** My days lately have been so packed, but the free time I've had I've tried to make the best of it. My Grandpa is going to the heart doctor today, just for a checkup, hope everything is all right. Been reading more of my old stuff during down time, and learning from it. This is the continuation from the last post, and talks about Savior's foe in that series, my favorite "E-athlete" of all time, Iris. Enjoyed his crazy gameplay, heart, and humble nature. Here is his handsome self.
The Terran that Shares a Name with a Flower, a Song, and a Korea Drama
To give a classical musical analogy, if Savior was Beethoven, than his opponent and friend Iris was Modest Mussorgsky, a respected and solid composer with memorable compositions, but no pieces that they’ll put in any space capsules that show alien species organized sound that embodies the human soul.
Byun Hyun Tae was given the nick name “Berserker” by his fans of Balls-to-wall aggression, especially in TvT, as he entered the scene as a monster in the mirror matchup with 10 straight wins. His usage of drops to break positions and out strategize his foes made him lethal in an era where lines drawn on the battlefield but never contested for. He definitely embraced the legacy of his dongseng Xellos in the TvT matchup, where their army movements and small skirmish style soon became the adapted style in TvT. Later he adapted his love of dropships in the other matchups as well, and continued to put the pressure on his opponents rather them himself. To put in statistical terms, Iris held the best win percentage in 2006, with a 77% win rate in Terran versus Terran.
With terrans doing so well with every league because of the current map pools, this was just simply a godsend for Iris. This meant more terrans were in brackets and he smashed other terrans. In the Ro16 od this OSL, he got his wish and squared against the Terran versus Terran master of old, Goodfriend. The posterboy of mediocrity, and Nal_Ra’s pimp hallucination arbiter play, showed he was a step behind with the time as Iris came out on top 2-0 in standard TvT firefight. It was only a matter of time that he had to be tested in his other matchups, and this became true as he had had a Terran versus Zerg in the next tournament stage.
Iris’s TvZ historically has been his 2nd strongest matchup, right after his terrifying mirror. Traditionally a matchup that favors terran aggression, he maintained this theme in his play. His zergopponent in the Ro8 was Zergman, a lesser known player for KTF and further proof that zerg players just lacked creativity as they have this burning desire put the name of their race in their IDs (put a list of “Zerg” players).Azergling rush on the 1st map put the KTF player ahead, but slow defilers from Park Sung Joon and close spawning positions evened up the score with an Iris win. On the last set, played on Neo Arkanoid, Iris defended the Mutalisk harass well, a little miss control from the zerg helped a bit, and pushed hard into the Zerg player before Guardians came out to play. While Iris looks to have a decent grasp of the matchup, it is important to note that he is also riding high from the terran dominance so he might have a chance of success with the best player in the world.
Savior and Iris have a history even before their epic encounter in this starleauge, as amateurs they were both part of the (GM) clan, or Good Mannered. An old-school clan that was the home to many Brood War legends, such as the “Death God” Anytime, the man who invented Mutalisk stacking Shark, and even the Protoss Commander Stork himself. As they are of the same age, they even came onto the pro scene together. The two were both recruits to the team that Xellosbuilt, Suma GO, which eventually became CJ Entus.
They nurtured and grew together through the ranks of the Suma GO team, but Savior became the ace and eventual bonjwa while Iris for awhile was not even the top terran of the team, that title belonged to Xellos. While this may have discouraged many people to be content with their role on their team, this was not the case for the Berzerker terran. Savior run and reign of domination within Starcraft only fueled his teammate to train harder and become well rounded top player, and around this time is when his hard work reaped its benefits.
Ma Jae Yoon knew all too well what life on the top was like in contrast to his friend who thirsted greatly for ultimate victory. It is also always important to point out too that this was teammate versus teammate battle, therefore this becomes more about just a Terran and Zerg player showing up to play a friendly match, but a fierce battle of wits of two people who lived, played, and ate together. In practice though, Savior casually reported that Iris beats him more times than not in the internal rankings matches. And leading up to this match, they have been keeping away all and anything to their temporary foe to hold onto any real edge for the televised games. This series had the beginnings of something truly marvelous.