Exposure for everyone! - NASL 3 W1D3 recap
Posted by Radoslav "Nydra" Kolev 1 year, 5 weeks ago
Written by: procyolontor
Ganzi 2-1 Sen
VODs: Game 1 on Dual Sight /// Game 2 on Ohana /// Game 3 on Dual Sight
It’s hard to say how this series would have played out in an extended format. Ganzi takes game one convincingly, SEn takes game 2 convincingly, and Ganzi takes the third; a pattern that could have gone on much longer and that doesn’t really say much besides the obvious.
Strelok 2-0 HuK
VODs: Game 1 on Tal'Darim Altar /// Game 2 on Ohana
This was Huk playing and losing two straight games to Strelok by the virtue of their builds, showing that in Starcraft you sometimes play a preliminary game of rock paper scissors before letting skill enter the equation.
Mana 2-1 Vibe
VODs: Game 1 on Ohana /// Game 2 on Antiga Shipyard /// Game 3 on Tal'Darim Altar
Mana and Vibe show us the PvZ standard, roach/infestor and gateway robo armies leading into the unfailing broodlord/mothership endgame. The two trade blows in a three game series, but Mana secures too large an advantage through critical warp prism use and pushes Vibe into a corner too small to get out of.
Axslav 2-0 TLO
VODs: Game 1 on Shattered Temple /// Game 2 on Daybreak
It’s worth it to watch this series just to see TLO’s amazing creep spread, but another reason might be Axslav’s tip top play. Most people were probably not betting on him to take out Liquid’s veteran, but Axslav made all the right decisions, giving TLO little opportunity to win outright. His defensive play in game two was particularly inspiring.
Exposure. For everyone!
The best part of leagues like NASL is watching how players perform in the long run in a competitive environment with incentive to win every match. The playoffs might be very far away, so a loss here and there might not look too grim, but a weekly chance at a modest bounty is an immediate reward which not only pays for the groceries but creates additional motivation. If you did it once, you can do it again, so why not do it every week?
This stands in sharp contrast with large LAN events and small focused tournaments, both unforgiving in different ways. A player’s destiny might be rolled up and packed away like a carpet in the course of three days which might be good, bad or something in between, and the number of players participating means the chance to gain exposure through streaming is limited. We often notice players like Vile’s Illusion and State doing reasonably well in the brackets, but the focus is drawn away from them, shifting necessarily to the big names and the big games.
A league like NASL could offer them the space they need to show what they know. A player’s personal stream is one thing, and watching a player practice used to be a nearly unobtainable privilege, but all practice leads to competition, and that is where we need to see them. Week One’s games showed us the truth of this. While we must realistically predict outcomes, often citing one big name against another, eSports’ many underdogs might be very hard at work getting ready to surprise us. Let’s give them the chance.
Division overview and standings
|Division 3 after week one|
After a single week of play, with rain not yet being tested, there’s not much to say about this division except that it will probably fall to him, ganzi and huk to lead the pack; though week one’s series of unexpected wins showed us that things might not go as planned. Each of these players have exciting prospects. TLO is making his comeback. Axslav looked unmistakably solid. Sen is still one of the best foreign zergs, and Vibe is not far behind him. While the favorites battle it out, it will the stories of the underdogs that will best describe this division.
Barely clairvoyant: Week 2 on April 20th
|Division 2 Week 2 matches|
We’re going to get our first look at how Rain is going to perform this season, and against Ganzi no less. A Code S terran trained by SlayerS is probably the best benchmark one could hope to measure up to, and a positive result would go great lengths to reestablishing Rain as a top player after his notable absence.
The two mirror matches are bound to be revealing. Both Sen and TLO are strong ZvZers, so we are going to comb the volatile series for signs that one might have something the other does not. Meanwhile, the weird balance of PvP might be broken by another strong performance from Axslav, though Mana remains the clear favorite.
Lastly, Strelok and Vibe clean up the night. Odds are it’s going to be an unremarkable match, but when two strong players go against each other there is always the possibility of fireworks. We’re going to be scanning the sky.