GSL 2019 Season 3 Round of 32 - Group H Battle Report
Two spots remain, with four players left to try and grab them! The round of 32 in the GSL reaches its conclusion today with us already taken aback by some of the games in the previous seven groups. Players like INnoVation, GuMiho, soO, sOs and Hurricane have already left us, whilst players like KeeN, Cure, FanTaSY and Zest showed great games to advance in their groups.
Our current representation leaves us at five Protoss, six Terrans and three Zergs but all races have a representative in our final group. Picking up the pieces of the round of 32 is Trap, Patience, Solar and returning legend Taeja.
We'll start with Trap, with our Jin Air Protoss currently in the form of his life over 2019. Two back to back semi-final appearences through some solid and scary play has washed away any chances of a fluke, with Trap leading the illustrious Jin Air team last season. Automatic seeding meant Trap didn't have to play qualifiers and he finds himself with a supposedly one sided first match against Taeja. A 70% match record for 2019 sees Trap 67% in maps against Terran to make things even more omnious for our returning player.
Liquid Taeja returns this season, partnering with Maru as the only two players in this current 32 that competed in the very first GSL in 2010. His return today, whilst exciting, should not overhype anyone to the current standard of the seasoned GSL players. As we've seen a gap still exists, with Super our only returnee to even take a map in their group. I expect much the same for Taeja, with very little in terms of recorded matches. He qualified for ASUS beating Snute and Hellraiser and made it to the GSL by beating DRG but apart from that, everything is an unknown.
All Zerg hearts will be desperatly cheering Solar today, if only to avoid even less Zerg players in the round of 16. Currently Rogue, Dark and RagnaroK are the only swarmers advanced, with all others falling at the first hurdle. Despite this fact, I don't belive Solar is favourite to make it out today. Our TSG player has had an extremely busy 2019 but failed to progress out of the round of 32, losing both times in the final match to Bunny and then Hurricane. I fear today could also yield the same fate, with my prediction seeing him meeting Patience in that final match. Solar's ZvP seems to be in good shape though, recently beating Hellraiser, ShoWTimE and Stats in July so far.
He's crazy, he's unpredictable, he's Patience! After a forgettable 2018, our Protoss player has come into 2019 with some serious form, reaching the round of 16 in both previous seasons this year. He also shocked the world in season two, beating Maru to send him home in the round of 32 of all places. Despite his form though, Patience is always vulnerable to bad days, with his playstyle often backfiring or hitting a hard wall. His first series will be insightful to say the least, matched with dangerous Zerg Solar.
I predict Trap to advance in first, whilst Solar will make the round of 16 for the first time this year!
Trap vs Taeja – PvT
With the crowd behind Taeja in this first game, we headed to Cyber Forest for our opening map. A reactor barracks with no reaper, with another barracks proxied across the map signaled some surprise aggression from our Terran. With the casters confused to this build, a tech lab with concussive produced a marauder to surprise the stalkers on the map and see them slowed enough for the marines to pounce. With this strange push Taeja killed off two stalkers, moving into the natural with Trap seemingly on the ropes. Probes were pulled as seven were gunned down, an immortal eventually coming on to see Trap hold, before the Jin Air player moved into a counter push. Taeja assumed a defensive position in his main as Trap’s stalkers blinked in, Taeja holding with three command centres but with an extremely late stimpack. It seemed like he just had to hold against the prism but he was picked apart over the next couple of minutes, with zealots in the main and stalkers at the third spreading Taeja too thin. GG called as we were treated to an interesting game one.
GSL Cobalt was Taeja’s map pick, with both players spawning cross spawns for a massive rush distance. Taeja went for a quick third command centre to exploit this, Trap poking around with adepts but unable to scout the third. It was passive from here with both players powering up, eight minutes in with three bases for both sides, upgrades fairly even and an additional two factories for siege tank production. Bunkers were added as Taeja looked to hold and move into the super late game. A move out from our Terran threatened Trap, but a warp prism proved annoying, warping in zealots back in Taeja’s base to deal a bunch of damage and pull the terran army home. Trap had been given enough time to fully power up from here, with triple robotics as well as tempest against the bio / mech hybrid force of the Team Liquid player. A Taeja move out was once again batted aside with a three way flank, supply falling dramatically for Taeja before gg was called. No upset in this first game.
Trap 2-0 Taeja.
Solar vs Patience – ZvP
Fireworks boys and girls, Solar going for the immediate proxy hatchery in Patience’s natural. Not pulling probes, Patience let the hatchery finish as he went for a two gate into stargate response, delaying Solar’s natural. Four adepts forced a bunch of zerglings and those adepts, combined with oracles killed off eight drones, moving Patience into a 10 worker lead. Patience kept forcing zerglings out of his opponent though, controlling the larva as much as possible as we moved into the mid-game with Patience seemingly heavily in control. A massive technical break followed here, with a 10 minute break for both players due to lag issues. When we returned a third, charge and immortals was on the way for Patience, but suddenly Patience did not seem to be in the dominant position as he once was. Swarm hosts for our zerg player complimented some insane zergling harass but once again we were interrupted by another technical break. Another 10 minutes was sat waiting to resume, but once they did the roach - swarm host composition had massively inflated Solar’s supply until max. The push out was halted by a prism but Patience made the mistake of moving out on the map. His army was surrounded and despite a recall, he lost all of his sentries. The remaining army was then smashed by the massive roach count, sending us into game two.
A pylon and cybernetics core block delayed the third base of Solar for a while, Patience walling at the front in greedy fashion. Greedy was exploited on Thunderbird, Solar drilling through the side wall with firstly two drones, then a swell of zerglings. Patience was in shambles, probes killed and the cybernetics core picked off, Solar not committing to the kill move, instead powering on drones to send him into a massive advantage. With 70 drones by seven minutes, a nydus and swarm hosts were added again, with patience moving into two more stargates and a fleet beacon. It was a strange transition by Patience, who then moved into mass void rays. It was a desperate move but it wouldn’t pay off, roaches already flooding his base. Patience’s crazy play not working out this time.
Solar 2-0 Patience.
Trap vs Solar – PvZ
King’s Cove saw us with standard openers in this winners match, a stargate with phoenix before oracle. Three oracles from Trap indicated some aggression, seven drones falling without a single oracle falling. A scout on the infestation pit of Solar saw Trap push hard into Solar, trading efficiently before retreating behind storm and triple robotics. It allowed Solar to then press his advantage and establish nydus worms in key locations around the base of Trap. Continually shifting and using locust waves Solar tried to dislodge the Jin Air player but at every turn Trap seemed to be defending well but still constantly under pressure. All it took was one slip up to end the game however, Trap’s massive immortal count backed into a corner and destroyed. With a 70 supply deficit at this point Trap decided the end was nigh, gg coming to give Solar the advantage in this best of three.
Another low ground wall from Trap on Thunderbird showed Trap wasn’t scared, having just seen Patience die with a similar wall only 10 minutes ago. He wouldn’t fall to this aggression again, with a patrolling probe at the mineral patches, he knew he was safe. Five more gateways signalled aggression, with Trap moving forward with a single immortal and a warp prism. There was no third in sight in this all or nothing play by Trap, forcefields flying down to try and shave any units. It was a massive fight which lasted several minutes, the game hanging on a knife’s edge as both sides were locked in this battle. Back and forth the kiting went, Trap continuously avoiding biles but now out of forcefields. Solar had held with 10 more workers for longer, eventually having just enough to push back the Protoss army. From there the biles destroyed the warp prism and Solar was through to the round of 16, without dropping a single map.
Trap 0-2 Solar.
Solar advances to the round of 16.
Patience vs Taeja – PvT
Patience upped the ante in this losers match, moving into a proxy gateway in this first map. This build is always susceptible to kill, Taeja scouting no natural of his opponent before instantly cancelling his natural. It was a safe reaction, both players moving into naturals, with Patience moving into a stargate. It lead into a big push by Patience but Taeja beat it back, moving into some cloaked banshee pressure of his own. With revalate and phoenix two banshees could only kill three workers, our mid game fast approaching with upgrades on the way from both sides. Taeja went to push again, cancelling a fourth and sitting below on the low ground, liberator range and ghosts on the way as we progressed further into this even game. From here TaeJa strangely let a triple drop die and letting his bio eat some big storms in some scary moments, but sat safe behind his mass of liberators, before moving out with his force. Aggressive placing on his liberators saw him get engaged on though, TaeJa losing in the all important fight with five or six libertors caught unsieged. From here Patience took a big supply lead and the initiative, pushing forwards into TaeJa. It took two attempts but Patience eventually barrelled through, giving him the initial map in this elimination match.
Normal openings were bestowed upon us on King’s Cove. A lag spike seemingly saw TaeJa’s reaper surrounded by probes, with an oracle the follow up for Patience. The first oracle flew straight into a mine however, with two adepts also killed by a TaeJa who was rapidly gaining momentum. The second oracle killed scv’s as TaeJa pushed, both players showing hyper aggression but at the end of everything was even stevens. A big attack by TaeJa initiated another exchange of damage, with TaeJa walking into a forcefield trap to see Patience exchange well against the trapped bio force. It triggered our Protoss to move across the map, looking to use blunt trauma without any splash damage to force his way through TaeJa. Patience wedged himself between the third and the fight came fast, TaeJa barely surviving but trading with the Protoss army. In this very even game storm gave Patience more power, with zealots moving around for Patience. It seemed even but TaeJa went all in, pulling a mass amount of workers and moving into the middle of the map. The workers were stormed and the Terran army destroyed, Liquid TaeJa’s return to the GSL sadly ending in an 0-4 loss.
Patience 2-0 TaeJa.
Trap vs Patience – PvP.
It would be surely a massive upset if Trap left us today but Patience can never be counted out in a PvP. Our first map saw dueling proxy pylons, Trap with a stargate, Patience into a robotics. The stargate was scouted but two adepts from Trap clapped down seven probes. It forced Patience into a defensive stance, with his immortal killing the pylon before heading across the map. Trap had panicked though, four shield batteries plus a cancelled natural. Patience sat at the bottom of Trap’s ramp and killed two gateways, finding damage as he moved into a stargate behind. Despite the probe loss in the early game Patience had clawed his way into it, even a void ray being produced in a standard Patience move. Trap was down a base, forced into an attack. From the off it looked Trap favoured, our Jin Air player up three immortals in the fight, but attacking up a ramp Patience held strong, even not fighting with two immortals still stuck in the warp prism. With a bonkers hold Patience took a game off Trap, despite a big early probe loss.
With our cannon friendly New Repugnancy as our first map, I was disappointed to see opening gateways by both sides. A proxy robotics was scouted straight away, a twilight leading into blink, with a stargate by Trap. Despite the aerial advantage Trap couldn’t find any probe damage, Patience posturing to attack as soon as blink finished. With another lag issue forcing a pause just as Patience sniped off an immortal, we would return to this game in an intense moment. We returned and Patience killed two pylons but lost eight workers back at home. Trap pushed hard with glaive adepts and three immortal, with Patience on pure blink stalker. Stalkers aren’t great against immortals and we’d see our first third game in the final series of the day.
Two opposing proxy pylons yet again graced us, as the possibility of another crazy game was on the cards. Patience went for the stargate, Trap for the robotics. Nothing was scouted until an immortal was on the field, Patience’s oracle able to depower the proxy pylon. Patience had the air advantage from here but an aggressive dive saw five probes die for two oracles. With a rising phoenix count Trap went into a push, backed by the power of a single immortal and three phoenix. His natural was cancelled and Patience went for the classic dark templar move. Seven probes died before an observer could get on the field, Patience losing nothing to once again show his skill in this match up. Both players looked to be aggressive but Patience made a misstep that cost him the game. Advancing too far on the field he walked into Trap’s army, losing too much and seeing Trap push on, into the natural and then into the main, Trap surviving to advance in second.
Trap 2-1 Patience.
Trap advances to the round of 16.
Solar and Trap advance to the round of 16.
Series of the Day: Trap vs Patience.
Game of the Day: Trap vs Solar Game Two.
GSL Code S continues with the round of 16 in a couple of weeks.
All pictures courtesy of AfreecaTV and Liquipedia, all stats courtesy of Aligulac.