2008 Razer TSL
The Razer TeamLiquid StarLeague, also known as the Razer TSL and TSL 1, was announced in March 2008 and had its finals in June of that year. This tournament was the first of the Teamliquid Starleague event series.
In early 2008, Teamliquid held its first StarLeague, sponsored by Razer. It consisted of a qualification ladder stage, two qualifier stages and a 16 man single-elimination bracket. In a dramatic finish, IefNaij took first place 3-2 over the (supposedly) retired Draco.
A week preceding the announcement of the Razer TSL, a green countdown timer bar appeared on Teamliquid. In short order, three cryptic frontpage news items appeared. The following announcement (The Announcement) hit the audience like a bomb: TeamLiquid was going to hold its own StarLeague, with the highest price pool ever poured out in Brood War on non-Korean soil. Soon after it was revealed that it was Razer who was sponsoring the StarLeague.
The announcement of a public ladder to qualify for the tournament, avoiding invites and seeds altogether, yielded a huge surge of activity. During the first 36 hours more than 1000 users signed up and within the first 72 hrs, more than 10000 games were played. Soon after the ladder stage a massive replay pack was released, composed of over 9500 replays in total. Henceforth, most "foreign" tournaments have adopted this mode of qualification.
The round of 16 saw several upsets. Now "BBQ-Toss" Dreiven overcame the heavy favorite Mondragon 2-0. Mondragon previously dominated the TSL ladder finishing first and had easily passed his Ro32 group,
Not exactly an upset, but surprisingly clear, was the victory of NonY over ret, who was already then heralded as one of the best foreign players. Ret later admitted skipping preparation for this match-up and hence losing to the better player. Both have since been picked up by the Korean pro-team eSTRO (Nony in early 2009 who has since retired, ret in late 2009).
Unlike other TSLs, Razer TSL had quite a few guest commentators that helped with casting in various stages of the tournament. Besides all the guest commentators, the stars of the Razer TSL casting team was hands down the duo of Dan "Artosis" Stemkoski and Blake "Chill" Muzar. They casted in all the stages of the tournament, from the Ro16 all the way to the Grand Finals.
The total prizepool was $10,000 with the following distribution:
As the above image shows, the qualification for the TSL Ro16 was split into three stages:
- A preliminary ladder stage on iCCUP; the top 48 would enter the Tournament.
- Qualifier R1: The bottom 32 of the top 48 play a Bo3 to determine who moves on.
- Qualifier R2: Four players each are placed into groups and those are played "Survivor Style" (albeit Bo3), with two players advancing into the single-elimination bracket.
Down, Down, Down
The intro to the TSL games featured the song Prayer of the Refugee by Rise Against. Users started going wild at the "You will let me down, down, down!" line, amongst others spamming the IRC channel with "down down down down".
During Qualifier R2, on one playday, Dreiven did not show up. He received a default loss in the first game of the group, however, for the Losers' match he showed up, claiming he had attended a barbeque. Dreiven eventually made it out of his group, earning him the nickname "BBQ-Toss".
"It's not acceptable"
In the interview prior to the finals, IefNaij (JF) was asked:
|Question:||You used your Shuttle much like Mutalisks; keeping Brat in his main. Is this typical of your style?|
|Answer:||If a terran is cheap and refuses to build turrets and goliaths, I will definitely rub it in and punish him. It's not acceptable.|
This expression became an instant classic, also sporting the motto for the JF hype thread.
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