Recap of 2019, Day 5 : Maru and Special

starcraft 4 - Recap of 2019, Day 5 : Maru and Special

Here's a link to Day 1 which briefly covers the meta in 2019.

Day 2 : Serral and Dark — Day 3 : Reynor and Trap — Day 4 : Classic and Neeb

Jin Air Green Wings Maru – 4 GSL Wins in a row, ro4 in GSL s3, Terran Hope, 4th Korean seed

Maru's year has been a disappointment compared to last year, but any time you can say that about a GSL champion its still impressive. It's hard to point out any specific strengths from Maru because he's just so damn good at everything. Overall well rounded, but still sharp. Maru's biggest weakness seems to be himself. Maru frequently doesn't bring his top form to weekend tournaments, which could also imply a heavy reliance on planned out games.

Recent Performance :

TvZ :

Maru's performance against Dark (GSL ST #2) shows excellent bio control despite losing, mostly to Dark's early roach pressure. It's easy to lose faith in Maru's ZvT after see that match, but his less recent victories against Ragnarok (GSL S3 ro8) and Solar (

) still show the highest level of skill in ZvT.

TvT :

Against TY (GSL S3), Maru still loses two macro games. Narrowly losing game 2, but slowly being picked apart by TY in game 3. Maru's only win is from a Game 1 proxy rax opener, but I don't think that tells the whole story, Maru is still competent in every phase of the game.

TvP :

Maru's TvP has been back and forth, winning AND losing against almost every top protoss this year. Maru gets completely rolled over by his teammate Trap's (GSL S3 ro4 Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) savage PvT. Immediately before that Maru breezes past Stats (GSL S3 ro16), winning a late macro game and a base trade.

Expectations :

TvZ : Rank 1/4

His less recent victories against Ragnarok and Solar still support the idea that Maru can absolutely take on Serral and Dark. While I don't believe any mech is reliable enough to be used consistently, Maru's bio is definitely strong enough to be 2019's champion.

TvT : Rank 1/4

Fortunately for Maru, there are no other Korean Terrans attending the Global Finals (unless Classic can't make it), I have no doubt that Maru can easily take out every foreign Terran.

TvP : Rank 1/4

While I don't favor Maru against Trap right now, I still believe Maru can take out Trap and every other Protoss in the tournament. But the question with Maru has never been whether or not he can, but whether or not he will.


Ocean Gaming SpeCial – WCS Spring Finalist, Copa de America Champion (5x running), GSL ro16 (2x) Senor Dorito, El Juanito, 4th seed from the WCS circuit

Special's biggest strength is multi-prong attacks, beautifully wearing down his opponents. Special's biggest weakness is occasionally making poor decisions. While not consistently on the level of top champions, he occasionally shows moments that make me believe he could be the best Terran in the world. Sadly, he hasn't been capable of busting out those moments frequently enough to take a premier tournament.

Recent Performances :

TvZ :

Head to head, Special looks fantastic against Reynor's (

) prodigious ZvT. However, Special showcases his poor decision making and gets caught with his pants down in game 2, having a line of SCVs outside his base and tanks out of position, and again in game 3, repeatedly getting caught out of position and failing to secure a 5th.

TvT :

Special's recent games against Keen (

) and Fantasy (

) are frankly pretty disappointing. Special frequently gets caught out of position and loses tanks.

TvP :

The the remains the same. Special plays like a top Terran against Classic (

), but a series of small decision making mistakes cost him the series. Special repeatedly tears down Classic with split attacks, but then gets caught out of position with either his army or at home with his defense.

Expectations :

I fully expect Special to make it to ro8, as is tradition. I don't expect him to take out any of the top players outside of group stages, but he could surprise us. But at the end of the day, I don't think he has any chance at being 2019's champion.

Ranks next to Expectations are my personal conclusions as to how the players would rank compared to other players of the same race if they only played that match up. I'd love to hear your opinions! Day 6 will be a little different, and include TIME, HeroMarine, Elazer, and Showtime. If there's anything I missed or anything you would like me to add tomorrow please let me know.

Notes : I feel like my terminology and analysis is starting to get really repetitive which I would really like to avoid. I'll update this post with ranks for Special after I look at TIME and HeroMarine since I haven't seen many of their games this year.

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