The HerO we need

By tree.hugger
16:34 October 15 2012
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Graphic by shiroiusagi. The map is from the superb National Geographic 9th Edition

This past weekend found Liquid`HerO in Shanghai, China for the WCS Asia championships. The top six players got spots in the WCS Grand Finals. There were ten Koreans, seven of which were protoss. HerO was virtually guaranteed to face a Korean protoss in the third round; either Creator or Seed, two players who had scored notable victories in the past, and whom HerO had never been able to answer.

Now, HerO has been playing great. He beat Squirtle to make his second GSL Ro8 of the year. But looking at the brackets, it was hard not to feel a lingering sense of doubt. As good as HerO has looked in the past, PvP has always sabotaged his runs. It's been the thorn in HerO's side, fly in his soup, the joker in his deck. In order to qualify for the WCS Worlds, HerO would need to confront his PvP woes head on.

kr Liquid`HerO 2 : 0 kr LG-IMSeed
kr Liquid`HerO 2 : 0 kr ST_PartinG
kr Liquid`HerO 0 : 2 kr By.Rain
kr Liquid`HerO 0 : 2 kr ST_PartinG

Final Placement: 3rd

The verdict? Like any good work of literature, it's totally open to interpretation. HerO went up against the best of the best in PvP, coming away with a 50% record. He cleaned up the last GSL champion and the player who beat him in the IPL TAC finals. He defeated PartinG, only to have the Startale protoss come back and take revenge. He once again dropped against the eventual champion, By.Rain, who once again seemed to have a better handle on the match-up than anybody else does.

But HerO took 3rd in the tournament, securing a spot in the WCS World Championships on just the first day of competition. His games against Seed were super, they brought to mind his GSL series vs Squirtle in the level of control that HerO demonstrated. It was a successful weekend.

The truth is, HerO played against the best of the best, and went 4-4. That's because he is among the best. Any conversation of the best Korean players at the moment needs to include him. As his PvZ has emerged a "liability" at the top level, his PvP has emerged as a match-up where HerO is truly in the elite. His PvT remains stellar. There's a reason why HerO was #2 on the ELO rank recently. (Now #4) He's had months of sustained success, slowly but surely building on excellent performances that only rank as disappointing because of his expectations. He's starting strong in yet another NASL season. He's ninth on the GSL points ranking for 2012. This November will be a ridiculous run of tournaments. He's in groups for MLG, qualified for Dreamhack Winter, WCS Worlds, and IPL5. Not to mention another GSL Code S. It'll be taxing. But HerO has earned all of it. No invites, just wins.

Make sure to cheer HerO on in the coming weeks! Post in his fanclub or tweet @Liquid_HerO to give him your support and congratulate him for his WCS results!

Go HerO!

[image loading]
Graphic by disciple
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