The Players: Parting, TheSTC, MarineKing, TaeJa
During the brief break from the GSL, Starcraft fans were treated to the second of MLG’s new arenas. Considering that this group contains 2 of the 8 players invited to that tournament, the results are worth into account. Just one week ago this group would easily have been handed to Parting. His failure to even place in the top six at MLG, however, is cause for concern. His play did not seem up to his usual ability, and many fans are left to wonder what got in his way. Artosis even theorized that he was saving himself for the GSL, trying not to reveal his builds and style for the upcoming games. While PvT is easily his best matchup – he is, in fact the best PvT player in the world according to his GSL history – he only managed to take 1 series against 3 different Terran players over the weekend. It is also worth noting that he has never fared well against MarineKing (including at this MLG Arena). The one exception was in the GSTL, and that game ended up being replayed due to an infamous drop thanks to Battle.net’s lack of LAN.
Furthering the risk to Parting’s GSL life, TheSTC has a fantastic record against Protoss. While he can’t claim MarineKing’s stats, he was won nearly 2/3 of his games televised TvPs. Likewise, Liquid’s newest member TaeJa has similarly superb stats. These three Terran would be near the top of a list of players any Protoss would want to avoid. The ultimate question for viewers will be: is Parting slumping? Did he have a bad weekend that he can leave behind him or was it something deeper? Or, perhaps as Artosis theorized, was he just avoiding revealing his plans in the PvT matchup for the larger purse that the GSL offers? Only time will tell, but that won’t stop this previewer from trying to offer predictions.
*note, all sets after 2 are based on predictions.
Set 1: Parting vs. TheSTC
Despite my ominous introduction, I find myself unable to go against the grain. I can’t see Parting losing to a non-MarineKing Terran in the GSL. Whether it was a slump or a stylistic choice that led to his poor performance, I think the Parting that we see in less than 24 hours will be the one we’re used to. He will put TheSTC away without much fanfare.
Parting 2-0 over TheSTC
Set 2: MarineKing vs. TaeJa
While preparing to write this article I discovered something that surprised me. MarineKing, currently considered by many to be the best player in the world, has barely adequate TvT in his GSL history. This is particular surprising given that the GSL is the tournament where many people have been made or destroyed by their ability to play TvT. As viewers know, MarineKing has been a consistent player for the past few months. His overall winrate, however, stands at only a 50% in the match-up. TaeJa and TheSTC, on the other hand, are sitting pretty above 65%. As strongly as this weighs on any predictions for the upcoming group, the details of his performance must be equally strong. A closer look reveals that MarineKing has won every televised TvT he has played so far in 2012. He has clearly improved his TvT play. Most importantly, I am a huge MarineKing fan since he first split his marines against Kyrix on Shakuras Plateau and have decided I will never bet against him. Pardon the bias. He’ll drop a game, but take the series.
MarineKing 2-1 over TaeJa
Set 3: Parting vs. MarineKing
Here’s the match-up everyone is begging for. For my prediction I’m again going to refer to last weekend’s MLG Arena, as I believe it is a sure sign of what’s to come. MarineKing very simply has Parting’s number. Be it a slumping Parting or a Parting playing at his best, MarineKing’s TvP style will continue to get the best of him for the foreseeable future. Parting should hope they don’t meet in a higher rounds of the GSL, because this is where his PvT ability slams into a wall.
MarineKing 2-1 over Parting
Set 4 TheSTC vs. TaeJa
Two truly stellar TvT players. I’m going to base this prediction on recent success. While TaeJa has been hot and cold in the last few months, TheSTC has been literally untouchable for the entirety of 2012. What’s surprisingly fun about this match-up is the variety of viable styles. These two are capable of defensive meching as well as aggressive bio. I think this will be a lot of fun, but ultimately TheSTC will pull it out.
TheSTC 2-1 over TaeJa
Set 5 Parting vs. TheSTC
A rematch of the first set. TheSTC is too good of a player to fall down directly but I don’t believe Parting will drop a set in PvT to anyone but MarineKing. I’d love to be surprised (if only to see exactly how it’s done by someone without MarineKing’s particular abilities), but I don’t expect it to happen here.
Parting 2-1 over TheSTC
MarineKing and Parting advance to the round of 8
TheSTC and TaeJa fall to Code A