Better late than never, this report is merely for the record keeping, it isn’t anything special. This week’s liquiscoop is far far sexier
Last week the semi-finals of the Pringles MSL kicked off in style with two of the three zerg players in the round of four battling in a best of five. Believe it or not, this MSL features NO terran players in the top 4. I can’t remember another tournament in recent memory when this was the case.
From the Pantech team, Silver has been on an impressive run lately, taking out strong protoss players in Pusan and Kingdom in this tourney. With the pressure of his first semi-final upon him, his game would have to rise to new heights. He came into the match with a 5-4 record vs Jju and a 60% record vs all Z players.
Jju, captain of the Samsung team and owner of the loudest beak in BW needed to show up with a strong performance in this series to vault himself into the light of perennial contender. His results lately have been good, but they need to be great, and at just over 50% for games vs Z he was looking for improvement. Let’s check out the action.
Game 1: Arcadia II
Jju, with the blue zerg, opened at 5 while directly above him Silver chiseled away at his mineral blocks at 1. The first overlords were on a collision course as Silver opted for a 9 pool/gas before overlord and Jju expanded at 12. Was this a good idea by Jju? Nope, because those early lings were headed south in a hurry and the hatchery drone popped right back up. Jju was forced to sunken his mineral line while Silver already had a spire down thanks to an ultra fast lair. Although he had more drones, Jju was forced to invest in an evo chamber as mutalisks were incoming immediately. However, after losing two lords, Jju knew the jig was up and typed GG before losing a single ground unit.
Silver 1:0 Jju
Game 2: Blitz
For the second game of the night, Silver spawned right while Jju spawned left. Looking to build more safely after his game 1 mishap, Jju 9 pooled while Silver waited until 12 to start his own. Backed by early lings Jju felt free to expand as he left to explore the west. Silver had also expanded, and both players teched to spires.
Having slightly more drones at the start is usually all the advantage pro players need in zvz. As Silver explored the map with his lings, Jju was cautious and dropped a sunken at his choke. Silver attempted to expand again, and while the hatchery was killed by Jju, the micro battle went to the Pantech zerg. His mutalisks numbers were far superior thanks to some well placed overlords. The air forces clashed yet again over the center of the map, and when Jju lost handily he typed GG, again without losing a drone.
Silver 2:0 Jju
Game 3: Peaks of Baekdu
Holding a comfortable 2-0 lead, all the cards were in Silver’s favour as he could attempt a risky build with some games to burn. He started at the top and while Jju expanded at 12 and then pooled, he dropped a pool and gas at 12 and then expanded. The result of this switch-up was that Silver was able to offensive sunken the expo hatchery as soon as it popped and follow that up with lings. However, Jju showed masterful mirco and defense against the tactics and got away with losing only a creep colony and a handful of lings.
Having survived the scare, Jju sent his lings the long way around the map, leaving his expansion open. Silver took the bait, attacked the expansion, and then watched his own drones die to the backdoor lings. Jju managed to defend his main against the last gasps of Silver, and got back into the match with his first win.
Silver 2:1 Jju
Game 4: Longinus
After three short games, the players were back in action on the three player map Longinus. Taking the upper left base, Jju sported the red zerg and 12 pooled. Over at 3, Silver 9 pooled for fast lings, and his scouting overlord was in the right place at the right time. Jju had to decide whether to defend his natural hatch or cancel, and he chose to defend it, managing to stave off the attacks with the hatchery in critical red.
Silver was unrelenting in his early micro though, and while his lair was finishing on his one hatchery, he kept Jju busy by sending in pairs of lings to the Samsung main and threatening the weak hatchery with the remainder of his force. Having 1/2 the larvae was a cause from concern though, and he sunkened his mainline while starting his spire.
Jju himself was low on drones after defending and expanding, and his gas production was very late. He managed to stall Silver’s spire slightly, but it was not enough and he spent his cash on spores and chambers, as well as replacement lords. The question was whether his more powerful economy could by him time vs Silver, who was still running off of one hatchery at this late hour. The answer for Silver turned out to be a switch back to ground. With Jju too concerned about air, a wave of lings poured over his defenses and killed his spire. Jju barely managed to defend his main at the cost of many drones, and Silver kept on the pressure. Constantly switching between air and ground, Jju was kept on the defensive until finally he was forced to give up his natural.
At this point Silver was still mining from only his main, but he had a much larger group of mutalisks. Jju’s spores kept them at bay slightly, but when another wave of zerglings backed them up, Jju could do nothing and typed gg.
There were no epic low-econ micro battles today (although game 4 came close) nor were there any long and drawn out macro battles. In no game did either player have more than 12 mutalisks. It was simply Silver out thinking or out building Jju at every step.
Winner’s Interview, thanks to rinizm for the translation.
How is this for a semi-finals? A rematch of the last MSL finals, the Dreamer Toss rA faces the greatest force in progaming today, savior. Place your bets, because this one is going to be crazy.
Honestea wrote up a great preview here.
Watch for those games coming this week.