The ebb and circulation of StarCraft 2 is a brutal one, and the primary outcomes from Season 2 of the 2019 International StarCraft League show that because the event favourite has made an unbelievable early exit. The GSL has been the playground of the participant many would argue to be the best of all time, Maru. Coming off a report fourth title victory in a row — earlier than Maru, essentially the most back-to-back championships anybody had achieved within the cuthroat Korean competitors was two — it appeared like we have been destined for extra of the identical when the Terran participant discovered himself in a comparatively straightforward Spherical of 32 group.
That is not how issues performed out, nonetheless, and after a surprising 2-Zero loss to Endurance within the Winner’s Last, Maru ate a 2-1 loss to Innovation that despatched the GOAT packing within the first spherical of competitors. For Maru, it is a cataclysmic occasion, having simply come off a primary spherical exit within the GSL’s weekender Tremendous Event. For everybody else within the GSL, although, it is a breath of contemporary air — Maru’s suffocating grasp of the highest event in StarCraft 2 has lastly weakened.
Maru’s elimination is perhaps shocking, however for many who have been paying consideration, there was definitely an above common probability that it might happen. Protoss has been utterly dominant in current event settings, and the imbalanced PvT matchup has left many Terrans scratching their heads looking for solutions. Maru dropped a good set to Stats on the Tremendous Event, after which was shockingly crushed by Endurance, who additionally handed Innovation, arguably the second-or-third greatest Terran on this planet, a loss as nicely. Innovation has been one of many few gamers who has had Maru’s quantity in current months, having eradicated him from title rivalry on the WESG event earlier this yr.
Nonetheless, although, Maru’s elimination has thrown all the pieces followers have understood about Korean StarCraft 2 into turmoil. Maru shedding within the GSL simply does not occur — generally he drops a sequence within the early rounds, however the final time Maru was truly eradicated from a GSL event was July 18, 2017 when he was additionally unceremoniously dumped out of the competitors within the Spherical of 32. He’d gone practically two years with out bowing out of the hardest event on this planet.
For the remainder of the sector, it is an opportunity to determine who the clear quantity two participant in Korea actually is. Maru’s early exits may very well be the start of a droop, however it can take a number of extra surprising finishes earlier than it is even price contemplating whether or not or not the Jin Air Inexperienced Wings Terran is something however the most effective on this planet. After him, although, it is murky — is Traditional, coming off a finals loss to Maru within the final GSL and a Tremendous Event victory, the de facto option to win this season? Innovation may very well be waking up, as his play towards Maru confirmed why he was thought of untouchable at instances previously. Past them are much more darkish horse contenders like Darkish, Stats, Zest, and TY. Even some outdated favorites managed to qualify this season, with nostalgic former greats like DRG, Creator and PartinG becoming a member of the fray.
No matter who wins, although, Maru’s elimination has weirdly generated the type of buzz that might normally comply with him whereas he is crushing one other hapless GSL sufferer. Maru is a dynasty, the late 90s New England Patriots of StarCraft 2. He’ll be again. Within the interim, the GSL has all of a sudden turn into the wild west, and whoever rises as much as snatch the crown from Maru for the primary time in over a yr of competitors will immediately turn into a legend — and, for higher or worse, the possible new rival of a motivated and in-form Maru come Season 3.