With this series, I will summarize a game in eSports that was so hyped during its time. I will look at how it resulted for both participants shortly thereafter.
Volume 1 of this series will look at the pinnacle of Starcraft 2 during 2012, where Mvp was dominating and no one was slowing him down. The meta for SC2 then was Protoss was OP, using Colossus to steamroll through any opponent, and sometimes going as far as using High Templars with storm, Blink Stalkers, or the infamous Archon Toilet. Back then, Terran was underpowered, and Zerg was in a good place prior to Brood Lords and Infestors were discovered. However, Incredible Miracle's Mvp was dominating the scene with various Terran builds, whether he would be cheesing, using timed attacks, or playing a long macro game. This resulted in championships in Blizzcon 2011, GSL Anaheim in 2011, and 3 GSL championships.
In the 2012 GSL Season 2 Finals, he faced StarTale Squirtle, who was in the GSL for the first time. In order to face Mvp, he defeated the likes of Team Liquid's TaeJa then HerO in the semifinals. He was hyped up to be the first Royal Roader in GSL history; however, he would have to go through Mvp to earn it. Prior to facing Mvp, Squirtle did not match Mvp's success. He would notably earn 2nd place in IPL Season 4, and lost against aLive -- who is still active in SC2 and is currently in the Round of 16 in the current GSL season. Knowing this, would Mvp win against Squirtle with little effort and earn his 4th GSL championship?
In Game 1 (Daybreak), Mvp would easily win with mass Marine, and hiding Medivac and Hellions. Squirtle did not find a solution as Mvp dropped marines in his main and Hellions attacked the natural. However, Squirtle did try to counter using Stalkers in Mvp's main, but SCVs would surround the Stalkers, eliminating Squirtle's army and Mvp won Game 1 in 8 minutes 18 seconds.
In Game 2 (Entombed Valley), both players played a standard game. Mvp attempted to be super aggressive dropping in Squirtle's main and using Siege Tanks and Marines in Squirtle's 3rd expo. However, this did not result in a quick GG. Mvp did not retreat in time, leaving a minimal army at home. Squirtle produced Colossus but took too long to counter-attack. This left Mvp time to refill his supply with Vikings, destroying the Colossus once Squirtle decided to attack and Mvp's Marines and Marauders cleaned up the rest of Squirtle's army, resulting in Mvp winning Game 2 in 23 minutes.
Game 3 (Antiga Shipyard) saw both armies from Mvp and Squirtle moving out at 7 minutes going out on opposite sides of the map. Most times, this would result in a base trade. But, Mvp with a supplemental army in his main had great micro to defend his main and natural bases. This allowed Mvp to take advantage of the map; therefore, he macroed and Medivac dropped into Squirtle's main while pushing into his natural. Squirtle did not micromanage well, not deciding where to move his army, resulting in a GG in 22 minutes 18 seconds.
In Game 4 (Cloud Kingdom), Mvp had a chance to clinch his 4th GSL championship with a sweep. From the start, we saw another standard game from both players. Mvp would eventually split his army and attacked Squirtle's main and natural bases at the same time. This left Squirtle distracted, and unable to micro his units correctly. But, this did not result in a championship win for Mvp. Mvp tried to drop units into Squirtle's bases again but was ineffective. Squirtle countered by producing Colossus, High Templars, and Archons. He eventually pushed out with this army into Mvp's expo and it evaporated Mvp's army resulting in a win for Squirtle in 20 minutes 26 seconds.
This next game in Metropolis is well regarded to be one of the best matches in SC2 history. Both players played a macro game, with similar builds to Game 4. At 16 minutes, Squirtle had 2 Colossus and mass Stalkers, while Mvp had mass Vikings and Marauders. Both armies engaged in combat resulting in Mvp winning that battle after destroying Squirtle's Colossus. Afterwards, Mvp did not push to win the game. The game went into late game and Squirtle was able to build an army consisting of mass Archons, Void Rays, and a Mothership. Squirtle did not have the knowledge that Mvp was building Battlecruisers and Ghosts. In 40 minutes, both armies met and Squirtle activated the Mothership's vortex, which devoured Mvp's Battlecruisers and Ghosts. Squirtle also inserted his Archons, while his Void Rays destroyed leftover Battlecruisers on the field. After the Vortex, Squirtle was able to clean up the rest of Mvp's army and resulting in winning Game 5 in 44 minutes 26 seconds.
In Game 6, Mvp sought to shrug off the loss in Game 5. This game was another macro game and Squirtle went with a similar build, producing Zealots with Charge, High Templars, and Archons. Mvp, with no knowledge of Squirtle's army, produced a bio army and Siege Tanks. Squirtle would transition into Colossus, pushing with this army, and obliterated Mvp's units in 23 minutes. We would go into one more game to determine the GSL champion.
Like Game 5 and 6, everyone thought we would see another standard build for both players in Game 7. However, Mvp decided against that and built 2 proxy barracks outside Squirtle's main base. Squirtle was unable to scout where these proxy barracks were located and Mvp would pull his workers to build a bunker in Squirtle's main. Squirtle had excellent micro with 2 Stalkers and killed off incoming Marines, SCVs, and then the bunker. Squirtle would find the barracks and try to destroy it. However, he overextended and Mvp flanked his army, killing one Stalker. This would lead Mvp to push once more, finishing his bunker, and winning his 4th GSL championship in 11 minutes 52 seconds.
Post GSL Finals, Squirtle did not return to the GSL Finals in future seasons. But, would win championships in 2013 GIGABYTE Pro League 1 and Dailymotion Cup 2013. As for Mvp, he would continue his dominance in SC2; however, he would start to develop wrist problems and eventually find a worthy challenger in a future GSL season.
Post: A Brief History of eSports Vol. 1: Mvp's Dominance