GSL 2019 Season 3 Round of 32 - Group E Battle Report
We've reached the half way point of the round of 32, with eight players already confirming their spot to the next stage. Eight on the flip side have already fallen, in four action packed groups. Here is a quick recap of them all;
Group A: Rogue showed a new lease of life to advance in solid fashion in first. His win against PartinG in the winners match was partly due to an overly aggressive Protoss, but Rogue looking good regardless. PartinG ended up putting his GSL life on the line with a risky all in which severly backfired, leaving SpeCial to advance in second.
Group B: Season two champion Dark started off where he finished with a quick dismantaling of both Bomber and RagnaroK to advance in first. It proved to be two zergs from two as RagnaroK condemned sOs to a second round of 32 exit in a row.
Group C: Canadian fan favourite Scarlett couldn't produce a map win in group C with the Newbee zerg crashing out without a map taken. Last season's semi-finalist Hurricane was also a casualty, losing out to the two advanced players, Stats and Cure.
Group D: It was power overwhelming in group D as both herO and Zest showed form to advance, knocking out IEM champion soO. In several tight series it seemed soO made some questionable choices and will now focus his efforts on Super Tournament and ASUS ROG.
As the aformentioned picture states, today in group E we have Maru, Super, Impact and TY.
On paper this group really has two clear favourites. One of those favourites is four-time GSL champion Maru. There's not much to say about Maru that hasn't been said already. Despite a super early exit in the round of 32 last season, Maru is still insanely strong with his championship in season one securing his spot in the end of year Blizzcon. Despite that a 3rd place at WESG is his strongest finish, but it's hard to imagine a world where he doesn't get out tonight.
He plays returning Protoss player Super in the first match of the day, with Super being another returnee, not featuring since 2017. I sadly don't see him even getting a map tonight, considering the strength of the competition. With Bomber and Dream falling 0-4, even winning a map tonight would be a super performance in my eyes.
The other clear favourite in this group is Terran player turned GSL commentator (but still a player) TY. Another victim of the season of upsets last season, TY finished bottom of a round of 32 group featuring RagnaroK, SpeCial and sOs. Whilst no game is easy in the GSL, that group is consideringly scarier than tonights for TY. An initial test against Impact will be the telling game of the group in my eyes, as if Impact can show some deadly ZvT then maybe all will be unravelled.
Impact has been a player on the rise, consistently reaching the round of 16 for the three consecutive seasons in the GSL. He's looked scary, bringing out some Dark style aggression to force himself on his opponents. Despite his consistency, I hope he has been grinding ZvT like a mad man. Aligulac shows Impact is 30-21 in matches against Terran this year but his recent form has me worried, losing to Cure, Dream and twice to INnoVation since mid June. Hopefully he shows good games tonight.
TY's TvT prowess has me predicting him to finish first, while Maru while comfortably finish in second. Raiders roll out.
Maru vs Super – TvP.
It was David vs Goliath for our first match here, with Maru facing the unfancied Super on Thunderbird. A stargate by Super met an early cyclone for Maru. It was a boring first five minutes in honesty, both player macroing up with Maru with his third command centre. Phoenix came out to easily deflect a banshee, with Maru moving into mech in Terran land. Our stale game continued with both players very eager to sit back and mass up. With five tanks being produced at a time Maru suddenly leaped to a 50 supply advantage over Super. A push out by Maru was extremely scary and it ended the game in a flash, Maru barely losing 10 supply in the end for an easy win in game one.
A hellion opener by Maru changed things up in the second game, changing from his cyclone opener in the first. Super kept with his oracle play but kept them at home, Maru only managing to kill four probes at the cost of four hellions. It was a great defense by Super as he faced his next test in a cloaked banshee. That only killed three probes however, with stimpack signaling bio play. It was another passive encounter by both players, Super content to play a longer game despite his destruction last game. A push on nine minutes by Maru threatened the first action of the game. Super held well though, jumping on the tanks and having the colossi shred the bio. Maru was ready with the next step of the game though, fourth landed, liberator range on the way. Super pushed on max though, pulling the trigger and jumping on Maru. With a Patience-esque blink Super crushed the fight, forcing Maru back cowering into his natural. Killing two bases Maru was shocked, gg coming out to see Super surprisingly take a map against the four time champion.
King’s Cove was our final battleground, another map for this now fascinating series. A twilight saw a change for Super, with Maru also changing things up with a mine drop. Seven probes was a great return without even losing a mine. With the medivac still present as well as a roaming raven, Maru was keeping Super pinned, pushing out at the seven minute mark to try and make a mark. The third was destroyed and with that sweeping move Maru had control. Our Terran continued to find another nine probes, almost playing with Super at this point with the win almost an inevitability. GG came soon after, Maru showing his dominance to advance to the winners match, as expected.
Maru 2-1 Super.
Impact vs TY – ZvT.
The aggressive Impact met TY in this second match, with Acropolis our opening battleground. A command centre first indicated economy was on the mind for our Terran. If he was confident it was for good reason, TY holding an 11-2 record over Impact in LOTV. A third command centre off only two army supply saw TY play ultra defensive and safe. Battlecruisers were the follow, TY playing a massively greedy build in this opener, somehow staying safe against the typically aggressive Impact. TY moved into a timing from here, a massive hell bat push coupled with a battlecruiser in the main. The attack saw 13 drones die, Impact swinging in with a massive counter to kill 13 scv’s of his own. It was a fascinating contest from here, mutalisks being made as Impact continued to attack into TY, trying to find damage wherever he could. With 82 drones at home Impact had complete momentum, killing off another 18 scv’s, punishing TY whenever he moved out with his battlecruisers.
TY was stuck on 50 workers and three bases, Impact sitting on five bases and in apparent control. TY pushed though, moving into an Impact who had switched off mutalisks into hydralisks. The thors reigned supreme on the push though, TY crushing through a base and a lot of army of Impact. The game was on a knife edge with both players wounded. A counter from Impact failed to kill TY, the game stabilising for a couple of minutes before Impact jumped on the aggression again. It proved to be an over extension though, walking into a massive siege line to see him throw any advantage he had. As the game hit 20 minutes TY pushed out and with a supply lead, tanks set up to see TY take an eventual win on Acropolis.
We all paused to take a breath after that epic, New Repugnancy leading us into normal openers from both sides. A reaper floated around being annoying, before TY’s four hellions dotted around the map. Nine drones found themselves on a Sunday BBQ, TY connecting well to take a worker advantage. Banshees then kept producing, TY moving into hyperflight rotors and more banshees, mech on the way in our second game. TY kept the aggression and momentum up, banshees, hellbats shoved in the face of Impact as he fell only further and further behind. Twenty four drones died in an attack, Impact destroyed and pulled apart in this second game. All as expected in the first two games.
Impact 0-2 TY.
Maru vs TY – TvT
It could easily be a final, but here we are, Maru vs TY in the round of 32 of the GSL. A double proxy barracks by Maru saw our Jin Air player assume the role of aggressor, reapers soon to be in the base of TY. Maru’s control initially saw him take the advantage, TY’s first reaper moving across the map to harass the base of Maru. Equal scv’s went down to see TY assume an advantage, on higher tech than his opponent. Maru looked to have broken the defensive line of TY, but a banshee proved to be the saving grace for our Splyce player. Maru was nearly 10 scv’s up at this point, constantly prodding with reapers to pick off bruised workers. From here TY was in the pits, an all or nothing push seeing TY tap out, Maru taking the initial map.
We went into Thunderbird for our second map, with no proxies on the map. A passive opening four minutes lead into TY killing off seven workers with a hellion run by, with Maru instantly running across the map to counter, using concussive marauders as well as hellions. Maru went for an early third, TY now countering toward Maru. Our Jin Air player had a higher raven count by TY had the tanks, our Splyce player out positioning Maru to see him shell through the defence. With autoturrets everywhere TY emerged the victor, taking the reply map in an action packed game.
Maru returned to his proxy roots, another two barracks reaper play on the cards. An scv scout saw TY make two bunkers, Maru pulling out to see a factory at home, one barracks floating to spot. With naturals under construction by both the game slowed from here, Maru’s slight prod meeting a mine, forcing him to retreat. Another quick third command centre by Maru saw it matched a minute later by TY, Maru constantly forcing sieges to prevent sieges. It was TY’s raven play that stole the show though, two ravens throwing down autoturrets to snipe the stimpack of Maru.
From here TY held the siege, prodding at Maru whilst expanding at home. The siege ended minutes later with TY up a base on his opponent, both players remarkably equal despite all the action. TY stayed aggressive thoughm keeping Maru back whilst moving into a mass of vikings and liberators. Ravens were added for Maru, with the possibility of a long game very much on the cards. Fights kept happening everywhere though, Maru finding a massive flank to take a 20 army advantage, plus an all-important lead in the air.
This epic TvT continued into the 18th minute, Maru continuing the dominance in the air to shove TY back at every opportunity. It’s a rarity we see TvT like this in the GSL, both players halving the map with bases. For any TvT connoisseurs, this game is a must watch. A couple of great trades by TY saw Maru’s army and bank weakened, both players moving up into battlecruiser counts. It all cultimated in a crazy fight, battlecruisers teleporting everywhere to avoid yamato cannons. TY came out ahead though, a massive supply advantage for our Splyce leading him to push again a minute later. It was the final blow, TY moving on and advancing in a crazy series.
Maru 1-2 TY.
TY advances to the round of 16.
Super vs Impact – PvZ
Game one saw a hatchery block by Impact, with four probes and a zealot dealing with the building hatchery. Impact put another hatchery down but two adepts soared across the map. Without zergling speed Impact showed good defence to deny any damage, with upper moving into glaives and then a third. A zergling run by sprinted past a completely open wall, killing six probes as a spire follow up was on the way for Impact. It was scouted early by Super, who from here went into a double stargate to combine with his double robotics facilities. Phoenixes and cannons were added as Impact went into a massive roach follow up. With only one immortal Super was swarmed, Impact smashing through to take a game one.
A pool first by Impact indicated some aggression, a 14 pool with gas leading into a massive swarm. Super had gone straight into a nexus before core, leading to some nervy moments as the zerglings hit the buildings. Some beautiful pylons stopped the assault though, Our Protoss finishing warp gate and assuming a worker lead over his opponent. Immortals and gateways came out for Super as he moved into his big two base aggression. The immortals hit hard but some great micro by Super saw him take an advantage. Impact’s ravengers tried to hold strong but were eventually moved on, Impact falling to send us once again into a final game. Super performing the best out of all our returning players so far.
Cyber Forest is a rarity these days, with Super once again going for a robotics facility opener. It was to be another big immortal push by Super. Two immortals were loaded into a prism but it was all a fake, a third coming down for our Protoss player. A spire came once again, Impact pulling back the prism whilst dropping in the back of the main. The push in didn’t destroy any key units but it did kill probes, Impact ferociously applying the assault. Eventually it was too much for Super, the probe losses proving vital as he was overwhelmed by roaches.
Super 1-2 Impact.
Impact vs Maru – ZvT.
Our first flashpoint of this game was a denial of the third base by Maru, killing the drone and building a bunker for extra annoyance. Another drone fell, Impact constantly floating around 400 minerals after his base was almost delayed by a whole minute. The game continued standard from here, Maru into bio and stim and third, Impact into a spire, more drones and upgrades. Drops from Maru turned from a combined assault, 1-1 and combat shields turned into a big fight by Impact’s fourth. Despite a questionable trade Impact regained control, the mutalisks prompting drilling claws and thors from Maru. A nydus was the next play for Impact as the team LP player looked to attack from multiple angles, attacking the front and the main. Maru seemed to hold well though, losing 13 scv’s but getting amazing trades. Maru pushed from here, Impact holding but the tale of the supply was worrying for our Zerg. Nydus’ tried to keep Maru back but it didn’t hold him for long, Maru pushing with the final armada. It was too much, game one going to an impressive Maru.
With a very convincing victory in the previous map, Maru surely just had to do the same to advance onwards today. Standard openings saw hellions from Maru, with Impact moving into an early roach warren of only 34 drones. Roaches were pumped out, with Maru moving into marauder and concussive shells on the back of it. With Maru on hellion tech the roaches were a massive problem, our Terran evacuating the natural to the high ground. Even that wouldn’t save him however, Impact biling into the main to crush through the scv’s and take the equalizing map.
The pressure was on at this point, Maru one game away from elimination in the round of 32 for perhaps the second time in three seasons. A fusion core indicated battlecruisers, yamato indicating continued battlecruiser production. Hellions combined with a warping in battlecruiser, trading exceptionally well to see queens and a bunch of ling -bane die. Mutalisks came out from Impact, with our Terran moving into mech on the side to see a near mirror of the TY game earlier. Twelve scv’s died to a baneling run by but this game continued fairly passively, Impact sitting on a roach-corruptor composition. An attack from Impact at this point hit a wall, running into a Maru who once again traded phenomenally.
Maru pushed back onto creep, sitting with a massive tank count. With tanks shelling away Impact couldn’t find a great trade, eventually clearing and going on the counter. Impact pressed but couldn’t find a fight, our Terran player building up a mass before going on the push. Impact bringing out the gg without even taking a fight against the army in a somewhat anti-climatic end. Maru advances on!
Impact 1-2 Maru.
Maru advances to the round of 16.
TY and Maru advance to the round of 16.
Series of the Day: TY vs Maru.
Game of the Day: TY vs Impact Game One.
GSL Code S continues on Saturday July 13 at 13:00 KST with Creator, INnoVation, Classic and KeeN.
All pictures courtesy of AfreecaTV and Liquipedia, all stats courtesy of Aligulac.