GSL Final Battle Report - Maru vs Classic

Published on 04/14/2019 03:53 PDT by Saxon "Saxy" Durrant

Since the first group aired on the 2nd of February, we have seen 32 of the best Starcraft players whiteled down to just two. Over a gruelling two months we've seen hopes crushed, expectations thrown out the window as well as upsets, displays of pure dominance and gritty underdog stories realised.

It's led to this, with one person today taking home $27,000 USD, a GSL trophy as well as the all important WCS Global Finals seed.

Protoss vs terran, Classic vs Maru. Both previous winners, Classic will chase his second title, while Maru aims for the exceptional feat of four GSL titles on the bounce. Lets hope this final is a treat and a spectacle.

It does however threaten to be one sided, all due to this player you might have heard of in the past year or two, Maru. The titan from Jin Air Green Wings is once again proving his dominance in Korea and making us all forget about a sub par IEM showing. Featuring a 73% win rate in TvP from December, Maru is scary in the match up and proved it in the quarter and semi finals, pushing aside Dear 3-1 and demolishing Trap 4-0. It was one of the most one sided semi finals in recent history and has most people thinking that yet another protoss player will fall to give Maru his 4th GSL title.

In his way stands Classic, who has perhaps his last oppourtunity to grab fame and glory before military service comes knocking. It would be a heartwarming end to an amazing career but Maru will be his biggest test. Unlike Maru who breezed through the prior rounds, Classic faced a hard slog, just overcoming Rogue 3-2 and inching past Dark 4-3. Those series were nail biting, but showed the amount of preparation Classic can bring to a series. His PvT is also a bit of an unknown, having played no terran players in the GSL this season. In fact his last recorded PvT was against FanTaSy in the GSL qualifiers over three months ago (excluding best of 1's). 

Whoever wins today will be the worthy winner, my money (like most people) is on Maru winning, but my heart is with Classic. 

And fight! Credit - AfreecaTV

Maru vs Classic - TvP

Map One - New Repugnancy.

Classic came out firing in game one on New Repugnancy, a proxy gateway warping in the middle of the map. Looking to pile on some aggression, Maru kept the command centre on the low ground and tried to defend from there. Stalkers came out but Classic transitioned quickly, a nexus and twilight council firing up to send us further into the game. Classic moved into a blink timing from there, pouncing on a tank before positioning behind the mineral line. A horrible mis-click would see several stalkers die but Classic kept the pressure up on Maru. Our Jin Air player held strong in the face of this pressure however, gaining more and more of an advantage on Classic. Maru’s ball of units built up and he pushed out at the eight minute mark, moving into Classic’s third with widow mines, a tank and a heavy marauder count. Classic’s army was too stalker heavy and all it took was a couple of perfect widow mine hits for Maru to take the advantage, units rallying in across the map to eventually push over Classic and take the initial map. Ominous signs for Classic.

A decisive push by Maru gave him a great position to take the first map.
Credit - AfreecaTV

Map Two – Port Alexander.

Despite the minimal damage it did in game one, Classic would once again go for another proxy gateway on Port Alexsander. No bunker was made this time and Classic punished him, nine scv’s dying to a few stalkers and adepts. Classic opted into a stargate back at home, moving into phoenix. The phoenix poked around, another eight scv’s dying to their lift and zap combo. Maru was pinned, with the Jin Air player having to invest into two more cyclones before starting tanks and a third command centre. The game stayed at this state for the next few minutes, Classic unable to push into Maru and both sides powering up. The protoss player looked to push into Maru at the 10 minute mark, flirting with the idea to push into the heavily fortified position. He would commit eventually, Maru beating back the first wave, but a swift regroup saw Classic push in again. This time Classic would be able to push through, catching three tanks unsieged and seeing the zealots swarm over the bio. A swift couple of storms on scv’s saw 21 die in an instant, Maru tapping out to tie up the series 1-1. Ominous signs no more for Classic.

Map Three – Kairos Junction.

We would see a deviation in game three, Classic opting for a cybernetics core before nexus rather than the proxy gateway we saw in games one and two. Stalkers and adepts barreled toward the natural of Maru, with an adept and stalker swapping their lives out for a few marines and a couple of scv’s. Classic would move into phoenix once again but he only made three before swapping into an immortal and robotics bay. Colossus would be the name of the game for Classic, as Maru looked to make a massive two base push with no third command centre. Classic was slightly out of position and would be punished for it, tanks setting up in a vital position between the second and third. Classic was forced to engage but his army was obliterated. Interference matrix were worth their weight in gold as Maru stomped through the army of Classic, taking the lead once again.

Maru pounced on a Classic who didn't have map vision and wedged himself in a great spot.
Credit - AfreecaTV

Map Four – Cyber Forest.

Classic would once again switch up his opening in game four, a cybernetics core and stargate being built before a nexus. We then saw a crazy turn of events, a fleet beacon followed into tempest. We would be seeing a tempest rush, supported by shield batteries outside the natural of Maru. Maru responded with cyclones and mag-field accelerators in an attempt to gun down the tempest count quickly. The siege began, a wall of batteries would continue to heal the tempests as Classic shot down any cyclones or marines that Maru could produce. Maru couldn’t find any momentum and was continuously chipped down, until all the valuable units of Terran were destroyed. All it took then was the tempests flanked by some gateway units to leave Maru on the brink of death. Workers were pulled off their lines but it wasn’t enough, Classic taking the map, leaving us at 2-2. The bop many people feared had been avoided, we were well into a classic finals series.

A crazy build by Classic in game four saw a tempest rush utilised. Beware ladder.
Credit - AfreecaTV

Map Five – King’s Cove.

Classic once again brought out the proxy gateway on King’s Cove, placing the gateway inches away from Maru’s main base. It wouldn’t be scouted however, with Classic once again looking to pressure Maru. A bunker would solidify Maru’s position, Classic unable to deal anymore damage. Phoenix were the follow up for our protoss player, once again sharking around looking for potential lifts. Maru would follow the path of economy rather than a two base push this game, throwing down a quick third base before Classic started his own. The game would normalize from here, both players macroing up and sitting defensively for a few minutes. An attempted storm drop would be the next point of action, but Maru was ready, only three workers dying. Fifth and fourth bases were made as both players continued into the late game. A quick counter by Maru provided a spark, killing off the third base with no recall available for Classic. The siege would continue from here though, with army composition moving into an air arms race. Nukes and battlecruisers would be the next step in the match, as both player entered the 17 minute mark with a mostly even bank. This was a carbon copy of Maru’s match against Dear on this map, with even the dark templar / chargelot run by’s being attempted by Classic. 

It was truly a crazy late game, with five battlecruisers being used as a probe harass squad, utilising their mobility and tactical jump to out position Classic. Several little moves had come together, Maru having the initiative and the bank to assume ascendency in the match up, with Classic on the ropes. There would be another solid punch by Maru, his huge battlecruiser count jumping on the tempests to obliterate them and send Maru 70 supply up. Classic tried to delay the inevitable with zealot and stalker run by’s but the push came eventually, Maru running through Classic’s bases unopposed to take the insane map and go on match point.

A split second decision saw the tempest count vanish under the guns of yamato.
Credit - AfreecaTV

Map Six – Year Zero.

After an exhausting game five we were straight back into the action, Maru on match point as he headed into Year Zero. Classic once again went for a cybernetics core before nexus in what has become standard for him this series. It would be Maru taking the risk intially, going into a quick third command centre. Year Zero often leads towards longer games, but Classic threw down the dark shrine, hoping for a quick victory with the cloaked assassins. No missile turrets went down but point blank scans would kill all three of the slow dripped dark templar, making the investment by Classic a failure. Unhappiness would turn to misery for Classic as a mine drop killed seven probes. Maru would move 15 supply ahead and be ahead in every angle. Maru would go for a 1-1 timing attack and although a gaggle of blink stalkers would kill 13 scv’s, Maru did not turn around however and seemed to be poised to take the match with the push. Classic would hold in an amazing fight however, keeping himself in the series. Maru would not relent however, dropping into the main and picking off the main nexus. He would then join forces with his reinforcing army and the army supply told the tale. Classic putting up a valiant fight but falling to Maru, the new four time consecutive GSL champion.

Classic's dark templar were scanned and killed outright by Maru.
Credit - AfreecaTV

Maru 4-2 Classic

Maru is your GSL Season One champion, earning his 4th and 4th consecutive title!

Game of the Series: Map Five - Kings Cove.

GSL continues with the GSL Super Tournament next Thursday the 19th of April.

All stats from Aligulac and CodeSFacts on Twitter, all pictures courtesy of AfreecaTV.