advice of my brother and order the book he recommended in a post below, The Starcraft Bible.

Part of the reason why I want to get this is because I know very little about the first version of Starcraft and its expansion, which has been around for a decade. When I watch the games, I sometimes can't tell what's going on (especially when the commentators are speaking in Korean), because while some units are the same, some are very different. The mere look of Starcraft sometimes makes my eyes hurt compared to the graphics of Starcraft 2.

I've been trying to learn more about Starcraft in hopes of gaining more understanding of it as a cultural phenomenon and also so I can enjoy and appreciate the legacies or narratives that follow some players. Nada is supposed to be one of the most consistent SC progamers. Players such as Jaedong and July in their own ways revolutionized the way to play Zerg. Some players who were on the B team for SC1 are in Code S and dominating in SC2. When I first heard the theme song written for Tasteless there were several references to players and matchups in SC1, and I didn't get them so I had to ask my brother what they were all about.

In hopes of getting caught up and also familiar with the basic mechanics of SC1, I've started to watch more and more games, starting with this list of "most unusual progames" that I came across on

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The SC Center

If you are short on time to sort through all the news releases of the Starcraft World, the SC Center is great way to inform of all the happenings.

They go through the all the major tournament results, the latest team announcements, and just about everything.

The show is hosted by JP Mcdaniel, who works for MLG (Their new season starts soon and SC2 is fully on board) and Patrick O'Neil, who gained notoriety for putting together The Starcraft Bible, a terrfific compilation of articles all about why Starcraft is the premiere E-sport out there.

Please suppport the book if you can, Mr. O' Neil turned his labor of love into something that is tangible, and be an important item on a coffee table. < 3