GSL 2019 Season 2 Round of 16 - Group A Battle Report

Published on 05/22/2019 21:05 PDT by Saxon "Saxy" Durrant

Sixteen down, sixteen surviving, after a weeks break we are back with the next stage of GSL 2019 season two. Featuring a season of upsets and great games so far, will that upset train continue in the round of 16? Will we see a new name, a foreigner or perhaps a returning legend carve his name on the trophy?

Our round of 32 saw many notable exits. Maru on the first day and Zest in the group after. The falls kept coming, Solar, Rogue, sOs and TY just some of the other names knocked out, leaving us with some unusual names in the round of 16. The group nominations occurred last week and it has left us with some tasty groups, with group D being the tastiest of all in my mind.

Our group today is perhaps the weakest of the four, with Classic using his swap to only move FanTaSy and RagnaroK around. As like last season we will have a player advance to the round of eight for the first time in his career from group A, with every player apart from Classic best finish being at least a round of 16 finish. This one is up in the air.

We’ll start with Classic, who is easily the hot favourite to advance today. Assuming the dominant role of Maru, he didn’t even need to utilise his late swap, being perfectly happy with the outcome of his group. He should be happy, with none of his opponents veterans at this stage of the competition. Coming off his Super Tournament runner up spot and his demolition of his round of 32 group I expect a clean 4-0 score once more from the Chintoss himself.

He faces RagnaroK in the first match, with the PSISTORM player defying all odds to top his group containing TY, SpeCial and sOs. He made it out on the back of two great ZvT series, however his record is not nearly as peachy when it comes to ZvP. A 1-6 record in GSL doesn’t encourage my enthusiasm, coupled with a recent 3-2 loss to PartinG in super tournament. He’ll be very much against the odds when he plays Classic here, although I favour him well against FanTaSy if those two meet. He has also achieved a success this season though, this is his first time advancing beyond the round of 32.

Our other match is a lot tougher to call. We’ll start with our Protoss player, Hurricane. He’s had a resurgence of late and has looked a lot better in 2019 than previous years. Some especially good PvZ play saw him advance deservedly so over Solar and TRUE, using some sweet timing attacks to devastating effect. Similarly to RagnaroK though he seems to only excel in one match up, in this case it’s his PvZ. His PvP has been less than brilliant, losing to PartinG 3-0 in Super Tournament and 2-0 to Classic in the round of 32. His PvT has similarly not yielded him any great results, losing to INnoVation recently and in season one of GSL, whilst losing to TY and Cure at the end of April. It’s unproven ground and Hurricane will have to show us some skill in the other match ups to be able to advance today.

FanTaSy comes in as my second pick to advance this evening. A player who seems to be getting only better and better, he engaged in some exemplary TvZ to advance in place of Leenock and Rogue. He took Stats to a game three as well, which shows some great promise in TvP. He seems the more well rounded player out of the three contenders in my opinion and I expect him to show us some crazy strategies today, hopefully expanding on the variety of builds we saw him use in the round of 32.

I see Classic moving through in first today, while FanTaSy will come through to claim his first ever round of eight spot.

Classic vs RagnaroK – PvZ

A quick three hatch opened us up for only the second meeting between these two in LOTV. Classic went for a robo as his opening tech, with a sentry pairing to indicate some kind of push to come soon. With immortals pumping out and no gases at the natural it was to be a big shove. RagnaroK went to 47 drones and stopped from there, pumping out roaches as fast as he could. A good engage saw a perfect hold with every immortal in the push dying as well. Classic was down from here, unable to take a third as RagnaroK powered to over 60 supply ahead. GG came soon after, a failed push seeing RagnaroK going a quick 1-0 up.

RagnaroK jumped on the push at the perfect oppourtunity, crushing it.
Credit - AfreecaTV.

It was a surprise lead for RagnaroK, with Classic moving into a stargate build in game two for a more macro focused game. Three oracles signaled the first bit of aggression, eleven drones dying to the focused assault. We saw a spire follow up from our zerg player but he lost another 10 drones to two adepts, sending RagnaroK down to a very minimal drone lead. The spire went unscouted though, as eight mutalisks flew over  to dive on probe lines, 13 probes dying to even up the score. The supply was even as Classic went for a push, diving on the fourth base to wipe it out completely. He couldn’t advance up the ramp on King’s Cove however, pinning RagnaroK in before retreating a minute later. He waited for storm and pushed once more. He picked an extremely open place to fight though, banelings rolling in to give RagnaroK a decisive win in the fight. Our Zerg pushed from here but was beaten back. The see-saw had swung once again, Classic now taking a supply lead to resume his advantage in this game. Thirteen lurkers added into RagnaroK’s composition and he made a lurker wall, trying to hold Classic’s army back. Our Mkers player was not deterred though, pushing through with a massive immortal count to even up the series and taking us into a deciding match.

Despite the 360 degree surround, Classic managed to win this fight.
Credit - AfreecaTV.

RagnaroK was not holding back, proving himself to be on the level of Classic in this series. A stargate into quick twilight was the build for Classic, fast glaives on the table to try and deal damage to his Zerg opponent. Six adepts dealt damage but behind Classic was going for a big two base timing. With both players stuck on 44 workers as all was on the table in this push. Some brilliant forcefields made it advantage Classic, our Protoss player pushing in slowly and surely, destroying the third before reducing RagnaroK’s army to nothing before taking the initial series win 2-1.

Classic 2-1 RagnaroK.

Hurricane vs FanTaSy – PvT

Normal standard openings met in our first game between these two, a three gate blink moving up against a 1-1-1 with a widow mine drop. The drop only killed two probes, as FanTaSy moved into mech. Hurricane went for a standard attack, hitting just as FanTaSy looked to claim his third. He caught the tanks unseieged and charged on them, crushing through with ease to take a quick map one. Protossed if I ever saw it but FanTaSy will lament his lack of vision which most likely cost him the game.

Game two saw a robo and warp prism opening for Hurricane, going for a quick three gate attack. It caused massive damage, 23 scv’s dying as Hurricane caught FanTaSy out with a lack of defence. Eleven probes died to a widow mine drop but Hurricane had done the damage with a 10 worker lead on his opponent. A colossi drop zoomed around FanTaSy’s base but dealt little damage, with our Terran player going for a big push to try and bring himself back into the game. Off two bases, FanTaSy used some expert tank positioning to deal some big damage, eventually shredding through the Protoss army to take game two. Possibly a throw by our Protoss, who having killed such a number of scv’s will be scratching his head as to how he couldn’t close out the game.

The tank positioning was key to FanTaSy rolling over this army.
Credit - AfreecaTV.

Our decider saw us on Cyber Forest, with Hurricane going for a robotics and an immortal straight away. It was a widow mine drop for FanTaSy but it was deflected well. Hurricane played a strange build, making two additional gateways and a warp prism but not becoming aggressive, instead moving into a third nexus. It was a strange and hard game to analyse, a small push by FanTaSy caused considerable damage, both players even as we moved into the mid game. Hurricane was the next to pressure, elevating his units into the main to delay stimpack. This delayed stim proved decisive, a further push by Hurricane only a minute later killed off over 20 workers to assume control of the game. Storm was finished before stimpack as Hurricane ran over our Terran despite a sneaky hidden base that remained unscouted. Both Protoss players moving into our winners match today.

This my friends, is a FanTaSy gg timing.
Credit - AfreecaTV.

FanTaSy 1-2 Hurricane.

Hurricane vs Classic – PvP

PvP only means one thing these days in Korea, proxies by the boat load. Both players went for a proxy stargate in the middle of the map to start us off, looking for some easy probe kills. Both players prepared well for the initial oracle, building shield batteries as a second oracle was in the works for both players. A shield battery can push back one but not two oracles and Classic controlled much better, coming out ahead with a big lead over his opponent. He then pushed forward to destroy the natural of Hurricane and added to his dead probe tally, killing five more workers. Classic was in full control from this point at the resources lost tab proved it, Classic killing over twice the amount of Hurricane. The game ended unceremoniously, Hurricane tapping out without a fight, over 20 supply behind.

Not too much to say about this series in all honesty, oracles are good units.
Credit - AfreecaTV.

Game two saw us on New Repugnancy, with Classic going for a proxy robo. A stargate and oracle was the play for Hurricane. Both builds went to clash with each other with neither play seemingly aware of the other strategy. Two oracles appeared in the base of Classic but they had a timer on their energy. Classic’s immortals didn’t have this problem though, crushing through the base of Hurricane to see our top seed advance in quick and decisive fashion. 

Hurricane 0-2 Classic

Classic advances to the round of eight.

RagnaroK vs FanTaSy – TvZ

Our first map saw our first GSL experience on the new maps in the pool. ThunderBird and Neo Tokyo 83 have entered the ladder and GSL map pool and this was our first experience on them. Thunderbird utilises mineral patches on the map which can be broken with only one mine. A scv scout with a reaper saw a third hatch delay as FanTaSy moved into a cloaked banshee game. Seven drones died to the initial banshee as we saw banshee speed and mech come out from FanTaSy. A passive minute or two followed until banshee speed finished, a further 10 drones dying as FanTaSy’s battle mech roamed around the map trying to find damage wherever possible. Both players hit 200 supply at the 10 minute mark, with nydus worms popping up defensively and offensively. 

Both players had shown their form in this match up in the round of 32 and it was showing with a high quality macro game. RagnaroK perhaps had the slight edge with a superior army, but FanTaSy was nowhere near dead. A big brood lord push killed two bases but FanTaSy went on a drone killing spree. At the end of the extended fight RagnaroK was only on four bases, FanTaSy on six. Both players crippled each other but it was FanTaSy who had crippled his opponent to only 12 drones, constantly dodging the Zerg army and sniping off bases whenever possible. RagnaroK, only on 12 drones was looking for a fight as his only way to win and FanTaSy only eventually obliged. It was a long drawn out technical fight, both players going under 15 workers before FanTaSy eventually came out on top, sniping off valuable vipers and brood lords before RagnaroK called gg.

The terrorist Terran strikes again, FanTaSy constantly roaming the map to strike RagnaroK's economy.
Credit - AfreecaTV.

It was a much more normal for our second game, King’s Cove. Some lovely hellion harass picked off a queen, as FanTaSy looked once again towards a cloaked banshee and hellbats for damage. A nydus came down from RagnaroK and despite two vikings FanTaSy couldn’t clear his base of overlords. Feeling safe FanTaSy pushed onto the map, leaving himself exposed to get wormed. Roaches moved into his base and FanTaSy’s mech was once again crushed, sending us into a decider on GSL Cobalt.

The swarm host composition has got less boring over the years, but could FanTaSy stop the momentum?
Credit - AfreecaTV.

A big four player map lead for a passive opening four minutes, with the movie The Fifth Element up for review by Tastosis. Hellions paved the way for a cloaked banshee into third again, the question being if we would see another mech switch by FanTaSy? The answer was yes, banshee speed appearing on the production tab before two more factories alongside it. It was another quiet game with both players powering up, our Terran picking off the odd few drones before RagnaroK switched things up with a swarm host transition. Twelve were made as RagnaroK pushed and the siege began, a seemingly endless wave, spore crawlers and all with RagnaroK still sitting on four bases. The supply began to tell a story, RagnaroK constantly getting good trades with his massive army and refreshing waves of locusts. FanTaSy’s time was up, over 50 supply down and with no answer to the composition of the Zerg. FanTaSy hung on like he always does but it was a minute of realisation, RagnaroK advancing through to face Hurricane in our final match.

RagnaroK 2-1 FanTaSy.

Hurricane vs RagnaroK – PvZ

It was our last best of three for the night, with both of these players vying for their first appearance in the round of eight. On GSL Cobalt to start, Hurricane went for a quick dark templar drop paved with a quick charge. A three pronged attack saw eleven drones die, with a follow up archon assault keeping pressure on his Zerg opponent. Some good trades saw Hurricane take an advantage and he pushed on it, moving forward with three immortals backed up by archons, sentries and zealots. Hurricane didn’t let his prism die and the continuous warp ins sent Hurricane 1-0 up.

Don't try this at home kids. Hurricane letting the zerglings into his base.
Credit - AfreecaTV.

We saw in the round of 32 Hurricane has impressive PvZ and he was proving it here once again in the GSL, could he reach the round of eight off it? A robotics first by Hurricane indicated another immortal play but a swell of zerglings saw Hurricane fighting for his life as they came knocking at his wall. It was a perfect hold though, Hurricane purposely letting the Zerglings in before walling off on the other side and supplementing that with batteries to boot. If only my ladder games went half as good as that. RagnaroK gg’ed shortly after to see Hurricane in his first round of eight appearance.

Hurricane 2-0 RagnaroK

Hurricane advances to the round of eight.

Classic and Hurricane advance to the round of eight.

Game of the Day: FanTaSy vs RagnaroK Game One.

Series of the Day: Classic vs RagnaroK.

GSL Code S continues on Saturday the 25th with GuMiho, PartinG, Dear and soO.

All pictures courtesy of AfreecaTV and all stats courtesy of Aligulac, Liquipedia and Code S Facts on Twitter.