Wednesday, April 13, 2011

North American Star League Results Division 1, Day 1

Well I gotta say, the NASL was very exciting to watch and I was glad I got to be a part of it. The first match of the League turned out to be an epic one with a player that is fast becoming one of my favorite to watch.

Here is what I was able to watch:

Grubby vs Moon
Vibe vs TLO
Artosis vs Sheth

Also, the NASL is limiting players to certain maps on certain days. For example, Players were going to play on 3 different maps, each in succession, so there was no "loser chooses next map." The players knew who they were up against and where, so as to give the players enough time to learn each others strategies, and be as comfortable on the maps played as possible to provide us with some truly epic matches. Here is the current map pool for Day 1:

I have written a brief summary of each of the matches for those of you who were or are not able to watch them.

Grubby vs Moon
 Division 1

Match: (P) vs (Z)
Game 1
Map: Terminus

Terminus is a very Macro oriented map
with two natural expansions that are
easily defended.
This match opened up pretty odd with Grubby going for not 1 early expand, but 2. It is important to note that this is the same map that Day(9) and Husky both dual casted the match between Team Liquids Tyler and Jinro. After taking his 2 early expansions, Grubby moves on to wall himself off. Moon, doing the typcial Zerg opening decides to transition into Banelings and nearly pulls the Baneling Bust off by sending an Overlord in to distract his Sentries. However, Grubby holds it off masterfully not, once but twice as a second attempt at busting his front door down was thwarted. Moon later transitions into Mutalisks for harrasment but Grubbys economy was so far ahead by this time that he just overwhelmed Moon's defenses and went on to take game 1! Great job Grubby!!!!

This map favors some unique
play with far positions and not
so easily defendable expos.

Game 2
Map: Crossfire

This game was played on Crossfire and showed a bit more standard  play from both sides, however Moon took full advantage of Zergs mobility and limited the timing of Grubby's expansions and movement of his army by keeping him locked down within his base. Grubby held on an excellent defense against Moon using Blink Stalkers. It took Moon nearly 5 minutes of game time to push him back from his base, back to Grubby's, but in the end the sheer amount of forces Grubby had in conjunction with his ability to replenish every unit lost almost as quickly was what gave Moon the win! Truly another epic game!

Backwater gulch offers an easily
defendable expansion but large
 open areas in the middle.
Game 3
Map: Backwater Gulch

This match had to be the most entertaining out of all three. Players spawn in the Top Right and Bottom Left positions and lead into a very macro oriented play. However, Grubby plays very safe and begins taking his third only after Moon has already made plans to take not only his 4th and 5th, but his 6th as well. With neither player wanting to risk it, they both play very safe.Grubby looked to be at a disadvantage but pulls ahead after a surprising engagement that ended in his favor. After moving from one side of the map to the other to defend against Moons small Mutalisk army, Grubby grabs a few Dark Templars to begin sniping his opponents bases, while Moon decided to counter this by sending a dozen Roaches occasionally to Grubby's expansions to keep him contained and on the defensive. Grubby ends up being successful and takes out 4/6 bases of Moon's but a small misblink causes Grubby to lose too many Stalkers against several Broodlords. This began a down ward spiral as Moon began to retake his bases and apply pressure from 3 different angles to keep Grubby away from his base.

This tactic eventually won him the game as he denied the economy of Grubby and slowly rebuilt his own. Truly an epic series of games I have not seen the like in quite some time. Grubby is truly a man to watch. Great job Moon on the first victory of the NASL!

TLO vs Vibe
Division 1
Match: (T) vs (Z)
Game 1
Map: Terminus

This match was very interesting as it appeared Vibe was going for a very mobile army reinforced with some upgraded Infestors, and equipped with the mobility of the Nydus Worm, however TLO made sure Vibe could not take advantage of this despite having a very immobile army. I don't believe a single Maurader was used in this game. He was going primarily for Tanks, Thors, and Marines. He was able to pick apart Vibes army as he poked in and made sure to stay so bunched up that the mobility advantage Vibe has was never used. TLO took this game 1-0. Some important things to mention on this map was the amazing micro from TLO using only 12 marines and a Medivac to kite two Ultralisks around a mineral patch and nearly take them both out.

Game 2
Map: Crossfire

This match had to have been the most creative one I have seen yet. TLO pulls a very suprising 6 Barracks rush and suprises Vibe with a mass of Marines. Vibe was busy teching up and had only a handful of units on the field. TLO takes this match and this series 2-0.

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