E-Sports @ OnRPG: January 13th Report
By Umar Farooq (Kluey), OnRPG Journalist
Hello! January 6–13, 2012 was a good week in E-Sports. Lots of things happened, most of which were amazing. Before we start, I’d like to point out to everyone that there will be spoilers! Skip Homestory Cup IV and GSL 2012 parts if you are still intending to watch these matches with your own eyes.
Homestory Cup IV
Like I’ve said before, Homestory Cup is an amazing tournament and this one was nothing short of that. I usually like to not judge a tournament based on its games as the tournament had no way of enforcing that but, you cannot overlook the games of HSC IV especially MC vs. JYP. Before we get into the players, I’d just like to say a couple of things. First is that MC, MKP and Reis are an epic casting team. You’d think that broken English with a crazy guy and an extremely shy person would be a bad casting team but, nope. MC, MKP and Reis are extremely funny and left me giggling after every cast they would do. Second is that players casting is really cool. It may be anticlimactic, it may be a bit boring and they may not have the most beautiful of voices, but their knowledge of the game is unparalleled. You can be good at analytical casting but players will always understand more simply because they’re the ones playing at the highest level. And last, Koreans are still dominating Starcraft 2.
LiquidHerO simply couldn’t handle the pressure of the spotlight this week. He tried to cannon rush a player that I felt was much worse than he was. He also let zerglings slip into his base which never happens on his stream. Actually, now that I think about it, he doesn’t actually lose PvZ on his stream…
Koreans are… pretty good at Starcraft! Sound proved this by showing up in Germany as an unknown player and leaving as one of the up and coming players. His extremely abusive play style punishes any slow players that aren’t familiar with micro, attempt greedy builds, or are slow to start. At least one of these three traits was common on nearly every player competing at Homestory Cup IV and ST_Sound capitalized on it. I don’t expect Sound to win Code S any time soon but you’ll definitely see him placing among the best. MKP and MC even said that he’s the next Bomber which I feel is overestimating him a bit.
MC is pretty good and he proved that this week. He also proved that he is extremely unpredictable. Everyone knew that MC has skills and was a front runner among the pack but his past performances had everyone doubting that he’s take home the Cup. He’s fallen to Code B sometimes and won Code S sometimes… However his Stalker control is by far the best. Be it Blink or no Blink, his stalkers are worth twice as much as they are to normal people. Min Chul has never failed to entertain and this is a well deserved win for him. Furthermore, he’s won his GSL matches! He barely made it out of his group beating Leenock with a nice 7 Gate timing. I hope to see him do well in 2012 as he is one of my favourite players of all time.
Koreans at Homestory Cup IV
GSL January 2012 Code S
So far, no foreigner has advanced. Let’s be honest, no one expected them to actually advance. IdrA probably would’ve had a chance if he had an easier group but that was not the case. Sen has shown his worth before, but he choked or just wasn’t feeling well as he very well could’ve made it out of his group. If I am not mistaken, Sen does play on the Taiwan/Korea server so he should be well prepared for this meta.
My predictions for this GSL are calculated and expected. I’m going to go ahead and pick the players who will most likely do well instead of going out on a limb to pick someone crazy. I think Ns_HS.Jjakji, MVP, MC, DRG and MMA will be Top 5 in no particular order. Zenio might do well for himself along with JYP as they are both very solid players. I also think that players like Brown and Parting who are new to the GSL will get absolutely ripped to pieces as they lack experience in a booth. I feel like if there is a weakness to Koreans, it’s that. Apart from the GSL what offline tournaments does Korea have? I may be wrong, but they have none and the few that they have are played by the already experienced players. In the West we have GSL’s and IPL’s that can train a good player to overcome his fear of live events.
Team EG closes Counter-Strike Division
After seven years they are finally shutting down and I think it may be the right decision. What company looking to sponsor a team would chose Counter Strike 1.6 over the new and more popular games? While it may upset some fans, business wise this was the right choice.
CS: GO might bring a new team though. They are in fact keeping one player, 2008 and 2009 eSports Player of the Year in North America , Jordan ‘n0thing’ Gilbert. He’s staying as a “FPS gaming evangelist”. I really hope EG becomes a top CS: GO team or even any type of CS: GO team as that will help bring CS: GO into eSports.
As far as CS 1.6 is concerned, that game should be dead now. It’s an amazing game to play while passing time if you don’t have access to your gaming PC, but it’s simply not a top FPS game now because there are games that are essentially Counter Strike 1.6 with more features and better graphics.