When Seiged-Tanks drop from the sky, level the earth, then disappear in a flash… Forget creeping death, this is airborne murder.
This is No Man’s Land.
So let’s talk about TankEvacs! (Tankivacs? Nah… TankEvacs)
Cover Art from Blizzard Fan Art by Alexey Mikhaylov (Arpeich)
Don’t want to read this chicken scratch? The VOD is below!
There was a glorious moment after StarCraft 2’s final expansion Legacy Of The Void released where Sieged-Tanks and Medivacs reigned and no TvT was safe.
TankEvacs, of course, refers to the ability, one of many major game-changers that rolled out with SC2’s final form, for Medivacs to pick up and drop Siege-Mode deployed Tanks.
It was glorious, but eventually, the nerf-bat put an end to all that…
But not before something amazing happened:
ByuN and Ryung met in the GSL Code S Quarterfinals on August 26, 2016.
He had also been competing in and winning as many online major and minor tournaments, and establishing himself as a true threat in the pro scene inside and outside of Korea.
To start the second GSL season of 2016, ByuN had swept Forte to advance into Code S for the first time since 2013!
If there were doubters about ByuN’s talent before, his Round-of-16 performance should have converted them to believers. All he had to do to keep his GSL run going was make it past his TvT best-of-five against…
Ryung, at this point, had a fairly similar resume in StarCraft 2 compared to his quarterfinals opponent. Both had been playing professionally since 2011 (although ByuN took a very long hiatus) and had good but not great results across the GSL and WCS tournaments.
As with all previous expansions, Legacy of the Void opened the doors to new possibilities and Ryung was looking like he was taking advantages of the game changes as he progressed through his most successful GSL run since GSL Season 5 in 2012.
Soulkey was Ryung’s Code A opponent, and it would be a quick sweep that took the Terran into Code S.
His Round-of-32 opponents would be…Terrans. Specifically Dream, aLive, and then Dream again. Despite a slow start/quick sweep, by the time the group was decided Ryung would be advancing and his TvT was looking on-point.
Once again, the Round-of-16 was full of legendary opponents for Ryung to overcome.
Ryung would beat Zest in his opening match, but his TvP would fail against herO. That would leave a TvT against TaeJa as the obstacle to advancing to the playoffs. Ryung would prevail, and TaeJa would retire.
Just because of that…watch this for a bittersweet farewell.
Just to add an extra layer to this TvT cake, it’s important to note that in spite of ByuN not being signed to a professional team, Ryung had been his long-time TvT practice partner. These two knew each other and how they played the matchup…and it shows in this game.
Watch it here, as spoiler free as a game this old can be, or keep on reading (the VOD isn’t going anywhere).
Action packed, that’s what this mess of a TvT was from start to finish.
Early harass by both players kicked things off, and some pretty big mistakes by each made it all the more interesting.
As soon as things began to cool off somewhat, Ryung made the first big move with an aggressive TankEvac push that put him way ahead of ByuN… But ByuN wasn’t out of it by any means. Things were just getting started…
Ryung put himself ahead again catching ByuN in the middle of the map. But ByuN counters by making Day9 proud: expanding while harassing.
The middle of the map would turn into a No-Mans-Land.
Ryung would establish air superiority with Vikings, which ByuN lacked, would again put himself ahead. But ByuN would catch up yet again… A pattern begins to form.
Ryung snipes a planetary and gets liberators out in force first, forcing ByuN to make a decisive move… Madness ensues.
ByuN would take the lead eventually as the fight returned to the deadzone in the middle of the map, but Ryung would bully his way to even things up, and then take the supply lead.
But Ryung just couldn’t hold on to and exploit the leads he was giving himself, and things would once again even up.
Perhaps realizing this, this Ryung would pull a Hannibal (like the ancient Carthage one, not the cannibal), Ryung made the ballsiest move a Terran could make…
But would it be enough?
Well, if you know anything at all about ByuN and one of the most incredible eSports stories…ever… you know how this series must have eventually turned out.
The entire best-of-five was a close fought affair that needed all five games to decide, and it could have cut-short the defining year in ByuN’s StarCrat 2 career.
To me, this was a pretty exciting and unique chapter not only in StarCraft 2 not only because of the short-lived nature of the TankEvac, but also its place in ByuN’s own story.
It’s a tug-of-war that will probably make every Terran player who lived through the TankEvac days pour sweat and give thanks that they don’t have to live through that anymore…
But it’s a hell of a thing to watch!
Honestly, I have a soft spot for TankEvacs.
I had a blast watching them in pro games, balance issues aside, and it’s something I kinda still wish we still had in the game.
Mind you, I never played a TvT with them, so take my opinion with a grain of salt, not the heaping pile a lot of Terran players have.
So yea, we haven’t seen the last of the flying tank era… I can think of a few other games I wouldn’t mind watching again.
Until next time,
If you’d rather watch this stuff than read about it, AWESOME!
Here’s a playlist for every match I could find directly related to this story.
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