The three stooges: NASL 3 W2D4 recap
Ret 2-1 Thorzain
VODs: Game 1 on Belshir Beach /// Game 2 on Shattered Temple /// Game 3 on Antiga Shipyard
ThorZaiN vs Ret was an exercise in learning how to fall. The players took turns throwing the other into the mattress until one was ready to tap out. Game one: Ret makes nothing but drones then dies to mass hellion. Game two: ThorZaiN neglects raising a critical supply depot and consequently dies to slow lings. Game three: Flock of mutalisks cleans up ThorZaiN’s SCVs while the Swedish terran is pushing Ret’s natural. Marines overstim, making a queen and drone defense viable. With mutas in his main and no economy, ThorZaiN ggs.
Select 2-0 Cruncher
VODs: Game 1 on Belshir Beach /// Game 2 on Daybreak /// Game 3 on Antiga Shipyard
Imagine you’re CrunCher, a low tier protoss, ripping through the North American ladder. It’s smooth cruising until you hit Select. You know this guy’s trouble. You’ve probably seen him knock Alicia out of the GSL with TvP so good it reminded you of PuMa. Now you know what’s going to happen. You’re going to get dropped. If you move out with your army, it’s MMM in your base. If you sit on your minerals, it’s MMM at your front. If you so much as turn in your seat to get rid of that cramp, you’re getting dropped. That’s just how Select plays, and that’s exactly what we saw last week. CrunCher played his games, but it felt, as it sometimes does with this type of terran, that his play was irrelevant. Select dropped until he was kicking a twitching a corpse.
Professional Starcraft games aren’t always funny, but last week we cracked a smile. It’s almost as though the now released spirit of NASL were trying to make up for showing us only two series, the others being forfeited by absent players. Ret, ThorZaiN and CrunCher were kind enough to be our three stooges, and in that fine tradition we got some good old slapstick. Here is some of it:
Game One of Ret vs ThorZaiN, essentially a comical display of Ret’s notorious greediness. Overdroning is not funny per se, but it is when a dozen hellions just happen to roll into your base. Watching Ret’s indecision, as he first attempts to defend with his drones, realizes what he’s about to do, pulls back, then attacks anyway, was like witnessing the fundamental zerg shrug of futility, which is sometimes the only response to mass hellion. What’s a guy gonna do?
Game Two of Ret vs ThorZaiN, where we spend eternity watching a pack of very slow zerglings approach ThorZaiN’s wall off, cross ThorZaiN’s wall off, and commence killing ThorZaiN’s SCVs. Where was ThorZaiN during that time? Who knows. Probably wondering how best to win Dreamhack. Whatever he was doing, he spent that entire game running to and from slow zerglings, like the proverbial fat TV cop chasing an equally unathletic criminal.
Game one of Select vs CrunCher. You gotta hand it to CrunCher, he can be both cunning and patient, waiting for the perfect moment, when Select has spent his last scan, before dropping DTs into his main. What followed was a moment of contemplation, during which it probably occurred to Select that the DTs were an annoyance he could deal with while doing the obvious: double medivac drop. It was the theme of the series, not just of the game, but it was such a brilliant and obvious execution of the favorite Day9 dictum, ‘just go and f#!kin’ kill him!’ that one tends to imagine Select laughing at the poor protoss trying to play a terran’s game, then showing him how it’s done.
|Division 2 after week two|
|2-0||+3|| Lowely||3-0||+3|| Alive||1-0||+2|| Idra||1-0||+1|| Thorzain||1-1||+1|| Select||1-1||+1|| Cruncher||0-2||-3|| Alici||0-2||-4|| Catz||0-2||-4|
Ret’s gotta be feeling pretty good up there, even if he could tumble down in a minute. Lowely has one game up due to a walkover, so we have to suspend judgement until he’s played a few more series. What is obvious is the contention likely to occur with players such as Alicia and ThorZaiN experiencing their first, rather early, drawbacks. Later weeks will get messy with players such as Ret, Idra, Alicia, ThorZain and aLive trying to make an easy road to the playoffs. This is one of the toughest of groups of the season, and boy are they gonna feel it.
|Division 3 Week 3 matches|
If you were to jump up and down with excitement at the prospect of seeing two newly crowned champions, aLive and ThorZaiN, duke it out in the honorable arena of TvT, where we’re tempted to give ThorZaiN the edge (he did after beat Polt, an understated master of the matchup), though let’s be fair, aLive was the one who first took down MarineKing at IPL4, knocking him into the Losers’ Bracket where he went on to be eliminated by Squirtle. If the two play their best, we’re going to have a hell of a fight. What a shame, then, that it’s only going to be a best of three.
Next is Idra vs Alicia, who, one assumes, must have practiced together, what with the EG-SlayerS partnership. It’s difficult to say who may have learned more from the other, but given that Idra’s main problem has always been his ability to keep cool and constant, it’s fair to assume Alicia may be the underdog here. Currently sitting at 0 - 2, the Korean will have to manage a win if he wants to avoid falling farther away from the number one spot.
Lowely is not a player who gets much spotlight, which is fair given his position as a middling foreign player, though a victory over Ret would put him at 3 - 0 and raise some eyebrows in the process. If Ret wins, it will be looking surprisingly good for the Liquid player, who like many of his team, can be fearsome but very much mortal.
Carrying the rear are Catz and CrunCher, North American ladder warriors supplanted by a squad of Eurasian invaders. It would be unrealistic to say either of them has any hope competing with the above, so let’s just acknowledge that they’re going to be fighting over the cash bounty that goes with every series. It’s a shame, really, as this league is for them, and they are left behind.