Both the GOMTV StarCraft League and Team League are down to their last four competitors. In the individual league, terran hero ByunPrime takes on LG_IMSeed while GSL Champions SK.MC and MvPDongRaeGu fight it out for a shot at another trophy. This weekend, SlayerS-EG goes up against Team SCV Life and MVP faces FXOpen in the GSTL. If you haven’t watched yet this season, there’s no better time to jump in and cheer for your favorite.
Repeats, Redemption, and the Royal Road
Every season of GSL is full of stories. Last season, the return of IMMvp to his former dominance, quieting those who claimed his time in the sun was over, ran up against Squirtle’s sudden rise to the top. The potential “Royal Roader” and the defending legend produced one of the most exciting TvP series in StarCraft II history, and in the end Mvp reclaimed his crown. This time, we once again have former champions on one side of the bracket, and new stars on the other. Who will reach the finals, and which of them will take the trophy?
LG_IMSeed vs ByunPrime (Thursday, 2:10 AM PST)
The terran race has seen better days. It seems a millennium ago that the GSL was described as “GOMTvT,” as zerg and protoss players now perform multi-kills in GSTL and terran heroes like Mvp and MarineKing go 0-2 in the Round of 16. Keeping their hopes alive is none other than the redeemed ByunPrime, who has wasted no time rebounding from the scandal that took him out of commission. Showcasing some excellent TvP focused around aggressive midgame pushes, frequently mixing in siege tanks, and fantastic micro and scrappy play characteristic of the Prime terrans, all while boasting that he’s “solved” lategame TvZ, ByunPrime carries the banner of his fallen terran brethren and looks to reach StarCraft II’s highest stage for the first time.
Last round, the narrative was already written ahead of time. Symbol was supposed to win. His performances in GSTL and his previous matches had convinced the community that he was, in fact, the “next zerg bonjwa.” During his match with Seed, Symbol had him on the ropes: one game away from a 3-0 sweep. However, our second potential Royal Roader decided he wasn’t having any of that and mustered the reverse sweep. LG_IMSeed, previously known for being Tasteless’ man-crush following his creative hallucination play a year ago in GSTL, resurfaced in a big way this season. He steamrolled through his group stage, with his only loss being to Byun in the Ro32, and his comeback from the brink of death against Symbol has earned him many a new fan. Both players are solid in their respective matchup, and play an exciting style, so the match is assuredly to be a treat for all. Whoever wins will earn the right to challenge a GSL champion for the trophy - and what a terrifying prospect that can be.
SK_MC vs MVPDongRaeGu (Thursday, 4:10 AM PST)
Creator of the universe or not, Nestea’s position as the best zerg in the world has been entirely supplanted. 2012 has been DongRaeGu’s year. Kicking it off with his second place in the Blizzard Cup, he went on to win the Arena of Legends, take second at the MLG Winter Arena, and then win his first GSL title. He found himself out early in Season 2, but this was easily overlooked in light of his second place at the Winter Championship, victory at the Spring Arena 1, and most recently the first place at the MLG Spring Championship. His play is aggressive, his attitude tenacious, and his confidence overwhelming. DongRaeGu is the hero of zerg, at a time when zerg play has seemingly never been stronger. He took first place in both group stages, and admitted to fooling around with NaNiwa during their Round of 8 series. This man is the clear favorite to win this season, and he’s ready to claim his second title. But his opponent is more than capable of throwing a forcefield into that plan.
The Protoss President’s reelection campaign has finally brought him back to the Round of 4, for the first time since April of last year. He seemed to be on the down-turn since then, but like DRG he found new life in 2012. He took victories at HomeStoryCup IV and the IEM Season VI World Championships, and showed reinvigorated play in the GSL. It’s taken some time, but MC has finally returned to the top in his homeland. His control, aggression, and swagger have made him a fan favorite, and his results have been consistently strong this year. But MC’s opponent from the zerg party is his equal in every way, and MC has shown vulnerability to zerg – dropping 2-4 to Stephano at NASL. The qualities that make MC strong are DRG’s claim to fame as well. These two personalities are sure to produce close, exciting games. Whoever wins this match will absolutely be the favorite to win this whole season.
GSTL: A Rivalry Reignited? (Friday, 2:10 AM and Friday, 10:10 PM PST)
Last season of the GSTL saw the rise of Prime and StarTale, capped off by the dramatic finals at IPL4. But both of those teams, teams who seemed so strong, were promptly eliminated in the Round of 8. Instead, the old titans – SlayerS and MVP – are back and on opposite sides of the bracket. Should they prevail in their semifinals, these two teams will go at it once again in a rematch from GSTL3. But to get there, SlayerS-EG will have to defeat the reinvigorated TSL and their super-ace Symbol, and MVP will have to take down FXOpen’s solid, balanced roster. The GSTL been exciting and intense as always, and the terrans have begun to fight back against the domination early in the season. These last matches are sure to be incredible. Don’t miss it.