IPL 5 - Recap for Days 1 and 2
The first two days of the IPL 5 event in Las Vegas have brought us countless games and a level of play rarely seen anywhere outside of Korea. In case you missed any of the show, I've put together a brief recap of Thursday and Friday's action for you to check out.
The All-Zerg Showdown
In the two Terran vs. Zerg semifinals that took place tonight, the swarm came out victorious in both matches, with TSL.HyuN rolling over STX_Soul.INoVation after a rocky first map, and MVP.Sniper fought off a comeback attempt from Axiom.Ryung after pulling ahead to an early lead.
The GOMTV production crew has done a fantastic job in Vegas (Image Source: Neil Severson)
HyuN was probably the most impressive player in these GSL semifinals. While he did lose his first map against INoVation, the KeSPA Terran used an early game cheese strategy to win the set. The following three maps featured longer games, allowing HyuN to exhibit his true talents and thoroughly outclass his opponent. HyuN has had mixed results in ZvZ in the IPL 5 bracket, defeating Bboong and Stephano, but losing to DongRaeGu, and it will be interesting to see how he matches up against Sniper.
Sniper seemed to be a sure finalist when he quickly took the first two games off of Ryung with a timing attack in game one, and by defending an all-in proxy Rax play in game two. However, Ryung fought back with excellent multi-tasking and an early game pressure to take two maps himself, forcing the rubber match. Sniper seemed to just overwhelm Ryung with Infestors and Banelings, using constant aggression to take the map and the match.
Tomorrow’s GSL finals should be an entertaining experience, especially if you are a fan of the ZvZ matchup. Catch it tomorrow night after the IPL5 and GSL World Championship content, or come back to SCVRush for a recap if you miss watching it live!
An Epic Couple of Days in IPL
So many games have been played in these first two days at IPL 5, seeing all of the foreign competition fall entirely out of the event and the cream of the crop rising to the top. The two most impressive players are two Zergs that have made it through the upper bracket unscathed: Azubu.viOLet and FXO.Leenock.
Sometimes, it can be a little too easy to forget about viOLet going into an event. He trains in Texas and rarely makes a showing in the GSL, but he comes out to these foreign events and shows amazing talent on the level of Code S players. IPL has been no exception, as he defeated a GSL semifinalist in INoVation, a Dreamhack champion in HerO, and another powerful Zerg in Symbol to guarantee himself a top three finish.
Leenock also has a well-established reputation as a foreign event beast, and he came to play in Las Vegas. He has taken no prisoners, dropping only one map in the event while sweeping aside players like Life, XiGua, and TheStC. Strong Infestor play is his trademark, and that will come in handy against viOLet if they meet in the upper bracket final.
Sniper is still alive in both the GSL and IPL 5 (Image Source: Neil Severson)
However, there are more players to keep an eye on. TSL.Polt is also alive in the upper bracket, though he is down one map in his match against Leenock. A bevy of other contenders lurk in the lower bracket, including Liquid.HerO, Creator.PRIME, StarTale.Bomber, MVP.DongRaeGu, and a GSL Code S finalist in MVP.Sniper.
Tough Day for the Foreign Crowd
With such a ridiculous Korean lineup, any foreign player present here at IPL had a very tough road ahead of them. Some of the best players met their fates at the hand of other foreigners, including Acer.Nerchio, who lost series to both ROOT.LeiYa (LeiYa is Puck's new handle) and Mionix.NaNiwa, knocking him out of the tournament.
However, a few non-Korean players did make their presence felt, particularly the Canadians EG.HuK and Acer.Scarlett. HuK, who has been off the radar for a while, knocked two incredible Korean Terrans in Ryung and YoDa out of the lower bracket before falling to Sniper. Scarlett did her damage in the upper bracket, beating NaNiwa in a close series before taking down Ryung 2-0. It seems Ryung should be more wary of Canadians in future foreign events.
Another success story was that of the Norweigian Zerg, GL.Snute. He was seeded into the fourth upper bracket round, where he unfortunately met and lost to Azubu.viOLet on his steamroll path through the tournament. However, Snute still managed to pull a shocker in the lower bracket, taking down the most recent GSL champion and one of the favorites the win IPL, StarTale.Life.