MSL Preview: The time has come
Together with SC2GG, we present predictions for the final match between Bisu and Jangbi.
After over two full months of action, the time has finally come to crown the ClubDay MSL champion. Bisu and JangBi fought their way through the best that progaming had to offer to reach the grand finale. Will the Revolutionist claim his third MSL title, or will Samsung KHAN continue its hot streak and claim another Starleague? SC2GG's writers are back with their predictions on this upcoming battle between the two Protoss giants in this week's MSL update.
I honestly don't know what to think anymore. We saw mostly standard PvPs between Best and Stork (aside from Stork's crazy shuttle speed build), storm-filled PvPs between Kal and Jangbi, and DTs around every corner in Bisu vs Free. We've seen so many Protoss mirrors lately that I don't know which style is better.
I'll be honest - I thought Jangbi would lose to Kal. I feel that Kal is the superior player, but Jangbi simply outplayed him all across the board in the semifinals (though Kal wasn't as good as he could've been, either). Simply put, Jangbi is on a hot streak. On the other hand, Bisu is in a similar state, looking stronger than ever after spending some time out of the spotlight. They both pulled out their own unique styles in their semifinal matches, and both snagged their wins in convincing fashion.
So the million dollar question is: which style will win? This will be a match of who can dictate the pace of the game over the other. If Jangbi turns things to his storm-loving style of play, he will have the upper hand, and the reverse applies to Bisu. However, I feel the deciding factor is the fact that Bisu is by far the more experienced player. He has played many epic PvPs in the past with pretty much every Protoss style there is, and probably knows the game better than the less experienced (albeit still very skilled and talented) Jangbi. I feel that this will make the crucial difference between the two players, and tip the scales in Bisu's favor.
Having said that, I predict a 3-2 victory for the Revolutionist, as Jangbi is not going to go down without a fight. Or at least one heck of a light show.
Bisu is the type of player who is simply invincible in a best-of-five series when he is in "the zone". And, even relative to his decisive GOMTV MSL S1 and S2 runs, Bisu has never looked further in that zone than he does now: poised to crush some generic Samsung Protoss and claim his third MSL title.
Bisu didn't just cruise past Hwasin, Firebathero, and Free. He embarrassed them. FBH's newfound "TvP skills" only took him past the mid-game once. Free's desperate 4-gate attempts met only cool, collected defense and lethal DT counters. Failed proxies, gosu probe vs. DT micro, risky all-ins - Bisu has brushed aside all obstacles with ease to reach the ClubDay MSL's biggest stage.
While Bisu has been crushing legitimate MSL dreams on his side of the bracket, JangBi has been playing in the joke MSL. In the joke MSL, you can face Yellow[ArnC]'s PvZ up to seven times. Flash is in your group, but you can avoid him by beating Yarnc and Bul_T. Memory is your Ro16 opponent. Your likely semifinal opponent, the tournament favorite and a god of PvP, blows his quarterfinal series because he's preparing for the OSL. In the joke MSL, none of your opponents has a winning record against Protoss (Bul_T 0%, Yarnc 46%, Memory 33%, Kal 44%).
Unfortunately for JangBi, the finals are not part of the joke MSL. Bisu will destroy him.
If there's been a theme to the ClubDay 2008 MSL, it'd have to be "upsets". Game after game, round after round, favorites have dropped out of the '08 MSL at an alarming rate. Now, at the end of things, only one remains. One favorite to rule them all: He is Bisu, and he is mighty.
Jangbi's play over the last few weeks has been extremely impressive, but when he steps into the booth across from Bisu this Saturday, he's going to be exposing himself in enemy territory. The Revolutionist is no stranger to the big stage, and is already a two-time MSL champ. With so much experience at the highest level of professional StarCraft, Bisu should have no trouble dealing with the pressure of the moment.
For Jangbi, on the other hand, coming out on top against Bisu would mean doing something virtually impossible at any level of StarCraft. He's going to have to beat two players at once. First he has to overcome the Revolutionist - no small feat in and of itself, and then he'll have to beat whatever nerve-wracked demons he has lurking inside himself. Can he do it? I don't think so.
Throughout this tournament, when other favorites have faltered, Bisu has stood strong. Come Saturday, he's going to stand his ground one last time.
To so many people the ClubDay MSL has been nothing but a disappointment. No Flash? No Jaedong? No Terran? No Zerg? Heaven forbid! The semifinals were not full of boring, repetitive, build order dependent PvP's. Rather we were served up with some entertaining back and forth series, that while they didn't make it to the rubber game, were still as compelling as any other matchup. The championship match is sure to deliver more of the same high quality PvP play.
What we're left with are two Protoss juggernauts. The Revolutionist, Bisu has returned from almost exactly a year-long hiatus from the MSL finals. He's weathered some rough times, and come through it with a renewed vigor and another year of experience under his belt. Too bad for him though, none of that is going to matter come Saturday. Jangbi, called "Huhneunim" by the Korean community (Huhneunim is a play on the Korean word for god) is the next Protoss king. He has stormed his way through this MSL, only faltering for one brief moment in the semi-finals.
We've been bearing witness to a young Huh Youngmoo growing into what everyone has known he can be: a Starleague champion. He now sits three games away from entering the ranks of the elite, and there's no doubt in my mind that he will join Stork atop the podium.
That's the first word that comes to mind for the ClubDay MSL finals. We have gone from a Round of 16 that offered epic stories from great players (Stork, fOrGG, Firebathero, Iris, Jaedong, free) to a final of underwhelming proportions. My two least favorite players? Stork and Bisu. Playing in this finals? Bisu and JangBi a.k.a, mini-Stork. I'm so glad I have long-standing plans this weekend.
Now onto this matchup. It's ironic, because in this final, we have the second string Protoss for each team. Bisu sits behind BeSt on SK Telecom T1, whilst JangBi warms the bench for Stork on Samsung KHAN. Stork and BeSt are the two greatest PvP players as of right now, so the two actual contenders will have great practice games. Bisu brings creativity to the table as his main strong part. Creativity has had a history of royally messing with JangBi, but he has the advantage that Stork is the only Protoss who has a winning record versus BeSt, who will no doubt be working closely with Bisu. This will be a close series, maybe even an *GASP* exciting PvP series. But in the end, I think that JangBi is at a slight advantage here with the momentum almost all KHAN players are seeing.
A Special Letter to the Finalists
Bisu, what can you do wrong recently? You have won 16 of 19, with two of those losses being against a red-hot free, and another loss against an equally-hot Calm. Essentially, you are losing only to the people that have only a slight potential to beat you, but are still beating them overall in the grand scheme of things (beating Calm 2-1 in the GOM, beating free 3-1 in the semis). However, I'm not totally sold on your play. You haven't beaten anyone with a decent PvP in that streak outside of free (Luxury doesn't count), and several of those wins were against Devil, Jaehoon, and by.hero. Who? Basically, I don't think the opponents you've beaten have really exemplified MSL champion strength out of you, and more importantly, I don't like you.
You want to know what is funny about this matchup? Both players have won 16 of 19. Jangbi, you've done it too. True, part of that streak was beating Yarnc FIVE TIMES, but you have been more consistently playing the upper tier of players. Both of these streaks have multiple wins against people who anyone should be able to beat, but I think that yours are just a little bit more convincing, with stronger wins against stronger Protoss players. The matchup is PvP, not PvZ or PvT, where Bisu has been stronger in. I can't say anything to argue against the case that you will bring Samsung its second gold ever this week. You also have Stork to practice with, and since he knows the SKT1 Protoss better than anyone (beating Bisu *gasp* and Best in the OSL). I just have to give you the nod in this series, also because I like you more, although it will be a close fight.
For me, Bisu vs JangBi is a complete mirror of the recent presidential election. Bisu, the Revolutionist, has the experience card going for him. He's been here before, and he's the sure bet to win the MSL title. JangBi, on the other hand, is the newcomer. He made a solid campaign throughout the MSL, dominating the competition and dropping only one game to Kal in the semifinals on his way to top. Bisu's running mate, BeSt, is a solid backup and practice partner, but we all know how BeSt has done in his finals. JangBi, on the other hand, has the newly crowned OSL champion in his corner. As WorldCommunist8 mentioned, Stork has the winning record over BeSt. Running mate vs running mate, JangBi has the upper hand.
Looking at the issues, we have macro and micro. Bisu has proven that his micro is second to none in this MSL, dominating the Terran competition with his shuttle/reaver micro. JangBi has proven to be the storm king of the StarCraft universe, and has dominated many late game battles with his impeccable macro and micro. Creativity-wise, Bisu certainly has had the upper hand, but JangBi has thwarted almost every cheese handed to him with ease, and dished some of his own. Multitasking-wise, JangBi has stepped a notch above his peers to dominate his competition in this category. No one has been better then JangBi this season at harassing the opponent's economy. His ability to stay in your face game in and game out has carried him to where he is now. To beat JangBi, you have to be at the very peak of your game. Bisu has made a stellar comeback this season, but JangBi is playing out of his mind right now, and I don't think anyone can stop him. Obama won the presidential election, and JangBi is going to win the MSL championship. The time for change is now.
The MSL Challenge Report
Things are going down to the wire as the entire field of contestants have been cut down to the final two, 538 and p4NDemik1755. It's only fitting that the winner will be determined in the grand finals of the MSL. If Bisu wins his third MSL, 538 will walk away as the MSL challenge champion. If JangBi gets his first title, p4NDemik1755 will be our grand prize winner. There are going to be no tiebreakers this time around, only one will get the title of MSL Challenge champion here at SC2GG. Stay tuned to find out whose predictions will reign supreme!
That's all for this week's MSL update, I'll see you guys next week in the last ClubDay MSL '08 update when I cover the grand finals and announce the grand prize winner of the MSL challenge. Thanks for reading and later days. Enjoy the finals!
Special thanks to BachHo, KnightofNi, WorldCommunist8, p4NDemik1755, Mr.Bitter, JWD and Akuun for their predictions.
Also check out SC2GG's Montly top 10 article over at their site.
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