Use your head to save your... hands?
Huk 2-0 Ganzi
VODs: Game 1 on Shakuras Plateau /// Game 2 on Shattered Temple
HuK turned on his unit control machine in this match and simply outplayed Ganzi on both maps, both in micro and decision making.
TLO 2-1 Mana
VODs: Game 1 on Shakuras Plateau /// Game 2 on Daybreak /// Game 3 currently missing
On the first map, Shakuras Plateau, it took Mana no more than a handful of forcefields to win the game. After his Stargate harrass failed, it was TLO that chose to attack in poor position. The Protoss trapped a considerable number of Roaches in a ring to fall victim to Colossi almost immediately. Daybreak took a turn in TLO’s favor as he managed to win to huge fights by a major margin and pulling ahead even further after that and then taking Ohana as well.
Strelok 2-0 Axslav
VODs: Game 1 on Shakuras Plateau /// Game 2 on Belshir Beach
Axslav chose to play an upgrade heavy style off two bases and even manages to deny Strelok’s third, but the following counterdrop cripples Axslav too much forces him to gg eventually. The second map is considerably more interesting, as Strelok tried to play ninja style from the start, but to no avail until Axslav walks five High Templars straight into Strelok’s army, which could have helped him win the following battle.
Sen 2-1 Rain
VODs: Game 1 on Shakuras Plateau /// Game 2 on Odyssey /// Game 3 currently missing
Reading this sentence will take you longer than watching the VOD of the first map. Rain builds three bunkers in front of Sen’s natural, loses one, but Sen still taps out instantly. The next map starts with what is a bit of rarity in Terran play: a Reaper expand. The following exceptional Hellion control helped keep economies somewhat balanced until Sen picking up most of the Marines and Tanks left him with double the supply. Sen then used this advantage to come out ahead in the final battle and eventually taking the third map as well.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, or CTS, results in numbness of your fingers, mostly the thumb, the index and the ring finger. People are as of now unsure as to what causes CTS, some say it stems from extensive typing, some say it’s genetics. It is a compression of your median nerve running through the carpal tunnel on the palmar side of the wrist. What it doesn’t usually do (as far as I can tell after a brief Wikipedia research) is grow you a beard. But that is what happened to TLO.
After his CTS kept him from playing to his fullest for several months, he decided to punish himself for poor tournament performances by not shaving until he acquired a certain number of hypothetical points for significant victories. Unfortunately, his beard keeps growing and growing and passed all the stages from slight stubble, over very manly right to straight up hobo. He was held in high regards by fans for having the potential to be a really impressive player and he was equally eager to show just that after his recovery. Hopes were high, but after weeks and months since he regained full functionality of his fingers, one has to wonder when the time will come for TLO to land a big hit again. In 2012 he has so far dropped out in the open brackets against his teammate Jinro at the MLG Winter Championships, lost in the round of 32 at Dreamhack Stockholm, has made it through one round in the IPL4 open bracket and is now stuck in the middle of his NASL division. One has to begin to wonder if or when the German will reel in something great again. Perhaps it’s time for him to go back to his more successful days by playing Terran, or even one of the very few players to play random. Perhaps he just needs a little more time to catch up. Or, perhaps, that man just loves his beard.
The thing that is striking, though, is how the most recent victim to CTS dealt with his injury. That man is Mvp and he has just erased Naniwa from the GSL Code S bracket, while being fully affected by CTS. Admittedly, he has tried to keep his games short, but nonetheless, it is a surprising and impressive feat to accomplish. While other players would have given in, he took his psychological and physiological fatigue and played his games within the rules his body set out for him. For the better probably, because Mvp in beard would look odd.
|Division 3 after week three|
|3-0||+5|| Ganzi||2-1||+1|| Mana||2-1||+1|| SEn||2-1||1|| HuK||1-1||0|| Axslav||1-2||-1|| TLO||1-2||-2|| Vibe||0-2||-2|| Rain||0-2||-3|
Somewhat surprisingly, we see Rain in last place, with only two matches played, though. Strelok appears insanely strong in his division, being far ahead in points and the only with a clean sheet. It will be difficult for the other players to stop him in his run. Despite being the current runner-up, Ganzi doesn’t quite live up to the expectations as many would have perceived him as a clear favorite. It will be interesting to see HuK recover from his loss in the opening match and his game against Ganzi is leaving his fans hopeful for the things to come.
|Division 3 Week 4 matches|
Each of next week’s games will be interesting in its own respect. Can Ganzi prove his status as a favorite to catch up to Strelok? Can HuK start a run to the top spots in his division and show why he is considered one of the best foreigners or will Rain stop him to break out of his own shackles that keep him in the last place? Last but not least, Sen against Mana will decide who will temporarily go up to the top 3 as they are now dead even. Next week can potentially be a very important one to the rest of the tournament for each of the players.