GSL 2019 Season 2 Semi-Finals - Dark vs Hurricane.
With one finalist already decided, the race is on for our second participant in the title winning fight. Trap awaits in the wings, emerging victorious over Classic in a nail biting seven game series. That report is here, if you missed the PvP (on purpose or not) and want to catch up on what was a nail biting series.
It means that Classic misses out on another oppourtunity to claim GSL gold before his impending military service, while Trap has a chance to win his first title since MLG Anaheim in 2014. Either way we will have a first time winner this GSL, with neither Dark or Hurricane yet to win a GSL.
Our updated bracket is below.
We have today a very interesting semi-final. Dark, the menace, the 'bad boy' of the Korean scene and a Zerg player who has taken 2019 by the collar and shook it up. In the green corner, a newcomer to this stage, a dream run for our rather unknown Protoss player, Hurricane.
We'll start with our underdog and massive surprise semi-finalist, Hurricane. At this point I'd like to remind viewers of Hurricane's 2018. Three out of four GSL's qualified for, finishing bottom of his group all three times, plus a respectable round of 12 finish in IEM. The man has defied every expectation and opponent set out for him this season, showing some great all around play. At this point I'd like to say that at every stage this season I have predicted him to lose but he has wronged me everytime. He plays PvZ today, a match up he hasn't played since the round of 32. In that group however he beat Solar twice in two very impressive series. Those series featured a lot of timing attacks of the immortal variety, so my guess will be that we'll see a bit of that today. In terms of stats, Hurricane has a 14-5 match record (74%) against Zerg this year, with wins over Rogue, Solar and RagnaroK to his name.
This all sounds good on paper for Hurricane but the reality is he faces a Zerg like no other at the moment. Dark has a big serious claim to 'Best Zerg in Korea' at the moment, with our aggressive Zerg player showing his cheese mixed in with his impressive macro this year. I expect exactly the same from him today, in a series that could easily finish in rapid time. A clean decapitation of herO in the round of eight showed his skill and with only Protosses in his way of a maiden GSL title, you know he will have practiced. In terms of stats, Dark has a casual 17-4 (81%) match record against Protoss in 2019, with wins against herO, Patience, Zest, Trap and Stats to his name. Will he add Hurricane to the list?
I expect fireworks but my continuation of not picking Hurricane will continue. I predict Dark as a 4-1 winner.
Map One – King’s Cove.
A big map to start, with Hurricane going for an initial hatchery block. A twilight went down for our Protoss player, with Dark settling into a quick three hatchery build on the other side of the map. It was a robotics and a dark shrine to follow for Hurricane, as Dark scouted the twilight and then the dark shrine with two separate packs of Zerglings. Upon killing an adept Dark went into another big wave of zerglings, looking to put the pressure on and leave Hurricane unable to take a third base. With the prism on the map Dark went for a Zergling drop and run by, both at the same time. It was devastating, Dark pulling the army out of the wall and then running into the base, eight probes lost for Hurricane. Behind all this a nydus network was building up, Dark then using a worm to transport a wall of queens to the other side of the map, continuing the pressure. A brilliant leapfrog nydus into the main saw Hurricane hanging on for dear life but he held, with both players sitting on equal workers.
The game progressed from here, Hurricane holding but unable to claim a third base and now economically behind. It was advantage Dark all the way from here, Hurricane attempts to push out met by nydus worms in the back of his base, forcing him home. A spire was in construction during all of this and mutalisks prodded around, forcing some phoenix out as Dark maxxed out on roaches. With a near max Dark against a 90 supply Hurricane it was simply too much, a nydus transporting the attacking army to the main to seal the deal for Dark.
Map Two – Turbo Cruise ’84.
It’s 13/12 time baby! An instant gas followed by a spawning pool indicated aggression from Dark. Four zerglings were followed by an immediate roach warren. Normally we would see our Protoss expand from here but Hurricane did not take the bait, adding a battery and a robotics facility before any thought of a nexus. It was the right decision, the attack coming in as an immortal nearly finished. It popped out just at the right time, Hurricane holding the initial aggression and looking proper and pretty on nearly double the supply of Dark. A prism followed and Hurricane flew across the map. With zealots crushing through the zerglings a short tap out from Dark followed. Both players claiming a win in the opening two maps to see the score tied at 1-1.
Map Three – Thunderbird.
Another weird start was upon us in game three, Dark moving into a proxy hatchery. It delayed the nexus but little else, as Hurricane moved into a robotics facility. It was all a big bait though, a warp prism bluffing for a dark shrine behind. Dark seemed to catch on though, making an overseer at the perfect time to catch the dark assassins, only losing four drones and a queen to the attack. A spire came down from Dark but an instant scout from Hurricane saw blink rapidly chronoboosted. The mutalisks were fended off through a heavy stalker count, but this would ultimately now define Hurricane into a weaker overall composition.
With Dark going into a massive zergling baneling roach swell Dark looked to smash his way through Hurricane, as our Protoss sat back in the somewhat safe cave that Thunderbird provides. It was safe sure, but would it be safe enough for the thirty six banelings Dark was making? A zealot and dark templar counter did damage but it wouldn’t matter, banelings crushing through the heavy stalker army to send Dark back in the lead once again.
Map Four – GSL Cobalt.
Our four player map fed into the rotation, with Dark going for a 12 pool without gas. Dark had said how much he loved the 12 pool in a previous interview and he was showing it, having not used the strategy against herO. A zealot came out just in time but some poor control from Hurricane enabled Dark to slip in and surround the now two zealots, before killing an adept and the vital pylon. Damage was being done by the bucketload as probes fell before eventually the initial zerglings died. Dark had powered into the lead by this point and having scouted both his opponent’s tech and a proxy pylon was in control of this fourth map.
Roaches pumped out to counter the glaives from his opponent and Hurricane’s attack and then harass fell on its feet. Roach burrow and movement were then researched, as Dark tunneled into Hurricane’s base to take apart Hurricane’s immortals. It was an ominous sign for our Protoss player, with him visibly upset in his chair at some of the mistakes he had made as he went down 3-1.
Map Five – New Repugnancy.
Another hatch block would lead into another proxy hatchery, Hurricane once again having to pull probes to cancel the hatchery in his natural. It was standard dealings from here, a robotics facility going for a warp prism into observer before Hurricane’s first immortal started. A third with twilight and forge started for Hurricane, with Dark moving into hydra-ling-bane. Our Gosu Crew player also did some fantastic counter moves, utilising overlord drops and zerglings to keep Hurricane busy. An actual mid game was on the cards for the first time in the series. An aggressive move out by Hurricane saw him destroy the fourth and 10 drones with a warp prism without losing everything, although several key units did fall. The game continued without fault though, Dark looking for any open area to engage into.
A change of pace from Dark came in the form of 19 lurkers, giving him an insane ability to engage where he pleased. Where he pleased was inbetween the third and fourth, camping it out with Hurricane simply unable to engage into the massive lurker count. Dark had caught his opponent with a small immortal count and without an all important oracle for detection. With his army falling bit by bit the gg came from Hurricane, Dark advancing to the final for the first time in his career to face Trap.
Dark 4-1 Hurricane.
Dark advances to the finals.
Game of the Day: Map One – King’s Cove.
GSL Code S continues with our final, Trap vs Dark on Saturday the 22nd of June at 17:00 KST.
All stats courtesy of @CodeSFacts on Twitter, Aligulac and Liquipedia. All pictures courtesy of AfreecaTV.