x5 Yours wins the Fight for the Flight: ACL Melbourne Edition!
Congratulations to x5 Yours, who has taken out our Fight for the Flight in-house tournament! He will be provided flights to ACL Melbourne next month to compete against the best in the region.
Yours is a part of our Academy program for StarCraft players which has been developed for close to a year. The Academy players are coached and given guidance by our Pro players, such as PiG. The Fight for the Flight in-house tournament has been developed to provide incentive for our players to improve and have more chances to play at LAN.
We asked one of today's casters to give us an overview of the event.
===Fight for the Flight 2 - from the caster's desk with x5 Crescendo===
I had the pleasure of casting this event with x5 VOJ, who kindly donated his stream and study time to what turned into a fantastic day of Starcraft 2.
Exile5 experimented with a different format to the previous Fight for the Flight, and decided on a Round Robin style where 2 games were played per match with each win accumulating a point.
The final results came in as follows:
1st place - 6 Points - x5 Yours
2nd place - 5 points - x5 Metalcore
Equal 3rd - 3 points - x5 Namakaye & x5 Arrival
4th place - 2 points - x5 Matlo
RipaMok place - No-show points - x5 RunaMoK
Please give a round of applause to the Zergador 'El Cammo Libre' for his victory today!
While VOJ and I could not cast all the games, those matches we did stream turned out to be incredibly entertaining with none of the x5 lads being willing to go down without a fight
Here is a brief synopsis of the games we aired:
===Arrival v Metalcore===
---Game 1 - Cactus Valley - Metalcore wins---
At first it looked dangerous for Metalcore as Arrival's early 10-roach pressure blasted through the wall at his natural, but not enough damage was done. The hellbat counterattack was devastating and, while the threat of mutalisks caused Metalcore to over-react with 13(!!!) turrets, Metalcore was able to close out the game. The power of move-command which suicided Arrival's flock of mutalisks was one of the more painful moments of the day for myself as a zerg-biased fan.
---Game 2 - Bridgehead - Arrival wins
Arrival, adapting from his first game, went into swift 2-base mutalisks off a 5 minute lair. With the mech economy stymied, Metalcore found it difficult to keep up with the zerg economy, and an attempted basetrade ended poorly for Metalcore and won Arrival the point.
===Namakaye v Matlo===
Regrettably we didn't get to cast the first game between the veteran academy protoss and the academy's new terran. However, the second game on Coda suggested that Matlo might have been on tilt from the first game. Multiple supply blocks slowed down Matlo's bio production, weakening his attempted first push.
A good spread of observers let Namakaye know where Matlo was, and spotted an incoming drop with enough time for stalkers to shoot it from the sky.
Namakaye kept a hold of his lead and took another point for the day.
===Yours v Metalcore===
---Game 1 - Cactus Valley - Yours wins---
At first, VOJ and I thought we were watching a replay of the first game we'd cast. ZvP, check. Cactus Valley, check. 10-roach pressure, check. Oh, wait, no, this was Yours.
Assisting the roaches were speedlings and burrow tech, and the combination of all three kept Metalcore at home playing whack-a-roach and whack-a-ling until Mutalisks came across to say G'day.
This time, thanks to the damage sustained to his economy, Metalcore had far fewer turrets than in the earlier game against Arrival and was forced to tap out in the face of the Zergador's aggression.
---Game 2 - Coda - Metalcore wins---
If playing against Arrival and Yours had taught Metalcore anything, it was that he should try for the late game where his sense for good engagements and AoE zoning really let him shine. This match was the first of our Mechstravaganzas. It's rare for me to enjoy watching mech, but watching Metalcore today was incredibly entertaining.
While it's hard to summarise the flow of the game, I have to give credit to both players: to Yours for daring to use the new Swarmhost in large numbers and largely making it work, and to Metalcore for having the focus to constantly relocate his forces to where they needed to be positioned to ensure the locusts had to be used to keep his army engaged, rather than being sent to run rampant in his production. Also, the ultralisk and blue-flame hellion runbys were insane.
In the end, though, Metalcore closed out the game in his favour. Mutterings of 'BlizzardPlz' and 'Mech Imba' might have come from the somewhat biased zerg casters ;)
===Arrival v Namakaye===
---Game 1 - Coda - Arrival wins---
This game was a classic example of players knowing each other too well. Arrival capitalised on Namakaye's tendency towards a passive early game by going 3 Hatch before Pool. The economic advantage snowballed until Namakaye succumbed to the floods of Arrival's zerg forces.
---Game 2 - Terraform - Namakaye wins---
Now, I'm not saying it's my fault that Arrival lost game 2. But I did happen to berate Nama for not cannon rushing in game 1.
And what do you know? Was it coincidence that Namakaye opened with a forge and convinced me, at long last, he knew how to play REAL Pro-Toss? Even against a pool-first opening, Nama managed to cancel the natural expansion ...and then things got weird.
Arrival, of course, took the gold closest to Namakaye. Ling/Hydra pressure was broken with stalkers, sentries, and immortals, and the game eventually stabilised into a late-game slugfest
I lost count of the times these two remaxed. It was like watching two heavy-weight boxers stepping in close and just headbutting each other while the ref cried 'foul!'
Broodlords were made, hydralisks were dropped, warp-ins did damage, storms raged, and armies from both sides died in their droves.
Namakaye eventually closed it out in his favour after dealing enough damage to Arrival's economy to slow the zerg's ability to recover from each fight.
And this, Namakaye, is why I tell you to cannon rush every game ;)
(Plz forgive me Arrival-coach-sifu-senpai)
===Namakaye v Metalcore===
---Game 1 - Terraform - Metalcore wins---
I don't even know where to start and end with these two matches. Things looked shaky for Metalcore at the start, as he over-prepared for an oracle that didn't arrive until a couple of minutes after the engineering bay and safety turrets were made.
However, Metalcore was using the mech build advocated by Zizlah in his entertaining video series, and he was able to effectively zone out any chance of early damage and stabilised into the midgame.
This game brought with it the cries of 'Carrier HYPE' as Namakaye trialed a composition featuring carriers to deal with the mech force. In the end, though, the late-game transition to battlecruisers proved to be more than Namakaye's composition could deal with in the long run.
---Game 2 - Coda - Metalcore wins---
Here was another example of Metalcore adapting and improving his play. Rather than damage his economy with an engineering bay and multiple turrets, he hid some widowmines among the mineral patches and set up a widowmine drop. Disaster struck for Namakaye as his Oracle was blown out of the sky and mines killed eight of his workers in the first detonations.
While this let Metalcore reach the comfort zone of the mid-to-late game more readily, Namakaye had also adapted. With immortals, stalkers, and archons he managed to crush Metalcore's attacking forces twice with brilliant flanking engagements.
To Namakaye's lament, though, Metalcore adapted his understanding of how to engage with Nama's composition, and eventually managed to trade more efficiently, closing out a second-close fought point in his favour.
I particularly enjoyed these two matches despite their length. There was always something happening and it was fascinating watching Zizlah's mech build displayed so effectively by Metalcore, and I'd love to see the potential answer Namakaye provided in his composition during the second game fine-tuned in future matches.
===Namakaye v Yours===
---Game 1 - Coda - Yours wins---
This game was essentially match point. Yours was sitting on equal points with Metalcore at 5 wins each. If he won either game, he'd won the event. However, if there was an x5 member who had what it takes to 2-0 him and force a 3-way tie-breaker, it was Namakaye.
This was Namakaye's chance to stay in the running, and a chance for Yours to seal the deal.
It started off in a fashion we're getting used to in the current meta, with ling/hydra clashing against stalker/sentry. However, Yours is a fan of mutalisks, and when a flock killed off the better part of two mineral lines, Namakaye went all-in with an attempt to basetrade.
With Yours unable to clash directly with Namakaye, his ling/muta ill-equipped to take on Nama's composition of sentry/stalker/archon/immortal, he played the basetrade carefully, taking a hatchery at Nama's old 3rd. Namakaye, however, was reduced to a single Pylon and no minerals or ability to mine. He left it defended by Stalkers and archons while the immortals and remaining zealots and sentries moved out to find the zerg buildings.
In a nailbiting moment, while Yours' last hatchery was being focused down, mutalisks dived in on a suicide mission to kill the protoss Pylon. When the victory screen flashed with the zerg symbol, it signified victory for the match and the event. Namakaye kindly allowed Voj to finish the stream and return to his studies, as a second game would not alter the outcome of the overall event.
I wanted to ask the x5 Zergador his thoughts on Fight For The Flight 2, so I caught up with him after the games
C: How do you feel about winning? :)
Yours: Pretty stoked, I'm a real pro gamer now.
Please cheer for me
C: Thank you Maru. But I asked Cameron, Kappa
Pretty stoked about getting my first paid flight for the event, I'll probably spend the savings to finish my tattoo
C: What have you got planned for the tatt?
Yours: Just finish the shading, the outline is all done, its just a large white patch on my fore arm and some additional touch ups on my upper arm
C: Any rivals you hope to face at ACL?
Yours: The Livibee build knows no friend or foe, it knows only victory.
Once again, congratulations to Cameron for rising to the top of his academy peers today, and for showing why Exile5 has high hopes for his performance at the Melbourne ACL.
For all that I spend a lot of time talking bollocks and stirring these guys in skype, the Fight For The Flight tournaments have highlighted to me just why these guys have been brought into the Exile5 academy. Each one of them seems to have the innate potential to become better than they already are and, with an admitted bias, one day I hope to be watching a WCS challenger or premier with their names in the brackets.
Until that day comes, though, I hope you will join me in cheering them on as they work hard to improve their results in local SEA events.