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Opinion

JulyZerg in July

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

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

When it comes to the month of July, the person I think about is JulyZerg, a legendary BroodWar player. He was given the nicknames God of War or Sauron Zerg for his super aggressive nature and his ability to flood over his opponents with his ability to out produce his opponents and overrun them. The reason I correlate JulyZerg with July is because he won two of his three OSLs in the month of July. He won the third on Aug. 1. As a player, he is one of the few who reached the elite level in distinct separate eras. If I had to compare him to someone, it’s like Virtus.Pro in CS:GO. Never the best, but every once in a while he’d return to the prime of his strength out of nowhere.

He was also the first Zerg to win the Golden Mouse. To win that, you have to win Brood War’s most prestigious tournament, the OSL, three times. His third was the most memorable as he had been out of his prime for a long time, but due to bracket luck and his own strength in Z-v-P, he made it to the finals and won. This was a shocking result to the community. None was more shocked than Stork, one of the best players at the time and a player who had struggled in his numerous finals. July made him realize that finals were about the mentality of the player more than just the skill they had on paper. He took it to heart as the next time he went to a final, he won (though he did beat another player famous for crumbling in the finals as well).

July’s most famous rival was iloveoov. iloveoov was a bonjwa, the son of boxer and one of the most dominant players during his era. July was the one who broke his streak, but iloveoov paid him back in the finals of both OSL and WCG. Their rivalry is considered one of the great rivalries of Brood War because of their distinct styles of play and how those styles clashed and interacted against each other.

July had one last return to form, but it was in a different game. In StarCraft 2, he was one of the early adopters of the game. He carried over his trademark aggression, but he never seemed to get a grasp on the economic or macro game. This was fine during the early phases as most players didn’t understand it and even though he never won, he got surprisingly good results with a second place finish in a GSL March and semifinal finishes in GSL August NASL and DreamHack Summer 2011.

The best games he played are too numerous to list in Brood War, so just look at his Liquipedia page. I will say I had a soft spot for his OSL finals against Best because it was the first esports match I remember watching. As for SC2, I can only recommend two matches. One was against Mvp in the semifinals of GSL August on Metalopolis, where he got the lead and played a strong macro game, but Mvp used mass ghosts to shut him down. Incidentally, the ghost was soon nerfed. The other isn’t on any broadcast, so I’ll describe it.

He was playing on the shit map delta quadrant against a Terran. After pushing off the initial scout with lings, he expanded to his natural while mining gas. The opponent scanned the natural to make sure July wasn’t going to all-in. After the scan ended, July canceled the hatch and built a bane nest on the remaining creep and then all-ined and won the game. It was a genius move since the Terran assumed the natural was building and later when he scanned the main again, he didn’t see a bane nest so he assumed he was safe.

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