The Nicest Zerg v. The Korean Pokémon
Sheth meets Squirtle in the NASL.
We’ve made it, it’s finally here, after nine grueling weeks of divisional play and the open tournament, and it has come down to the top 16. Today we are previewing two players who are not as well known, Sheth who is on the upswing, and Squirtle, a Korean who is quite solid, but not the most well-known.
The Nicest Zerg
In 2010, one of the running jokes in the StarCraft 2 pro-community was that Sheth never showed up to a LAN event in which he said he would. Even into 2011, before the MLG season started up, community figures such as JP and iNcontroL would jokingly make bets as to whether Sheth would show up to an MLG event.
Make no mistake, Sheth is here, and he is here to stay. In April, Sheth put himself on the map, and showed that he was a force to be reckoned with after achieving Rank 1 status in the world on the ladder. He also put up a very respectable 17th and 14th place at MLG Dallas and Columbus respectively.
Lately, Sheth has made the trip to Korea after being granted a Code A spot, competing alongside his fellow teammates of FXO in both the GSTL, and the GSL. Sheth managed to win over ST_Tiger, but more importantly, he was able to defeat a very skilled HoSeoSan 2-0 in his first Code A match.
In the NASL, Sheth has been one of the most dominant players, losing only to KiWiKaKi and Fenix, two players who are also quite good in their own right. Sheth is often credited with inventing the Speedling-Expand build and employs a heavy Macro-style Zerg. So much so that is nickname is the Macro Zerg and that he has said on occasion that he feels bad when he cheeses.
Sheth’s record in the NASL is quite impressive defeating players such as GSL Runner Up: Rainbow, the great and very creatively solid player TLO, and MorroW, a former Terran turned Zerg player who is quite a fantastic player in his own right. It is going to be interesting to see what comes of these two players’ games.
The Korean Pokémon
Squirtle is perhaps most well-known for the jokes that Tastosis make with regards to his name as Pokémon. His accomplishments in the GSL arena have not been ones of high regard. However, he is the first player to all-kill an opposing team in a GSTL. In foreign tournaments, Squirtle earned a respectable 3rd place in the Intel Extreme Masters Finals behind Moon and his teammate Ace.
As a player, Squirtle is capable of executing a variety of strategies from cheesy proxy builds, to Void Ray openings, standard three-Gateway into expansions, all of which were successfully executed against players including Naniwa, NaDa.
Most people call a match based on one factor: is there a Korean. If so, the Korean will win no ifs ands or buts. And for years this has been the dominating principle, especially in Brood War, and to this day it still holds water; Koreans have taken top 3 at MLG Columbus, taken top 3 at IEM Season V World Championship, and taking first as well as top 3 in TL Opens. However, if the recent TeamLiquid StarLeague and the GomTV Korean v. The World are any indicators, foreigners are beginning to show that they can compete with the previously unrivaled Koreans.
Sheth v. Squirtle is one of the tougher matches to call, with Sheth not taking any top-3 finishes at a LAN event, and Squirtle taking 3rd at the IEM Season V Championships before dropping out of the GSL. That being said, Sheth has shown that he has the skill to topple very strong Korean players as demonstrated by his recent Code A 2-1 win over San, a player who has defeated NesTea, Boxer, White-Ra and Dimaga, players of elite caliber status. His travels to Korea, will no doubt give him a nice boost to his game play, and level of skill, that will serve him sell in the grand finals of the inaugural season of the North American StarLeague.
In May, Squirtle was eliminated from Code A. In his last twenty games, Squirtle has gone 10-10, going 3-7 in Korea, and 7-3 in the NASL. While Squirtle performed admirably in the NASL, it remains to be seen how he will do in a LAN setting such as that of the NASL grand finals.
Edward “echOStarCraft” Chow