After five second place finishes this year, Jaedong emerged victorious at ASUS ROG Northcon 2013…
(Excuse the length of this article, I may or may not be a Jaedong fan :P)
It is the moment that many but the most devout followers of the “Jaedong church” didn’t think would come, some had even cruelly nicknamed Jaedong, Jaekong. To put it into perspective, the Kong line is a fictional series of players who follow in the footsteps of YellOw who for the period between 2000-2003, he (YellOw) managed to gather six silver medals (he got the name because he’s short like a “Kong”, which means pea). Jaedong was noted as maybe the next in the Kong Line due to his five second place finishes in 2013 as can be seen below, notably “choking” in two finals being destroyed 4-0 by both Polt and Bomber respectively. This string of second place finishes, whilst unfortunate is still impressive and definitely demonstrates that Jaedong is consistent but was unable to get the finals win.
At ASUS ROG Northcon 2013, Jaedong dispelled any comments on him being in the Kong line by winning his first premier tournament in StarCraft 2 and also becoming the first BroodWar champion to win a premier StarCraft 2 tournament. The tournament took place between the 6th-7th December 2013, Jaedong started off by dominating his group stage beating StarDust 3-1 and Nerchio 3-2 to make his way into the playoffs. Jaedong opens up his playoffs with a much expected win against Elfi, beating Finland’s protoss player Elfi 3-1 in a rather decisive manner. Arguably the most interesting matches of the tournament were up next between two Korean tyrants; with Jaedong, a BroodWar Champion vs INnoVation.
Quarterfinals: Jaedong vs INnoVation (BO5) – Watch HERE
The series opens up on Bel’shir Vestige with Jaedong spawning in the top left and INnoVation spawning in the bottom right on this 2-player map. INnoVation opens with a Command Center (CC) first and Jaedong opens with the standard hatchery first into pool and then gas. INnoVation opens into factory hellions and Jaedong researches zergling speed to deny any damage from INnoVation. Jaedong then takes a early 3rd at 5 minutes to compensate for INnoVation’s CC first opener. The game then continues as one would expect with the current meta as INnoVation gets double engineering bays (for upgrades), a third CC and adds on extra barracks for production. Jaedong gets two evo chambers and +1/+1 and gets Lair at 7 minutes. The game then moves into the tense midgame with Jaedong getting a fourth base and a spire for mutalisks. INnoVation moves out at 10 minutes with the standard marine, 2 medivac creep kill squad, he gets a really good drop location in the natural and manages to kill some queens and lots of zerglings plus kills off creep tumors.
Jaedong manages to clean up the push and moves out with his mutalisk/zergling/baneling army as +2/+2 finishes and he gets a good engagement in the middle of the map and with some excellent micro, avoids losing too many units to the widow mines and kills all the medivacs for INnoVation. With this momentum, Jaedong pushes into INnoVation’s 3rd and kills a lot of SCV’s (terran workers), INnoVation barely holds the 3rd but the push is not over, Jaedong morphs a ton more banelings and pushes once again, INnoVation is not prepared and loses most of his forces. Jaedong kills the third base of INnoVation and INnoVation is forced to GG out. Jaedong 1 – 0 INnoVation
The next game opened up on Yeonsu with Jaedong spawning in the top right and INnoVation spawning in the bottom left on this 2-player map. The opener of the game was standard with Jaedong opting for a hatchery first and INnoVation opting for a barracks into gas and reaper opening. The reapers manages to get a few zergling kills and a drone kill but then Jaedong’s queens finish spawning and he is able to hold without any significant losses. INnoVation then opts for a bit more of a cheesy strategy as he gets a factory and opts to go for 2-factory blue-flame hellions (the blue flame upgrade gives hellions a lot more damage vs light units such as drones and zerglings). Jaedong takes a third base and then manages to scout INnoVation’s blue-flame hellion strategy, Jaedong then opts to go for a roach based army but just before Jaedong’s roaches have popped, INnoVation drops the hellions in Jaedong’s main and natural and manages to kill LOTS of zerglings and about 20 drones putting Jaedong’s economy in a rather bad position however the game isn’t over and he can bounceback. Jaedong then hits a roach timing and attacks the third base of INnoVation but gets baited into the firing range of tanks repeatedly and whilst he harasses the third and kills lots of hellions and SCV’s he loses almost all of his roaches however he has done enough damage to normalise the game. INnoVation opting to go for a more mechanical based army or “mech” with Siege tanks, Hellions etc, Thors etc… A typical mech army can be seen below:
Jaedong then tries to establish a fourth base whilst INnoVation cleans up the rest of Jaedong’s roaches and maxes out. Jaedong then gets a spire and produces some corruptors, at 17 minutes, INnoVation moves out and Jaedong has his hive finished however does not have the greater spire necessary for BroodLords. It is unknown if Jaedong forgot to get greater spire as he was getting a upgrade at the time or if he was hoping that INnoVation’s army had less thors but Jaedong tries to defend with a roach/mutalisk army and INnoVation has too many tanks and thors for Jaedong to do any damage to it and he has to GG out. Jaedong 1 – 1 INnoVation
The next game opens on Frost, a big 4-player map with Jaedong spawning in the bottom right and INnoVation spawning in the top right. This game was a bit of a disappointment as Jaedong scouts at 10 supply that INnoVation is going for CC first followed by a barracks. Jaedong takes a bit of gamble and opts to go for a very old Wings of Liberty build in the form of a baneling bust. Jaedong stopped droning at 23 drones and just massed zerglings for a 6 minute baneling bust. INnoVation looked underprepared however he had 4 hellions and scouted Jaedong’s morphing banelings at his 3rd base, it was a very tense engagement but INnoVation’s hellion micro ended up clinching him the win as Jaedong did not do enough damage. Jaedong tries to recover and play a normal game but INnoVation just rode his lead to a win and hit a 2-2 timing that Jaedong had no chance of holding after having his 3rd base cancelled numerous times before. Jaedong 1 – 2 INnoVation
The fourth game opened up on Whirlwind and Jaedong was definitely angry that he had lost over such a gamble. Jaedong goes hatchery first versus INnoVation’s CC first on the low-ground on this big 4 player map. The game plays out standard with INnoVation going hellions into a 3rd CC into marine/medivac/widow mine/marauder (4MM style) and Jaedong getting lair and going zergling/baneling/mutalisk. Jaedong takes his fourth base at 10 minutes and INnoVation pushes out with two medivacs of marines however Jaedong defends with his newly hatched mutalisks and Jaedong suffers no damage whilst droning up his fourth base. INnoVation begins the standard parade push however Jaedong has clever baneling landmines in the middle of the map and stops the marine train in its tracks.
Jaedong now has a booming economy and is even ahead on upgrades and starts his hive at 14 minutes and even takes a 5th base. INnoVation tries to attack Jaedong’s fifth base, in reply Jaedong counters with his army into INnoVation’s 3rd base and kills lots of scv’s and then moves onto the fourth base where he kills INnoVation’s 4th base. Jaedong has then progressed into ultralisks and as soon as INnoVation sees the ultralisks, he GG’s out as he has no economy to produce enough marauders to hold off the large number of ultralisks. Jaedong 2 – 2 INnoVation
The last match in the best of 5 opened up on Akilon wastes with Jaedong spawning in the top left and INnoVation spawning in the bottom right. INnoVation opens up with a CC first vs a hatchery first from Jaedong. INnoVation then varies up his play and does a 1-1-1 build which is a barracks into factory into starport. The aim of this build is to harass with hellions and cloaked banshees.
Things go terribly wrong for INnoVation however as whilst he is so busy microing his cloaked banshee, Jaedong manages to get about 30 zerglings into his main and he kills 20+ SCV’s. INnoVation is now far behind however he manages to normalise the game a bit with excellent banshee micro before he loses them. INnoVation then does a 2-base timing push with marine/marauder/medivacs/widow mine however Jaedong stalls and Jaedong’s baneling nest is not done (in the later interview, he admits that he forgot it whilst defending vs INnoVation’s pressure), INnoVation does some damage in the natural but Jaedong manages to hold but loses lots of zerglings. The main problem now for INnoVation is that it is past 13 minutes and he delayed his third base to do this follow up push and is now in a very bad position with his economy, INnoVation does a SCV pull but Jaedong holds easily with his zergling/baneling/mutalisk composition. INnoVation GG’s out and Jaedong advances on to the finals! Jaedong 3 – 2 INnoVation
Finals: Jaedong vs Scarlett (BO7) – Watch HERE
The finals was a Zerg vs Zerg between Jaedong who looks to end his string of second places and Scarlett, who many believe is the best foreigner and is the only hope for the foreigners to avoid a Korean all-kill of 2013. Scarlett had previously managed to clean-sweep the young Korean protegé Life (to whom many predicted to win the entire tournament) 3 – 0 in the quarterfinals.
(note it is really recommended that you watch this ZvZ even if you hate ZvZ as this finals was incredible and very fast-paced. The write up may not do it justice!)
The finals opened up on Bel’shir Vestige with Jaedong spawning in the bottom right and Scarlett spawning in the top left. As this was the first game in the best of 7, it is common to try and do strategies to get inside your opponent’s head, in this case they both tried to play “crazy” and show that they can set the pace of the game. Both Jaedong and Scarlett opened up with a 10 pool! Upon realising this, both players try to harass a bit with neither player willing to risk any big engagements and neither wanting to expand incase the other goes allin and wins the game. Both players take gas and get zergling speed and baneling nests. Scarlett is the first to be aggressive with the ling/baneling army however Jaedong’s micro is insane and he manages to take very little damage killing 2 banelings with 2 zerglings and doing damage to Scarlett’s zerglings. Scarlett then decides to retreat but Jaedong is ready with 2 banelings and flanks her zerglings, detonates his banelings and kills tons of zerglings.
Jaedong then runs into the main base and kills the rest of Scarlett’s forces and she is forced to GG! Jaedong 1 – 0 Scarlett
The next set is on Akilon Wastes. Jaedong spawns in the bottom right and Scarlett spawns in the top left. The two literally mirrored each others builds for the first 6 minutes of the game with both players going hatchery first followed by an extractor and a spawning pool. Both players get zergling speed and then getting a baneling nest in the same position, Jaedong scouts with his zerglings and Scarlett doesn’t make any. Scarlett gets lair faster than Jaedong and this ends up being a very crucial point in the game. Both players transition into zergling/mutalisk with a spire however Scarlett’s is quite a bit faster. At 9 minutes, Scarlett detonates a baneling on 30 zerglings and manages to cancel Jaedong’s third whilst getting her own. Jaedong is now behind as ZvZ mutalisk vs mutalisk is all about who has more gas and the zergling runby’s. Jaedong tries to counter when his mutalisks hatch by attacking Scarlett’s third with ling/mutalisk however Scarlett’s mutalisk count is too high and Jaedong has to retreat. Scarlett then continues the aggression and runs into Jaedong’s main with lots of zerglings picking up lots of drones and queen kills. Jaedong moves his mutalisks back but he has already lost all the drones in his main base and is forced to go allin. The mutalisk engage occurs but the mutalisk numbers are just too much for Jaedong to handle, he loses the Mutalisk vs Mutalisk battle and as such the game. He GG’s out and Scarlett ties up the score! Jaedong 1 – 1 Scarlett
The third map was on Derelict Watcher. Both players opened with a hatchery first and end up going into ling/bane with zergling speed. Jaedong pokes in with 6 zerglings and kills a queen but loses all his lings. Scarlett puts on some counter-aggression. Jaedong’s lair is faster than Scarlett’s this time. Both tech into zergling/mutalisk but Jaedong runs a bunch of zerglings into Scarlett’s main and natural killing queens and 8 drones. Both players are now on 3 bases but Jaedong has a drone lead. There is a mutalisk engagement outside Scarlett’s natural expansion whilst Jaedong floods the main of Scarlett with zerglings. Jaedong wins the mutalisk battle because his spire was faster and he had +1 air armour whilst Scarlett did not! Scarlett realising she has lost too many drones to catch up to Jaedong’s mutalisk count, starts a Infestation pit in the hope of teching to Infestors to win with good fungals however Jaedong is hyper-aggressive and attacks Scarlett again. Scarlett realises that she has no chance to stop this army and GG’s! Jaedong 2 – 1 Scarlett
The next map was the huge 4-player map Frost. This was a crucial map for the series as if Jaedong wins, he is 1 map away from winning the tournament whilst Scarlett will have to win 3 maps in a row to clinch the win! Both players once again open up with hatchery first. The game continues into a normal mutalisk vs mutalisk ZvZ with both players getting a lair at virtually the same time. Both players try to put pressure and force a cancel on each other’s third base but both defend without any major losses. Scarlett strikes a blow as she pushes lots of zerglings into Jaedong’s main whilst attacking the third with her mutalisk flock. Behind this pressure, she takes a fourth base which Jaedong scouts almost instantly. Scarlett then attacks the natural whilst Jaedong forces a cancel on Scarlett’s fourth base. Scarlett then pulls back and retakes her fourth, Jaedong is now 16 drones behind and doesn’t have a fourth base on the way, in ZvZ muta vs muta this is a terrible position to be in. Jaedong is forced to go all-in and attacks into Scarlett’s mutalisk army but the mutalisk count is too high for Jaedong’s micro to overcome and Jaedong GG’s. Jaedong 2 – 2 Scarlett
The fifth map was on Whirlwind, a large 4-player map with Jaedong spawning in the top left and Scarlett spawning in the top right.
Both players once again open Hatchery first (as it is a good build to jumpstart your economy with early double queen, lots of larvae etc…). The game opens up relatively passive with Jaedong getting a roach warren and a baneling nest earlier than Scarlett. Both go into Lair and Scarlett drops a Roach warren, Jaedong gets 10 roaches and pushes at 7 minutes with 10 roaches and some zerglings. Scarlett scouts the push and spine crawlers and banelings prevent most of the damage, Lair finishes about a minute later for Jaedong as he invested in early Roaches and thus had less gas. Both palyers getting +1 ranged attack for the roach vs roach war with Jaedong getting +1 carapace, Jaedong’s roach speed is much slower than Scarlett’s so he has to play defensive. Jaedong takes an earlier 3rd than Scarlett and Scarlett attacks with roaches and a few banelings however Jaedong pushes away the roaches with good positioning and kills the banelings. Jaedong then replies with another attack with roaches as his +1/+1 finishes whilst Scarlett harasses Jaedong’s third with a hit squad of roaches.
This is when the game took a bit of a weird turn as Jaedong trades efficiently and they are both relatively equal in the game with Jaedong having a slight lead in drones. Scarlett then begins a Hydralisk den and will go into Roach/Hydralisk which is quite a standard composition. Jaedong with his genius, gets baneling speed and a couple zerglings. Jaedong chasing down some stray roaches in the center of the map and Scarlett starts Infestation pit getting Pathogen glands and going into Hive. Jaedong gets a fourth and has 18 banelings but Scarlett now has Roach/Hydralisk/Infestor which is a very effective composition vs Roach/Baneling. Jaedong makes more zerglings and morphs a ton of banelings. Jaedong crashes into the army of Scarlett with a lot of banelings and roaches, Jaedong breaks the position and moves into the natural after killing lots of Roaches, Zerglings reinforcing but Scarlett barely holds. Jaedong gets more banelings and moves in again, the banelings get fungalled but due to the +2 armour, the survive with 1 HP and do tons of damage. Scarlett cannot rival Jaedong’s four base Roach/Baneling army (will this become a style?) and Scarlett GG’s! This was quite an unconventional army composition but Jaedong’s superior micro and positioning allowed him to get good engagements vs Scarlett’s army and the banelings did so much damage vs the hydralisks and his superior roach numbers grabbed him the win! Jaedong 3 – 2 Scarlett
Jaedong is now one map away from taking the gold and the tension is high. The map is Yeonsu. Jaedong opens with a 10 pool whilst Scarlett opens with a pool into gas. Jaedong moves out with zerglings whilst Scarlett puts down her natural expansion. Zerglings force a cancel on Scarlett’s expansion and Zergling speed starts for Jaedong, Jaedong goes into Scarlett’s main but there is enough defense so logically Jaedong takes his natural expansion. Scarlett gets a baneling nest and takes her expansion again but it is now noticeably later than Jaedong’s. Scarlett tries to put on some zergling/baneling pressure however Jaedong spots this and defends sufficiently with his queens. Both players being to drone up and Jaedong takes two more extractors. Scarlett gets a Lair and her zerglings attempt a runby in Jaedong’s main base but there is a queen block, both players are now on two bases. Jaedong ets a roach warren and takes his third whilst Scarlett builds her spire. Scarlett scouts the third a minute later and gets one of her own. Jaedong hits a anti-muta timing with roach/queen/baneling and Scarlett attempts to defend with zerglings, spine crawlers and her queens.
Scarlett loses almost all of her drones and after “defending” has 4 drones left, realising she must go allin. As soon as her mutalisks pop she goes to Jaedong’s base however he has 4 spore crawlers finishing up and she can do no damage. With her economy in tatters, Scarlett GG’s! Jaedong wins his first StarCraft 2 tournament title! Jaedong 4 – 2 Scarlett
Overall the tournament was well done with some technical issues experienced which delayed some matches. Jaedong grabbed a well deserved win against some very world-class opponents and in doing so ensures that 2013 was the year for Koreans with no foreigner winning any major tournament, very similiar to BroodWar where Koreans dominated the scene… The final bracket can be seen here:
VOD Link: See HERE
Thanks for reading (and well done if you have managed to get to the end), I hope you found the games exciting and if you haven’t already, go watch them! GL HF!
[Photo credits to Blizzard, TeamLiquid, Acer, Evil Geniuses and their respective owners]