The Month in Headlines: July 2012
Despite being lighter on events at least compared to June, July 2012 had his own charm nevertheless. A major WCS tournament saw an unusual winner, a terran player all-killed an entire roster in the GSTL finals, a pro-team ceased to exist and KeSPA player had his 15 minutes of fame in a cross-match with GSLers.
Baited by promises of barbeque, beer and even some money, thirty two players traveled to Take’s home in Krefeld, the free booze even attracting a handful of Koreans, GSL champion Mvp and reigning HSC winner MC included.
Who knew that by the end of the weekend during which players took the roles of casters while the "real" commentators lost money on poker, the champion will be none other than Nerchio – a player everybody knows to being good but never considers championship material, ever.
With a satisfactory smile on top of a “not bad” facial expression, Nerchio destroyed everybody without betraying for a second that this was some kind of an uphill battle against world’s best. Not to mention teaching zergs out there the secret technique of protecting one’s hatchery against DTs.
The first half of 2012 was not too kind to Stephano, to be honest. Truly, he earned and achieved more than any other foreigner but it just wasn’t sufficient, was it? Silver at Assembly, top four at DH Summer and three consecutive MLG top eights were good and all but they weren’t just Stephano enough. The insatiability of his supporters was not satisfied, still going strong.
After the loss to Mana in Dreamhack Summer, the confidence in Stephano’s ZvP was somewhat shaken. Not fully but just enough for the combination of HerO, MC and Alicia one after another to allow a sliver of doubt if Stephano can win NASL to slip in. If Mana – a player that hadn’t smelled intensive practice due to school duties – could do it, then surely at least one from the trio of Koreans would as well.
As it turned out – no. Neither HerO, the PvZ conductor; nor MC, the player with the deadliest timing attacks; and nor Alicia, one who did not win a single map in the grand final series and is on the way to becoming the Stork of StarCraft 2, grabbing yet another silver trophy for his shelf.
When Scarlett makes the headlines in this column, she’s usually in the “In People’s Mouths” section. It was not until the WCS Canada finals that she actually climbed her way up to the company of tournament champions and not being included just because people like to talk to her.
Well, OK, I am partially lying because Scarlett and her smashing WCS Canada run was the fifth most read and most discussed news on GosuGamers for the past month, surpassing in popularity Stephano’s NASL victory, or Seed vs MC in the GSL and Gumiho’s all kill against Slayers.
Absolutely understandable, though. Not everybody gets to defeat HuK, Ostojiy, Drewbie and Ddoro all in one weekend’s time, dropping one single map in the process.
There were many firsts in the last weekend of the GomTV leagues. In Code S, there was the first ever PvP final, the first protoss champion that was not MC and the first protoss gold for team Incredible Miracle making them also the first team to win Code S championships with all three races.
Seed’s aggressive style marked by 4-gate prism all-ins and 1-gate blink builds brought him glory and fame but most importantly – it brought him the essential affirmation of his skill that every player who’s excelling at something direly craves for.
At the very end of the month, FXO went against SlayerS for the GSTL title. With MMA’s demotion and Crank’s hospitalization, it certainly looked like SlayerS were not in their most stable state. What nobody anticipated, though, was that SlayerS could be outplayed so badly and come out so contrasting to the team that was once a back-to-back GSTL champion.
FXO had too suffered a heavy loss in Oz’s departure but they still had Leenock, Lucky and Gumiho for ace players. As it turned out, they never even needed the former two. Singlehandedly, Gumiho slayed MMA, Min, Coca, Ryung and Puzzle for the 5-0 all-kill, the first in a GSTL Grand Final.
Koreans have been known for taunting their opponents and in the better part of the cases, those call outs pass under the community’s radar. When DongRaeGu took it one step further, however, stating that he can beat foreigner’s hope Naniwa in whatever way he wishes, it got people talking.
As everybody saw, the game was much closer than the taunt suggested and, in fact, DongRaeGu almost lost on a number of occasions, including the final seconds of the fifth game. When the said statement was reminded to DRG after the game, the master zerg just attributed this to his use of hydras and stuck to his previous words, saying that the series was much closer than it should’ve been.
The most read news for the last month told the story of KeSPA players beating GSL players…
Not like in “all over the place” sense of the word but within the micro-cosmos of the newly founded KeSPA/GSL cross tournament. This mini event had a simple format but one enough to stir interest in the hot topic: two GSL players each meet two KeSPA players in Bo3 and the winners go into a final series. The names of all, except that of the final winner, are hidden. It’s old school versus new school, anonymous style.
What made this newspost so much more popular as compared to those about the other Cross Match weeks is that it actually featured a KeSPA winner. With the Brood War players currently in transition and practicing two games at a time, it was not expected of them to win more than one Bo3 and even that seemed like a stretch.
After Woongjin's sHy (a.k.a. sOs) was announced as the first Cross Match winner, it all made sense. Who better to go neck and neck with the GSL players than a member of the best KeSPA StarCraft 2 roster there currently exists.
On July 13th, the Korean pro-team ZeNEX ceased to exist as an independent entity and went through a merger with StarTale.
The news talked about management problems in ZeNEX after team’s former manager departed in 2011, leaving his successor to sustain the team with his own money, the loss of their training house and the real danger of players such as Life, Extreme, Avenge and Kyrix ending up teamless.
To ZeNEX’s luck, StarTale’s head coach and chairman of the E-Sports Association stepped in to suggest a merger so that both the players and ZeNEX’s management keep their employment under the StarTale tag.
The acquisition was officially finalized yesterday, August 1st.
“A new beginning, not the end” states the tagline for the first ever StarCraft 2 OGN Starleague.
Yet “Not the end” proved to be the complete opposite of what many bonjwas and renowned Brood War players experienced. Jaedong, Stork, Bisu, Effort, Kal, Hero[join], Iris, Leta – all names with which Brood War and SC2 fans alike are familiar with – faced elimination right in the preliminaries, with the younger, up-and-coming generation advancing further.
As of August 1st, Flash is the only bonjwa left in the OSL, although things might change after his dual tournament group on August 7th, and Fantasy and Jangbi – both seeded into the Ro16 – are the only two OSL champions that are certain to fight to defend their titles.
Naniwa’s name is an absolute magnet for discussions so when at the very end of July he asked to be released from Quantic it was no surprise that the questions started raining immediately. Why? Was there another dispute with the team? Is he really no longer friends with Sase? Where will he train now and where will he go?
Fortunately, Naniwa was quick to answer all of those in JP’s Real Talk, saying that the main reason for him leaving Quantic stems from team’s merger with Team Vile, which meant that there was an additional manager making calls, sometimes against what Naniwa was promised.
Seeing promises not being fulfilled meant a parting of ways for the Swede.
We don’t usually put our tournament previews in here as it brings the feeling of over-the-top vanity but we made an exception with this juicy and tasty article.
While community boards and news sites were speculating who would win against whom in the Homestory Cup and does player X have a chance in group Y, two writers sat down to have a genuine fun time, comparing players in the tournament with barbeque ingredients.
Featuring the “steaks” Mvp and MC, TLO “buns”, Idra the “chili sauce”, ToD the “burger” and Cloud and Monchi as the “fresh, healthy salads”, this Homestory Cup preview still remains one of the most easy-going and entertaining articles we’ve written in a while.
As part of our post-Dreamhack Summer coverage, we approached the two finalists, starting with the champion MouzMana.
Grzegorz walked us through his playoffs experience and how he beat the playstyles of Stephano and Dimaga, recent changes in the Mousesports’ roster and his dream to play in the GSL – something he will soon accomplish being part of the Up/Down matches for Season 4.
A day later, we interviewed our dear friend Dimaga, minutes before he was to leave for Homestory Cup. Dimaga’s aggressive baneling style made for even more discussions than Stephano’s and HerO’s eliminations or even Mana’s tournament victory so we were eager to talk to the Ukrainian zerg about this and a whole lot of other topics, including why, in God’s names, doesn’t he consider the zerg Viper to be downright imbalanced, as is the predominant opinion in the community.
After a three months of break, the satirical Marauder Flank column returned to the GosuGamers front page, bringing shocking truths about the Tempest. Those were discovered by our passionate reporter Andrei Filote, who was sent on a dangerous mission to find out what the hell the Tempest exactly is.
“In the motion picture the Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, the walls of Minas Tirith are protected by mighty catapults which hurl massive slabs of rock into rows of defenseless orcs. They are splattered dozens at a time as the catapults mercilessly cast their load over the walls into the fields below, showing that after all the city can fight back. You probably didn’t notice but a prototype of the new Protoss unit, the Tempest, was also being manned by a team of defenders. If you, like me, are an ardent Lord of the Rings fan, you might be a bit distressed to realize you failed to notice such a crucial element, but in hindsight it’s not that big a deal. In fact 90% of zerg players we’ve interviewed also reported similar oversights, telling us that they “didn’t know toss had tempests” until the GG had been given and they had “started trashing toss for being so bad.”
To close this monthly recap – which fortunately ended up being way shorter than my previous – I suggest you check out our newly launched monthly column that collects, organizes and provides a player list for all upcoming tournaments for the next month.
With 13 tournaments coming in August alone, having them all catalogued under one roof shouts practicality on top of its lungs.