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General12 years agoRadoslav "Nydra" Kolev

With a bang and familiar gusto: NASL 3 W1D1 recap

Yet again, the cheerful presence of InControl in the NASL left us waiting for but never receiving an announcement of an announcement. Not that anyone needed it, truly, as April 11th was long marked on every StarCraft fan calendar. And when you have Stephano, Puma and Zenio in the opening day, that red mark on the date crosses out every other social or pseudo-nerdy plans one might had made.

Written by: procyolontor

Scrimmage report

Puma 2-0 Zenio
PuMa plays his standard, Zenio comes up short. Ultralisks suspected to have been an accessory. This only reinforces my theory that ultras are more like the Creature from Black & White, who takes only guidelines from its master and ultimately does what it wants.

Believe it or not, this was a battle which Zenio lost

Stephano 2-0 TT1
Two base protoss versus Stephano ends predictably. A moment of silence for TT1, the latest warrior to fall in the war against the French zerg. Almost two years later many protoss players still don’t know how to beat mass roach. Might want to take cues from Squirtle, who taught NesTea the evils of massing only one unit at IPL4.

Cloud 2-1 Haypro
HayprO vs ClouD started by showing us the beautiful game of a terran going head first against a wall of pure invincible zerg only to devolve into the usual pattern of inefficient trades versus marine/tank, with cloaked banshees and upgraded bio giving ClouD the win in game three. After game one I was going to say Banjo performed some kind of rain song because ClouD was sure to have shed tears after that loss, but it looks like I have to settle with, “let me play you a tune on the world’s smallest Banjo.”

NightEnd 2-0 BratOK
We’ve seen this game before. It’s one incarnation of a much larger conflict: the Eternal PvT. You know how it goes: random opening into an unprepared bio versus colossus/templar/chargelot into a final battle in the middle, where the terran army evaporates and the myth of protoss imbalance is propagated. A neat 2 - 0 performed for us by NightEnD on BratOK.

Queue TvP balance talk... now!

Third time's the charm

In its first two seasons NASL brought together technical problems, low production values, and other unforeseen consequences to produce a much decried broadcast that nethertheless ended each run with a bang. The format returns, but much improved. The now famous casting duo Bitterdam, fresh off their run with ESL, have opened the months long competition with familiar gusto, introducing the tournament’s new face. Like the oft derided nerdy kid from the movies, NASL got a much needed makeover and returned bright, buff and boastful. They’ve always had the goods, we can tell, but only now are they bringing it all to bear. This is an event worthy of the name Starcraft, and one you should watch.

Finally, NASL is neither the first nor the last show to resort to the Animal Mascot Gimmick (tm). I’m sorry, Chance, you’re a nice doggie, but you’re as gratuitous as a chest shot on Facebook.

Division overview and standings

Division 1 after Week 1
Romania Nightend
Korea Puma1-0+2
France Stephano1-0+2
Italy Cloud1-0+1
Korea Hwangsin0-00
Sweden Haypro0-1-1
Russia BratOK0-1-2
Canada TT10-1-2
Korea Zenio0-1-2

It’s early enough in the season that the current standings mean very little, though it might be argued that this first early loss for Zenio will give him a tougher time as the need for good results increases. At this point there are three favorites in the group: PuMa, Stephano, and Zenio himself. Everybody else plays wildcard. I hope they know how to put on a poker face, because those three have all the cards and then some.

Barely clairvoyant: Week 2 on April 18th

Division 1 Week 2
Korea ZenioVSKorea Hwangsin
Korea PumaVSFrance Stephano
Russia BratOKVSCanada TT1
Italy CloudVSRomania NightEnd

PuMa and Stephano are going to have at it. Boy oh boy. This is likely to be one of the critical matches which determine who gets first place and an assured spot in the playoffs and who gets to sweat it out slugging through the postseason sea of unfortunates trying to get into the endgame.

Making his debut one week later is HwangSin, notorious all in master and the one true wild card of the division. This man is no slouch, routinely feasting on unwary Americans and Europeans and even the odd misinformed Koreans. Even so he’s looking to take on a player who spent most of his Starcraft 2 career playing GSL not entirely unsuccessfully.

The rest of the crew, TT1, ClouD, BratOK and NightEnD, form that thick Euro-American layer of players that could but never have. I can’t think of them as serious contenders for the top spot, but each of them could be the one stray arrow piercing a would be Achilles’ heel. I can’t wait to find out who.

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