In the last parts we learned about almost all ‘major’ foreign Brood War events in between October 2010 and December 2012. In the last eight months two big leagues were hosted, an old page finally made their comeback and the last season of Gambit Cup was entirely finished. Futhermore, the Russians continued their tournament series, smaller organizers and the Polish of NetWars did their best to promote our beloved game. Please bear with me, the past eight months are a bit hard to structure; before it was easier to judge the importance of events. The more time passes, the easier to create some sort of order.
This final chapter will skip various events, such as the map maker tournament by BroodWarMaps.net, the SBWI Summer Tour and everything from Russia – it’s just not that important. Currently, we all suffer from a summer break. Consequently the main focus will be on the Gambit Cup, a bit about the Polish scene and Teamliquid’s newest events. However, since the articles so far might have been a bit ‘much’, I’ll add statistics and overview pictures at the end, so keep on reading!
In the years past Beta the Polish delivered proof that their scene was anything but dead. Every Brood War Fan knows about their legends, Draco, Blackman, Dreiven, and so on, yet surprisingly few have heard about their most important page: Netwars.pl. This board obviously still is home to one of the most fanatic communities out there. In both Nation War Events (SBWI + Altitude) their country won quite easily, unchallenged even in parts – that’s how strong their line up overall was. Even the combined force of the East Europeans couldn’t really stop them.
In late 2012 they finally made a move and hosted the two NetWars Cups, which in comparison, were not that important or had a prize pool beyond imagination. Nonetheless, these two events showed that Poland alone could fill a tournament grid. In early January 2012 they continued and announced the so-called Bombastic Starleague. This event was pretty much the same as the old TSLs or the ISLs, meaning it started with a ladder stage for qualifications, went into a group stage and a final tournament. The only exception: Players needed to have a Polish passport. Again, the prizes weren’t that much – roughly $ 150 (500 Zloty) sponsored by the strong Zerg player ZZZero – but it motivated enough of their fans to play. Three months later the usual suspects won: trutaCz took gold, the organizer ZZZero came in second and oldschool Protoss Bonyth finished third. By the way, more oldschoolers showed up, namely MistrZZZ and Fosken, both quite known before the Beta.
Theoretically, these events weren’t as important as others, but the mere existence of the league helps to skip longer explanations in other parts of this final article. Currently the second season of the BSL is under way, having 100 Zloty more for prizes. It isn’t finished yet, but it still has a lot of good players in its ladder team. Moreover, the fans from NetWars seem to be interested in hosting more events. They had their own casters and now have an own team. But more about that later. Just keep in mind, that the Polish were on the move.
And now for something completely different. At least that’s how it’s going to look at first glance. Back in August 2012 Teamliquid re-started to cover ‘Amateur Brood War‘. Well, the SOSPA Scene started to attract more and more viewers, but that was Korea and therefore not interesting for this article series. Hence, it might look as if the American Brood War Mecca would have only covered these events, because Korea wasn’t professional as in ‘KeSPA professional’ anymore. That’d be a mistake, Teamliquid really wanted to cover foreign events as well. They indeed did (and still do) have an excellent coverage about the new Koreans thanks to the efforts of Snipealot and people like kjwcj.
To explain why this is important (in case you already forgot): With the exception of NetWars and reps.ru, there were no more foreign Brood War news at all. ICCup did have some sort of news bumps every now and then, but not regularly. Same was true for Teamliquid itself and it’s ‘rival’ GosuGamers. Most tournaments relied on simple threads. In most cases, especially if Benjamin ‘EywaSC’ Petroff or David ‘Game’ Barr were involved (without helpers), this was horrible. It just wasn’t enough and fans had a hard time to keep an overview, especially lurkers and casual readers must’ve suffered a trauma with a dozen so-called Results&Standings thread being opened.
The first edition of the Amateur Brood War Coverage (ABC) was released on 5th August by 2pacalypse-, the most important person on Teamliquid when it comes to recent coverage. The team tried to cover everything happening, summarizing the past years, at least roughly. You might’ve figured, that was a lot and the result was only so-so; it was a good first step, but if that would have been the only article, it would’ve missed to achieve what Teamliquid had in mind. Anyhow, Teamliquid kept on going and most of the big events, including the ISL 3, Gambit Cup and the other leagues finally had news. It had been a while since a fan could last check for good VODs without watching an entire play list first, saw interviews with organizers, players or other important persons, found replays without having to browse ten pages of discussions first. A giant step forward.
Teamliquid’s community again showed that they were capable of doing great things. Not only the ABC write-ups, but also when it came to promote Brood War in other ways. Especially the two forum veterans Torenhire and Trozz made some funny things – the Torenhire Starleague (ThSL) and the Gem League. Both ‘organizers’ invited a couple of Teamliquid’s more prominent users, even if they were not that skilled. Trozz’ Gem League wasn’t designed to feature top notch foreign Brood War, the map pool was quite, well, bad. It contained Blood Bath and other awkward maps; then again, that’s why it was popular among the fans, because it showed a different Brood War.
The ThSL was a bit different, it also used outdated maps and invited players. However, not all of the participants were ‘unknown’, it had pretty famous names. There was Chill, the Canadian who wrote a couple of good strategy guides, Drone aka. Eriador, an ex Templar and the guy who invented Pylon Prisons, and last but not least Rekrul, an ex-KeSPA Progamer from the United States.
An almost ‘random’ example of entertaining games; ThSL, Round of 16, Chill vs. Trozz Set 2
The late stages of both tournaments had several highlights. Still, we’re going to just spam the VODs. More important than the actual tournaments was the general response. Teamliquid’s staff was finally back, ready to do more.
Teamliquid Legacy Starleagues
In late October 2012 Teamliquid added a new button on their front page, which should help Brood War Fans to find articles easier than before. They also introduced several other features to filter non-BW content. Two weeks later, in November 2012, the sixth edition of the ABC series was published. It was the last. The big question was why this was stopped; obviously different write-ups were still published, but the foreign coverage seemed to be over at a time where more and more events were organized – the Russian King of the Hill, the Russian LANs, more Defiler Tournaments, the final stages of Gambit Cup’s first half. More and more rumors stated that January 2013 should get really interesting, especially the odd phrase ‘life of lively to live to life of full life thx to shield battery’ was posted here and there.
The bomb was dropped on first January of 2013: The Teamliquid Legacy Starleagues were announced. They were sponsored by Razor and Twitch, had a prize pool of $2.000, a trailer, fancy graphics and everything else – a lot of hype, a lot of expectations to fulfill.
Twelve qualifier tournaments were set up for the public, the finalists of each would qualify for a group stage played in an ODT Dual Format. Twelve players advanced and met the four invites – Sziky, Michael, dOTY and skzlime – in another ODT Group Stage. Afterwards an eight man Single Elimination bracket determined the winners.
Eriador vs. Naugrim, Qualifier 3, Round of 64
The qualifiers were a success in terms of viewer numbers (up to 1,000++) and number of signed in players (128++). There were a lot of oldschool players, iNfernal, breakdown, Dashwriter, Legionnaire, Naugrim and others were suddenly there to play a bit – G5 and Drone even made it to the group stage. Pro7ect, supported by his Russian fans, also made a comeback, fought his way through the sixth qualifier and even won it. Almost all invites – except the German dOTY – made it through the groups. At the end, the usual suspects won the event: Sziky first, Michael second and skzlime third.
Bits of Drama
In between the first and the second Teamliquid Legacy Starleague the goold old drama was back. The second season should feature a different system, the entire Round of 16 was basically seeded this time. This wasn’t the problem. The problem came from ICCup – the server which was used for all qualifier tournaments.
Shortly before the TLS series was announced, the ICCup staff suffered from a lot of inactivity. Most experienced admins left and little personell was left over to deal with the entire server. Long story short, the new leadership tried to start a new campaign against bad manner users and abusers. Some of the seeded players and the tournament participants found themselves on the black list – the most popular example being dOTY – for offending the server’s administration. Futhermore, the second TLS was announced with a lot of boom, but the ICCup administration didn’t know it should take place on their servers. A lot of ICCup’s own events – for example the Clan League – did clash with the qualifier cups. Not an ideal situation. Since Teamliquid denied to exclude dOTY from the tournament, the event was moved to the Korean FISH server. As a result the numbers of signed up players for the third and fourth qualification cup was significantly lower.
Back to the overall tournament: This time more problems came into play. Since it was already May 2013 the summer break started, meaning more players were either on vocation or had to write their final exams for university. Consquently Pro7ect, Marwin (4th place WCG Ukraine 2009), NeMu and Alfio dropped out, stating they had not enough time, in addition to dOTY, claiming he wouldn’t feel well with the negative comments revolving his person.
As a result the player field wasn’t as good as it could have been – the Russian Malkiyah, the Germans EnjoYme and Cryoc or the Canadian Assault were nowhere close to the foreign elite (not saying they’d be bad, just not as good), but still made it to the first group stage. The biggest upset was most likely the Canadian Protoss WandS – who participated in C Rank Teamleagues in early 2012, but defeated Peruvian Terror and oldschool Napoleon in the Round of 24. Then again, the Polish Zerg Julia wasn’t bad either. He was already known for his strong Zerg, but lacked high profile tournament finished up to the second season of the Legacy series. He uses a lot of more risky strategies, his 2 Base slow lurker drops are somewhat his most known move. Still, he was good enough to not only advance twice as group leader, but also defeated skzlime and Terror; his only loss came from Sziky. To sum it up: Sziky first, TechnicS second, Julia third.
Gambit Cup, Second Half
In February 2013 the second half of Gambit’s Cup was announced. Since Benjamin ‘EywaSC’ Petroff managed to remove himself from the scene, Justin ‘nOoNe’ Sardi took over as organizer. This was a giant improvement, not only because the American was definitely more experienced, but could also cooperate with other people. Due to Teamliquid’s new coverage almost every week had a good write up, including a pre-view, recommended VODs and entries in the Liquibet feature of Teamliquid.
Some of the old clans were back: sas, Samjoc Gaming, LRM Evolutions, Fox and the int. Federation of Untouchables. The Chinese team and reps.ru were inactive and didn’t participate. Instead, the new found team ‘NetWars’ signed up and posed a thread to the favourites. Their line-up was really scary, uniting ZZZero, Pike, trutaCz, the rising Julia, Sneazel and oldschool Bonyth.
The team SiR from first half of Gambit’s Cup Season 3 was ‘renamed’ and signed up again as insanity without Limits (iwL-). In addition to their old roster, they now had the ex-Templar Ace and the Finnish WCG 2004 National winner MadClaw aka Clawson.
One of the new teams to enter was Andrey ‘Yoda’ Yodin’s Fire Resist Yoba (FR), the team formerly known as Free Friends Russia. They had no real active player, but a couple of really experienced veterans. There was idegel aka. zolotoi, known for his various exotic all-in strategies in the Russian Defiler series which won him a gold, Bandy, known from several Russian LANs and most importantly the third best player of the Defiler Series himself: gargoyle.
The last team to join was the American clan [PaiN]. They did have a number of more or less known players, for example the Finnish 2on2 ‘star’ pirayaya or the French Terran Elena. Most of its members were known as streamers, rather than as strong individual stars. Nonetheless, the line-up was good enough to snipe a few of the better team’s players and in theory capable of taking small victories if they had a good day.
For the second half of the season the old Best of Five mode was used, not the Korean All-Kill format. There were no big surprises, the Hungarians from sas took the first place without losing a single clan war on the way, second were the Russians from iFU and third Los Reyes del Mambo.
In early 2013 another strong Terran introduced himself – obviously he was already quite known in the Russian community. Andrey ‘Marwin’ Dzyzenko made his first real success in the WCG Ukraine 2009. He made a quite good start, in the Round of 8 he defeated Strelok with a 2-0 – nobody was expecting that. His run continued for a bit, but the young Terran lost first to HanniGan with a close 1-2 and was finally knocked out by the overall winner White-Ra in the match for the third place.
- Taken from a Fan Movie (-> reps.ru)
In the time after he was known as member of the Russian clan RoX KIS, but didn’t really make it far in tournaments. He did try to qualify for the second Teamliquid Starleague, survived the ladder stage on the 35th place with a shiny A- icon, but lost against the German Terran Ghosta in qualifiers after with another close 1-2. After the Beta he took a time out and was gone for quite a long time. In December 2012 he came back, streaming some of his games just for fun on Defiler. Instantly more than 50 people watched, which is a quite good number if you only advertise on the Russian portal. A few months later, February 2012, the Terran was already a name you had to know. Ironically, he didn’t enter many tours yet and still only played either for fun or in clan wars for the Russian team iFU – and was about to replace eOnzErG as best player. In a small show match series he defeated his clan’s leader with a 4-1 and his comrade LancerX with a 4-0 white wash.
Just like Pro7ect the Ukranian had a seriously scary APM, you rarely saw him play with less than 300 clicks per minute. His mechanics were on a level equal to Sziky’s play. It was quite unfortunate, that the Terran played only for a short time, he could have easily made it far in any tournament he signed up for.
Marwin vs. Sziky
Back to the Gambit Cup, second half. The play-offs were about to start and sas were the clear favourites once again. In the match for third place the Russian team iFU took down LRM Evolutions with a clear 4-1, before they had to face sas. The finals were another of these best of three wars – two wins were needed. The first day started and ended like everyone expected, a 4-2 for sas. The Hungarians had Michael, DraW, Dewalt, Sziky and skzlime, five people with a lot of reputation. Even Marwin lost, Sziky simply took him down after 20 minutes of play. The second day was a bit different, almost the same players, but the score was reversed and both clans were now tied – this time Ukranian Marwin took down Sziky, despite Tau Cross being the same map again. An odd result, but it added to the tension.
Everyone was expecting a tense fight for the overall crown; but we were disappointed, sas managed to completely crush the Russians with a 4-1.
Right now, we’re at the end of the chronicles – almost. The rest will have a bit of statistics for you, some sort of power ranking for the time spans each article covered and sources. However, what misses is some sort of ‘preview’. I’m not actively involved with any organization anymore, at least not on a level which would get me more insights than any reader has. Might be you already know it, maybe not, some things are still under discussion.
The Swedish Brood War Initiative is currently not only working to release their own standalone page, but also discusses several other projects. Since the Gambit’s Cup Season 3 was the end of the league – at least this seems to be the most likely scenario due to EywaSC’s departure – a new league has to be organized. Most likely, the Scandinavians have an eye on that and chances are good we’ll get a better version of the old idea.
The Russians are back again, at least that’s what history suggests. As long as Yodin’s on holiday, the Defiler scene is only semi-active. He came back about two weeks ago and the 63th official Defiler Main Tournament took place last sunday – which gargoyle won. There are already rumors, the next tour should start on sunday. We’ll see. I dare say that winter is going to be good again, the Russians love winter and Brood War.
ICCup also does have several plans for a new season finale event – with money involved. I heard rumors that they found sponsors and have now a significant prize pool. Since they have a good portal and the neccessary infrastructure, the idea looks promising.
Additionally, the Polish are currently hosting the second Bombastic Starleague, which should enter its final stages soon. Obviously, Teamliquid should announce the third and (for now) final season of the Teamliquid Leagcy Series soon with the extra $500 for the winners. How and when – nobody knows. When it’s time, I guess.
Defiler – All Time Stats
Following graphic sums up the Top 10 of Defiler overall winners. Please keep in mind that only the ‘official’ and big tournaments are counted in. This includes the three MMM Tournaments, the Defiler Island Tour and the A Division of the Defiler Fatherland Tours, as well as the Russian only tournament. The won prize money might vary a bit, I simply assumed the prize pool of the first five tournaments (grids are offline) had the same distribution. Moreover, some Tournaments (e.g. the first MMM Tour) had more prizes or prizes like ‘+$20 for the best Russian’. I also excluded the no-name Korean amateurs. Theoretically the Zerg Anfod should be on sixth place, having won three times gold, twice silver and $170 in prizes with stats of 49 – 12 (80,3%).
Random Trivia Knowledge
- Despite Napoleon being most times the underdog in tournaments, he has a high rate of success in the Russian events. He signed up for six tours, took gold twice and bronze three times.
- Sziky on the other hand could have signed up for 67 tournaments and won medals in 25 of them, the table doesn’t list the two fourth places the Hungarian won.
- Sziky and Scan are the only players with a profile so packed with medals, that their pages only show their golds and silvers.
- Gargoyle scored higher than the rest, because he won the first two Defiler Tournaments ever and the RU only tour – if only tournaments open for every foreigner would have been counted in, he’d be on place 8; Furthermore, he won the first place of MMM Tour 1 by walk over against Scan. Hard to say if he’d had a chance to win the overall series,
- The only Protoss players to win gold at least twice in Defiler Tournaments are Lancerx, Tama and Dewalt.
- When Heme left the scene he was still on #2 overall with the highest Win Ratio against every other player; it took 12 more months for Scan to replace him; eOnzErG and gargoyle needed another 12 months to tie up with the Russian Terran.
- The only player to win a Defiler Gold Medal using nothing but random as race is Scan
- In the 57th official Defiler Tournament Korean BJ Terror[fOu] participated. He went up 1-0 in the Semi Finals against Arcneon, but stopped playing after, because he was not able to set up a paypal account.
Player Ranking: Post Beta
We’re almost at the end, a few more pages and you’re done and finally know a bit about the past three years. Obviously, some sort of ranking would come in handy. An overall one. However, there are problems with these kind of rankings. Teamliquid used to make Power Rankings for Progamers and I distinctly remember various users complaining about bias. Bias will be a part of my personal ranking, too. There are not factual statistics, I could use as source. The TLPD is anything but finished, it leaves out the Defiler Rankings for now and it will need a lot more time to really cover everything ‘important’. The only thing coming close to a real ranking is what I calculated for ICCup last december – an ELO ranking of foreigners, who played in bigger tours in between January and December 2012. Nevermind, let’s start.
Or not, because the first question which needs an answer would be whether to include Scan or not. He, in theory, is a foreigner and played in a lot of foreign events in 2011. He completely stopped to participate a while ago, at least if his Defiler entries are taken out of the equation. He however does play in Chinese and SOSPA events and even wins there. That’s probably the reason why I’ll exclude him, if he’d be in, he’d easily lead the board.
On a different note: Heme’s not in either, because his reign was short. It stopped after five months.
Number 1: Sziky
Sziky from Hungary is the clear favourite to win any tournament. He has all the records, best player in Defiler, golds in ISL 2 and 3, gold in both TLS Seasons thus far. He was also able to take games off Pusan and Doctor.K, is one of the goal getters for his team and can barely be stopped, especially not over long distances. No Protoss or Zerg in the foreign world can really expect to beat him, at least not if he’s in shape, drunk or plays with both hands. His lead is just too big. The only problem Sziky faces is his match up against Terran, and without Heme and Scan being present, there’s nobody with enough skill. Marwin, Pro7ect and Heme had the potential to improve enough to take him down, but none of these three played long enough. Skzlime and Terror have a similar potential, but first doesn’t play consistent enough and latter breaks down against worse players.
Number 2: Michael
The runner-up would be Michael. He was not part of the trio in early 2011 – Heme and Scan were both better and played in more tournaments. However, the ranking covers three years and Michael had plenty of time to participate in other events. He never achieved a real top place, but played really consistent. You could rely that he would at least reach the Quarterfinals, regardless of the other players. He was more likely to lose to snipers, but in the long run only a Sziky could take him down. His mirror was strong enough to take on the tyrant occasionally, which also counts for something. Without him sas would definitely be a lot weaker. A great personality, a great player!
Number 3: Pro7ect
It gets increasingly harder to judge which player should be among the Top 10 now. Pro7ect is in my eyes better than Heme, despite Heme having won more tournaments. Still, Pro7ect barely signed up for high class events, if he did he won, even against stars like Michael and also had the advantage to play Terran vs. Sziky’s Zerg. That was, most times, not enough. Still, the Russian/Korean had plenty of room to improve, which he sadly sacrifice for a StarCraft II career. His come back during the first TLS shows how little he had forgotten and how easily he could be among the elite, still.
Number 4: TechnicS
Dimitar ‘TechnicS’ Sivkoff did not play a lot in the first two years after Beta, at least not in high class tournaments or smaller series like the Defiler Tournaments. He did quite badly in the first two ISLs and only finished on sixth place in the third; however, he did play a lot for his teams Los Reyes Del Mambo Evolutions and Bulgarian Elite Players. For these Sivkoff was probably the most reliable player, taking on each and everyone. The fact that he only started to win gold medals in the Russian tours and silver in the second Teamliquid Legacy Starleague shouldn’t be interpreted wrongly. He was good and still is.
Number 5: Dewalt
Dewalt, similar to Pro7ect, Heme and Marwin, wasn’t always there. In Winter 2012 he finally started to show what he was made off. Largo already mentioned it, he witnessed how the young Protoss grew within the past three year. He improved so much, that he could defend his Defiler gold against playes like Tama, a beast in the mirror, and TechnicS, one of the most dominant forces in this time. He also tries to play more StarCraft II at the moment, but still made it to the last eight in the first TLS. His presence during the Russian King of the Hill and his general performance in between September 2012 and February 2012 are enough for a legit fifth place.
Number 6: Bakuryu
Mike ‘Bakuryu’ Lange comes in sixth. Most won’t agree with me, because the German Zerg did not win big until now, he was always the underdog and probably will have this reputation for a bit longer. However, he did improve really a lot. If it wasn’t for his slow mechanics and his play against Terran in general, he’d be a really scary opponent. Yet, this also impresses me a lot, he definitely shows that one can be good without spamming like an ebola infected monkey. Plus, he signs up for everything that’s out there. He did so during the past three years, no break, nothing, always present and literally always close to the winning positions.
Number 7: eOnzErG
If it wasn’t for eOnzErG’s run in the past eight months or so, it would not be enough for an entry in my top 10. Even though I currently want to choke the Spaniard for his spam in Defiler’s chat and his unwise statements on different platforms, I have to hand it to him. Just like Bakuryu he signed up for every tournament that’s out there, trained and improved. It did take a longer time for him to grasp the idea to switch from risky openings towards a more solid and thought through play, but he got there just in time. He does win more than the German on place 6, but, like I just said, was in the past three years not solid enough to take over.
Number 8: trutaCz
There’s not much I can say here what isn’t already mentioned in eOn’s or Bakuryu’s text. Same sympthom: Many entries, much success and the leading player of team Netwars, the Netwars Cup and the Bombastic Starleague. A clear case, yet his achievements came in two years too late to be among the top 5 or even higher.
Number 9: Tama
Another risky pick: Tama on place 9. He also never played much, never scored too high. He ‘only’ has two Defiler Golds and a number of LAN results in the past years. But he also showed how good he could play against the active foreign elite during Gambit’s Cup and Nation Wars. He’s the reason Dewalt is strong in his mirror match and he’s probably Russia’s strongest Terran sniper. Dangerous, yet inactive.
Number 10: Napoleon & Gargoyle
Yes, right, two players on the same spot doesn’t make sense. Somewhere deep down in the vaults in my head it does. Both players are quite oldschool, both have a unique style, both are dangerous, yet not stable enough or too active, to really be always present. Yet, in case of Napoleon you can mention his streak during end of Summer 2012, tell people he won five medals in six Defiler Tournaments, is probably the strongest 2on2 player/ally you could hope for and a real pillar of his team.
In Dima’s aka Gargoyle’s case, other, yet similar arguements could be made. Five Defiler medals – some of which easier won than others – are not bad at all. His wins in several show matches against the Russian elite show what he can do. He also did play well in Gambit Cup for his team and is probably the only star of Yodin’s roster.
Well that was cheating, but there we are.
Sources and Thanks (Ending)
Obviously, this article series is over now. I hope you read up the things you wanted to know. Remember, not everything is in – I left out a number of show matches, King of the Hills, fun events, more or less everything the C Rank community made (because I never understood its purpose, sorry), fun articles by NinaZerg or various other leagues, for example every season of BWCL and ICCCL. For this last time frame it also felt odd to add more information, as Teamliquid covered most events far better than I possibly could. However, the first three parts had only little to no good coverage, was confusing or is still spread over dozens of threads, news posts and fan pages. Hence, this was my motivation.
I also didn’t do most of the research on my own. I do have my little helpers for projects like this. Namely thanks have to go out to: Defi, Largo, Javlaeterran and everyone who ever added anything to Liquipedia I. If you want to read more, here’s what you could check:
- Liquipedia I Timeline
- DeSPA Rating & Tournament List
- Russia BW Best BW (Write-Up about Defiler & co)
- Teamliquid’s [ABC] Overview
- ICCup Event Ranking (2012)
That being said, thanks for reading. If you have a few seconds of spare time, consider to answer the poll(s).