GSL Round of 8, Upper Bracket Battle Report

Published on 03/27/2019 12:35 PDT by Saxon "Saxy" Durrant

  1. It feels like only four days ago that we said goodbye to the round of 16, eight players were strong enough to advance onto the quarter finals, where the groups are abandoned and replaced with a brutal best of five bracket style. Making it through into the quarter finals we had an even distribution, three terrans, three protoss and two zergs making the cut.

Those players were, Bunny, Maru and TY for terran, Classic, Dear and Trap for protoss and Dark and Rogue for zerg. All worthy names, with some surprise inclusions of Trap, Dear and Bunny. The tournament has seen many a good name fall already, people like Stats, Solar and Zest falling in the round of 32, while the round of 16 claimed the scalp of sOs, INnoVation and soO amongst others. It's going to be a brilliant final eight and I hope you'll be joining me all the way until the end.

In todays upper bracket we have a TvZ to start us off, with a PvZ to follow. Upstart Bunny plays against bad boy Dark, while Classic faces off against Rogue in a mouth watering clash of the titans. 

Bunny vs Dark is perhaps the most one sided of the quarter finals and we have to hope as viewers Bunny can upset the applecart. A LOTV record of 4-15 shows a sad tale, with Dark emerging victorious 3-1 last time they met in GSL Super Tournament Two. Dark has a 65% win rate against terran as well to compliment the impressive individual record and with Bunny in his first round of eight appearence, we will have to hope nerves do not affect him.

Classic vs Rogue has the potential to be an absolute beauty. Both of these players come into this match up not on their favoured ground. Classic has shown some weakness in PvZ recently, whilst Rogue seemingly has a curse when it comes to the round of eight at GSL. These two last met in the qualifiers for GSL, with Rogue winning 2-1. However with that match being two months old, both players will not think about that match coming into this all important series. Be ready on the edge of your seats for this one.

Bunny vs Dark - TvZ

Map One – Port Alexander

Our round of eight would start on Port Alexander with clean starts, the prospect of an intense five game series awaiting us. Our first action saw an scv delay the third base for Dark. In response, a very quick roach warren was thrown down, signalling aggression. Off 25 drones eight roaches were pumped out, as Bunny, unware on the otherside of the map was looking to move into a battlecruiser build. Roaches moved into Bunny’s natural as the battlecruiser was under construction, reducing the command centre into the red before Bunny held well. The terran player would then move across the map to kill 11 drones with the battlecruiser, teleporting back to deflect the roaches looking for a counter. It seemed to be in Bunny’s favour but Dark held a big drone lead.

One big roach push by Dark lead to a dead battlecruiser, a sniped tank and a lifted third. It was a back and forth game, Bunny looking to harass while Dark powered into a large roach / zergling composition on the back of 75 drones. Dark’s army would not scale well however and he looked to move into ultralisks, Bunny still seemingly on the back foot. Dark’s lead would only increase from here however, a move out from Bunny stepped onto creep and was promptly crushed, Dark smashing through the army to give himself more time for a sixth base and nydus worms. Zerglings would stream into Bunny’s main from the worm but Bunny would not turn around from his push, another prompt crushing of a terran army saw Dark take the first map in convincing fashion.

Who called the fleet? Bunny did in game one. Credit - AfreecaTV

Map Two – Kairos Junction

It was an interesting clash of builds in the first game and we would be treated to the roaches once again from Dark, another early roach warren saw roaches pumped off 19 drones. Five ravengers would prod at Bunny and although the force seemed tiny it did a surprising amount of damage, killing two depots, a reactor and a bunker to boot. When the attack was over Dark would have a drone lead of more than 10, placing him once again in a position of momentum. It would be on Bunny to seize that momentum back and two banshees managed to kill three queens. Not the catastrophic damage he was hoping for but a landed third base seemed that this game would go on for now. Dark would once again go into the same heavy roach / ravenger / zergling composition, looking to move into ultralisks later down the path. Bunny looked to push back creep as a passive few minutes were upon us with both players posturing up for the late game. 

Bunny looked to move out on the 12 minute mark but an immediate engage by Dark saw some amazing blinding clouds, disabling all of the tanks and taking a great fight. A drop by Bunny into the main saw him kill the ultralisk cavern and spawning pool but it was seemingly too little too late, another couple of moves saw a command centre destroyed, followed by an army wiped to see Dark on match point.

Map Three - Kings Cove

Dark had looked dominant in the first two games and looked to pile on the pressure once again, a pool first without gas would see Dark move six early zerglings on the map. The zerglings would fail to be effective however, killing only two scv’s with a good show of micro by Bunny. There would be no early roach warren this game as both players moved into the next phase. An armory would signal a big push by Bunny, going for a big hellbat / banshee timing.

As soon as Bunny pushed out, a zergling counter would kill over ten scv’s in Bunny's natural, severly weakening his economy. Although Bunny’s attack killed queen after queen, Dark’s drone count stayed strong, placing him once again in a big worker lead. Bunny would opt for a mech play in game three but a beautiful changeling scout would inform Dark early, who opted for hydralisks instead of roaches. A double thor drop indicated an older style of mech but Dark would shut the drop down, hydralisks picking off the thors to completely rid Bunny of any map presence. Dark would go into nydus and greater spire to progress. 

The nydus was attempted and destroyed time after time as Bunny went for a push, but the brood lords found Bunny with no anti-air, Dark reverse pushing onto the terran base. No damage was done however, as a terran mech player is more often than not a hard nut to crack. Bunny looked to push once again but was denied, Dark continuing his trend of dominating fights in this series. Bunny would max out once again but could not dent Dark, with the zerg player sitting on a 4,000 / 2,000 bank as he once again pushed onto Bunny. This would be the decisive push, brood lords reigning supreme as Dark claimed his place in the semi final.

A slow mech army saw a long game three, which saw the eventual clash of the two armies.
Credit - AfreecaTV

Bunny 0-3 Dark

Dark advances to the semi finals!

Classic vs Rogue - PvZ

Map One - New Repugnancy

An explosive start to this best of five, Classic going for a cannon rush on the cannon friendly map, New Repugnancy. The cannons held the path between the bases, as a robotics went up for Classic. It’s a crazy thing to see such cannon / robotics in GSL. Roaches were the answer for Rogue but immortals were the return answer for Classic. The hatchery went to bleeding point and Rogue had to push, but fell to the immortals, seeing Classic come up with a quick 1-0 lead.

I didn't realise Has was allowed to sub in for Classic?
Credit - AfreecaTV.

Map Two - King's Cove

Absolutely crazy to see a cannon play in GSL but this game would be less exciting initially, both players opting for standard openings. Double oracle was made by Classic, with six drones gunned down to the adept and oracles. Four oracles were made by Classic and a dive killed another 10 drones of Rogue. An impressive performance so far by Classic, as he looked to push on the eight minute mark. The small army went without splash and prodded around, clearing creep as Rogue would move into a lurker den, morphing in four lurkers as Classic pushed into Rogue. A warp prism looked to distract Rogue at the same time, but the engagement saw Rogue kill the army, Classic killing the fourth base. It was an even game, with the lurkers doing their bit to hold the previous attack. Both players would move into later tech as Classic moved into three stargates and a fleet beacon.

A quick mutalisk switch by Rogue killed off 12 probes but both players were content to move into the super late game in a fairly even state. A wall of lurkers and spore crawlers were backed by infestors, as Classic’s tempest began to chip away. It seemed like Classic’s tempest would slowly chip away, but the combination of fungal growth and a swarm of hydralisks steamrolled through the army of Classic, dealing a decisive blow to even up the series.

Map Three - Automaton

We’d seen the cheese and the late game, so game three was another test for these two players. A sneaky robotics facility at the back of the natural remained unscouted by Rogue, his overlord barely missing the building. Classic however assumed the overlord had scouted the robotics, ruining the surprise factor of the double immortal drop. Charge followed as well as another prism, two archons and two immortals shuttling around in prisms. A cheeky play came out from Classic, attempting to build shield batteries just below the main base to support his push. The batteries were scouted and destroyed however, with Rogue looking to take the game into a later state.

The big attack would come from Classic in the seventh minute, not expanding to the third as the attack reached all in status. Rogue would have a stroke of luck, a zergling counter attack forcing defensive warp ins as the push reached his creep. It seemed like there was too many roaches and there was, despite five immortals, Rogue stormed through the army to move onto match point.

Roaches overwhelmed Classic in game three. Credit - AfreecaTV

Map Four - Cyber Forest

Cyber Forest saw an early probe by Classic, but there would be no cannons this time, only a pylon block. It would be another cheeky play by our protoss player with a proxy stargate. It yielded nine drone kills in a great start for Classic, having a worker lead at the five minute mark. Adept glaives would be the follow up for Classic, pushing hard off six gateways. It caused massive damage, 19 drones falling as the roaches arrived painfully late for Rogue. Classic would not be done there however, a follow up push with immortals aplenty carved Rogue’s army apart, clinching the fourth game and sending us into a final game.

Map Five - Port Alexander

No shenanigans in this final game, as we saw an oracle opener by Classic. With Rogue looking better in the longer games of the series, the advantage would surely reside with him the later the game went. Classic continued to switch it up however, moving into a storm drop. It’s a move not seen in many / any PvZ’s of late and it resulted in 12 drones dying. Rogue was down in drones and went for a big roach swell, hoping to overwhelm Classic with a lack of immortals. The first wave hit fierce resistance as Classic was forced into overdrive mode, forced to juggle for his life. Just holding the first wave Rogue moved in for round two but this time the protoss player had extra units on his side. Classic crushed through the second wave he took a supply lead and the ascendency in his decider. Both players sat back and built from here, as Rogue moved into swarm hosts to try and swing the game back in his favour. Eleven were made as Classic pushed into Rogue, advancing onto creep. Classic’s army was crazy, storms blanketed the roach count whilst the immortals pounded away to send Classic into the semi finals.

Potentially the most satisfying image in Starcraft. Credit - AfreecaTV

Classic 3-2 Rogue

Classic advances into the semi-finals!

First semi-final match up - Classic vs Dark

Series of the Day - Classic vs Rogue.

Game of the Day - Classic vs Rogue Game Five!

GSL Code S continues with the lower bracket of the round of eight on Saturday at 13:00 KST. Maru faces Dear, while TY faces Trap in two TvP's.

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