OnGameNet Starleague (OSL)
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The OnGameNet Starleague (OSL for short) was a reoccurring StarCraft tournament broadcasted on the channel OnGameNet (OGN) in South Korea. OnGameNet is a cable gaming company in Korea that heavily focused on StarCraft. The Starleagues roots date back all the way back to 1999, but it wasn’t until 2001 that the tournament was considered a professional competition. As the oldest professional tournament in Korea, featuring some of the most lucrative prize purses in competitive StarCraft, many consider the Starleague to be the most prestigious tournament in the history of the game. OSL competitions were held, initially, once per year before expanding to as many as three times a year from 2001 through 2010.
The OSL transitioned to StarCraft II briefly in 2012 before ceasing operations in 2013.
Notables: What the OSL is Known For
- The Royal Road
The term "Royal Roader" originated at OSL. It refers to a player who wins the OSL the first time they participate in the OSL. Any player who achieves this feat is said to have walked the "Royal Road". Currently the following players have walked the Royal Road: Grrrr..., Garimto, Boxer, NaDa, July, Anytime, sAviOr and Jaedong.
- The Legend of the Fall
The term "Legend of the Fall" originated at OSL. It refers to a belief that a Protoss player will win the OSL in the Fall (Autumn). This Legend started in SKY 2001 where Garimto defeated Boxer in the fall, stopping Boxer from winning three back to back OSLs. This curse was perpetuated the following fall in 2002 SKY OSL where Reach defeated Boxer once again in the Fall. It continued through Anytime's miraculous run in the So1 OSL and was repeated in the Incruit OSL by Stork, defeating Fantasy in the fall. Most recently, JangBi kept the Legend of the Fall alive by defeating Fantasy himself in his second consecutive OSL Final appearance during the 2011 Jin Air OSL and then again in the 2012 Tving OSL.
- The Golden Mouse
The term "Golden Mouse" originated at OSL. It refers to an award for any player who wins three OSLs. Currently there are four recipients of the award; NaDa, July, Jaedong, and Flash. The award was created in late 2005 before the finals of So1 OSL. The award is a solid gold mouse statue worth approximately $8000 USD. There is also a Platinum mouse awarded for a player who has won 5 OSLs and a Diamond mouse for a player who has won 7 OSLs.
- Curse of the OSL Champion
This "Curse" refers to the belief that the champion of the previous Starleague would fail to advance out of the Round of 16, usually with a victory in their opening match and then two subsequent losses.
- Groundbreaking Map Pool
The OMAT was created in 2005 and introduced its first radical map in Ride of Valkyries. Since then, the OMAT have released maps which have either been hits or misses. Notable favourites include Peaks of Baekdu, 815 and Fantasy, while notable failures include Pioneer Period, Tears of the Moon and Demon's Forest.
- Most watched individual league to date.
The OSL is a 40-player tournament that goes takes about 4 months to finish. There are multiple stages, all of which will be explained. Usually after an OSL is finished, the season has ended and there is a short break. Afterwards, another OSL is started and the cycle continues.
There are two levels to the OSL; OSL (the StarLeague) and the offline preliminaries. The OSL is the major tournament and the other rounds are preliminaries to qualify for the OSL. The OSL itself is divided into Round 1 and Round 2 - both of which will be explained. Of the 40 OSL players, those who finish in the top four of the previous OSL are rewarded with what is called a seed. Seeded players are guaranteed a spot in the second round of the next OSL.
The offline preliminaries
The offline preliminaries, or PSL, are the qualifiers for OSC. PSL stands for Pc-Bang Star League and is not the official name, just one that became popular with the Korean communities. The official name is OSC Round 1, but for simplicities sake we just call it the PSL. Any registered Progamer who is a member of a Progaming team can participate in the tournament, and as you can imagine, it is a very very large tournament. There are 24 groups in which only one person advances. The groups generally have around 7 to 8 people each, groups with 7 generally have one player having a bye round. This player is ranked highly on the KeSPA rankings and is given an advantage because of it. Each group is played out like an 8-man single-elimination tournament. Each match is best of 3, as to increase the chances the better player will advance. The 24 group winners then advanced to OSC. Typically the groups are played out over 2 days.
The 12 players who qualified for Round Two of the previous OSL but didn't receive seeds to Round 2, automatically get a place in the following seasons Round One and have a small advantage which will be explained soon. In each of the 12 groups there is 1 player who was in the previous OSL and didn’t get in the top 4. The other 2 spots in each group are taken by those who passed through the offline preliminaries. One person from each group advances. The two players who advanced from the offline preliminaries who were randomly assigned to the group play each other in a best of three match. The winner of this match plays the player in the group who played in last seasons OSL Round 2. The winner of this second Best of 3 advances to the OSL round 2. The advantage that the player who played in last seasons round two gets is that they only need to play one Bo3 to advance from the group whereas the other two gamers must play two.
In the end, 12 players advance from Round One into Round Two. 4 Seeded players + 12 qualified players = 16 players.
- Group Selection
The 4 seeds are placed in separate groups so that Seed #1 is 1st in Group A, Seed #2 is 1st in Group B and so on. The seeds then get to choose their groups. Seeds #1->#4 get to pick one player each from the player pool which then joins the seed in their group as the 2nd player. After that the 2nd player in Group D picks a player, then the 2nd player in Group C, then Group B then Group A. Then the 3rd player in Group A picks, then group B, then Group C, then Group D. And Voilá! We have 4 groups of 4 players.
- Group Play
Each of those groups plays in a round-robin style so that everyone plays everyone else. The top 2 qualifiers from the group enter into the Bracket Phase. Occasionally there are ties in the group, for example 3 players are on 2-1. In the event of such a tie another round robin takes place between the tied players until usable results are attained. For example, if there are three tied players and they each go 1-1, they play another round of tiebreakers until one player goes 2-0, 1-1 and 0-2. This way it allows the players to be ranked even in the event of a tie. If two players are tied first with 2-1, the player who defeated the other one takes the first spot.
The elimination stage is the final round of the OSL. It works in a classic 8 man single-elimination tournament. The quarterfinals (the first round of the bracket phase) are best of 3, whereas the Semifinals and Finals are best of 5. Originally, the OSL used a group round robin system similar to the Round of 16 with two groups instead of four to determine the semi-finalists. All players would play on the same day over three weeks, but it was announced by OnGameNet at the start of the Gillette OSL that they would switch to the more fan-friendly single-elimination system.
Total: 33 Starleagues and one pre-Starleague tournament, the Progamer Korea Open (1999).
Medals won per Race
As of August, 2012, there have been:
Medals won per Player
|NaDa · July · Jaedong · Flash|
|GARIMTO · Boxer · iloveoov · JangBi|
|Freemura · Grrrr... · Kingdom · Reach · XellOs · Sync · Nal_rA · Anytime · Casy · sAviOr · GGPlay · Stork · EffOrt · FanTaSy|
|4 x||Boxer, FanTaSy|
|H.O.T-Forever, YellOw, ChoJJa, July|
|TheBOy, SKELTON, JinNam, Nal_rA, Zeus, Reach, Goodfriend, AnyTime, NaDa, Iris, BeSt, YellOw[ArnC], Movie, Flash, Jaedong|
|Tournament||Date||Winner||Runner-Up||Final Score||TL Articles|
|Tooniverse Progamer Korea Open||1999 (1999.10.02—1999.12.30)||Freemura||TheBOy||3-2||R&S|
|Starleague||Date||Winner||Runner-Up||Final Score||TL Articles|
|Hanaro OSL||2000 (00/02/16—00/05/16)||Grrrr...||H.O.T-Forever||3-2||R&S|
|Freechal OSL||2000 (00/07/24 - 00/11/01)||GARIMTO||SKELTON||3-0||R&S|
|Hanbitsoft OSL||2001 (01/02/16 - 01/05/05)||BoxeR||JinNam||3-0||R&S|
|Coca-Cola OSL||2001 (01/06/15 - 01/09/08)||BoxeR||YellOw||3-2||R&S|
|SKY2001 OSL||2001 (01/10/19 - 01/12/28)||GARIMTO||BoxeR||3-2||R&S|
|NATE OSL||2002 (02/03/29 - 02/06/15)||Sync||H.O.T-Forever||3-1||R&S|
|2002 SKY OSL||2002 (02/07/12 - 02/10/12)||Reach||BoxeR||3-1||R&S|
|Panasonic OSL||2002 - 2003 (02/11/15 - 03/02/14)||NaDa||ChoJJa||3-0||R&S|
|Olympus OSL||2003 (03/04/04 - 03/07/13)||XellOs||YellOw||3-2||R&S|
|MyCube OSL||2003 (03/08/01 - 03/11/09)||Kingdom||Nal_rA||3-1||R&S|
|NHN OSL||2003 - 2004 (03/12/12 - 04/03/21)||Nal_rA||Zeus||3-1||R&S|
|Gillette OSL||2004 (04/04/30 - 04/07/31)||July||Reach||3-1||R&S|
|EVER2004 OSL||2004 (04/08/27 - 04/11/20)||iloveoov||BoxeR||3-2||R&S|
|IOPS OSL||2004 - 2005 (04/12/17 - 05/03/05)||NaDa||July||3-0||R&S Emlary's Journal|
|EVER2005 OSL||2005 (05/04/08 - 05/07/02)||July||Goodfriend||3-2||R&S|
|So1 OSL||2005 (05/08/07 - 05/11/05)||AnyTime||BoxeR||3-2||R&S|
|ShinHan2005 OSL||2005 - 2006 (05/12/09 - 06/03/04)||iloveoov||July||3-0||R&S TL Finals Write-up|
|2006 Shinhan Bank OSL Season 1||2006 (06/04/19 - 06/06/23)||Casy||ChoJJa||3-1||R&S|
|2006 Shinhan Bank OSL Season 2||2006 (06/08/25 - 06/11/18)||NaDa||AnyTime||3-2||R&S TL Finals Write-up|
|2006 Shinhan Bank OSL Season 3||2006 - 2007 (06/12/20 - 07/02/24)||sAviOr||NaDa||3-1||R&S Top Ten Moments TL Finals Write-up|
|Daum OSL||2007 (07/05/11 - 07/07/21)||GGPlay||Iris||3-2||R&S TL Finals Write-up|
|EVER2007 OSL||2007 (07/09/28 - 07/12/22)||Jaedong||Stork||3-1||R&S TL Finals Write-up|
|2008 Bacchus OSL||2008 (08/01/16 - 08/03/15)||Flash||Stork||3-0||R&S TL Finals Write-up|
|EVER2008 OSL||2008 (08/04/16 - 08/07/12)||July||BeSt||3-0||R&S TL Finals Write-up|
|2008 Incruit OSL||2008 (08/08/04 - 08/11/01)||Stork||Fantasy||3-2||R&S TL Finals Write-up|
|2009 Batoo OSL||2008 - 2009 (08/12/17 - 09/04/04)||Jaedong||Fantasy||3-2||R&S|
|2009 Bacchus OSL||2009 (09/05/06 - 09/08/22)||Jaedong||YellOw[ArnC]||3-0||R&S|
|2009 EVER OSL||2009-2010 (09/10/14 - 10/01/17)||Flash||Movie||3-1||R&S|
|2010 Korean Air Starleague||2010 (10/02/05 - 10/05/22)||EffOrt||Flash||3-2||R&S TL Finals Write-up|
|Korean Air Starleague Season 2||2010 (10/06/16 - 10/09/11)||Flash||Jaedong||3-1||R&S TL Finals Write-up|
|2010 Bacchus OSL||2010 (10/11/03 - 11/01/29)||Fantasy||Stork||3-0||R&S TL Finals Write-up|
|2011 Jin Air OSL||2011 (11/07/13 - 11/09/17)||JangBi||Fantasy||3-2||R&S TL Finals Write-up|
|2012 Tving OSL||2012 (12/03/31 - 12/08/04)||JangBi||Fantasy||3-1||R&S|
|Click Here for the StarCraft 2 OSL page|