A week has gone by since MLG Dallas, and the Starcraft 2 community has calmed down. The amount of hype that came out of event was absurd; the story lines, the amazing games and Starcraft 2 beating League of Legends in viewers. Lets take a look back at Day 2 and 3 of MLG Dallas.
The rest of the Round of 32 was fleshed out on this day. The non- Korean community had one more chance to prove themselves in Dallas. EG.Stephano who is widely regarded as the best non-Korean player to hit the scene was dismantled by Korean player STX Last. Last with his amazing multi-tasking with dropships and the usage of his ground army left Stephano in awe. Last did not just stop there, he went on to sweep another non-Korean player; c.Killer. Now we are left with only ONE non-Korean standing in the mist, his name; Mill.Goswser. Who was his opponent? Well the famous ST Bomber of course, many turned to watch a different stream as we all figured it would be another 0-3 rout. Goswser with out with a fight, even though he lost 1-3. Their series had some of the best games of the tourney, with Bomber setting a Seeker Missile on his OWN medivac and runs it into Goswser’s army and turning the tide of the battle. Another game Bomber forgot he had set a nuke off as he was fighting Goswser’s army, and as he went to chase Goswser’s army off the nuke decimated his own army. Also how could I forget the hour and twenty minute game that went back and forth for so long, what made it great was seeing Goswser come out on top.
Sadly the only way a non-Korean player could advance would be by facing each other. Not a single one was able to win a series against a Korean, a lot of fans were comparing it to the days of Starcraft 1: Broodwar, when Koreans wouldn’t even come overseas to face non-Koreans, as it wasn’t even worth the time or skill. The combined map score was 5-36, please let that sink in.
Now the other storyline going on was: “Zergs are the weakest race, Zergs can’t win any matchup.” If you look at the event at broader angle then you notice the most obvious; Only two Zergs were Korean and the rest were non-Koreans. The counter argument would be that one of the Korean Zergs lost. Who did he lose to? Well the third best player in the tournament STX Innovation. FXO Leenock could do absolutely nothing against Innovation, he took the 3-0 win as if it was obvious. With Leenock out a sixteen year old zerg was left, by the name of ST Life. Life has been winning 90% of the tourneys he enters, the last six months has shown the rise of Life. Many compare him to Flash(The god of Starcraft 1), as he was the same age when he hit the scene in full force. Fortunately for Zerg and Life fans, he went on to demonstrate why he is still the best Zerg player. He had to face Polt as the final series of the day and man what a series, both players were playing until 1 am, it went a whole five games with Life pulling out the victory.
This was the day the tournament really shined, the first two matches of day was; Flash vs Parting and Innovation vs Rain. If you had two monitors you would watch both series, it was the unfortunate who only had one monitor that had to flip a coin. Easily most people watched Flash vs Parting, as the theme of the event, Flash won in a stunning 3-1 style. While on the other end Innovation was not slowing down and won 3-0 over Rain. Lucky MLG decided that the rest of the quarterfinals will be broadcasted on one stream, so now we wouldn’t have to pick and choose.
Life, after playing into the wee hours of the morning, was up to bat versus Last. Like the previous game versus Polt, it went a full five game series. With one game looking like a total lost for Life, his control of his zerglings vs hellions was superb and he ended up turning the game to a win. For those who don’t know hellions fry zerglings easily, but somehow Life was able to make it work. In game five Life took his aggressive playstyle up a notch, he was commandeering attacks on so many fronts, even the casters couldn’t keep up. He came out on top of the five game series. The next series was SK MC vs Bomber. While Protoss players were falling to the multi-tasking of Terran players, MC the Protoss President showed the way once again. In the round of 16 he faced LG-IM Mvp, who was undeniably the best Wings of Liberty player was toppled with ease by MC’s early game aggression, 1-3. Now he was facing Bomber and of course if Mvp couldn’t stop him, it only makes sense he beast Bomber, and well he did so in a 3-0 fashion.
Finally, the semifinals quite possibly the most hyped final four in MLG, with 157,000 viewers watching, only great games could come out of it. The semifinal series were: Life vs MC and Flash vs Innovation. The latter was the first series up. They played what some would call the best game of the tournament. It was on the map Whirlwind, for those who don’t know it’s a huge map so mainly its a map for passive playstyles. Not for Flash and Innovation, both were orchestrating drops and ground attacks the whole match, in the end Flash out muscled Innovation and was the first player in the Finals. With that Life vs MC became hyped to no end, with everyone cheering for a Life vs Flash rematch, from last MLG Dallas finals. An so Life made it happen, while MC solved the Terran problem, he looked dumbfounded vs Life and lost 0-3.
The Finals a Best of Seven: Life vs Flash.
It seemed too good to be true. Life the last Zerg since the round of 16, Flash the god of Starcraft 1 continuing his reign in Starcraft 2. It was eSF vs Kespa, it was a rematch that we all have been waiting for since last November.
Game one Life opened with his traditional early aggression, which didn’t pay off vs Flash’s un-risky build. That didn’t stop Life from keeping up him aggressive nature and he went for a zergling and baneling bust on Flash’s third base. That was the edge Life needed to take the advantage, from there he transition into his tried and true zergling-muta-baneling composition to win the game. That composition was thought to be obsolete in Heart of the Swarm, with the introduction of widow mines to the Terran army, and of course in game two it proved correct and Flash went on to tying the series up.
In game three, Life went for a timing attack with speed zerglings and banelings off of three bases and caught Flash’s army out of position, winning him the game. Game four, we saw the risky builds Flash was famous for, proxy two barracks rush. It was placed extremely closed to Life’s base and it was barely outside of his scouting range. Flash rushed in and caught Life by surprise and won.
Once again the series was tied 2-2. Life went back to his old fashion playstyle, while not caring about the widow mines power. He dealt with them by sending one unit at a time to defuse the mines and since Flash had chosen not to make a few tanks to support his marine and medivac army, he was forced to tap out.
Now it was match point for Life, both players decided to play a full macro game. No early aggression from Life and wonky build from Flash. When the game transitioned to the mid-game was when the action really began. Life doing zergling and muta run-bys as Flash was dropping marines in multiple bases, fighting was all over the map. Life’s multi-tasking was just too much for Flash, but there was not much Flash could do, his drops were getting shut down, he was losing head to head fights all over the map. Once he decided he had enough he bowed out and GG’ed.
ST Life wins another event and takes home $25,000. He proved to the many Zerg players out there, that Zerg is still a strong race and that he is here to stay.
MLG Dallas did a great job with this event, fans and players alike complained about no open bracket at the event itself. After this event we still protest it but the way it turned out could not be denied. The thing about online qualifiers is that, well players can cheat, and that is a big issue by its own merit. Hopefully MLG find a way for qualifiers to be fair, if open brackets are not making a return. With that said I must echo what everyone is saying; Heart of the Swarm feels more like Starcraft: Broodwar, with fighting on multiple fronts, the back and front nature of the matches, and of course action throughout the game. I’m excited to see where it’s headed and what the players have to show.
For now we have to wait until Dreamhack in April, since IPL cancelled their event. Europe will get their chance at the Koreans, hopefully its MUCH closer than MLG. Until then good luck and have fun!