GSL Round of 32, Group H Battle Report

Published on 02/20/2019 06:26 PST by Saxon "Saxy" Durrant

It’s the last hurrah of the round of 32 today, as we await to see who the 15th and 16th qualified players will be. With an impressive line up consisting of three players who qualified for IEM Katowice, can the games match up to the stature?

In today’s group we have a representative of every race, aLive for terran, Rogue for zerg and Zest and Patience for protoss.

Glancing over the group, it’s impossible not to have the name of Rogue stick out. The 2017 world champion had another impressive year in 2018, winning IEM Katowice and finishing as a semi finalist at Blizzcon. He looks to keep his momentum going this year, with the Jin Air player comfortably qualifying for this years IEM. Surely a favourite to advance. Rogue is joined on the favourite pedestal by Zest, with the protoss player showing impressive results last year, as well as a great and busy pre season. A finalist, semi-finalist and quarter-finalist in last years GSL’s means you can always expect a deep run from the protoss player and this season will be no different. An exceptionally busy pre season saw Zest play over 130 official series, coming out with a record of 90-41. In amongst those series, a great run to see him qualify for IEM.

The other play to qualify for IEM in this group is the dark horse Patience. Coming out of seemingly nowhere to beat Dear, Trap, SpeCial and SoO, Patience qualified for IEM in flying colours. Apart from that, much is an unknown. Compared to Zest’s 130 series, Patience has only played 31. He also had a very quiet 2018, with one round of 16 finish in the GSL and an elimination in the group stages at IEM. Rounding off the group we have the ever present aLive. The terran player has been a constant in the scene since Starcraft II’s inception but has struggled for big success recently. A semi finalist at IEM in 2017 his last big achievement. There is reason to believe he will come out second best against Rogue, with two series loses to the Jin Air player since the 25th of January, 2-0 and 3-1 respectively.

Zest vs Patience – PvP

Our first match of the day saw a PvP on Year Zero, with intrigue to see if any wacky styles would come out of Patience. The wacky play was to come from Zest however, as we saw a proxy robotics with three gates. An early expansion from Patience saw him come under serious pressure, but an elevator by Zest in the main was smartly defended. Zest would then move into a single disruptor but an ambitious move out from Patience saw him take a bad fight, Zest pushing into the natural with the disruptor and his army to take the first map.

Map two saw both players head into a twilight council, followed by expansions from both sides. With mirror builds, Patience took the gamble of dark templar, cancelling his blink and hoping to catch Zest without detection. Despite 10 probes dying to Zest’s aggression, without a robotics facility or any cannons, dark templar tied up the series 1-1.

Nervous sipping as Zest lost game two to Patience. Credit - AfreecaTV

Game three saw Patience take the role of the aggressor, with a three gate robo running up against a stargate for Zest. Before the attack could even commence Patience slipped by two adepts, killing a massive 10 probes. Zest knew he was dead, not even attempting a fight and conceded the series to the dark horse Patience.

Zest 1-2 Patience

aLive vs Rogue – TvZ

Doing the complete opposite to the proxy barracks play, aLive opened with an ultra economic command centre into a third, only off one reaper. In a very greedy play two more barracks were followed up by two engineering bays, Rogue oblivious to the greed occurring from his opponent. A passive game saw a massive push by aLive on 2-2, taking a good fight to kill the fourth of Rogue. With aLive pushing ahead, a decisive fight by Rogue saw the attack cleaned up with both players sitting on three bases. With aLive pushing again on 3-3, a massive zergling counterattack saw a lot of damage, forcing aLive home. Despite the lack of bases for Rogue, he made some great engages, placing aLive on the back foot with a massive mutalisk flock always threatening danger. aLive tried to push again but an incredible number of banelings saw Rogue walk through the pure bio army of aLive, seeing Rogue take an impressive victory.

Ah ah ah ah, not staying aLive, not staying aLive. Credit - AfreecaTV

Game two saw aLive take a different approach with a three barracks proxy. It was sniffed out by Rogue, who went pool first as well as scouting the proxy. Needless to say no damage was done. Four spines went down for Rogue, as aLive pulled the boys into a massacre, handing Rogue a quick 2-0.

aLive 0-2 Rogue

Rogue vs Patience – ZvP

Our winners match started off with a bang, a proxy hatchery by Rogue forcing Patience’s hand. Whilst the hatchery was cancelled, a quick roach warren by Rogue indicated more aggression to come from the Jin Air player. Zerglings baited out the only forcefield from Patience, with the zerglings and roaches rolling in unopposed to take another quick map.

With the contain in place, surely the cannon cancel was a mistake. Credit - AfreecaTV.

Game two promised to be as wacky as the first, as a forge first into nexus saw a cannon attempt at the would be natural. In what must have been a mistake, a pylon wall was set up around a cannon, but the cannon cancelled just before completion. Rogue went into aggression, looking for a baneling bust to take advantage of Patience’s opening. There was no cannon set up and Rogue once again cruised through, advancing to the round of 16 in relatively easy fashion.

Rogue 2-0 Patience

aLive vs Zest - TvP

Normal openings saw Zest take an aggressive route with his first adept and stalker, disrupting aLive’s build but not dealing massive damage. A widow mine drop by aLive saw only two probes die as Zest pushed into a lead, taking the momentum in the match. aLive looked to find a hole in Zest’s defence, a widow mine drop killing seven probes as he moved onto a third and into liberators and ghosts. Both armies passed each other on the map, with the match heading into a base trade. Both sides exchanged blows but Zest came out ahead with two mining bases compared to aLive’s one. The boys were pulled but some amazing storms saw Zest mop up the army and take the lead.

Denied stimpack upgrade equals Terran sadness. Credit - AfreecaTV

Map two saw standard openings again, with Zest going into oracles. With aLive moving out with a hellion and a reaper, three adepts from Zest did serious damage, killing four scv’s and many marines. From there the game stabilized, aLive trying to disrupt Zest but not finding any avenues. Zest however found another major blow, blinking in and sniping stimpack to set aLive in a worrying situation. Another move by Zest saw aLive’s third sniped as Zest pulled aLive apart. It seemed only a matter of time until Zest would push in and win. A hail mary push by aLive took a great fight but it wasn’t enough as Zest reinforced and took the series with relative ease.

aLive 0-2 Zest

Zest vs Patience PvP

In our final match we saw the rematch of the first match with a PvP. These two put on an entertaining series before but game one was advantage Zest after two adepts were not blocked out, leaving Patience six workers down. Zest positioned to attack and capitalized on then small moment when Patience left his shield batteries. With both sides still only on gateway units, Zest shaved off units until he could pounce, killing the natural of Patience. With Zest ahead in every way, Patience tapped out to leave him one more loss from elimination.

In the game where Patience had to lay it all on the line, Patience went for a proxy oracle play. Both sides went heavy into adepts, with Patience killing four probes with the lack of anti air from Zest. Another oracle run by killed four probes but neither player could gain a big advantage on the other and a macro game ensued. A move out from Patience in the 11th minute saw him trying to engage into Zest but he retreated, not willing to take a fight into such a concave. Zest then went to push into Patience. In typical PvP fashion, even armies saw Patience with five immortals compared to Zest’s one and in no surprise,  Patience tied up the series 1-1.

The classic PvP move, out maneouver army, forcefield ramp. Credit - AfreecaTV

Our deciding map saw Zest take the aggression with a three gate, compared to Patience, who opened up blink. A warp in of 2 adepts threatened to derail Zest’s economy but could not find more than two probes. Zest tried to push in, but blink finished and Patience took a great fight, utilizing blink to crush Zest’s army and barreling forward to Zest’s base. He was met by one and then two immortals and the attack looked over. Patience wasn’t to be denied though and in an old school move he blinked up to the main and force fielded Zest’s ramp repeatedly. Given free reign in Zest’s base Patience went wild, reducing Zest’s probe count to just seven and eliminating the 2018 GSL finalist.

Zest 1-2 Patience

Qualified Players: Rogue, Patience

Series of the Day: Zest vs Patience initial series.

Game of the Day: aLive vs Rogue game one.

Players in the round of 16:

Protoss: Dear, Classic, Trap, sOs, herO, Patience
Zerg: Dark, SoO, Impact, Rogue
Terran: GuMiho, Cure, Bunny, Maru, INnoVation, TY

GSL Code S has group nominations tomorrow, with the round of 16 beginning on the 8th of March.

All stats courtesy of Aligulac and all pictures with thanks to AfreecaTV.