GSL 2019 Season 2 Round of 8 - Day 1 Battle Report
After the dust cleared from the round of 16, there emerged only eight survivors into the next round of the GSL. Fresh off one amazing group of death in the round of 16, we have had only four days to recover, with WCS Europe and WCS America fresh on our screens inbetween. If you could die from a Starcraft overdose, we would all be in considerable danger.
Upsets and Protoss domination have been the two main stories of this season. Whilst some big names fell early, some former stars and new upstarts have made their way into this round of eight, providing us with some big underdog stories at the cost of an all-star bracket. At one point it looked like there could be seven Protoss and only 1 Zerg in the round of eight, leading to some reddit users complaining about balance (I know, how unlike them). Group D brought some faith back into the other races though, leaving us with a final composition of five Protoss, one Zerg and one Terran.
In my opinion the bottom half of the bracket is considerably weaker than the top, with Dark a very strong pick for the final. It also leaves PartinG or Hurricane fighting for an unlikely semi final spot. Today however we have the top half, with Classic playing against soO and Trap against INnoVation.
Starting with Classic, the veteran of the scene is many peoples top pick to win this season. His tale of the tape is as follows.
R32: 2-0 TRUE, 2-0 Hurricane
R16: 2-1 RagnaroK, 2-0 Hurricane
With our Protoss showing some great PvZ against RagnaroK this season, as well as Rogue and Dark last season, Classic is my big favourite in this series. He showed some amazing build variety and skill last season and I expect no less from him today. A virtually carefree run to the round of eight has seen him not show anything too crazy, relying on simple pushes and immortal shoves to win matches against TRUE and RagnaroK. I expect some of those as well today, mixed in with stargate and perhaps a big cheese.
SoO is one of only two Zergs left in the competition and I predict him to have a very tough time tonight. Let's have a look at his tale of the tape;
R32: 2-1 aLive, 1-2 Dear, 2-1 Creator.
R16: 2-0 Dear, 1-2 PartinG, 2-0 GuMiho.
Our Chivo players run, in comparison to Classic has been shaky. A second place finish in both groups saw him claw his way out, with some special cheese in the round of 16. His round of 16 was actually so cheese focused it was almost worrying, soO seemingly having to change styles to stand a chance against Protoss. I think if he brings similar cheese against Classic, he will struggle today.
I see Classic winning this series, 3-1.
Our other match sees a TvP, with INnoVation assuming the title of last Terran. Here is his tale of the tape;
R32: 0-2 Patience, 2-0 Armani, 2-1 Maru.
R16: 2-0 Stats, 1-2 Dark, 2-1 Stats.
Making it out of the group of death is commendable in itself, but INnoVation finds himself back in the spotlight only four days later to face Trap. Whilst some consider the short turn around a disadvantage, I firmly believe if INnoVation can bring his form straight from that group into this match he will win tonight. The Reciprocity player looked scary in his group, narrowly losing to Dark in a fantastic series and beating Stats convincingly twice. Always a contender, expect big 2-2 timing pushes for our favourite robot.
Trap is the last member of Jin Air Green Wings in this tournament, how far can he go? Here is his tale of the tape;
R32: 2-1 Scarlett, 2-0 herO.
R16: 2-0 SpeCial, 2-1 herO.
In one of his best years, Trap will try and equal his impressive semi-final appearance last season. He has had no easy matches in either group, with Scarlett, SpeCial and herO all impressive players in their own right. However he has barely been troubled, with his PvT recent record looking especially good with a 2019 offline win record of 87.5%. It'll be a close series between the two.
Harder to call this one, but I predict INnoVation emerging victorious 3-2.
Classic vs SoO - PvZ
Our opening map saw us on King’s Cove, with our big macro map starting us off. A stargate was seen by Classic, playing safe initially in the opening map with focus into a phoenix and then oracles. Some interesting walls at the natural and third from Classic saw him move into three oracles, researching glaives behind. The oracles dived, killing 12 drones before a massive wave of adepts would continue the assault. A number close to 20 adepts dived on soO’s minerals lines, killing almost 30 drones. Without banelings or roaches soO couldn’t defend the adepts and fell down to 20 workers, soO tapping out to the next wave of the attack which included immortals and sentries. A crushing start for Classic.
With the massive two base timing in game one, Classic had gained a big advantage. Our second map saw us on Kairos Junction, with a robotics facility next on the agenda for Classic. soO opted into a quick roach warren and lair on observation of the warp prism, even cancelling zergling speed. It was a tonne of roaches for soO, moving up against a big chargelot immortal push by Classic. Our Mkers player seemed to stall before moving out at six minutes, waiting on a sentry or two in what seemed like a mistake. It had given the time SoO needed and he was more than ready. With a mass of roaches, soO punched through Classic's army to tie up the series 1-1.
With a pylon and gateway on top of the ramp, Classic was going for a cannon rush on Turbo Cruise. Instead of at the natural though, Classic went into the main. An overlord narrowly missed the buildings as cannons were thrown down in the main, soO building five spines in a big attempt to deflect the cannons. Having started the robotics facility Classic cancelled the important tech structure, building more cannons and batteries. With a probe body blocking the spines as they tried to burrow, Classic crushed the assault, giving him an exceptionally quick 2-1 lead.
soO was on his last legs at this point, with New Repugnancy the fourth map in this series. A robotics was once again the tech of choice by soO, who then made a prism before going into double stargate. A mind trick extraordinaire, only an overseer scout by soO alerted him to the transition. Spores went down instantly and soO held decently, losing 11 drones before Classic came across the map with immortals, sentries and stalkers. With no third base once again soO was fighting off an all in. Spores burrowed at the front but the immortals could not get touched by roaches, spines or ravenger biles. A 3-1 win for Classic, who shows us aggression from head to toe to advance to the semi finals.
Classic 3-1 soO.
Classic advances to the semi-finals.
Trap vs INnoVation – PvT
Kairos was our opening map for our second series, with Trap starting us off with a robotics facility. INnoVation went into a quick push off two barracks and a factory before a starport, looking to pile on the aggression intially. He moved out with this small force but didn’t push on it, sitting back as Trap delayed his third base for additional gates and charge. If Trap had perhaps opened with blink, this push would have been a lot more deadly. In a weird opening INnoVation seemed to be ahead with a small supply advantage, quicker upgrades and a quicker third. A warp prism harass killed nine scv’s but the game continued passively, moving into the 10th minute with little more than drop harass occurring. The next few minutes saw Trap posturing and taking good trades, storm used to great effect. A double pronged attack from Trap saw the see-saw swing, INnoVation unable to deal with storm and colossi at the same time. It was a close finish but with Trap on the doorstep of our Terran's main, gg was called.
A 1-1-1 opener came out from INnoVation this time, with Trap heading into stargate phoenix to start. Despite the phoenix INnoVation went into cloaked banshees and could only find two probes, following up that harass with a mech transition. This has become more standard than gimmicky in the past few months, with the usual composition focusing around battle mech and tanks into liberators and battlecruisers. INnoVation sat back for his first few minutes, pumping out tanks like there was no tomorrow. Immortals were produced two at a time by Trap but when INnoVation pushed out, the supply difference told a story. With cyclones locking onto immortals Trap’s slim chance of a hold fell, INnoVation moving in with ease to send us tied up into game three.
We’d seen a robotics, stargate and it was now a twilight for Trap, moving into a very popular three gate blink opener. Our two combantants had spawned in cross spots, with lots of space available to expand on GSL Cobalt. Whilst Trap went into a quick double forge, INnoVation looked to push hard. Moving and rallying across the map, INnoVation hit hard on the completion of stimpack. Several minutes of engages followed, with a couple of scary moments seeing Trap hold, before putting pressure on himself. With an upgrade advantage Trap put the hurt on but was unable to deal massive damage, only forcing a few trades and making INnoVation stick in a defensive posture. Any move out from INnoVation was punished with a prism , Trap killing off 11 scv’s in one successful raid. Whilst most players would be deterred by the prism, INnoVation was not. He pushed again and did a wonderful job of separating the templar from Trap’s main army. With a bit of miscontrol from Trap helping the templar come into the fight late, INnoVation claimed a fantastic trade and a nexus for his efforts, alongside all of the key units of Trap. A proxy base for Trap went unchecked, as this fascinating game continued into the 19th minute. It was all over in an instant though, INnoVation getting caught twice and his army suffocating under the lasers of colossi. A fantastic map which saw a proxy base taking the title of most valuable unit.
With King’s Cove our map four, the question was asked was if we would see mech or bio from INnoVation. A twilight council from Trap saw a blink build oncemore, an adept shade scouting the Terran base. On seeing standard play, a third nexus was thrown down instantaneously. Stimpack answered the question of mech or bio, with our Terran going for a push on the completion of stimpack and +1. A wonky fight ensued with a fairly even trade, with Trap once again on a two upgrade lead by nine minutes. Storm was by not means rushed but Trap was safe, as both players moved into fourth bases. INnoVation seemed content to sit but Trap pushed, a clutch disable on a warp prism saving INnoVation’s army from being stormed to death. Our Terran player had oncemore shown exemplary macro, proving his reputation of never missing a beat. INnoVation pushed out but his base was ravaged by zealot counters, losing 20 workers and in return killing a base of Trap. Our Jin Air player then pushed, moving into the fourth but taking a horrible trade with INnoVation. Having lost his colossi and templar INnoVation was 50 supply up and pushed into Trap. Gateway units were not enough, our final series taking us to a final map.
Our final map was Turbo Cruise with the infamous slow fields making an appearance. Trap went into an observer followed by a twilight council. A banshee with cloak was the way for INnoVation, as Trap went into a quick charge and immortal. Both players sat on two bases from here, with INnoVation moving out with a scary two base timing. The third base was denied but Trap was in the Terran’s base. It was all or nothing for INnoVation who destroyed 15 workers but Trap held, a base down on his Terran opponent. After some crazy action we had a few minutes of calm, a third nexus warping in behind of INnoVation. It all picked up from here though, some tense moments as only a few units decided the fate of these players. Trap had storm by the bucket load but INnoVation went for a massive drop. It forced the recall and a defend, with some clumped liberators juicy targets for saved up high templar. That may have been the final straw, as the attack was defeated. Trap didn't waste a second, pushing through the slow zones and going on the offensive again. A wealth of storms saw INnoVation’s defences cracked for one last time and a ‘ww’ by our Terran saw Trap advance to the semi finals, Terran eliminated from the GSL.
Trap 3-2 INnoVation.
Trap advances to the semi finals.
Game of the Day: Trap vs INnoVation game five.
GSL Code S continues with Hurricane vs PartinG and Dark vs herO on Saturday the 8th of June at 13:00 KST.
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