Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Maestro’s Opus

*** Reading through some things I've written today and ran through some chapters I drafted up for a Brood War book that I really wanted to complete a few years back. It was about the "top 10" Brood War matches of all time, as determined by me, the writer, as it explains my favorite and the most historic simulated battles that professional players of this E-Sport have partaken in. This entry is about Savior vs Iris, a popular match in the annuls of Starcraft history. This is the 1st few pages of it, about the infamous figure Savior. A pic of him down below.


A Maestro's Opus

                Dominance in sports can be a double-edged sword, there are people who revel and cheer on for this almost mythic figure or entity, and see how long their greatness can last. Take Michael Jordan, who showed the world for 6 years he was unstoppable. There are other people who enjoy diversity and are disgusted by the fact that one person is winning everything and their hands holding a trophy becomes déjà vu.
                Whatever your opinion on is about single-player dominance, what it does create an entertaining scenario. Anti-fans of the said player often rally around anyone who can slay the beast while their loyal fans enjoy the constant of state of euphoria. The whole spectating community watches on to see if someone rises to the occasion or another day of utter humiliation for some unlucky chaps. Savior, or Ma Jae Yoon is his birth name, was either a villain to the masses, or a hero to the herd during his prime as player. As a zerg progamer, he became the 1st dominant player of that chosen race, who showed flawless and inspiring play against every opponent.
                Ma Jae Yoon showed his dominance for over year in Starcraft Brood War, making it to the finals of 6 straight consecutive starleagues and leading his team to the playoffs with the highest individual win percentage to boot. He played his song perfectly, and no one could match its glory and remarkability. However over time though he slowly lost his traction and looked almost mortal. With every player, map, and organization working against Ma Jae Yoon, he still soldiered on.
                In the ShinHan OSL 2007 Starleague,he would give his last masterpiece to his fans. Just like Beethoven, Bruckner, Vaughn Williams,  and Mahler, whose ultimate piece of work was also their most painful and heartfelt one. Ma Jae Yoon even looked mortal in this competition and when it looks like a God loses his immortality, everyone watches. His style has been studied and therefore countered, the maps are basically Zerg graveyards, and his thirst for victory is no longer as invigorating as it once was. But as a true champion who will stand strong when tested by the sands of time, he overcame it all.

The God of The Battlefield

                For a person with who had tremendous impact on the scene, Ma Jae Yoon had humble beginnings. As an amateur, he played under the tag IPXzerg, and showed particular impressive management play in his games. In 2004, he was picked up by the Suma GO pro team, a team with young talent like himself. After what became the most innocuous name change in progaming history, IPXzerg became Savior, channeling the spirit to defy the terran kings who dominated the scene and a tag that harbored his aura of otherworldly abilities. In his only 2ndStarleague attempt, he would claim ultimate victory in the UZOO MBC Game StarcraftLeague, besting the protoss hero Reach in a PvZ finals.
                While not a royal roader, his MSL win was still that should be impressive but at that time he did not get the credit he deserved. Zergs were dominating the in leagues, especially against Protoss. Ma Jae Yoon’s victory was said to due to racial imbalance in the matchup. In the next MSL though, he showed that lighting strikes twice as he advanced to finals again, but lost to the Veteran zerg Choja in a tense ZvZ series. While he did claim 1st place in this starleague, people started to take note of the people Savior was beating and how he was beating him.
                Ma Jae Yoon revolutionized how the game was played, he took the management style that GoRush pioneered and mastered it. Favoring fast high tech play to gain advantages, Savior had to prepare how to defend from proper timings and attacks so he simply did not lose. He often looked like as if he used the bare minimum needed to stay alive in the situation at hand. 
                Savior also popularized the defiler, fully abusing and exploiting a unit in the zerg arsenal that made Terrans shiver in the sight of their clouds of doom. They were the perfect the unit to spearhead Savior’s battleplans, using them to with small groups of Zerg forces, to hold off aggression or performing a surgical attack, Ma Jae Yoon used this late-game spellcaster to its full potential. Rather than focusing on Zerg’s obvious strength of mass troop production and reinforcement, the Maestro incorporated other tactical ideas that were not being heavily explored by his zerg counterparts making him the man who forged the path of the modern Zerg tactics.
                While his style and approach the game changed the way we thought about Brood War, what else set him apart was his army movements and strategic control on the battlefield. His most well known nickname is the Maestro. He would conduct the swarm with the fluidity and grace of Karajan, but with the power and might of Bernstein. One of his iconic masterpieces was against none other than IloveOOV, who ate zerg players for breakfast, on Ride of the Valkyres. The Maestro lives up to his name as he orchestrates the swarm on a grand scale to break a seemingly ironclad defensive terran position, shocking the world with his style and gusto. While his mechanics were not the best in the scene, he had to rely on his game knowledge and tactical skills, two categories in which he was unirvaled in.
                As the 2006 year came around, Savior became truly the 1st zerg to be feared and dominant on the scene. Slaying the best player in the world IloveOOV in multiple starleagues, leading his newly funded and corporate sponsored team CJ Entus to the top of the proleague, he became a monster. Slaying Nal_Ra and lesser known zergSilver in one-sided starleague finals, only a certain terran called Midas, a former clanmate and teammate, gave Ma Jae Yoon a scare, but ultimately fell short as Savior is still being talked about, for both positive and negative reasons, while latter fell in A/B Team obscurity for years until his eventual retirement.

What Goes Up, Must Come Down

                Even though Savior had all the momentum in the world, in 2007 leagues started to introduce new maps that were heavily Terran favored. Maps like Reverse Temple, Neo Arkanoid, and Longinus 2 were dubbed zerg graveyards. Savior even quoted on that he was able to win on these maps as Terran against other professional zergs, that is how tough it was.If this was an attempt to bring down Savior a notch, than history tells us that it certainly failed. While many of his brooding brethren’s felt the wraith of these horribly imbalanced maps, Ma Jae Yoon wrote a new chapter in his story and continued making his case of why he was the greatest competitor in this sport.
                In the Shinhan06 Bank OSL, 9 Terrans, 6 Zergs, and one lone Protoss made it to the Round of 16. Terrans were demolishing any race in their path, and with competent terrans like Nada, IloveOOV, Midas, and Hwasin still in the player pool, the Pride of War looked as if they were adding another trophy to their collection.
                Savior’s path consisted of dodging a bullet with his Ro16 opponent Midas, who was one scan from taking the series but instead lost 5 crucial tanks to a couple of lurkers. Whether this was due to Midas having nerve problems or the gods who watch over our world wanted to keep Ma Jae Yoon’s aura of invincibility evident, one may never know. In the Ro8, he faced his teammate and Protoss Much, who is known for his looking older than his actual age and his creative Protoss tactics. However nothing in his strategy book was effective against Savior, as the only zerg Bonjwa sweeped him in clean 2-0. His next opponent was someone that he has quite a history with, a both friendly and competitive one.


Throughout College Starcraft was my "Football," or the sport that other males tend to gravitate towards to when they want to get their mind off normal duties. Enjoyed writing about it. 

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