GSL 2019 Season 2 Final - Dark vs Trap.
Here we are, arriving at full speed to the pinnacle of season two of the GSL. We started this season on April 29th with former champion Maru eliminated at the first hurdle, with that theme of underdogs rising and favourites falling continuing through the whole tournament. We are left with two players, one Zerg, one Protoss. These two are different in race but are competing for the same goal, their first ever GSL title. For one of these men, the 22nd of June will be a day they remember forever.
As both players stood there before their epic battle was to commence, let us remind ourselves of their path to get to the final.
For a certain amount of time this season, it seemed as if Jin Air Green Wings had lost their mojo. Maru, Creator, Cure, Rogue and sOs fell in the round of 32, leaving Trap as their sole representative. For a team that has dominated Korea in the past few years it seemed unthinkable, yet Trap has carried the flag well. Today he has a chance to secure a fifth successive title for Jin Air and the first for himself. Lets look at his path here;
R32: 2-1 Scarlett, 2-0 herO.
R16: 2-0 SpeCial, 2-1 herO.
R8: 3-2 INnoVation.
R4: 4-3 Classic.
Trap has done insanely well this season. He has punched through any claim of a one season wonder with some sensational play and close victories against extremely impressive opponents. The one stand out factor for me is that he has been relatively untested against Zerg, which Aligulac stats as his worst match up since the start of the year. That record has him still on a 26-15 (63%) match record, but with recent losses to soO, Rogue and Solar it perhaps makes me a little nervous. Against normal Zergs is one thing, but Dark is a different beast all together.
Dark is well, Dark. A dominant 2019 gives him a well deserved chance to add a first GSL crown to his roster. The Gosu Crew player has bashed, crashed and rushed his way into this finals. Displaying a super bold and aggressive style, Dark hasn't missed an opportunity this season. Lets look at our Zerg's path.
R32: 2-0 DRG. 2-0 Cure.
R16: 2-0 Patience, 2-1 INnoVation.
R8: 3-0 herO.
R4: 4-1 Hurricane.
I mean a look at that green shows us right away that Dark is no slouch in this match up. Don't take my word for it though, take it from Aligulac, who shows us Dark is 19-4 (82%) in series against Protoss. He's swayed the recent trend of Protoss immortal all ins, playing a style that has the potential to kill early and play the game at Dark's level. Even in his series' against herO and Hurricane we saw a variety of early cheeses which at times caught his opponent off guard, altering their mentality for future games. Playing greedy against Dark is a big risk and one that his opponents know well. Will he have enough depth in his ZvP though, having played two series before this?
Get your treats and snacks, I predict a Dark win here for his first GSL finals, winning the title with a 4-2 scoreline.
Map One – Thunderbird.
It was enough of the introductions and we headed right into the thick of it, our starting map one of the newer maps, Thunderbird. A quick third hatchery would be denied by Trap, who went into a stargate. It was a normal, macro opening for Trap, with a single oracle moving into an archon drop. It was as 2018 PvZ as you’d like, with our only action of the first five minutes being five dead drones and a dead oracle. The archon drop was fended off efficiently by Dark, who went into a spire, hoping to surprise Trap. The spire proved to be only a placeholder though, with Dark going for a big attack at the eight minute mark with zerglings, roaches and ravengers. Attacking up the one central ramp Dark traded well, moving into mutalisk production half way through the assault. Trap scouted the spawning flyers though, producing cannons and stalkers to wade off the mutalisks.
Our Jin Air player felt confident and pushed, advancing onto creep to face off against the swarm. Dark had made hydralisks by this time though and Trap was stuck without splash damage. The warp prism was picked off at the back as Dark crushed through, picking off all the expensive units of Trap. With no immortals and archons left, a small army of zealots and stalkers was no match for Dark’s force; our Zerg player took the initial map, starting off 1-0 ahead.
Map Two – Turbo Cruise ’84.
With his Jin Air teammates offering advice before this second map, Trap perhaps headed into this map with some new advice or tricks up his sleeve. Any advice about a specific build order was useless however, with Dark mixing things up with a proxy hatchery. Trap went for a two gate response, letting the hatchery finish. Dark didn’t pressure from the hatchery, going back into a natural base and a quick roach warren. Both sides looked to bash heads with Trap going into stargate and an extremely late nexus. Off 18 drones Dark pushed with roaches and zerglings but oracles reigned supreme, killing off the ravengers to take an advantage in this second game. Oracles then hit Dark hard, keeping his drone around the 20 mark.
It was half of Trap’s probe count, and then our Jin Air player surprised Dark with a massive gateway push. Avoiding the overlords Trap’s army forced out an instant gg from Dark. A dominant hold from our Protoss player.
Map Three – King’s Cove.
It was a gateway and a forge from Trap, who went for a later cannon rush into robotics facility. Such crazy tactics are not usually seen from our Jin Air player, who prefers a much more standard style. Despite a kill on the natural hatchery the rush never seemed to have that danger factor, the lack of a high ground pylon not allowing any advancement onto the high ground. He then walled in his own immortal, spine crawlers killing the robotics to see this build fall flat. Dark then went into a baneling bust, looking to break down the wall of Trap. Explosions rained and the wall was bust, Trap losing out in map three with a rather messy build.
Map Four – GSL Cobalt.
Our big four player map saw both players spawn on the left side on the map. We saw a 12 pool from Dark last time he played on this map, but no such shenanigans today from our Gosu Crew player. We saw another stargate from Trap, with Dark moving into a quick two base lair. A roach warren and infestation pit followed, with Dark moving into a swarm host build, ferried around by nydus worms. Whilst the first wave was ineffectual, the threat was always there, with both players showing great individual skill in attack and defence. The survival of the third wave would prompt Trap into an attack, taking advantage of the refresh time of the locusts to kill the third base of Dark. With 17 swarm hosts most Protoss players would perhaps run but Trap showed his skill and nerve, marching forward into the natural. Despite another big wave of locusts the archons stood tall, Trap crunching through to tie us up again at 2-2. A fantastic series so far.
Map Five – New Repugnancy.
Tied at 2-2, this now became a best of three to decide who would win their first GSL title. Trap moved into a different build, a dark templar based archon drop. Three dark templar killed only four drones, as Dark showed a fantastic defense to ward off the assassins. A third base from Trap was built but Dark would not get a fourth, moving into a nydus network and a bunch of roaches. All of a sudden roaches seemed to pop up everywhere, at one point roaches appearing in every single mineral line of Trap. Despite the sudden infestation Trap held, losing only 12 probes to hold the deadly attack. Dark was to follow with burrow and burrow movement for his roaches. Cannons came up just in time but Dark pressed hard following that denial, a massive roach and ravenger count hitting at Trap’s door.
From here a massive fight ensued, ravenger biles worth their weight in gold as they rained down on clumped armies, restricted in their movement by Trap’s own third base. A warp prism came with immortal reinforcements but the roach numbers just seemed endless from Dark. Queens came out of the nydus next, gunning down the warp prism. Over the course of the next few minutes Trap’s supply continued to slump, but Dark keep constant as Trap dipped below 100 supply. Burrow movement was then utilised, Dark jumping up to snipe immortal after immortal to send our Zerg player 3-2. Trap on the other hand, sitting on the brink to be eliminated at the final hurdle.
Map Six – Cyber Forest.
Our sixth battleground was Cyber Forest, with the smallest map in the pool now playing host to a game loaded with pressure. An early lair off 19 workers indicated an early nydus play, with Dark once again heading into an extremely aggressive strategy. Trap went for a robotics opener on his side, but soon the zerglings forced Trap into a scramble for his life. Off 17 drones an overlord drop lead into a nydus, with the worm popping out into Trap’s main base. Zerglings flooded the main, destroying a whole probe line alongside two immortals and two sentries. Trap’s power units had vanished and he was forced to retreat into the natural. The comeback couldn’t be done though, two more adepts surrounded to see Trap type out gg and see Dark win his first GSL title, with our Gosu Crew player also becoming the first Zerg GSL champion in Legacy of the Void.
Dark 4-2 Trap.
Dark is your 2019 GSL Season Two Champion!
GSL Code S continues with Season Three in early July!
All stats courtesy of @CodeSFacts on Twitter, Aligulac and Liquipedia. All pictures courtesy of AfreecaTV.