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Silicon Sports | 20/09/2017

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A Man Walks In To A Barcraft…

A Man Walks In To A Barcraft…

Wow! My first ever foray in to a BarCrafts night, and I don’t think I could have chosen a better time.

Silicon Sports fifteenth BarCraft event kicked off with an amazing TvP, with young Terran player Maru – already proving himself against Innovation – coming up against one of the strongest Protoss players in the league, Rain.

I’d love to be able to sit and write about each play during the six games, but it would end up being far longer than any article has a right to be. Forgive me for overselling certain details while omitting others. I just hope that the parts I found to be the focal points of the match were as exciting for everyone else as they were for me!

At the beginning of the night, as we sipped our first drinks and listened intently to Tastosis, words were exchanged on the possible outcomes of the upcoming games. Many attendees believing Rain would teach Maru “How it’s done”, that “The heart says Maru but the head says Rain”.

Certainly we all wanted the boy to win, but none of us really felt he had much of a chance.

I sat there contemplating it, but couldn’t bring myself to believe that Maru’s 4-0’ing of the man who is called the best player in the world could just be coincidence.

I felt close to eating my words by the end of the first two games though, with Maru playing perhaps a little too safely and being punished by Rains Warp Prism drops. This allowed him to get in to an open position to stroll right in during the first match, Rain then holding against Hellions and Banshees in the second and making it look easy.

But by the third game, when the congregation at the bar had begun their looks of “I told you so’s” and “He did well to make it this far”, Maru showed us that he still held a spark!

With proxy double rax he managed to cause massive economic damage to Rain, who failed to scout the proxy by what could only have been millimetres. With a few nail-biting moments and some excellent micro, Maru won his first game for the match – even if his play was cheesier than my pizza.

The action didn’t slow down during the breaks in between games, oh no.

Provisions of prizes were perched upon a pedestal near the projector, showcasing tee-shirts, bottle openers, stickers, lanyards and calendars.

Beside them lay the most coveted items of the night – a set of Skullcandy SLYR headphones and a Heart of the Swarm collectors edition box, signed by mOOnGLaDe, Mr. Jack and the SC2 Game Director, Dustin Browder.

The headphones went to lucky winner Frank (Was that even his real name? No one knows…) with his stellar impression of a Siege Tank, while 8 runners-up scored a mix of stickers, calendars and vouchers.

An honourable mention would need to go to bartender Andy and his ‘colourful’ cheer-fulls, which I’m sure none of us will soon forget. But our own brand of fun had to come to an end as we returned our eyes to the projector screen.

Maru took the confidence from his first win and put it to good use, snowballing to victory and knocking the wind right out of Rain’s sails, the crowd at the bar beginning their chants of “MARU! MA-RU! MA-RU!”. Whether it was an Immortal all-in or a failed Dark Templar drop, Maru managed to hold and counter everything Rain threw at him.

Game four held what I thought to be the most amazing play of the night, when Maru’s beautiful use of EMP’s helped decimate Rains army, and giving him a win against the powerful Protoss in a macro game!

Ending the final game by holding off the Immortal all in, Maru proved his worth in front of his friends, family, and all of us at the Paloma Bar and around the world.

To see his mother in the crowd with tears in her eyes, watching her little champion take to the stage (and get lost behind a plume of smoke at one point), and his little sister jumping up and down with glee was truly an inspiring sight for e-sports.

But at the time of writing the ACL in Bundoora is well under way, and though I’m a little too far away to support everyone in person, I’ve got the stream ready to watch and am eagerly looking forward to watching King Kong and PiG in their grudge match.

Thanks to Lalor and Glenn for organising such a fantastic night at Paloma Bar, and I can’t wait to see what the next one will have in store.

Hope to see you there!

Archaeic | Cam Allen