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The mysterious failings of Maru

Chiu on This
A short and regular opinion blast from Stephen Chiu

‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast

Among all the StarCraft 2 players in the world today, I feel Maru has the most talent among all of them. I’ve seen what players like INnoVation, soO and Zest can bring at the height of their powers. In Maru’s case, he is still incredibly young (at the age of 19), is already one of the most accomplished players to touch the game and still has time to improve and expand his game. Despite all of these great qualities, something is holding him back.

Here is a funny stat: he has been to nine premier tournaments (I don’t count WESG) and reached the semifinals. He has passed that round only three times. Those three times he won one GSL, one SSL and finished second at IEM Taipei to Life.

Here are the players he has lost to in semifinals: Dear, Dear, Jaedong, Soulkey, Classic and Gumiho. It’s not that he’s ever out of these series; in fact, most of these series have him playing a pretty close game. But there is something holding him back. What is it?

If I had to guess from what I’ve seen from his games, he lacks late game. This is a strange statement to say as his late game is pretty good, but once you reach certain levels of play, his late game is relatively weaker than his opponents and his opponents have taken advantage of that in small margins. Not enough to say that it is a definitive reason for his continued semifinal losses, but when you add it up enough, it seems to be a possible case.

The problem with Maru is that he was originally a Prime player and as everyone knows they hilariously stubborn when it comes to their play styles and would rather watch their careers go into a dumpster than adapt.


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