Saturday, January 26, 2013

Huk’s Rebirth into Code S

Chris “Huk” Loranger was once the epitome of hardwork and dedication. This no-name figure (in terms of competitive gaming background) played his ass off in the beta and alongside his pesky probe, became one of the most prolific players before the release of Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty. After the launch, he continued this momentum and garnered a 1st place spot (besting Kiwikaki in the finals) at the 1st  Major League Gaming (Dallas) tournament to feature SC2 back in 2010. Not content with being one of the best “Foreigner” players, he joined forces with Team Liquid and packed his bags to Korea, where he would with compete and train with the Old Generations team (RIP) to become a world class champion.

Huk's Trademark Heart

Legion of fans would support Huk along the way, as his marathon streaming sessions were fueling the foreigner audience with the intense competition that is the Korean ladder They cheered when he fought hard in Code S, and cried when he won Dreamhack Winter 2011. Besides a little air of ignorance (Top 3 Control anyone?) he was the foreigner Protoss sweetheart. But then it all suddenly changed when he abruptly joined Evil Geniuses (All about them Benjamin’s). Even though he had signed a contract that is rumored to be one of the highest in progaming, his performance started to become lackluster. The Canadian Protoss soon became more known as a “12 year old girl” (Due to his lack of grammar skills on his twitter account) than the hardest working foreigner. His gameplay was also affected too, as his ultra-aggressive and micro-based style was slowly becoming absolute as everyone else around him changed with the times. I was never the biggest fan of the man, but his downfall was something that I could sympathize with his fans. 

This past GSL season though, he did something that surprised everyone, and probably EG management as well, as he qualified this season of Code S. Going through an Up and Down group that consisted Fantasy, Flying, Nestea, and  Finale. Things were looking good for Mr. Loranger until his Code S group was revealed, and he certainly got the short end of the stick in this regard. This group consisted of  the current GSL champion Sniper, and two of the most skilled terrans on the planet, Bomber and Gumiho, this certainly could be called the “Group of Death,” or the "Group of Huk's demise."

I will not give any false allusion of a Cinderalla Story here, this past Thursday Huk got smashed in his games. Doing these aggressive mass gateway builds that have not been popular since early 2011, his opponents did circles around him (Gumiho literally did with his Marines on their 2nd game). The only game he won is where Sniper went down a ramp and lost his army to Huk’s continued all-in aggression, an amateur to move say the least. The Canadian Protoss, maybe a bit intimidated by his groupmates, showed risky and unsolid play, that by nature either makes someone look brilliant or awfully bad, and for the EG player that day, the latter is the one that fitted the bill. Let’s hope he can come back strong, for the foreigner fans and Canadian faithful.

On a side note, I was extremely happy to see Bomber and Gumiho advance, who are probably two of the most fun players to watch on the entire planet. Their skill is so evident in their play, as they are literally everywhere in the games, and not afraid to go to the late game, where people seem to think the other two races have a massive advantage (they kind of do, or their mechanics are easier to manage late game than Terrans), but these two guys show that they can hang. I hope they can go far in this GSL.

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