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Making an impression: NASL Season 3 W1D2 recap

Posted by Radoslav "Nydra" Kolev 2 years, 14 weeks ago
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Scrimmage report


Hero 2-0 Ryung
VODs: Game 1 on Dual Sight /// Game 2 on Ohana

Afraid of the PvT late-game (as any terran should be), Ryung took the 1/1/1 pathway, but with delayed factory, delayed starport and even delayed SCV pull. Funny how so much delays do not do well with timing attacks and it was probably even funnier for Hero who had all the time in the world and a little extra to prepare and defend. The series continued against Ryung's liking as his marine/tank timing push was again incoherent with the cog wheels that are always the foundations of such attack - the upgrades! When Ryung pushed, he had no stim and when stim was finally finished, Hero already had an immortal for every tank on the field. Entering late-game was a dire prospect for Ryung and he was stormed and zealot-slashed into a second loss.

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DeMuslim 2-0 Sjow
VODs: Game 1 on Ohana /// Game 2 on Dual Sight

In game one, Demuslim forwent tanks in order to go for faster marine upgrades and make use of the huge timing windows that those dictated. Тo his luck, Sjow failed to achieve the one thing that would win him the game - protect his tanks at all costs. Catching a couple of those unattended meant that Sjow would face more and better upgraded marines. We've all seen that movie.

Following that up on Dual Sight, DeMuslim refuted the doubts that marines are all he can produce and orchestrated a marine/tank/raven push to cancel Sjow's natural and set up a contain. Sjow's idea of a comeback was to elevate down half his army and surround the siege but he only invited Demuslim inside the main upon departure. Sjow lost all but six SCVs.

Nony 2-0 DarkForce
VODs: Game 1 on Ohana /// Game 2 on Antiga Shipyard

They macroed, and they macroed, and then macroed some more. But the day of the fearsome warrior of Shakuras would not go all calm and peaceful as the German overlord bested him in an open battle, gaining an advantage of fifty swordhands. The ground turned purple, the valiant protoss was put to the ropes. Brood lords and infestors, and corruptors streamed towards his fourth settlement. There, at the isolated highground, did Nony make his final stand, throwing deadly vortexes to make the zerg army roar in displeasement as it got sucked in the void, ending its reign abruptly. Legend tells that DarkForce also attacked from a lot of awkward angles and had no infestor support...

The two players and this very writer quickly shook off that medieval fairy tail relief and game two saw DarkForce winning a direct engagement effortlessly (again) to get 50 supply ahead (again) and then throw it all away (again). Instead of taking a fourth--or better yet the whole map--DarkForce comitted to an all-roach attack against stalkers and immortals and lost due to not having enough stuff.

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Dimaga 2-1 HasuObs
VODs: Game 1 on Ohana /// Game 2 on Odyssey /// Game 3 on Daybreak

A baneling drop from Dimaga blasted more than fourty of HasuObs's workers but someway somehow, the Ukrainian ate up every vortex from the mid-game on to lose the lead he secured for himself earlier. Dimaga tried his best to win the set that was his to begin with but fighting on equal ground with Hasu now did not make that big an impression. Not even the ultralisk tech helped him, making me wonder if my colleague procyolontor's words of them being the zerg embodiment of a headstrong AI that never completely obeys its commander are true.

Worry not about that, Dimaga fans, as Hasu was soon brought to defeat with two more games of baneling bombs galore. The Odyssey set finished immediately after Dimaga flew over the protoss wall-off, while the one on Daybreak took to the late game, where Dimaga made it clear he had learned from past mistakes and played a perfect zerg to walk out victor.

Oh my GOD! Nony is back!


OK, well, you know... just hold your horses and let us all analyze what happened that day.

Many a viewer will compare the times when Nony was not able to win a game, let alone a tournament, with the fact that he played downright the best game this evening. He's not even Tyler anymore, he got back to Nony - an alias from the old days when he was a force to be feared and one of the protoss revolutionists during the beta. Additionally, his "return" was against one of the better ZvP-ers in Europe and was carried out in such fashion that made the caster duo raise voice in excitement and forced me into writing this small editorial piece.

It is easy to lose breath over a great series, I know, but was that enough to label it the beginning of Nony's rennaisance? The apparent rhetoric vibe of the above words naturally points towards the "No!". Truly, Nony was amazing. He kept his composure in two games that should have been lost shortyle after the 10th minute mark and stood out as the best performing player that day. But the foundations of his victory laid more with DarkForce's poor decision making--such as attacking at an awkward angle in game one and committing to a three-base play in game two when there was absolutely no need for either of those--rather than with Nony's brilliance in warfare. In fact, having in mind how hurtful all but the last engagements were for the protoss, one has to wonder if Nony's sole power of standing still and living through shaky zerg aggression is a good enough mark of his return.

Apropos, I will be the first one to raise a toast upon seeing one of my absolute favourite protoss players of old regain his former forte. But let it not be like this, let it not rest on the shoulders of a single series that was counter-indicative to the old Nony for its better part.

Division overview and standings


Division 2 after week one
United Kingdom Demuslim1-0+2
Korea Hero1-0+2
United States Nony1-0+2
Ukraine Dimaga1-0+1
Korea Crazymoving0-00
Germany HasuObs0-1-1
Germany DarkForce0-1-2
Korea Ryung0-1-2
Sweden Sjow0-2-2


One victory or one loss does not mean anything. Yet when you are in a group with Hero, Dimaga, Ryung and the rest, it can mean climbing the top or losing your foot in quick sand.

Seeing what is happening all around the premier tournaments at the moment, the three Koreans are the historically logical favorites in the division. Few things in mind, though: although Hero had an astounding run through NASL 2, he is not the best protoss in the world anymore and although beating Ryung scratched down one "anything can happen" series, there are still seven more hungry for his blood. Dimaga seems to be more confident in his ZvP now, CrazyMoving is new and full of surprises and DarkForce is at nearly 60% win-rate with victories against Feast, Bling and HuK.

As with every other division in NASL 3, it'd be a huge surprise if there is not a redistribution of power soon.

Barely clairvoyant: Week 2 on April 19th


Division 2 Week 2 matches
Korea RyungVSKorea CrazyMoving
Korea HeroVSUkraine Dimaga
Sweden SjowVSGermany HasuObs
Germany DarkForceVSUnited Kingdom DeMuslim


Speaking of the devils, Ryung is facing CrazyMoving and Hero goes against Dimaga in the second week of Division 2. For Ryung, this is an opportunity to recover from the loss in week 1 while CrazyMoving is looking forward to playing his first match in the tournament. The zerg did decently at MLG Winter Championship but his record is not on his side when it comes to playing Korean terrans (if we exclude Select, of course). If he manages to defy the odds, though, he can put Ryung in a very uncomfortable position.

Hero vs Dimaga will be a duel that will most likely define who will make it to #1. Ideally, it would have been best to have this match as closing one but, alas, such is not the case. Dimaga is well known for keeping strictly to a certain style throughout a playday or even entire tournaments and that was showcased clearly during the dismemberment of DarkForce. Funnily enough, Hero is such a player as well having acquired his fame by roasting zergs with prism/sentry drops which at the time seemed unbeatable. Things are different now, of course, but this is still a series I would pay dearly to watch.

Of the other four contenders, Sjow played the worst in the first week and if changes are not made swiftly, he will fall to HasuObs easy. Demuslim versus Darkforce is a raffle that can either put them both in starting positions or can shove DarkForce deeper down the division from where, having in mind the matches that lie ahead of the German, he will likely not come back.
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