Due to circumstances beyond my control I was unable to write about week 2 last week, so this article may be a tad long. Here's a recap for week 2 and 3.
In week 2 we saw the best of the best Euro players face off in a week of Protoss vs Zerg to see who would play in Dallas in March. At the beginning of the week it seemed hopeless for Zerg players, especially when put up against Protoss, but leave it to Stephano to prove that although Zerg may be down, you cannot count Zerg out. If I've learned anything from these last 2 weeks, it's that a regular WoL build just won't cut it against these HoTS units. Of course, many WoL units are still useful but they need to be complimented with either changed units, like Muta's or Void Rays, or with new units like Swarm Hosts or Widowmines.
Sase(Protoss) vs. Snute(Zerg), Sase wins 3-0.
Nerchio(Zerg) vs. Babyknight(Protoss), Babyknight wins 3-1.
Stephano(Zerg) vs. Titan(Protoss), Stephano wins 3-0.
Mana(Protoss) vs. Bly(Zerg), Bly wins 3-1.
Socke(Protoss) vs. Thorzain(Terran), Thorzain wins 3-0
Ret(Zerg) vs. Feast(Protoss), Ret wins 3-1.
Week number three featured some of the more well known Korean players from the ESF. This week featured a lot of very one sided games and the fewest amount of Protoss players playing and advancing to Dallas thus far.
Creator(Protoss) vs. Nestea(Zerg), Creator wins 3-0.
Mvp(Terran) vs. Curious(Zerg), Mvp wins 3-0.
Sniper(Zerg) vs. Seed(Protoss), Seed wins 3-1.
MarineKing(Terran) vs. Gumiho(Terran), MarineKing wins 3-1.
DongRaeGu(Zerg) vs. Jjakji(Terran), Jjakji wins 3-2.
Week 2 Breakdown:
The first PvZ of week 2 featured Sase vs Snute. Sase was able to dominate Snute with his use of Collosi and overwhelming gateway units. This first game really showcased the weaknesses of the Zerg race as Snute was continuously unable to find an answer to Sase's armies.
Matchup number 2 featured another PvZ with the Protoss player Babyknight going up against the Zerg player Nerchio. While Nerchio started off strong, his decision to forgo a strong economy in exchange for units with little to no upgrades spelled his downfalll. Although Babyknight started off this best of 5 on his back foot, he was easily able to overcome Nerchio's lack of upgraded units and win this series 3-1.
Matchup number 3 was the matchup to watch this week. With the Zerg players being eliminated left and right, many were excited to see how Stephano would fare, and he did not disappoint. To no one's surprise, Stephano's phenomenal use of a relentless wave of Roaches proved to be too strong for Titan. Titan tried hard to play around with his army composition, using Stargate units in game one, Warpgate units in game two, and fast blink stalkers to try and find a way to hold Stephano off. Unfortunately for Titan, he was unable to hold off the Zerg advance and Stephano won the series 3-0. Stephano is the first Zerg player to advance to Dallas.
The third PvZ of the week featured the Protoss player Mana going up against the Zerg player Bly. Bly's insistence on establishing an early third base put him on good economic grounds but made him very vulnerable in the early game. Despite a rocky start from Bly, he as able to overwhelm Mana with his awkward timings and huge forces. His stable economy allowed him to upgrade units and keep pushing until he won. Bly took the series 3-1.
The fourth match up would see a nice change of pace with the Terran player Thorzain going up against the Protoss player Socke. In 3 amazing games we were able to see the two mighty races face off with a lot of defensive play and a lot of back and forth. With both races more mobile, all 3 games were very fast paced. Unfortunately for Socke, Thorzain was able to overcome the crazy powerful late game Terran army. Through impressive use of nukes, Thorzain was able to win 3-0.
The last matchup of the week was another PvZ with the Zerg player Ret facing off against the Protoss player Feast. This match would feature the first use of Zerg units introduced in HoTS with Feast's use of Swarm Hosts. Although the mismanagement of this unit cost Ret one of his games, Swarm Hosts proved super effective against the Protoss death ball when macro'd correctly.
Week 3 Breakdown:
Matchup number one saw the Zerg player Nestea face off against the Protoss player Creator. The lack of scouting in all 3 games gave Creator an easy win as Nestea was unable to play a good reactive game. Creator threw anything he wanted at Nestea and was able to take very decisive victories over his opponent. Creator was easily able to take this series 3-0.
Matchup number two featured the Terran player Mvp going up against the Zerg player Curious. Once again we saw the might of the Hellion/Hellbat drop against a Zerg player as Mvp was easily able to continuously overwhelm Curious. His great use of tanks and Hellbats gave ensured Mvp an easy and decisive victory over Curious, winning 3-0.
Matchup number three featured another PvZ with the Protoss player Seed facing off against the Zerg player Sniper. Despite a hard struggle and good show from Sniper, the might of the Protoss army would go unmatched by Seed. With amazingly timed pushes, a strong economy, and the upgrades and army to match, Seed was able to take the series 3-1.
Matchup number four was the second TvT in this winter season and saw MarineKing face off against Gumiho. With this matchup we see the new standard fast first gas and the Rax into Factory into Starport build for Terran players. There were a lot of proxy buildings seen in these games, however, the games were not won with proxys but with the ever so popular Hellbat drop and mech play. Despite a lot of back and forth, MarineKing was able to win the series 3-1.
The last matchup of the week featured the Zerg player DongRaeGu and the Terran player Jjakji. This is the longest series so far, which played through all 5 games. Although Jjakji would stick with Hellion/Hellbat, he was able to mix up the Terran build a bit and attempted a pseudo-bio build into his games. Despite 2 losses in a row for Jjakji, and despite an amazing show from DongRaeGu, Jjakji was able to make an amazing comeback and win the series 3-2.
Feb 24th: MC vs Alive
Feb 25th: Taeja vs Violet
Feb 26th: Hero vs Polt
Feb 27th: Sen vs Moonglade
Feb 28th: Grubby vs. Dimaga
March 1st: Caliber vs Goswser