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September '09 TL Power Rank

No surprises here, Jaedong still being the imba player that he is even after toughing it through his FA status, Fantasy flaunting his prowess from the PL Finals, and Calm recently being crowned MSL Champion. I really want to see more Protosses higher up in the PR though; the hair-toss and dinosaur-toss seem to be having quite a hard to keeping up in the top ten as it is. The new PL maps don't seem to be helping much either.

From Team Liquid:

(Z) (stats)
01If this PR was written after the first week of August, Lee Jaedong would certainly not be at the top of it. While beginning the month with two wins against his nemesis EffOrt, Jaedong also lost to Orion in the same semi final, and then went on to get stomped by a SKT led by frontman Fantasy in the Proleague Grand Finals, letting down his team, and as his fans would say, himself. From being up in his first game on day one, to dying to a well timed tech switch and tank push in the same and crumbling to a perfectly executed bunker rush in the ace match on day two, The Tyrant lost to Hyuk of all people in the process, and as darkness fell in Pusan on 8/8/9, appeared to be all but conquered.

Indeed, facing Calm in his MSL Semi Final just five days later, and going up against him in no less than his most proficient matchup, the OZ workhorse typed out sooner than anyone ever expected. For most players, a week like that would have meant only one thing, a beginning of a long, excruciatingly bad slump.

Why then is Lee Jaedong at PR #1 today? Because, sports fans, the kid came back the very next day, yes that's right, he came back just 24 hours later to completely obliterate the same Terran who had schooled him so thoroughly less than a week before. From a humbling 3 -1 against Calm, the OZ Zerg recovered well to reverse the scores and go 3 - 1 against Fantasy in the OSL Semi Final, thereby securing a back to back OSL Finals spot, an opportunity he would turn into a back to back OSL win, the first since Lim Yo Hwan himself, and as we all know thanks to the gushing of a million fanboys, the third Golden Mouse in Starcraft history. Indeed, his OSL feats quickly outshine everything else this month, and it must be said, far outweigh his disappointing WCG loss to Stork. As billions of babbling fans bicker and beg for the B word to be used, I'm just here to tactfully avoid that discussion but say that JD, having borne the brunt of many beatings, is now by and large back and ready to bashfully agree that the baton is still very much in his possession.
(T) (stats)
02Jung Myung Hoon started off this month with a bang, and a big one at that. Thoroughly schooling the best player in the world in a game that would prove to be one of the most discussed and debated of the year, Fantasy went out against Jaedong on Outsider in the PL Grand Finals opener and despite some mistakes early on played smart and strong to finally overcome the swarm with a great timing push.

Of course, he didn't stop there. Rolling Hiya as expected, he built on his day one victory over his Zerg rival to deliver in the day two ace match what can only be described as a stellar performance. Showing strategy, timing and micro that has been described asBoxer-esque, the young T1 Terran went crazy on the crazy Zerg, and emerged from the booth carrying not only himself, but his entire team. Now, he did crumble less than a week later to go 1-3 against the same Zerg, and for this reason he does not get #1 this month. Losing 0-2 to Stork in WCG didn't help his cause either, though to put things in perspective the Protoss did also take out Jaedong just three days later.

When all is said and done though, it does take a lot of attitude to proxy rax the best Zerg in the world in the biggest game of your life. It also, however, takes skill, determination, and a lot of belief in yourself and your abilities. Call him the Hope of Terran, or a flash in the pan, call him what you like. The truth is that this kid gave us what is easily the best finals of this season, and in doing so also treated us to what was one of the best games of the year. We haven't seen this combination of panache, charisma and pure, unadulterated guts in a while, and for bringing it to our screens this August, Fantasy is #2.
(Z) (stats)
+13This guy really should be at #2 this month, and if not for the Proleague finals, he would be. Netting his first inidividual title and destroying the king of ZvZ on his way there, August was certainly kinder to STX than July was.

Calm, a darkhorse on a darkhorse team, a player who led his outfit throughout Proleague R5 finally stepped up this month to deliver a series we would not soon forget. Playing against the highest ZvZ win ratio of all time, Kim Yoon Hwan played the series of his career. From perfect ling surrounds to beautiful mutalisk timing and scourge snipes, Calm matched Jaedong in terms of mechanics, and indeed, outsmarted him clearly in every game that he won. Jaedong is a believer that having superior hand-speed is the key to victory in ZvZ; Calm proved him dead wrong and used his mind to defeat him. If his tears after the game were indication, the STX Zerg had put a lot of thought and preparation into this game, and it paid off. He was for the first time about to enter the biggest of arenas, and indeed, do so in style.

If the series vs Jaedong helped Calm establish his ZvZ prowess once and for all, it was using the MSL Finals that Calm really rubbed it in. From defending a 5pool with ease in the first game, to performing some magnificent scourge snipes and ling harassment in the other three the STX Zerg showed that he was top dog, and a vicious one at that. For taking down the world's best ZvZ, and then going on to ezmode the MSL finals, Calm sits pretty at #3 this August.
(P) (stats)
-11Bisu slips out of the top three this PR for the first time in months, almost single-handedly brought down from a podium position by the Berserker himself. Granted, it's perhaps a little unfair to peg a month's performance on one series, but having trounced his Terran team mate in the same tournament, Kim Taek Yong certainly had the ability to prepare for a perfect PvT bo5. Indeed, one could almost say he delivered. Almost.

Play consistently the whole season and lead your team to the PL finals? Check. Miss the Proleague MVP title by one game? Check. Lose to Iris in a series in which he was the clear favourite? Yup that too.

Realistically, if not for his destruction of WCG Korea, and the dispatch of our #5 in the process, Bisu would be hard pressed to find a spot on this month's PR. Needless to say, if he had actually won one of the regular individual leagues, he'd be safely in the top three. He did however lay waste to the likes of Flash, Luxury and Stork in a KeSPA ranking seeded WCG, 2-0ing the last two in the process, and therefore secures his place right here at #4.
(T) (stats)
-1It's been a rough few weeks for Flash. From KT's disappointing exit from the PL playoffs, to the many names they have gone through these past few weeks, Flash cant be happy that despite being the Proleague MVP along with Jaedong he had to sit around in the post season and just practice for GOM and WCG.

The practice time however obviously paid off. Flash is 8-4 in August, and his caps include the likes of Effort and Iris, the latter being defeated as he stepped up to take the his second individual league title. If KT had made the PL playoffs, both July and August could have been very different for the wonderkid. For what it's worth though, the Terran is back on the PR after slipping down to CBNC last time around, and that's certainly something.
(T) (stats)
+12Yes, Kwanro beat Iris in MSL Semi, and yes, Flash beat Iris in the GOM finals. The fact of the matter is, however, that the CJ Terran has been playing some pretty decent Starcraft this month. He may have not bagged a title this time around, and I'm sure there are people who are sorry about that, but when all is said and done Byun Hyung Tae really did perform in August.

Called the Ro4 champion by some, it was truly a treat to see a remnant of the last era of Broodwar make it to the top again. Though his 3-2 loss to Kwanro would have brought back nasty flashbacks of DAUM 07 vs GGPlay, his fans no doubt hope that he will be back next season to avenge this loss and make amends.

In terms of titles, Iris is still very much a silver medalist. When it comes to play though, he is truly worthy of a PR spot this month, especially given his 3-2 against none other than Bisu, a series that has been called the best bo5 of the year, and included what by all accounts was simply a fantastic game on Byzantium 3. In fact, that series was good enough to overshadow embarrassing defeats to Kwanro and Flash, and puts Iris on the PR at #6 this month.
(Z) (stats)
-7Kwanro is a crazy kid. Losing twice to Miracle in the PL Quarter Finals, it looked as if the Zerg was spending far too much time playing pokemon. Fortunately for him though, both those games were in July. Maybe the water supply at the CJ house changed at the end of the month, or maybe someone just hit b. Whatever it was though, Kwanro evolved, and tore through pretty much everything this month.

Destroying Zero in both the MSL and WCG, this pocket rocket went on to play the series of his life against his team mate Iris, and come back from 0-2 to take the Semi Final. It's worthwhile to note of course that though his comeback was certainly commendable, the bo5 itself was nowhere near the Bisu-Iris tell your grandkids about kind of Starcraft we were privileged enough to see in the previous round.

If he hadn't got stomped by Calm in the finals, he'd have certainly been a little higher in this PR, but the fact that he was says a lot about his current state of play. All in all though, August has been a good month for this little dude, and from nowhere he jumps onto the PR at #7.
(P) (stats)
-1Makers of fine silverware rejoiced once again this August as dinotoss tore through the likes of Upmagic, Fantasy and Jaedong to get stopped short of a gold by his PvP nemesis. I don't know who got a smack down in the KHAN house that night, but some newbie was sore for weeks after.

YellOw jokes aside though, the KHAN frontman is back, and representing his country at that. While he hasn't played enough Starcraft this month to warrant him going any higher on the list, he sits well above the rest of the tail enders for taking down our #1 and #2 in two convincing bo3s.

Looking ahead, it's worthwhile to speculate that September could be an exciting month for Stork as we hear his Warlock is nearing Lvl 80, and the offseason is no doubt giving him plenty of time to raid with his guild.
(Z) (stats)
-17Modern Broodwar's tragic hero, the OSL finals was the perfect stage for him to display his fatal flaw - the inability to perform under pressure. He was of course playing against the best of the best, but it goes without saying that someone like Calm would have performed much better in the same situation.

Having said that, Yarnc is someone we instinctively want to root for. He's played long and hard for Sparkyz, and is certainly deserving of a title. As we all know though, in Broodwar you don't always get what you deserve. Though he trounced type-b 3-0 in a rather one-sided OSL Semi Final and then went on to beat Sea and Jangbi in WCG Korea, he fell once again in a ZvZ to none other than his twin, and for that loses any chance of going any higher in this PR.
(Z) (stats)
-51The CJ Zerg didn't really put much of himself into playing these few weeks, and it shows. Beginning the month by letting his team down with dual losses to Jaedong, he did bounce back to take the GOM bronze medal in a convincing 3-1 of July.

With regards to his PR position though, it was his eventual loss to Flash in WCG that sealed the deal. It's been a while since the CJ Zerg has been below #5, but I'm sorry kids, a Blizzcon win isn't going to push him any further than this.
Credit: riptide
Source: Team Liquid


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