The King And I
Two very opposite players are meeting in the first quarterfinals series. Royal has become a player of excellence due to longer and harder practice hours then any other players in the league. Shine is a professional in game observer for ASL and SC2’s GSL. When Shine broke into the Kespa scene, Royal was still a child watching OSL’s live from his Elementary School classroom. Royal’s path with winning this ASL will require him to beat one Brood War super veteran after another in order to claim the title champion. Shine’s path to becoming a champion is through a series of fools who haven’t learned how to stop themselves from falling for Shine’s traps.
Royal is undefeated in this tournament against Zergs, defeating by.hero, Action, and MisO. In fact, it will be 3 season and almost exactly a year since Royal lost a single match against a Zerg player. His last loss was against Shine! Royal holds a 2-1 winning record against Shine. Since his debut in ASL Season 9, Royal has only lost a single map in 9 meetings against Zerg opponents. Royal is well on his way to becoming one of the best TvZ ASL players of all time.
Allegro is the first map of the series and has a surprisingly favorable win rate for Zerg players. The style of Zerg being played this ASL is for more aggressive then it has ever been. Terran players have been doing a poor job of dictating early game flow. Allegro emphasizes this by having pretty quick rush distances by ground and air (in most spawn positions). This is advantage needs to really help Shine. Shine has done everything from lurker rushes to guardian rushes.His best play is to continue disguising low-eco rushes as standard builds. The sane mind predicts Royal to win game 1, but Shine cause the mind to be anything but sane.
If Shine can win game 1, he might just go up 2-0 right away. Map 2, Arkanoid, has been nothing but frustrating for viewership. The wild and unpredictable long games have been stifled with heartless Zergs opting for rushes and all-ins. There’s absolutely no advantage for Shine to play it safely into the mid/late game. Shine will come up with a genius cheese that no one knew was possible on this map. Still, Royal will not commit to an econ opener knowing who his opponent is and will come out on top once again.
Map 3, Vermeer, is a fantastic macro map for both players. Shine’s latest sparring partners, Rush and Light, have been helping bring Shine’s late game up a level. However, Shine has lost every game against them this month. It’s possible that Shine is only using those game as ways to find Terran weaknesses, but will he really find something new that will let him defeat an opponent at a much higher level then him? When Royal was interviewed, he was asked who he’d like to play. His resounding answer was, “Shine”. Without a doubt Royal will show us exactly why Shine was his pick for the quarterfinals in an easy 3-0 showing.
Royal Advances To The Ro4!
Round The Bend
Over their long careers Bisu and Soulkey have shown some great games in the protoss vs zerg matchup, especially some of the games that they’ve had against each other. We fully expect that trend to continue this series as well.
Neither Bisu nor Soulkey have had the opportunity to showcase their play in the matchup this season, with Soulkey aside from the one game with sSak in the Ro24 has only been in ZvZ matches which makes it surprise that he’s made it this far considering how Soulkey has historically floundered in ZvZ, especially in the ASL.
Bisu on the other hand was already seeded into the Ro16 and only had to face his former SKT teammates sSak and Best, which other than a single build order loss to Best was smooth sailing on his part to the Ro8.
One interesting thing going into this match is that it has been a little over 5 years since Bisu and Soulkey have faced off in an ASL and this will be the first time since remastered launched, with both their series being in ASL3 where Soulkey won their Ro16 encounter(back when Ro16 was still Bo1) and again in the third place match where Bisu won 3-1.
Theres very few people that can actually claim advantage over Bisu in a Bo5 though, Soulkey does come close but I’d still give that to Bisu plus its Bisu vs Zerg and thats just a whole new level of hard for Soulkey to overcome.
Overall looking at the map pool one of the more stand out points for this series is the lack of Allegro and Neo Arkanoid, both maps skew wildly towards one particular race(Allegro for protoss and Neo Arkanoid for Zerg), not sure if its a measure of respect or just both players having banned the maps but expect this to be a fierce matchup every set of the way, with an advantage for Bisu because its still BvZ and Bisu continues to be the hardest opponent to any zerg in the game.
Bisu Advances To The Ro4 3-1!