In recent months Team Liquid has grown from strength to strength in no small part because of their highly skilled Korean stars TaeJa and Hero. Many saw them as big favourites for the Dreamhack title this weekend and neither of them has disappointed. Until Group Stage 3 neither of them had dropped a series and in fact Hero was still to drop a single map but the fates saw fit to throw the teammates together in the Round of 16. One of them had to go. Keeping his undefeated streak intact Hero decided it wasn’t going to be him and what followed was a domination on a level no one was expecting.
The first game was Cloud Kingdom and Hero revealed his cheeky side, deviating from the standard and instead opting for a Dark Templar based opening. The unpredictability of Hero’s play is one of his greatest strengths and based on this weekend it seems that all you can rely on is that it will be good and his opponent is going to have a very hard time. This is so much so that you could tell just from TaeJa’s play that he was panicked when his scout was denied, throwing up bunkers, missile turrets and every other kind of defensive precaution available to try and fend off whatever Hero might come at him with. However, Hero showed his class by shrewdly sidestepping every one of these precautions by using a hallucinated phoenix to gain vision of the high ground, warping DT’s straight into the main base. What followed was a little painful to watch and if you have children I’d advise you stop them reading here. Three Dark Templars, two missed scans and an uncountable number of dead SCV’s left TaeJa broken and battered, a shell of the player we’d seen on the previous two days. Hero had won the mind game and that alone was enough to win the map.
The second map was equally one sided though slightly less short: on Daybreak we had to wait for Hero to reach his two base timing before we saw TaeJa buckle and crumble. In what looked to be a fairly standard game Hero simply rushed out a large gateway force with Colossus off two bases. Faking a third base, TaeJa may have been lulled into a false sense of security, but as soon as Hero cancelled it he was aware due to his scouting factory. However, even with perfect knowledge of the situation TaeJa was powerless. His triple bunker defence was out ranged by the Colossus’s lasers and with very good force field placement Hero was able to slice through the remaining Marine/Marauder forces. TaeJa had been crippled in one fell swoop. Hero was victorious and he did in style. His next round opponent MaNa must be shaking in his boots because it’s looking like he might be too much to handle this event. He’s coming for Championship number two.
|Graham Kirkup // BigLighthouse|
Posted 1 year ago: Mon, 18 Jun 2012 15:14:47 +0100
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