GSL 2019 Season 2 Round of 32 - Group C Battle Report
Fresh from losing all my points on ladder, we're back with the final chapter of this GSL three day trilogy. There have been two gruelling days before this, with four players escaping from groups A and B. If you missed them and want a recap, i've got you covered. Check out group A here, and group B here.
Both days have yielded some fantastic play, coupled with a few noteable upsets. Indeed it's been crazy and it just goes to show how competitive GSL can be. I'm writing no-one off the win in this group today.
Today brings us a group without Terran, with two Protoss and two Zerg players to do battle for an elusive place in the next round. Representing the fields of Aiur we have GSL 2019 season 1 finalist and recent Super Tournament winner Classic, partnered in crime by perennial round of 32 player Hurricane. On the other end covered in creep, we have Triumphant Song Gaming's Solar, who is joined by TRUE. Our first matches will see two PvZ's, with Classic playing TRUE, and Solar against Hurricane.
We'll start with the man on fire and potentially my top pick for the whole yournament, Mkers newly acquired Classic. The man has had a brilliant start to 2019 and is the form player at the moment. Having only lost to Maru in the GSL final and winning Super Tournament, Classic also has a 76.9% advancement rate from the round of 32. He is the only player in this group by comparison to have a rate above 50%. He has looked dominant in both PvP and PvZ as well, beating Dark, Rogue, soO, sOs and Patience in the recent GSL events. I know I've said this other days and looked like a fool, but I would be very surprised if he drops a map.
He plays TRUE in the first match, who still represents PSISTORM Gaming. In what looks to be a mismatch against Classic, TRUE has been about in 2019 but hasn't produced anything substantial as of yet. He finished third in his last round of 32 group, losing to Classic 2-1 in the initial match but that is about it for him. A draw with Jim in the Chinese Team Championship was his most recent result and if that is anything to go by, he could find himself in trouble. Expect aggression.
Solar is our other Zerg in the group and my opinion the second most likely to advance. There was a time in late 2017 where Solar was considered very scary but since then his results haven't really backed that reputation up enough. He has been dealt some tough hands though, a scary GSL season one group saw him place third behind sOs and Bunny, with a first round 3-2 loss to sOs in GSL Super Tournament. This is coupled with a round of eight placing at IEM, so I expect him to come clean and give Classic a series in the winners match here.
Hurricane is our last player in the group and despite his recent surge in results I don't overly fancy him to get out of this group. GSL Season 3 2017 was the last time he made it out, crashing out in last place in the three further seasons he's qualified for. He also has the lowest advancement rate of making it out of the round of 32. It sits at a lowly 14.3%. A very impressive 3-1 victory over Rogue was no fluke in Super Tournament however and that result alone makes him the wildcard for this group. If he can bring that play here then who knows what can happen.
My prediction is Classic to make it out in first, followed by Solar slipping past Hurricane 2-1 in the deciders match. Let's go!
Classic vs TRUE - PvZ
Our first series had loaded in but the real question was to be, how many drones would TRUE make? Classic went into a stargate whilst the drones kept on coming from TRUE. It wasn’t to be anything crazy from our PSISTORM player, both players sitting on their laurels until the 6th minute, when Classic’s four oracles cleaned up 15 drones. Two adepts would also combine to kill over 20, with Classic going for a heavy push to look to kill TRUE early. It was simply too much of an army for TRUE, who had spent all his larvae on replenishing his drone count. Classic looking dominant in the opening game.
A hatchery block by Classic started us off in game two, with all eyes turning to TRUE to see what he could bring to the table. Classic went for a proxy stargate, with TRUE’s overlord barely not scouting his stargate. The oracle and subsequent second oracle killed over 12 drones, placing Classic in a massive advantage, Classic sitting around 20 supply ahead. Glaive adepts were the follower for Classic, 15 more drones falling before the upgrade even finished. The adepts killed the third hatchery before a follow up push with immortals and sentries spelled the end for TRUE. Classic showing no mercy in the opening game with a one sided victory.
Classic 2-0 TRUE
Solar vs Hurricane - ZvP
Solar held a 7-0 Legacy of the Void (LOTV) record against Hurricane so the omens were with our Zerg player in this series. Solar would head into a quick three hatch, with Hurricane moving into a very quick forge. It seemed to be a massive +1 timing from Hurricane, who threw down another four gateways on top of his initial two. Hallucinated zealots came out for Hurricane, who with his majority stalker based army rolled over Solar in impressive fashion. A build to study and learn for any Protoss players for sure but questions to be asked about Solar, with 62 workers on the board did he overdrone?
We were seeing the Hurricane who smashed through Rogue in Super Tournament as we moved into map two, would his form continue? A robotics first went into a quick warp prism followed by immortal, into a twilight and forge. Armour and glaives were started up in a strange move, as Hurricane looked to push on the 7th minute. A zergling counter attack killed off Hurricane’s third but Solar could not stop the immortal-stalker-sentry-adept push, Hurricane showing his skill in timings to advance onto the winners match.
It’s Hurricane’s first victory against Solar in LOTV and what a time for it.
Solar 0-2 Hurricane
Classic vs Hurricane - PvP
Hurricane for me has always been a bit of a sniper in PvP and so we were thrown into a fascinating winners mirror match. Game one saw us on Automaton, with Classic throwing down a proxy twilight council and dark shrine. Two adepts from Classic killed off four probes as we saw an extremely late robotics facility from Hurricane. In no time the dark templar were slicing away but good forcefields saw only one gateway destroyed before an observer came out from Hurricane. Both sides then moved into glaives and despite the early dark templar, both players remained exactly even. Adept pressure by Hurricane did well, killing a couple of probes before Classic pushed into Hurricane. Dodging and jumping forcefields Hurricane held well, going for his own attack. That attack faltered however, as Classic assumed a small supply lead as both players traded blows in a back and forth game.
Mass adept against mass adept was the name of the game as both armies yet again clashed at Hurricane’s base. Classic lost the fight, yet utilising adepts and dark templar reduced Hurricane to only 20 probes. It was an action packed and intense game, where Classic had somehow see-sawed himself back into the lead again. With both players seemingly physically unable to build a third base Hurricane would move into disruptors as we had a momentary pause in the match. The peace was not to last though, Classic moving out to attack Hurricane. Despite good disruptor hits there was to be too much from Classic, the Mkers player eventually taking the initial map.
Map two saw a double proxy pylon in the same location, with neither player aware an opposite pylon was simply only a few hexes out of vision. Classic went for a stargate at his pylon, hoping to catch Hurricane off guard like he did to TRUE. Three gate robo would be the build for Hurricane, as seemingly the game depended on the two oracles of Classic. Seven probes fell but Hurricane pushed back into Classic. Whilst he killed an immortal, Hurricane did little else as from here both players stabilised and moved into the mid game. Again both players seemed to have unbound the nexus key from their keyboard, as only by the 11 minute mark both player started a third nexus.
It was an arms race where both sides were content to sit back and build. The cold war turned hot though, a warp prism with two immortals denied Classic’s +2 only seconds before it completed. Classic moved across the map but Hurricane defended his third, the big fight then happened, Hurricane losing out to hand Classic the victory and a place in the round of 16.
Classic 2-0 Hurricane.
Classic advances to the round of 16.
Solar vs TRUE - ZvZ
Solar once again boasted a 5-0 record against TRUE but as we saw against Hurricane, records like that are meant to be broken. Both players went to three bases but Solar went for a ling flood to destroy the just completed third of TRUE. With Solar making roaches at home he was safe at home and held a considerable advantage. Solar sat on 30 drones as he pushed with the roaches, backed up by zerglings and it was a one sided affair, TRUE completely outclassed in five minutes and 35 seconds.
It was a similar start in game two, both players making their third bases, as well as baneling nests. Once again Solar looked to flood the third base and in an exact carbon copy the third base was destroyed. TRUE seemed hugely demoralised and his counter with zerglings hit some massive baneling hits. Whilst not dead, TRUE was behind and ate another massive baneling land mine. It was a sorry sight to see, TRUE clearly off his game as Solar rolled across the map to once again destroy the third base. TRUE was down 20 supply but Solar waited, taking us into the 10 minute mark before attacking into TRUE once more. Despite a heroic stand from TRUE it wasn’t to be, Solar taking a 2-0 in possibly one of the easiest series I’ve seen in the GSL for some while.
Solar 2-0 TRUE
Solar vs Hurricane - ZvP
We saw a lot of sharp timings from Hurricane in their initial series, would it be more of the same specific builds in the deciding match?
Another robotics first came from our Protoss player, a warp prism went to poke, with immortals following up. It looked like the same build from game two against Solar, except weapons replacing the armor upgrade. Solar went to 60 drones but stopped from there. The exact same push from game two happened but finally we had a deviation, Hurricane pulling back, choosing to defend his third rather than committing to the attack. Disruptors became the play for Hurricane, as Solar maxed out on roach ravenger. Solar pushed at the nine minute mark and did some serious damage, killing 17 probes and the Protoss third base. Hurricane had to push from here and he did. Willing his inner MCanning, Hurricane hit some massive shots, eventually pushing through to his natural and main. It became a massive base trade, with Hurricane down to only five workers. Hurricane had nearly nothing left but pushed onto the final base of Solar. Drones were pulled and in a crazy finish, just managed to overwhelm the remaining forces of Hurricane. Solar taking the initial map.
A quick three hatch from Solar met a stargate from Hurricane in map two, moving into a different play from what we’ve seen from him this evening. The initial oracle was used defensively, before joining up with a second. Only five drones fell to the zappers as we moved into the mid game, Hurricane taking a third. It was the most standard game we’d seen from Hurricane, that was until blink came out from our Protoss. An infestation pit was seen from Solar, but Hurricane pushed on the finish of blink. Utilising great blink micro he eventually wore down Solar swiftly, sending us into a decider. Did I say Hurricane was playing standard?
In our first three match series of the night it was proxy time again, Hurricane going for a stargate. The two oracles only found three drones however, before he moved into glaives. In a similar build to what Classic did earlier, our Zerg player would skip roaches, instead moving straight into hydralisks. An initial adept move out traded fairly reasonably, before his big push came in. He seemed reluctant however and decided to transition, a third and forge coming up to slow the game down. On the other side of the map Solar stopped at 56 drones, pumping out hydra-ling-bane. He moved to attack as Hurricane looked to tech into colossi. Counter-attacking adepts Hurricane a dew precious more seconds to prepare but Solar would still move out, swiping in the side with banelings whilst hitting the third at the same time. Solar hit good connections and killed the third but adepts ravaged his mineral lines at the same time, stabilising the game with Solar having to rebuild his drone count.
Three collosi then pressed the issue, Hurricane looking to end the game here. Despite lurkers Solar was on the ropes here though, penned in by the colossi lasers of Hurricane. With both on even supply all it all came down to this. Disruptors entered the fray but Solar was able to send Hurricane’s army back home time and time again, buying himself time to push on Hurricane. The lurkers sieged his third but Hurricane built up and with one impressive concave pushed and through the army of Solar. Hurricane smiling in his chair as he reached his first round of 16 in two years!
Solar 1-2 Hurricane
Hurricane advances to the round of 16.
Classic and Hurricane advance to the round of 16!
Series of the Day: Hurricane vs Solar Deciding Match.
Game of the Day: Classic vs Hurricane Map One.
GSL Code S continues on Friday at 18:30 KST with Dear, Creator, aLive and soO.
All pictures courtesy of AfreecaTV and all stats courtesy of @CodeSFacts on twitter.