GSL Round of 8, Lower Bracket Battle Report

Published on 03/30/2019 08:53 PDT by Saxon "Saxy" Durrant

Two of our semi-finalists have been decided and two are yet to come as we head into the lower bracket of the GSL Code S quarter finals. We saw Dark smash through Bunny in convincing fashion, before Classic just edged out Rogue in a nail biting series to advance. If you'd like to read the full battle report on the upper bracket, that can be accessed here.

So we have a ZvP semi final locked in but today we have two TvP's to decide the other semi-final. In a match up plagued by balance complaints, it will be interesting how these matches turn out. First up we'll see last year's unbeatable Maru play against Dear, before we switch over and watch Trap face off against TY.

Maru vs Dear
It was going to be nearly impossible for Maru to repeat last years dominance and as such the Jin Air player has looked a lot more mortal in 2019. Scraping into the round of eight after a close series with Impact and being eliminated at the IEM group stages has put Maru a little on the backburner, as many wonder if his reign is over. He should not be underestimated though, recent wins against Neeb at WESG and herO in the round of 16 shows he's no slouch in TvP.

My eyes will be more on Dear in this round of eight clash however. The Newbee protoss player has shown an impressive 2019 so far, making it to the round of eight at IEM and cruising through his round of 16 group. He's also shown some innovative PvT play, backed up by wins against KeeN and Cure in the GSL, as well as FanTaSy, HeRoMaRinE, Bunny, TY and uThermal at IEM. Frankly, the man looks scary in the match up and I would place him as favourite going into todays match.

Trap vs TY
It's Trap's first GSL round of eight appearence in years, so all eyes will be on the Jin Air player going into our second quarter final. Whilst he's no stranger to a big stage there will always be a question of nerves in such an occaison. Hopefully he can play his best today. His skill in PvT is a little bit of an unknown, having not played many series over the last few months. Victories over aLive and Maru at IEM, as well as INnoVation in the round of 16 suggest some good form, but anything else remains an unknown here.

Much is the same for TY. Good overall performances in tournaments show he's no slouch but it hasn't been on the back of his TvP. He has played 0 TvP series in both IEM and GSL this season, with both a win and a loss againt Zest and a loss against herO in OlimoLeague his only televised TvP this season. He'll have the benefit of a clean unscouted slate to work with but the question remains of what his actual TvP form is.

Maru vs Dear - TvP

Map One – Kairos Junction

It was a standard opening to game one, Dear moving into phoenix, whilst Maru headed into a 1-1-1 with banshee. Phoenix counter banshees but Maru would take a crazy lead before the banshee would even be on the field. Four hellions headed into Dear’s natural and went nearly unopposed, 14 probes falling as the probes lined up perfectly for a barbeque. Dear’s woes would further continue as the banshee cloaked past the phoenix and killed another 14 probes of Dear. The banshee would eventually die but Maru would be too far ahead at this point with over 30 probes dying. Dear stayed in the game but would not survive for not longer, a swift two base push shredding through his army to take a quick map one.

The night did not start well for Dear, as this graphic shows. Credit - AfreecaTV

Map Two – King’s Cove

We would hope for a better showing in game two from Dear as we headed onto the largest map in the pool, King's Cove. Maru would head into an uncommon 2-1-1 medivac drop as Dear headed into quick colossus. A scout on the 2-1-1 saw Dear more than prepared, showing the perfect defence to shut down Maru’s aggression. Colossus continued to be produced as both players pushed into third bases, Maru moving into a heavy tank count. The game moved on in a very passive manner, a storm drop killing 12 scv’s the only action in a few minutes. Maru went into full defensive mode, sitting behind liberator range and a wall of tanks. Abadoning his defensive posture, Maru moved out on the 12 minute mark, leapfrogging his tanks and liberators to slowly progress up the map. His army looked dangerous but an even trade sent both players back to 120 supply, moving into the super late game. 

By 16 minutes Dear sat on 7 bases, with Maru on 5, both players moving into ghosts, nukes, tempests and dark templar blink. Tempests from Dear looked to siege as Dear supplemented the siege with dark templar and chargelot run bys. It was a fascinating late game that went past the 20 minute mark. Ten tempest continued to keep Maru pinned, the seemingly eternal back and forth between storm, emp and viking volleys finding little to none permanent damage. A push back by Maru thinned the tempest count but continual harassment by Dear did wonders to limit Maru’s base count. The game reached the 28 minute mark, constant harassment with dark templar by Dear the name of the game as his overwhelming bank pushed himself into the lead. One more ambitious push out by Maru saw his bio army destroyed and with him unable to produce anymore, Dear took a crazy map two.

Map Three – Port Alexander

With time barely to catch our breath after game two, we were straight into game three. Dear went for phoenix once again, with Maru moving into a mine drop. It was scouted by Dear however who executed a perfect defence to place himself ahead. Maru went for a big two base play, pushing with tanks and a liberator. Dear held and looked to further cement his advantage, moving further up the tech tree with upgrades and storm. Maru went for another big push on the nine minute mark and despite the crazy amount of psistorm Dear had no real backbone to his army. This made the sieged tanks and liberators insanely effective and over the course of two minutes we saw Dear’s army slowly wittle away. From there blood was in the water, Maru killing both third and fourth bases to send himself onto match point.

Map two saw us enter the super late game, in a split map setting rarely seen in TvP.
Credit - AfreecaTV

Map Four - Year Zero

It was to be a repeat of game three on this map, Maru going for a four mine drop into straight phoenix. The first wave would only kill two probes but Maru would not be done there, sending out another three medivacs, one after the other, full of mines. In what seemed like stubbornness, 17 mines died for only 10 probes in an amazing defence by Dear. Behind this Maru had established three bases and a supply lead, showing once again the insane macro capability of the Jin Air player. It would be Maru continuing to push the aggression, going for a doom drop in Dear’s main after cleaning up the phoenix count. 

The doom drop would ravage the main of Dear, killing the nexus and upgrades. Maru was cruising at this point, producing a mass of liberators and pushing onto Dear, taking good fight after good fight to kill the fourth, before the main. With little to no anti liberator tools, Maru would prove the disbelievers wrong to take the series victory and head into the semi finals off the back of a truly impressive victory. 

Maru 3-1 Dear

Maru advances to the semi-finals!

Trap vs TY - PvT

Map one – Port Alexander

We’d start this series with some fire, TY going for a double barracks proxy to cancel the natural of Trap.  Bullets rained on the warping nexus and it was eventually cancelled, placing Trap in an awkward situation. The Jin Air player had to react, going into a quick dark templar shrine to try and even the odds. The dark templar went sharking around TY’s base, killing over five scv’s to restore equality within the game. After a monumental pause because of an alt tab issue, we were back In the action but it would not last for long. TY went for a move out but must have immediately regretted it. It would only take a warp in at TY’s main and a tank pick off to have TY type gg, Trap leading 1-0.

Map Two – King’s Cove

We headed into King’s Cove for map two, with questions still to be asked if TY was still emotionally off after the pause. Trap went into phoenix production and although it was scouted by TY, he still took considerable damage from the five flying units. TY was kept in a super defensive position as Trap moved into colossi and a third place. The momentum was definitely with Trap but a sneaky widow mine drop brought TY back into the equation, 14 probes dying to two widow mines. Take note Maru. We would again go into a more passive game with TY sitting on a 25 supply advantage. That was until the 10th minute, with TY pulling the boys into a heavy disruptor count. Some devastating shots hit and TY’s push fell into the dirt, Trap pulling into a 2-0 lead, with three match points to his name. TY seemed a little off his game, would he be clean swept here?

Big disruptor hits halted TY in his tracks on King's Cove.
Credit - AfreecaTV

Map Three – Cyber Forest

Our third map saw TY go for a fake proxy barracks. Although Trap didn’t scout the barracks, no crazy reaction happened from the Jin Air player and the game normalised from here. Trap moved into a robotics first in a deviation from the normal stargate he had been showing. A poke from Trap with a warp prism met fierce resistance and TY pushed the trigger, moving out with two tanks and a bunch of marines. TY looked to capitalize on the lack of power units early, knowing an observer and a warp prism had been the first two units out of the robotics facility. Trap was undermanned and the tanks set up at Trap’s natural, shelling down the nexus, Trap leaving the game without even attempting an engage.

Map Four – Kairos Junction

TY was looking to continue the momentum into the fourth map, as he went for a proxy barracks, looking for a concussive shell marauder timing. He attacked with two maruders, and seven probes were gunned down.  The game would move on from here in a fairly even state, with Trap pumping out an oracle followed by more phoenix. TY looked to push in the seventh minute, hoping to catch Trap before storm finished. TY wouldn’t commit to a full frontal attack, instead coming at Trap from multiple angles. Trap held in the main but could not stop the attack at the third, TY using some great tank positioning to gun down the nexus. TY would take the advantage from here, pushing 15 supply ahead. Trap continued to be caught out of position time and time again however, TY baiting a recall then pushing on the new third. TY was everywhere on the offence and a base up, displaying a powerhouse style not seen in the first couple of games. Trap had to push and push he did, nearly overwhelming TY with a heavy archon and storm count. When the dust settled TY would be two bases up however, the Splyce player making a series of it to take us into a final map.

The face of a man on a warpath, TY focused on the job at hand.
Credit - AfreecaTV

Map Five – Automaton

Momentum was with TY as we headed to Automaton for the winner takes all map. TY would once again open up on an aggressive basis, a factory and starport before any expansion. A fake bunker would force an overreaction out Trap, the Jin Air player sitting scared after the last few games. TY went for a widow mine / marine drop with a hellion run by and although six probes were killed, Trap held well to send us further into this all important map. The game stabilized from here, Trap moving into a third nexus whilst powering up charge and +1 armour as well as eight gateways. Chargelots en masse would be the plan here. TY pushed with a big force, pulling the boys to send us until an all decisive fight. Trap surrounded the army from both sides though, losing 20 probes but putting him in a great spot being a base up. No third command centre was on the way from TY and it was desperate times from the Terran player, who was 30 supply down at this point. One last push came in but it wouldn’t be enough, Trap coming back from the brink to advance into the semi finals for the first time.

Trap 3-2 TY

Trap advances to the semi finals!

Series of the Day: Trap vs TY

Game of the Day: Maru vs Dear - Game Two.

GSL Code S continues with the semi final number one, Classic vs Dark on Wednesday at 18:30 KST

All pictures courtesy of AfreecaTV and all stats courtesy of Aligulac.