Friday, September 30, 2011

The Nietzsche Toss

GSTL- When your team needs a hero, turn to your unproven Protoss Player?


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.

DRG, the Terran Killer or the “EZ PZ” Zerg, comes up to bat and does work. He made Happy and Youngwha look like Platinum players, and his epic game versus Losira might have had the most Roaches produced in a professional game. His reign of terror came to an end though when IM throws out one of their final bosses (Yeah there’s two in this game) 3 time GSL winner MVP. Fearing the map for ZvT (Xel’naga Fortress), DRG executes an early roach rush that does damage, but enough damage and loses to the counter Siege Tank/Marine push that would come from MVP.

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

The Precursor of Select

Anytime (Known as Sashin, or "Death God") circa 2007. Most known for this game against Yellow back in 2005, he is the ultimate protoss bad-ass.

Friday, September 23, 2011

State of the Game needs more stating of the game

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

Follow Grubby!

Grubby, one of the nicest guys around and a legend in the RTS genre is in Korea training at the TL-OGS house! He started a vlog series and its terrific. Look for him to tear up the scene in no time. Check out his youtube page here.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Dreamhack Valencia

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!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Zerg Units and Pro Association

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

The Infamous No Monitor Joke

One of my favorite lines from Starcraft history ever. When they make the next updated version of The Starcraft Bible, the infamous no monitor joke needs to be the epitaph.

Friday, September 2, 2011

GSL's Anniversary

To celebrate one year of broadcasting, the GSL is doing amazing things for the fans: like having all their VODs free (!) for 48 hours (Starting September 3/4th), holding an All-Star event (Don't forget to vote!), and a writing contest. And you can even download signatures of some of the key personalities in the GSL, like Artosis, MC, Boxer, DRG, Huk, Tasteless, and Nestea.

It looks like Artosis spends more time playing Starcraft than practicing his calligraphy and that's fine. However, his signature looks rather childish when compared to MC's.