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GosuAwards 2013: StarCraft 2

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Welcome to the third annual GosuAwards for StarCraft 2 where we celebrate the most excelling individuals, teams and organizers in the scene. 
 
This year's participants are divided into twelve categories each with different number of nominees. You will find familiar categories like "Best Korean" and "Best non-Korean player", "Break-out player of the year" and "Most memorable tournament" but also some that were absent last year, like "Best casting duo", "Best event host" and "Best tournament organizer". You can read all nominations here.
 
Similarly to the 2012 edition, two awards will be given in each category. The main GosuAward is handed out by the GosuCrew committee which convened earlier this month before polls' results came out. The second is awarded by the community who voted in said polls between December 17th and December 29th.
 
But enough talk, let's go on to the main part: the awards!
 
 

Category: Best Korean Player


 

Winner:

Liquid.Taeja
Photo: Frederike Schmitt

Since Mvp's brutal domination in 2011, the Terran race awaited the heir to their throne, the player who can go on winning streak so impressive that it takes the audience agog.
 
The start of the year saw Innovation trying to walk that path until he slowed down his tempo after his signature hellbat players go nerfed. In the middle of the year, the young Maru of Team Prime also made a huge splash on the scene as he ascended to new levels and became an OSL royal roader, impressing everyone. His reign, too, was short, however.
 
Taeja was different. He started the year by placing top four in GSL and fluctuated only for a short while in the spring. At the end of 2013, Taeja is the most accomplished player of the year with five gold medals and four top four finishes, beating other serious pretenders for best Korean like Innovation, Soulkey and Maru. He's Liquid's most priced possession, whose winning streak between June and December deserves only admiration. 
 
Runner-up: EG.Jaedong for showing great improvement and consistency throughout the year, playing at six premier grand finals and being the second most winningest player of the year.
 
 
Community poll results
Winner: Liquid.Taeja (35%) Runner-up:EG.Jaedong (33%) Results


Jaedong photo: GosuGamers

 


 

 

Category: Best non-Korean Player


 

Winner:

[A].Naniwa
Photo: ESL
 
We often talk how Stephano's retirement left a big gap in the foreign scene and how there were but a few worthy contenders to take his place. 
 
Throughout the whole year, the Koreans gave foreigners zero gold medals, which made determining who's the best non-Korean a tough job. The few that were considered for nominations by the GosuCrew (namely Naniwa, Scarlett and Snute) had only silver medals and top fours between them so nobody had a convincing case.
 
Ultimately, we feel the award should go to the Swedish Protoss. Naniwa proved to be in great form in 2013, fought hard against Leenock and Life at the DreamHack Summer and IEM New York finals and was the only foreigner at BlizzCon. It might not be the year Naniwa wished for but in times when Koreans gave the westerners no chance, he truly was the best the foreign world could offer.
 
Runner-up: Acer.Scarlett for being the only other foreigner that could match Naniwa's results and, for a long time, the only non-Korean in the GosuRanking top 20. 
 
Community poll results
Winner: Acer.Scarlett (50%) Runner-up: [A].Naniwa (43%) Results


Scarlett photo: Red Bull

 


 

 

Category: Break-out player of the year


 

Winner:

JinAir.Maru
Photo: This is game
 
The competition in this category was even tougher than the one for the best non-Korean. Not only did new talent emerge on the scene but players that have been around forever and lacking results, too, enjoyed the best days of their career. 
 
When polls for this category opened, the community got split between two names - JinAir's Maru (ex-Prime) and Mousesports' Dear (ex-SouL). The young Terran wasn't new as he's been part of the scene since 2010 but it was only in 2013 that he made his break-out performance. Dear, on the other hand, came from the lands of KeSPA, made a name for himself as a Proleague weapon and broke out big in the autumn during WCS Season 3.
 
Making the choice between the two was hard for both us and you (at the time of this article, Dear is ahead of Maru with just 5 votes). There always has to be a winner, however, and this year we give the prize to Maru for becoming the youngest royal roader in OSL history (also its second youngest champion after the legendary Flash) and for finishing top four in four premier tournaments, including WCS Season 3 Korea, WCS Season 3 Finals, WCS Global Finals and 2013 Hot6ix Cup.
 
Runner-up: mouz.Dear for winning two WCS titles in one week and becoming the fastest climbing player in the WCS rankings for 2013.
 
Community poll results
Winner: mouz.Dear (36%) Runner-up: JinAir.Maru (36%) Results
Dear photo: This is Game

 

 


 

 

Category: Strongest team


 

Winner:

Team Acer
Photo: Team Acer
 
"Strongest team" is somewhat loosely defined category and in previous years we had a tough time picking the winner. We had to weigh team's achievements in team leagues as well as the strength of the roster in terms of how good the individual players were.
 
This year, we didn't have to think twice. After they made some big signing in 2012, Acer were looking as a team with a promising future ahead of them. In 2013, they just started crushing.
 
From January till now, Acer hold a gold medal from TeamStory Cup 2 and silver medals from TeamStory Cup 1 and StarCraft 2 League. Partnered with Axiom, they finished third in GSTL 1 and won the next season easily. They have a bucketful of individual talent, hosting names like Scarlett (2013 best foreigner nominee), Innovation (2013 best Korean nominee), MMA and Nerchio (2012 best foreigner nominee). Not even the all-Korean teams could surpass the crew in the green shirts and the 2013 award for best team goes to them.
 
Runner-up: Axiom for being an important part of the successful Axiom-Acer partnership and for finishing second in TeamStory Cup 2. 
 
Community poll results
Winner: Team Acer (49%) Runner-up: Team Liquid (25%) Results


Photos: Team Acer (Acer), Helena Kristiansson (Liquid)

 

 

 

Category: Hardest streak


 

Winner:

Liquid.Taeja
Photo: Helena Kristiansson
 
Every year, there's a player who goes on a manic win streak, breaks a few records and writes a serious application for player of the year. In 2013, this player is without a doubt Taeja.
 
Between June and December, Liquid`s Terran reached the highest point of his career. He started by winning HomeStory Cup VII, went on to defend his Assembly Summer title from last year, won his second DreamHack in September, snatched another HSC trophy in November and closed the year by raising the crystal star cup of DreamHack Winter. Through these accomplishments, Taeja became the only player with three DreamHack titles (two of which back-to-back, another feat no one before him managed to do), the only one with two HomeStory trophies (also back-to-back) and the first to win two Assemblies.
 
There is nobody who could compete with Taeja in this category, there just isn't.
 
Runner-up: Dear for winning a regional and a season WCS championship within one week and against the toughest opponents the StarCraft 2 scene can offer.
 
Community poll results
Winner: Liquid.Taeja (66%) Runner-up: Mouz.Dear (25%) Results


Dear photo: Kevin Chang

 

 

 

Category: Transfer coup of the year


 

Winner:

Innovation to Acer
Photo: Frederike Schmitt
 
If it wasn't for all the subtle hints (that the StarCraft 2 community figured out in no time, of course), few would imagine a player like Innovation ending up with Acer.
 
It's not that Acer were unworthy of the former SouL ace. After all, their roster had signed MMA in late 2012 and also boasted names like Scarlett and Nerchio to make for a powerful line-up but to acquire a KeSPA hot-shot and WCS champion like Innovation? That seemed like a wild fantasy.
 
It wasn't though and on September 1st, Innovation signed with the green skins. Granted, the Terran machine was nowhere near his prime and was suffering the consequences of the hellbat nerf but he was still among the most dreaded players in the world. He was a weapon still which only needed to be pointed in the right direction.
 
And so Acer did as they turned Innovation in one of their core players. He helped AXA win GSTL 2 by being the best performing player with 12-2 and the only all-kill in the league. He stood by MMA as the two carried Acer to TeamStory Cup 2 victory. He brought his team a silver medal from DreamHack Bucharest and two top fours at DH Winter and NorthCon. A great acquisition for Acer without a doubt.
 
Runner-up: Parting to SKT for being among the first eSF players to be signed by the "dark side" and join the ranks of KeSPA.
 
Community poll results
Winner: Innovation to Acer (70%) Runner-up: Naniwa to [A] (13%) Results


Photos: Daily ESPORTS (Innovation), Helena Kristiansson (Naniwa)

 

 

 

Category: Most memorable event


 

Winner:

WCS Season 2 Finals
Photo: Helena Kristiansson
 
A lot of stories converged in Cologne, Germany to determine the winner of the hardest (and most subjective) GosuAwards category. The ESL-produced event saw the first chapters of the Scarlett vs Bomber rivalry, the gripping ZvT story that would travel to several other tournaments before becoming a GosuAwards nominee. It welcomed a Jaedong who had revamped his ZvP beyond recognition and defeated his old enemy Naniwa only to receive his fourth silver medal. It applauded Bomber wholeheartedly after the StarTale Terran, following a two-year period without gold medals, broke the haunting "Bomber's law" and became champion. It made StarCraft 2 writers eat their predictions by rewarding tournament favorites like Polt, Innovation, Maru and MMA with quick eliminations.
 
Runner-up: DreamHack Winter for closing Taeja's win streak, seeing JYP's and Patience's Cinderella stories, having a flawless production and answering the question "What song?"
 
Community poll results
Winner: DreamHack Winter (24%) Runner-up: WCS S3 Finals (23%) Results


Photos: Carl Oscar Aaro (Dreamhack), Toronto Thumbs (WCS S3 Finals)

 

 

 

Category: Story of the year


 

Winner:

Jaedong's Kong Curse
Photo: GosuGamers
 
For the better part of the year, Jaedong's story was a tragic one. Hailing as one of the icons of BroodWar, the Tyrant had a slow start of 2013, trailing behind his arch-rival Flash as the two made their first steps into StarCraft 2.
 
When Flash started to lose form, Jaedong took this chance to shine and traveled overseas, eager to crush skulls and win championships as he used to do in BroodWar. Midway through the year, he found out that the StarCraft 2 scene is not so easily conquered.
 
Between June and November, Jaedong made it to five premier grand finals only to be denied the gold five times. Every time he fixed the match-up that was problematic for him, he faced a new problem. Whether he fought renowned players or underdogs alike, the Tyrant lost. He became the next name in the rueful Kong line, reserved to those only finishing second and which started with Yellow all the way back in the early BroodWar days. It was almost as the new scene mocked the Tyrant of old.
 
Jaedong eventually broke this curse by winning NorthCon 2013 and wrote a fitting ending to his journey. Whether or not this will be the gateway to a gold-laden 2014 matters not: for the purpose of these rewards, Jaedong's silver streak was one of the defining stories of 2013. 
 
Runner-up: WCS Region locking discussion for being the recurring story which was discussed, analyzed and editorialized by all ESPORTS media and which defined WCS 2013 almost as much as the games and player stories did.
 
Community poll results
Winner: JD's Kong Curse (40%) Runner-up: Idra fired (23%) Results


Idra photo: MLG

 

 

 

Category: Rivalry of the year


 

Winner:

KeSPA vs eSF
A year ago, DongRaeGu was fighting KeSPA in OSL. Today, he's one of them.
 
When KeSPA entered the StarCraft 2 scene in 2012, we knew their rivalry with the SC2 "originals" would be a good one come next year and so it was.
 
The war was waged on many levels and it didn't just matter which organization won more medals. It was a struggle of power that transcended beyond the material and its purpose was to determine who would rule over the Korean scene in the coming year. 
 
Despite its long history in ESPORTS, KeSPA came into the fight as the underdog. StarCraft 2 was a game they didn't know with heroes who weren't theirs. They were facing not only eSF but foreign organizations as well, which made for an ESPORTS climate they were not familiar with. The hegemony they enjoyed during the BroodWar days was gone.
 
Although Blizzard found a way to make peace between the involved parties, the war between the Korean organizations continued (thankfully outside the court). eSF were more relevant to the SC2 scene and were winning the popularity contest but there was one thing they never anticipated: after years of being an exclusive club, their enemy changed
 
In August, KeSPA opened its doors to everyone who'd like to be a member and soon enough shifts started happening. Three teams left eSF in September and joined KeSPA in November. The association was quickly refilling its lines after the loss of Woongjin Stars and SouL and was looking in good shape. Those were not good days for eSF.
 
So who won the war, eventually? Premier gold medals-wise, KeSPA is ahead by one but as we said, this is not the victory that matters. Nowadays, KeSPA's Proleague is back to a full 8-team roster while GSTL's future is unclear. By attracting new teams, KeSPA is vibrant while eSF consists of just StarTale and Azubu. Not only is the victor clear but unless eSF make something happen in 2014, Korea might welcome the KeSPA hegemony back.
 
Runner-up: Naniwa vs Scarlett for being the rivalry that would determine the best foreigner in 2013, a year solely ruled by Koreans.
 
Community poll results
Winner: Naniwa vs The World (42%) Runner-up: Scarlett vs Bomber (28%) Results


Naniwa photo: ESL

 

 

 

Category: Best host


 

Winner:

ReDeYe
Photo: Helena Kristiansson
 
A true veteran of the ESPORTS scene, in 2013 ReDeYe brought to the StarCraft 2 fans a much needed blend of knowledge, charm and mature professionalism. He not only became the face of ESL and ESL-produced tournaments but also aided with the hosting of DreamHack Winter, considered by fans to be the most memorable event for this year. Mr. Chaloner is the person every event host should aspire to become for which he's given this award/
 
Runner-up: iNcontroL for being the well-spoken comedian of the StarCraft 2 tournament scene for this year.
 
Community poll results
Winner: ReDeYe (37%) Runner-up: iNcontroL (30%) Results


iNcontroL photo: Helena Kristiansson

 

 

 

Category: Best casting duo


 

Winner:

Apollo & Nathanias
Photo: Helena Kristiansson
 
Although they established their duet only this year, Nathanias and Apollo found a way to cast in perfect synergy. Rich on deep strategical analysis and emotional moments alike, the cooperation between the Brit and the American fully deserves this year's "best casting duo" award.
 
Runner-up: Tasteless & Artosis for maintaining the high-quality "Tastosis" brand for another year and for being the faces that define the GSL.
 
Community poll results
Winner: Tastless & Artosis (45%) Runner-up: Apollo & Nathanias (21%) Results


Tastosis photo: Jerome Chua

 

 

 

Category: Best tournament organizer


 

Winner:

ESL
 
ESL really outdid themselves this year. They not only build a great, recognizable product out of WCS Europe but they were also the driving force behind WCS Season 2 Finals and WCS Global Finals. Outside Blizzard's circuit, they continued to build up and improve on the IEM franchise and brought the tournament to four different countries. Even if we don't mention their involvement in major tournaments like EPS Germany, ESL without a doubt deserve this year's "Best tournament organizer" award.
 
Runner-up: DreamHack for continuing to break viewership records while perpetually increasing their quality with every passing event.
 
Community poll results
Winner: DreamHack (43%) Runner-up: ESL (27%) Results

 

 

GosuAwards committee:
Radoslav "Nydra" Kolev
Andrei "Procyonlotor" Filote
Kyle "Tossinator" Dunn
Tomas "Tomasko" Majernik

 

Editor: 
Radoslav "Nydra" Kolev


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Discussion

  • Mitko "EndlessViolence" Stefanov ,
    is it just me or the best casting duo it's totally messed up... Tastosis have bigger percentage but as winner it says Nathanias and Appolo... however , bellow the pictures of the 2 duos it says the right winner...
  • Radoslav "Nydra" Kolev ,
    The two awards are different. [quote]Similarly to the 2012 edition, two awards will be given in each category. The main GosuAward is handed out by the GosuCrew committee which convened earlier this month before polls' results came out. The second is awarded by the community who voted in said polls between December 17th and December 29th.[/quote]
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