GSL Semi Final Battle Report - Dark vs Classic

Published on 04/03/2019 09:04 PDT by Saxon "Saxy" Durrant

Here we are, the final four! It's been a frantic and action filled GSL season so far, yet only four players remain, one to take the pride and the glory. Between Classic, Dark, Maru and Trap, one will write their name into the history books next week. However to get there they have to undergo their toughest tests, two grueling series against players as hungry and as skillful as them. Who will take the crown?

Today we have the best of seven between two old rivals, Dark and Classic. Both previously on SKT, these two have had a vibrant and colourful history, meeting many times in the past few years in close series. Dark had previously been the victor, with wins at WESG 2017, Super Tournament #1 2018 and GSL vs the World 2018. Recently Classic had become to respond though, winning at the second Super Tournement of 2018. These two can hopefully put on a great series for us tonight, either would be a worthy finalist.

Classic's road to the final four has been impressive to say the least. Overcoming Trap and TRUE in the round of 32, before Trap once again and sOs in the round of 16. After showing his PvP prowess, Classic was put into possibly the hardest quarter final match against Rogue. Up against it in what is said to be his weakest match up, Classic put on a build order showcase, eventually coming out on top 3-2 in what was an incredible series. If he can show PvZ like this again, we have a series on our hands people.

Dark's road has been equally, if not more impressive. Featuring in IEM and WESG as well as this deep GSL run, Dark made it to the semi finals in Poland and the quarter finals in China. Beating Trust and Dear in the round of 32 and herO twice in the round of 16, Dark cemeted his reputation as a specifically scary player in ZvP. His one sided affair against Bunny in the quarter finals saw him through with ease, but now comes his long time adversary and biggest test to date.

Classic vs Dark - PvZ

Map one – Cyber Forest.

Our opener here in the seven game series would send us into the smallest map in the pool, Cyber Forest. Our series would start eventful, Classic blocking the natural of Dark, whilst Dark looked to plant an offensive hatchery in Classic’s natural. Classic would deny his former teammate, moving on perhaps with a slight psychological and tempo advantage. Classic would then move into a double stargate play, looking to utilize the slightly off meta strategy. Dark would respond with a nydus however, a great blind response which would see a worm pop up in the main of Classic. 

With only 35 drones, Dark had to do damage, even planting spores in Classic’s base to help against the heavy phoenix count. It was a slow push considering a nydus, with both players halfing the base and waiting for the perfect engage. Banelings would trigger the attack and the two armies clashed. It was a very even fight, the battle ensuing for at least three minutes. Immortals were worth their weight in gold but eventually the supply would swing in the zerg’s favour, Dark barely breaking through to take a scrappy game one.

A nydus would lead to a tense stand off in game one. Credit - AfreecaTV

Map Two – Port Alexander.

A quick three hatch would signal the start of game two, both players opting for more passive starts. A phoenix first would not signal a second stargate, instead a robotics facility with a prism. Four oracles were made with Classic going for a heavy harass strategy. The oracles would shave off over 10 drones, with adepts helping on the side. 

Despite the losses however Dark would just hold down the drone key, still being over 10 workers up on the protoss. Whilst he was ahead on workers, he would be down in army supply, leaving him susceptible to a push by Classic. Two immortals, backed by gateway units en masse charged onto creep and met little opposition. A meagre roach count falling easily to bring the series back to an even state.

Map Three – King’s Cove.

King’s Cove would see Classic go for an off standard wall in, with yet another phoenix denying scouting vision for Dark. A bizarre proxy pylon would see Classic for a proxy twilight and gateway, going for a mass adept push to try and end the game early. Dark had ran zerglings seemingly everywhere on the map but the proxy, blindsighting Dark until the adepts were on top of him. Roaches tried to by some time but could not stop the flood, Classic taking the lead in this intriguing series. We had yet to see a standard PvZ in this series, would the tricks continue?

Hidden in plain sight. Classic's proxies continued to evade Dark.
Credit - AfreecaTV

Map Four – Automaton.

It would take four maps for a deviation to occur for Classic’s tech path, a robotics facilty taking the place of a stargate. It was another quick three hatch by Dark, as his overlord narrowly missed scouting the robotics facility. A quick prism came out, with two adepts warped in and scouting for drones. Classic would pound on the aggression, two archons following on to keep Dark pinned in a defensive position. It would turn to macro from here however, a third base from Classic signaling his intent for a longer game. We would see a spire from Dark, with eleven mutalisks made to try and cleave an advantage in this game.

An advantage was made, over twenty probes falling as the mutalisks of Dark found many a hole in Classic’s defense. From here Dark would move into an old composition, infestors with neural being made. It seemed like a flash from the past but when the engagement came it would quickly fall flat. Infestors would neural archons to destroy any possible storm but has we have seen many times in Starcraft, immortals are good units. They would remain unneuralled and tear through roach and infestor alike, Classic mopping up Dark to put himself on match point, 3-1 ahead.

Map Five – Kairos Junction.

Dark would be on his last legs here, with Classic sitting on three match points. Kairos Junction would be our battleground, with both players opening up standardly. Would Classic come out with something funky again though? The answer would be yes, another proxy twilight council popping up in the middle of the map to power on with glaives. This would be a slight deviation however, a robotics and two more gateways joining the proxy building enclave as Dark upon seeing the adepts, held down the z key. Both players were sitting on an even worker count but Dark would distract for long enough building up a big roach count to deflect the first push. 

The wind would then be out of the sails of the push, every second ticking by increasing Dark’s advantage. An adept shade away would be the final nail in the coffin, Dark crushing both split armies to take his second map in the series.

Dark would bring an off meta strategy to game four, roaches paired with neural infestors.
Credit - AfreecaTV.

Map Six – Year Zero.

Classic you mad man. Just like he did against Rogue, the cannons would come out in map number six. Going gateway into forge,  a cannon wall was set up on the edge of Dark’s creep. Dark would pick off the probe though, Dark moving into four spine crawlers and lings to pick off the cannons. Classic would be in a position from here, locked into his own base while Dark was parked behind a wall of spine crawlers. One would be forgiven to think this was an episode of when cheese fails, rather than a GSL semi final. A passive couple of minutes followed, Dark looking to move into a heavy swarm host count to take this game once again into a weird direction. 

Moving into a twenty strong swarm host count, Dark took a heavy supply advantage, nydus now coming into play. Classic looked to be gaining momentum with an ever increasing immortal count. He looked to pressure into Dark, but one bad fight against locusts reset that count, putting Classic back a couple of squares. Dark would press from here, one nydus getting through into the main to deal some considerable damage. With brood lords sitting at home Classic had to push, but upon seeing the brood lords gg was called. We would see an ace match.

Map Seven – New Repugnancy.

Dark had clawed it back from 3-1 down, but there would only be a pylon block from Classic to start things off here. Dark would have to take his natural at the third, but would once again take a quick third base to start us off here. Classic would move into a robotics facility and quick prism. It would be a similar build from game two but without the archons. Immortals and more gateways were added, moving up to seven. 

The push came at six minutes, Classic’s army hitting a wall of roaches. Dark’s army would be halved by forcefields and Classic would take a big lead, killing off the third and ten drones to take the initiative. He paused to kill the third though, as Dark looked for a final hold at his natural. Biles would be raining as the Classic danced through them, eventually finding an avenue to push through, wiping the ravenger count to send himself to the GSL final!

Classic would be overcome with emotion following the end to game seven.
Credit - AfreecaTV

Classic 4-3 Dark

Game of the Day: Game six - Year Zero (But seriously, watch the whole series)

GSL Code S continues with the second semi final, Trap vs Maru, on Saturday, 13:00 KST.