GSL 2019 Season 2 Round of 16 - Group C Battle Report
We're back this week with the thrilling final conclusion of the round of 16 in season two of the GSL. Four men have already advanced and we have half the bracket finalised, now it's time for the other half.
It's been a season of upsets and group A and B both kept that tradition going. Whilst Classic advanced from group A he was joined by perennial underdog Hurricane, whilst in group B PartinG shocked us all by beating both GuMiho and soO to advance in first, whilst soO cheesed his way into second place. If you missed either of those groups, check them out just here for group A, or here for group B.
It leaves us with a bracket like this, with either Hurricane or PartinG on course for a fantastic route into the semi-finals. For Hurricane especially, that quarter final match may just be the make or break point of his career. In the other half we have a mouth watering match, Classic facing off against soO.
Today we have in my eyes an extremely hard to predict, coupled with our foreign hope in SpeCial. As well as the foreign hope he may also be the Terran hope, with not one Terran yet in the round of eight, with only INnoVation to come. Alongside SpeCial today we have season one semi-finalist Trap, legendary player herO and the constantly underrated Zerg, Impact.
We'll start with our sole Jin Air Green Wings representative (already you say?! I know, says I), Trap. Coming off a fantastic final four appearance last season, Trap is out to continue that run in season two. This stage is sadly his curse though, having been knocked out in third place 5/6 times in 2017 and 2018. I predict Gemini's man to push forward though, given this group. A win against herO in the round of 32 will ease his nerves there, whilst I feel like his safer playstyle will lead him into victory against Impact. SpeCial could be his hardest opponent in the group and I will be watching this match with intent.
SpeCial makes his first appearance in the round of 16 today in perhaps some of the best form he has shown in a while. As shown by the bruises on his hands at the end of the round of 32 group he has been putting in the hours and it has been paying off. The double win against sOs was followed up by a great run in WCS Spring, finishing second behind only Serral. That run saw him beat ShoWTime and Neeb and if he can bring similarly great TvP I think he can easily crush the group.
Impact is our Zerg player here, with the constantly undervalued player coming off a clean and easy 4-0 round of 32 group. With that stat anyone would surely make him a favourite today, but I'm not so convinced. Impact is known to be heavily aggressive and showed it in the round of 32 but I think he will have to rely on something else this time around. Zest and Trust are good players, but Trap and herO are a different calibre. Can Impact step up to the plate?
herO finishes off the group, with the Triumphant Song Gaming player enjoying a much better 2019 than 2018 already. A semi final appearance in Poland was backed up by a round of 16 finish in season one of the GSL. He fought tooth and nail in the round of 32, being the only player to advance with an even map score ratio (4:4). He was brought to three games by KeeN twice and so I class him as the shaky player in the group. herO is herO though and always has the ability to turn it on, or execute a build order that leaves his opponents in the dust. Will he be able to dictate the series against an aggressive Impact though?
My picks today see SpeCial advance in first, while Trap advances in second. I can't wait to see those Doritos fly in chat.
SpeCial vs Trap – TvP
Doritos were raised in the chat as our foreign hope went into this initial series. With tape over his Nike shirt, SpeCial opened normally, with Trap also not going for any cheeky aggressive openers. A quick third command centre complimented a raven for our Terran, with Trap going for a defensive third base with blink, followed by two forges. SpeCial went into mech after this, pumping out tanks whilst Trap added five gateways. Trap seemed in control, picking off another two tanks and nearly killing the third. Four hellions scored a massive hit on the other side of the map, killing 20 probes to take the advantage and worker lead, before sitting pretty and holding his ramp, going to a fourth command centre. By the 10th minute SpeCial had a 30 supply advantage as hellion run by’s continued to be a thorn in Trap’s side.
Both armies dodged each other until a big fight saw SpeCial kill all of the high templar. SpeCial seemingly still had the momentum but took a supply deficit, down a set of upgrades to Trap and with a slightly weaker composition which lacked tanks. Our Jin Air player nearly had the killing blow but SpeCial remained in the game on life support, relying on rallies to steady himself. It was by no means even though, Trap sitting on six bases and sitting with complete map control. Eighteen minutes in and SpeCial was on his last legs but pushed with a massive tank count. It was swarmed though, Trap taking the initial game.
Our second map saw us on GSL Cobalt, with both our players spawning close by air on the bottom. Trap scouted SpeCial on first time of asking, in a lucky break. A prism and two extra gates came out of Trap, whilst SpeCial took a page out of sOs’ book, hiding a third in the top left. Trap’s attack did insane damage though, killing over 10 workers and severely stunting Juan’s economy. The hidden base remained untouched but Trap looked like he wouldn’t need to see it, adding five more gates with charge and +1 armour. With two tanks together, Trap simply had to bomb the tanks and he ran SpeCial over. Our foreign Terran knocked down to the losers match.
SpeCial 0-2 Trap.
Impact vs herO – ZvP
Impact loves to be aggressive as I mentioned before and he proved me right, a 12 pool with gas coming out for our Zerg. Six zerglings pressured while a roach warren went down in his base. Playing blind, herO went for a robotics facility before nexus. It proved to be his saving grace, with a prism and immortal popping out as the roach / ravenger breached his wall. Using a warp prism power, herO managed to power some batteries, holding the rush and taking a quick 1-0 lead.
Our first showing of Turbo Cruise saw GuMiho’s proxy barracks scouted, so we were all hoping to see a longer game on this map. No crazy rushes were seen, as herO went into a stargate and then a second stargate. Phoenixes continued to be made but before they could be revealed Impact once again pulled the trigger. The queen march came across the map, roaches and zerglings complimenting. Phoenixes managed to lift the queens but roaches breached the base. Seventeen probes went down but herO had the advantage, having lost no phoenix and therefore complete domination of the air. The phoenix roamed the Zerg base, picking off drones and queens while immortals were made at home. All it took then was a push out and herO moved onto the winners match in fairly easy fashion.
Impact 0-2 herO.
Trap vs herO – PvP
PvP is silly guys. They both proxied different buildings in the same location. herO went for an oracle, Trap for a robotics with an immortal. One oracle finished, before an immortal scouted the other proxy and destroyed it. It left Trap well in the lead, who then pressured and held a contain on herO. Both players didn’t take a natural and it was a stand off, with Trap going into glaives behind the contain. herO went home though, relinquishing his contain to see both players expand behind in even fashion. Adepts killed off another eight workers of herO and herO pushed, with disruptors part of his army. He took a great fight, forcefielding the army just right to come from behind and win. This was surely Trap’s game to lose, a throw in my book.
Game two saw us on Cyber Forest, with herO this time going for a proxy stargate. The first oracle showed up and Trap’s battery wasn’t quite finished, with four probes gunned down. It was equalised a minute later though, Trap killing six probes with two adepts. With herO’s oracles on the other side of the map and ineffective, Trap pushed forward with his high stalker count and a prism. It was simply too much for herO, as we tied up this series 1-1.
It had been a quickfire but strange series, with neither player going for any proxy building in this third map. I’d almost forgotten what normal PvP is meant to look like but it is still as rushy without the proxy, with herO going for a three gate robotics build. Trap respected the build, cancelling his nexus and going straight into disruptor. Content with his contain, herO backed off, starting up a nexus on his side of the map. It looked to be disruptor vs disruptor, the best style of PvP. herO set up a siege on Trap’s side and looked to be in control, with disruptor balls flying across from either side. In another strange fight, herO seemed to have the upper hand early, but a couple of massive hits from Trap tipped the scales, our Jin Air player emerging victorious.
Trap 2-1 herO
Trap advances to the round of eight.
Impact vs SpeCial – ZvT
Our losers match would sadly see one of these two eliminated, with it sadly not being one of our Protoss players. SpeCial went into a battlecruiser build, going into a single battlecruiser with stimpack behind. Five drones went down but sadly the battlecruiser would die, sniped down by queens on it’s way out of the Zerg main. It was a big blow as Impact went to 70 drones, looking to seize control of the game with his impressive drone count. With no third command centre on the way. SpeCial pushed hard, killing the fourth and destroying a whole army in the process. Juan wouldn’t relent, continuing the push with an eventual third on the way. SpeCial had seized control from his first engage and never relented, sealing victory with an aggressive and dominating build.
Thunderbird was our next map, with SpeCial going for an ambitious three barracks proxy. With the mineral walls providing a wall, Impact couldn’t scout the barracks until it was right outside his natural. It was simple from this point, both bunkers finishing to see Impact bundled out of the GSL. Our Mexican Terran through to the final match of the night against herO.
Impact 0-2 SpeCial.
herO vs SpeCial – PvT
Thunderbird was our destination again, where we saw Trap and SpeCial play earlier in the night. Both players went into normal play, with herO opening with three gate blink into a third. SpeCial went into two cloaked banshees but they were both shut down for virtually no damage. A big attack from SpeCial followed, with bio flanked by mines pressuring hard on herO’s door. Despite some impressive flanks, SpeCial initially dealt no damage, until nine probes went down at herO’s natural. Our Protoss player, now with storm went to push. He pinned SpeCial now, but despite an even fight, herO lost over 20 probes to a single liberator. Storms were making SpeCial’s life hard but he continued to have the advantage in this epic. His next step was to hide a command centre to make it four bases a piece for both players. Disruptors and colossi were added to the mix but SpeCial took a great fight on top of a ramp, resetting the power units for Protoss. SpeCial was up 50 supply at this point and had the momentum but it felt like with one bad fight, herO could be back into this game. It was back and forth but another fantastic fight by SpeCial saw him take another big lead. He see-sawed back onto the other side of the map and took this epic game to send him only one win away from the round of eight.
A single barracks proxy graced us in game two, with SpeCial making a single reaper before making a factory at home. SpeCial was content being as annoying as possible, making an engineering bay at herO’s natural, delaying the nexus before scouting herO’s stargate. It was a passive game from here, herO banking six phoenix until he sent them across the map. SpeCial was unprepared for this amount of phoenix, losing a a tank, two cyclones, six scv’s and seven marines to boot. herO was ahead from here, moving into colossi. SpeCial pushed hard off two bases but was met by Turbo Cruises slowfields, herO able to position his colossi to massacre the Terran army. SpeCial had to go around and despite some good disables his army was shredded, our two knights heading into a final map to decide who will move on to the round of eight.
Our decider on Kairos saw SpeCial again proxy a barracks, this time hoping to confuse herO by having a proxy just outside his base. SpeCial went into three barracks before starport but it was scouted by herO, our Protoss heading straight into colossi as fast as possible. SpeCial couldn’t know it was fast colossi though and still went for a big push, with no third command centre behind. herO stalled well and waited until he had enough, pushing through to take the map win and advancing to the round of eight.
herO 2-1 SpeCial.
herO advances to the round of eight.
Trap and herO advance to the round of eight.
Game of the Day: SpeCial vs herO game one.
Series of the Day: SpeCial vs herO
GSL Code S continues on Saturday the 1st at 13:00 KST with Dark, Patience, INnoVation and Stats
All pictures courtesy of AfreecaTV and all stats courtesy of Aligulac, Liquipedia and Code S Facts on Twitter.