The last quarter 2008 and the first quarter of 2009 was a period of complete Protoss dominance in the professional StarCraft scene. The "Six Dragons" was the title that was given to the top six Protoss players that dominated the scene during that period. From November of 2008 to March of 2009, at least 5 of the top 10 spots in KeSPA's monthly rankings were occupied by these six players. With the exception of November, a Dragon was in the first spot of the list every month.
In this time period, of the 5 prominent individual leagues played, the Six Dragons were able to capture 3 gold medals and 3 silver medals. The gold medal wins were Stork's victory over Fantasy in the Incruit 2008 OSL finals, Bisu's victory over JangBi in the ClubDay 2008 MSL, and Bisu's victory over JangBi in the GOM Classic Season 2. The silver medal wins were JangBi's runner up finishes to Bisu in the aforementioned leagues as well as a runner up finish to Luxury in the Lost Saga MSL.
The period of the Six Dragons marked the return of the Protoss Revolutionist and the beginning of his second period of dominance. Bisu not only won the ClubDay 2008 MSL but also reached a new all time high ELO peak, breaking the record iloveoov held since 2004. He also went on a 12 game winning streak from 08-10-11 to 08-11-09.
|vs Protoss:||30 wins - 9 losses||(76.92%)|
|vs Zerg:||28 wins - 13 losses||(68.29%)|
|vs Terran:||22 wins - 7 losses||(75.86%)|
|Overall:||80 wins - 29 losses||(73.39%)|
Overall record to date: 64.63%
Stork was the first of the Dragons to reach the #1 spot in KeSPAs ratings in December 2008 after becoming the champion of Incruit 2008 OSL in November. His period of peak performance actually took place slightly before the rest of the Dragons; he had an overall record of 37 wins to 16 losses from 2008-07-01 until the OSL finals on 2008-11-01.
|vs Protoss:||16 wins - 10 losses||(61.54%)|
|vs Zerg:||8 wins - 5 losses||(61.54%)|
|vs Terran:||17 wins - 3 losses||(85.00%)|
|Overall:||41 wins - 18 losses||(69.49%)|
Overall record to date: 60.40%
2008 was a great year for Best. He reached the 2008 EVER OSL finals and produced great results overall. During that period he was considered to be the next dominating player in the progaming scene. His winning rate in 2008 was 70%, with a stunning 76.67% against Protoss. His performance started to decline however as the year was coming to a close.
|vs Protoss:||9 wins - 5 losses||(64.29%)|
|vs Zerg:||14 wins - 9 losses||(60.87%)|
|vs Terran:||14 wins - 3 losses||(82.35%)|
|Overall:||37 wins - 17 losses||(68.52%)|
Overall record to date: 60.26%
JangBi made it to the finals of the ClubDay 2008 MSL, only to lose to fellow Dragon Bisu. A few months later they faced each other in one more final, this time the GOMtv Averatec Intel Classic season 2 where he lost to Bisu for the second time. While he did not win any titles during the period, he was the favorite to win against most opponents he faced and managed to successfully fill the gap for Samsung KHAN's Ace after Stork's performance dropped following his OSL title.
|vs Protoss:||18 wins - 8 losses||(69.23%)|
|vs Zerg:||14 wins - 10 losses||(58.33%)|
|vs Terran:||24 wins - 6 losses||(80.00%)|
|Overall:||56 wins - 24 losses||(70.00%)|
Overall record to date: 58.97%
Kal was considered to be the weakest of the Dragons at the time, partly because his inferior PvP cost him when it came to facing the other five.
|vs Protoss:||11 wins - 13 losses||(45.83%)|
|vs Zerg:||15 wins - 7 losses||(68.18%)|
|vs Terran:||13 wins - 8 losses||(61.90%)|
|Overall:||39 wins - 28 losses||(58.21%)|
Overall record to date: 57.56%
Free managed to make two semifinals during this period [clubday msl and gom tv s2], but was eliminated 1-3 by Bisu and 0-3 against JangBi. He also carried his team Woongjin Stars through rounds two and three of the 2008-2009 Shinhan Bank Proleague practically on his own with a total record of 15 wins - 8 losses in round two and 12 wins - 6 losses in round three.
|vs Protoss:||11 wins - 12 losses||(47.83%)|
|vs Zerg:||15 wins - 5 losses||(75.00%)|
|vs Terran:||20 wins - 8 losses||(71.43%)|
|Overall:||46 wins - 25 losses||(64.79%)|
Overall record to date: 54.92%
Map making trends have always tilted the favor towards one or the other race from time to time. The question is, was the dominance of the Six Dragons due to map imbalance? Below is a list of maps used by leagues at the time:
|Map||TvZ (%)||ZvP (%)||PvT (%)|
|Athena 2||5-4 (55.6%)||0-1 (0%)||7-4 (63.6%)|
|Andromeda||33-29 (53.2%)||49-35 (58.3%)||46-37 (55.4%)|
|Byzantium 2||14-10 (58.3%)||5-5 (50%)||10-8 (55.6%)|
|Chupung-Ryeong||10-9 (52.6%)||4-7 (36.4%)||19-10 (65.5%)|
|Sin Chupung-Ryeong||18-12 (60%)||11-7 (61.1%)||8-15 (34.8%)|
|Colosseum 2||11-7 (61.1%)||14-17 (45.2%)||22-18 (55%)|
|Destination||42-28 (60%)||42-42 (50%)||60-39 (60.6%)|
|Medusa||21-27 (43.8%)||31-37 (45.6%)||39-18 (68.4%)|
|Neo Harmony||17-19 (47.2%)||12-4 (75%)||10-14 (41.7%)|
|Neo Requiem||21-21 (50%)||53-50 (51.5%)||34-13 (72.3%)|
|Plasma||6-2 (75%)||2-2 (50%)||8-10 (44.4%)|
|Return of the King||12-9 (57.1%)||8-9 (47.1%)||9-14 (39.1%)|
|Rush Hour 3||43-24 (64.2%)||18-15 (54.5%)||8-24 (25%)|
|Tau Cross||24-29 (45.3%)||21-19 (52.5%)||26-21 (55.3%)|
|Total||267-230 (53.72%)||270-250 (51.92%)||306-245 (55.54%)|
Please note that map statistics are from all games played in all leagues to the date this article was written and will probably change. However, most maps have enough games played for us to get a proper image of their racial balance.
As we can see, the maps used during the period slightly favored Zerg over Protoss and Protoss over Terran, but were very close to the natural racial imbalance in StarCraft (ZvP win-loss ratio of all games played until 2008-11: 53.46%, PvT ratio until the same time: 51.09%).
The rest of the Protoss
It is interesting to note that while the Six Dragons were dominating the Professional StarCraft scene, the rest of the Protoss players did not fare that well.
From September of 2008 to March of 2009 only three other Protoss players were in the KeSPA top 30 ranks: Much, Rock and BackHo none of which produced any significant results during the period and were in fact dropping in the ranks month by month.