Following Liquid` players through their ups and downs is what being a StarCraft fan is all about. Sometimes players slump, but we stick with them and when they start cracking skulls again, it's glorious. At other times, a player will turn into a wrecking ball and demolish the competition, making him look like a God. In the NASL, this has been TLAF-Liquid`Ret.
After nine weeks of epic games, the regular season of the NASL has come to a close. When Ret debuted in the NASL on April 16th, he lost 2-0 to ST.Ace. It was not the start a player hopes for, but Ret quickly turned things around and started winning games. And he didn't stop. Since April 16th, he has not lost a single series in the NASL.
MC 70.73% vZ : defeated 2-0
GoOdy 64.29% vZ : defeated 2-0
Stalife 58.11% vZ : defeated 2-1
SeleCT 63.03% vZ : defeated 2-1
Machine 33.33% vZ : defeated 2-0
BRAT_OK 65.69% vZ : defeated 2-0
CatZ 23.08% vZ : defeated 2-0
HasuObs 58.40% vZ : defeated 2-0
The winner of Assembly dispatched seasoned opponents week after week, and in the end, finished the regular season with a 16-4 record, 8-1 in series play. I wouldn't have called Ret an underdog going into the NASL, but he certainly exceeded expectations. For those of us who have been fans of Ret since his Brood War days, his #1 finish in the NASL is especially sweet.
Only someone this baller could be rank #1
Ret! The regular season of the NASL finished with you ranked #1 in the entire league. Did you ever feel like an underdog going into the NASL? It was amazing to watch you face people like MC and rise through the ranks week after week.
When I got this group I thought it would be very hard to finish in the top two. But I also knew that I would have a chance if I was able to get through week one and two okay, since I had to face Ace and MC right off the bat. With one win and one loss vs those guys, I knew I could come through each week against the other players as long as I stayed focused. I am really glad that I made it though and it gives me a lot of confidence that I was able to reach this goal.
Since your first series against Ace, you've gone undefeated in series play against very seasoned opponents. That's eight weeks straight. Do you treat the NASL as a major tournament, like an MLG? Were you ever conscious of your win-streak when you were playing?
I definitely take the NASL very seriously. I love the format of having one opponent each week, much more so than MLG or any other offline event where you can play against a variety of different opponents, races and playstyles. I was well aware of the fact that I kept winning week after week but I had no time to really think about that or feel overly excited. It was close, to the very last week, to stay ahead of Ace in the rankings, and I only overtook Select on the last playday. There was no room for slip-ups so I just wanted to keep winning.
You are 70.00% in ZvZ. Do you have a secret for success in this matchup? You have quite a history with ZvZ, dating from when you played Brood War.
This would've been a better question if I didn't just lose to IdrA and Slush at MLG. =) I've never had the trouble of having to switch from TvZ to ZvZ in SC2 so to me it only makes sense that my winrate is highest vs zerg since zerg doesnt have collosus or siege tanks :D
I'm just kidding, but I think the reason for the succes is that I enjoy playing mirror games, and the mindgames that come with it.
Of all your games in the NASL, which ones stand out as the most memorable?
My games vs MC and Select are definitely the most memorable for me. Those series could've gone either way, and made all the difference in the end. I have had so many series where I am the one losing due to randomness or just 'bad luck' but in these series luck was on my side, and that boosted my confidence into the next weeks.
As the leader of the league and Division D, you are automatically seeded into the round of 16. Who do you think could give you a run for your money in the later rounds? The league is played in remotely, but the competition and prize money are very high.
All of the 16 players that qualify for NASL are obviously top notch players. I'm most afraid of the Koreans though, such as Zenio, July, MC (I'm sure he'll qualify) , and whichever Korean makes it from the open tournament. I heard I'll have to play the open tournament winner in round 1 so I'm hoping someone like PoltPrime or HongunPrime flukes through, would be nice.
Your success in the NASL feels like a long time coming. Congrats, Ret! Any parting words for your fans?
Thanks to everyone for supporting me, as always! I always have a blast meeting fans in real life and hanging out so I really look forward to the next 2 months where I'll be in Sweden, Germany, and the USA playing tournaments. I hope to be streaming often soon. I'd also like to make a shoutout to TLO ♥