GSL 2019 Season 2 Round of 32 - Group F Battle Report

Published on 05/07/2019 07:22 PDT by Saxon "Saxy" Durrant

Church is once again in session my brothers and sisters. Rejoice as once again the GSL graces our screens, today for the sixth time in nine days. The round of 32 is truly going at a rapid pace and with another two names biting the dust last night.

For anyone who didn't catch up on last night, please do. It was an incredible and captivating night from the get go, with some amazing games and plays and cheeses. Read up here from my report, which also has handy timestamps for the best games and series of the night.

Today we have two Protoss players in herO and Trap, a Terran in KeeN and our first foreigner this season, the queen of blades herself, Scarlett.

Credit - AfreecaTV.

We'll start with our Jin Air Green Wings player, Trap. He's a man on form this year, breaking out of obscurity to show some impressive results. A semi-final appearence last season was the deepest he has ever gone in a GSL, defeating names like sOs, INnoVation and TY on his way. He has backed this up with a round of 12 performance at IEM, where his run was ended by none other than fellow group mate today, herO. For such a consistent player this could be the breakout season, but he has to keep that momentum going. Statistics indicate he should make it out of this round at least, Trap holding a 75% record in advancing from this stage. As we've seen however, favourite status has done little in this season.

He faces Scarlett in the opening match, in a match up where some have said Protoss have looked very strong. In this season so far, Protoss has won five PvZ's, whilst Zerg has won three. In my opinion the criticism is perhaps an overreaction of seeing Classic, Dear and then Stats play on successive days. Scarlett has a history with Protoss and Korean Protosses in specific. She was involved in a crazy series against herO in last seasons GSL, whilst she has off course many times race swapped to Protoss in tournaments and had her Protoss account rise above 6.5K mmr on the NA server. In terms of results she's been on form this year, a second place finish in WCS Winter and a fourth place finish at WESG stand testament to her form this season. I'm of the opinion she'll do well here if she gets to play her own brand and style.

KeeN is our Terran representative and the most unknown and lowest rated in the group. The truth is, if you're a KeeN fan there's been nothing much to cheer over. Constant GSL appearences are seemingly the only thing on his side, making out past the round of 32 in only two occasions in the past two years. He's very much the unknown quantity but if there's anytime to make an upset run it's surely in this GSL.

herO finalises the four, with our friendly neighbourhood Protoss up to his old tricks seemingly once again. In his 15th Code S today, herO has seemingly nearly always made it out of the round of 32. A 92.9% advancement rate signals to me he has only never made it past this round once, back in 2014. He's been in deadly form his year as well, a highlight being a semi-final at IEM, backed by his impressive PvP. He 3-0'd Trap in convincing fashion in that tournament as well and I expect if there is a repeat series for herO to be the victor.

It's once again a very hard group to predict but I'm going to play my foreigner bias card. Whilst reddit thinks Trap and herO will make it through comfortably, I'm predicting Scarlett in first, followed out by herO.

I can't wait to be so very wrong.

Trap vs Scarlett - PvZ

Our opening match saw the fan favourite face up against the Protoss in form. A sentry first was to be the only variation by Trap, who then moved into a twilight council and robotics facility. Whilst it looked like a dark templar drop, Trap started charge and powered into a tonne of gateways. It was to be a bludgeoning attack by Trap, with Scarlett going into two base swarm host. The two builds clashed in awkward fashion, with over 20 drones dying to the aggression. The swarm hosts continued to gain value however and eventually held off the waves of zealots. Having held the aggression it was then time for Scarlett to pin, using nydus worms to put the hurt on Trap. It was a confusing game but Trap did not sit in his base, defending smartly before pushing out once again. Despite 18 swarm hosts Scarlett couldn’t clean this army and went down in game one.

This was about as stupid as it looks. Credit - AfreecaTV

GSL Cobalt! GSL Cobalt! The first time we have ever seen this four player map in the GSL (and ever for that matter). Featuring a light tile set, Trap scouted Scarlett last but there weren’t any crazy attacks, Trap moving into stargate whilst Scarlett macroed up on three bases. Glaives was the next addition into this game, Trap making an additional four gateways to see if he could put the hurt onto the Canadian Zerg. Shades went everywhere but the roaches popped out just in time, Scarlett only losing seven drones to a heavily committed attack. Scarlett powered on roaches and looked to pounce, trying to take advantage of Trap’s lack of immortals. The roaches came out and scurried down to Trap’s base. She was down on drones but roaches continued to fly into Trap’s base, cleverly using biles to de-power key buildings. It was a long siege but eventually Scarlett came out on top, killing the natural nexus to send us into a decider.

GSL Cobalt was seen for the first time in this series. Credit - AfreecaTV

Our decider saw a hatch block saw Scarlett go into gas and a spawning pool before natural but the game continued without any crazy aggression. Trap seemed slightly confused, throwing down two shield batteries as he thought the possibility of a bane or ling attack was enroute. It was not however, Scarlett simply executing her build in a different fashion to what the Protoss expected. Trap looked for a push but pulled back, only to move back in with four immortals at 6:30. With a similar attack to what we saw Stats do yesterday, with no third base our Jin Air player was all in. Trap’s immortals would not die however, Scarlett’s ravengers shaved off by forcefields until gg was called out.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Trap 2-1 Scarlett.

KeeN vs herO - TvP

herO put down a full wall in his natural to start this game off, moving into a very quick stargate before nexus. With no reaper cliffs, KeeN was unable to scout, leaving him in the dark to herO’s trickery. There were no serious tricks though, herO moving into a big phoenix count before moving into a colossi transition. KeeN pounced when the phoenix were on the other side of the map, a mine drop killing 12 probes. herO just pushed from here, hallucinating another colossi before pushing into KeeN. Our Terran was caught out on the map, losing a cyclone before engaging the army at his base. He couldn’t hold however, targeting the fake colossi in a desperate attempt but only putting himself further behind. From here herO had won, suddenly and efficiently, everyone seemingly confused at the lethality of that particular push.

Bottlenecks, not even once. Credit - AfreecaTV

Game two saw a three gate blink opener by herO, KeeN with a 1-1-1 mine drop. The drop was scouted however, both players moving into third bases as we hit a passive roadblock. KeeN was sold on the idea of a long game, throwing down a double engineering bay. herO had aggression on his mind though, six gateways without forges and charge meaning only one thing. Attack. A perfect scout saw Keen catch wind of this though, setting up a massive bottleneck. herO felt pressured and attacked, taking an awful engage to send him far behind. KeeN pressured from here and took another solid fight on herO’s side of the map, widow mines killing another 12 probes. KeeN was 60 supply up at this point and soon returned to herO. A drop in the natural coupled with a frontal attack saw us heading into another decider.

Attacking up a ramp against Colossi is a no bueno from me.
Credit - AfreecaTV.


Map three saw us on Cyber Forest with KeeN going for an early push before attempting a very strange drop. herO returned the favor with two immortals in a prism but both players had taken little damage as we went into the seventh minute. herO again went into a massive gateway count and with blink behind, looked to cancel and trash the third base of KeeN. Both armies didn’t clash however, KeeN taking his third while herO moved into a colossi count. We were eleven minutes in now with once again both sides playing a very defensive game, unwilling to commit into the other. The attack came two minutes after, KeeN taking a poor engagement up a ramp and lost out to herO’s overwhelming army. Despite KeeN destroying a base herO marched forward to set himself up a winners match against Trap.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

KeeN 1-2 herO.

Winners Match - herO v Trap - PvP

With a match history of 12:4 in herO’s favor, he had the historical edge. His crazy playstyle has always benefitted him in PvP, but it was Trap who changed things up, going for a proxy stargate. It proved to be vital, Trap baiting out herO’s army onto the lowground before swinging in behind to kill 10 probes. It placed Trap too far ahead, herO going for a big counter in an attempt to finish the game. Like always in PvP, immortals proved key for Trap. With herO’s majority stalker based composition immortals ground his stalkers into paste, a final one completing just as the robo depowered to hold. Trap taking the edge in this series.

Our second map sadly saw no cannons, as both player made stalkers initially. Trap had the earlier nexus and herO seemed behind in nearly every aspect, an slightly earlier immortal proving useless. Some fancy warp prism micro saw a pylon picked off in Trap’s base, while two adepts killed six probes of the Jin Air player. Apart from that though it was passive, 6:30 into the game with both players in equal supply and in an immortal arms race. Trap exploded here though, using the same tactic as herO (immortals in main, adepts in natural) to kill 13 probes of herO, placing them on an equal worker count once more. Trap went into a massive attack from here, fighting at herO’s natural. It was a confusing fight but both players emerged even, Trap killing another 10 probes before herO countered.

Hello? herO throwing it all away, attacking into Trap's army with immortals, backed by batteries.
Credit - AfreecaTV.

This game was hard to follow even as a Protoss player, both players shadowing each other’s prism, each prism with immortals into it. Thirds came down at 12:30 for both sides but herO seemingly threw, attacking into a heavily fortified Trap. The attack was suicidal and Trap came forward and punished him, advancing onwards in the GSL.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             herO 0-2 Trap.

Trap advances to the round of 16.

Losers Match - Scarlett v KeeN - ZvT

One half of our foreign hope this season was up against the ropes here, facing off against KeeN with elimination awaiting the loser of the series. It was a normal opening from both sides, a 1-1-1 with hellions and a liberator. KeeN pulled off an amazing move, pulling the queens to the third before zoning them with a liberator at the natural, hellions running into the main to kill nine drones of Scarlett. From here our Canadian was behind, KeeN then faking stimpack before going into a mech transition. It was unknown if Scarlett had scouted the mech play, with our Zerg player going into hydra-baneling-zergling to deal with KeeN’s army. A passive few minutes followed, as we entered the 10 minute mark with both players extremely close to reaching maximum supply. KeeN was on equal bases with the zerg, also progressing his composition to include siege tanks and thors. Constant hellion harassment kept finding drones as KeeN went for a slow push up the middle. Leapfrogging his liberators forward, Scarlett faced a massive task in clearing the heavily spread army. 

With some great blinding clouds she cleared the army, as both players reset and moved on further into the late game. We entered the 16th minute with both players still in a dead lock, researching further upgrades and building a bank. Scarlett took a big win in the middle of the map, utilising the full Zerg arsenal of neural parasite to great effect to take a good fight, before engaging questionably in front of thors and a planetary. The engage was questionable indeed, infestors and brood lords dying for virtually nothing. KeeN pounced, moving forward with thors and vikings. With a big supply lead and a strong army to boot he took the game, placing Scarlett one game away from elimination.

The moment the battle turned, Scarlett instantly plummeting in supply.
Credit - AfreecaTV.

Game two saw some classic Scarlett aggression, taking a hatchery at Keen’s third base. It would be roaches to come out from the proxy hatchery as Scarlett looked to end it early. A fusion core was started but it was forced to cancel as the rush hit, ruining our chance to see any battlecruisers. Scarlett forced herself into the main with three ravengers but an scv surround stifled the rush. It had killed 13 scvs and Scarlett moved back into drones from here. The rush was over. Scarlett looked to go heavy in to roaches as we moved into our mid game, researching +1 range and carapace. Now deep into our mid game, KeeN went into harassment mode, hitting on three fronts to kill over 14 drones. KeeN seemingly had the edge with his constant harassment at this point as Scarlett went into hive, looking to move into ultralisks and playing for the late game. A few minutes down the road and the ultralisks were out, Scarlett finally getting aggressive, attacking well to place her in a big supply advantage. 

The attack seemed inefficient, but it worked, our Zerg now applying the pressure she had been lacking the whole game. The map was a purple mess at this point, Scarlett boxing KeeN in his corner of the map. Eighteen minutes in and another engage by Scarlett wouldn’t go as well, KeeN able to retain his base and able to peg back some creep. Banks were dwindling as another engage by Scarlett killed a base, the game moving into a constant see saw of aggression, momentum and constant battle. Scarlett had been behind for large portions of this map but eventually clawed an advantage, cementing her win with a dominant final attack which saw ghosts cornered in by banelings. Final map incoming.

Scarlett opened game two with a proxy hatchery.
Credit - AfreecaTV.

Our decider saw Automaton as our battleground, with nothing out of the ordinary happening with both players openers. Two hellions would find amazing damage in a rare slip by Scarlett, nine drones falling to only two hellions. Scarlett took a big blow early but she stabilised, defending the additional liberators and hellions well. KeeN moved into mech again, Scarlett once more unable to scout the mech until later in the game. With a spire and melee upgrades on the way, KeeN had yet another edge in this game. It was going from bad to worse for our Canadian, a base and 26 drones dying in another solid move by KeeN. Scarlett doubled down on mutalisks and her zergling-baneling-mutalisk composition. 

She committed into a line of thors but the engage hit a wall of Terran mech, 28 mutalisks dying amongst countless zerglings to send KeeN ahead in supply. Despite being passive most of the game, KeeN pushed on the 14th minute mark, setting up in a beautiful position just outside Scarlett’s fourth. The team Newbee player knew she had to break the position and attempted a full surround. Despite the almost 360 degree surround it was sadly not enough, KeeN moving on to face herO once more.

KeeN's massive army stood strong, sending him into the deciders match.
Credit - AfreecaTV.

Scarlett 1-2 KeeN.

Deciding Match - herO vs KeeN - PvT

We once again saw herO go for a low ground wall in this final match, but not walling himself in unlike their previous series. In their last game herO went for stargate before nexus but it was more standard this time around with a fast robotics. On the opposite side of the map KeeN went for a quick third command centre in what was a ballsy economic play. Charge and armor were the next moves from herO, as he found himself a base down in this match up. Both players seemed keen on a passive game as we entered the seventh minute but herO went for a push on the completion of storm. It was almost a carbon copy of the first game, herO once again catching KeeN on the map and almost overwhelming him. Another attack a couple of minutes later saw a similar result, herO nearly ending the game right there. He seemed to have the killer instinct and blood was in the water, this map proving dominant for him two times in a row. KeeN attempted a big drop but a recall came back and sniped off two full medivacs. That would be enough for KeeN, as gg came out and sent herO 1-0 up.

Just like in their first match on this map, herO showed some killer instinct.
Credit - AfreecaTV.

A proxy stargate by herO on King’s Cove showed some variation to anything else we had seen tonight from our Protoss player. KeeN had some solid hellion harass once more, killing more probes than the double oracle from herO’s proxy stargate. KeeN took the better end of the trade, pushing with mag-field accelerator to snipe herO’s third. It was a strange attack but considering herO’s reliance on stargate units it somehow worked. Our Protoss didn’t remake his third, slapping down four more gateways and a dark shrine. herO was going all in. Although KeeN started the attack ahead in supply, it gradually declined, herO exploiting the Terran’s lack of mobility and fighting well to send KeeN down to 10 workers and deny a crucial stimpack upgrade, seconds away from completion. 

It looked to be an easy stomp for herO from here but a clutch counter attack paid dividends for our Terran player. It hit as recall was on cooldown and while herO was on KeeN’s side of the map. With herO caught completely out of position the counter crushed through herO’s bases and took the map. KeeN showing incredible fight once more to take it to a final game.

KeeN won this game less than a minute from this point, despite being over 35 workers down here.
Credit - AfreecaTV.

herO played a cyber core before nexus on Kairos Junction, a zealot delaying the command centre and eventually forcing a cancel. Blink followed from here for herO, who then followed up with a blink timing that we had seen from Patience in group A. He was everywhere but took some questionable blinks, KeeN able to move out in the 8:30 mark. Scv’s were pulled as KeeN took his fate in his own hands, setting up between the natural and third. The fight came and herO held, both players seriously bruised as KeeN was now reduced to half the worker count of his opposing Protoss player. A double pronged attack was the last hurrah, KeeN falling 30 supply down. He tried to make anything work but his lead just got worse and worse, herO applying the killing blow a minute later to make his way into the round of 16.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     herO 2-1 KeeN

herO advances to the round of 16.

Trap and herO advance to the round of 16.

Series of the Day: Trap vs Scarlett

Game of the Day: Scarlett vs KeeN Game Two

GSL Code S continues, tomorrow at 18:30 KST with Dark, DongRaeGu, Cure and PartinG.

All pictures courtesy of AfreecaTV and all stats courtesy of Liquipedia, CodeSFacts on twitter and Aligulac.