Code S: Ro32 Group E Recap
Results from Live Report Thread by opterown.
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Mvp vs. Bbyong
Mvp <Whirlwind> Bbyong
Mvp <Entombed Valley> Bbyong
Mvp wins 2-1!
Creator vs. DongRaeGu
Creator <Antiga Shipyard> DongRaeGu
Creator <Cloud Kingdom> DongRaeGu
DongRaeGu wins 2-0!
Mvp <Daybreak> DongRaeGu
Mvp <Entombed Valley> DongRaeGu
DongRaeGu wins 2-0!
Bbyong <Daybreak> Creator
Bbyong <Entombed Valley> Creator
Creator wins 2-0!
Mvp <Antiga Shipyard> Creator
Creator wins 2-0!
DongRaeGu and Creator advance to Code S RO16!
MVP.DongRaeGu returns to form
Last night Dongraegu made a return to form, 4 - 0’ing his group. He set the pace for the day's games, as almost all of his victories were quick one-sided affairs. His first victim of the night was the young Protoss star, CreatorPrime. Creator first decided to do a the 'wonwonwon' immortal-sentry all-in made famous by PartinG. Unfortunately for him, he was able to only make it 3 steps outside of his natural before being crushed by DRG’s roach-ling force, showing some rather soulless force-fields. Creator tried to make the timing work anyway after losing all his sentries, but was eventually held off by mass roach infestors. In the second game, DRG decided to fight cheese with cheese. He faked a typical 3 hatch play and instead surprised Creator with a roach-ling all-in. Creator quickly fell apart and DRG cleaned him up 2-0.
In the Winners match, DRG played against another GSL champion in Mvp. The first game followed the tone of DRG’s games against Creator, with DRG going for a strong lair-phase attack with mutalisks and banelings that killed almost every SCV MVP had. From there MVP just played the rest of the game building up to 1 desperate last mech timing to kill DRG, but was ultimately doomed to GG out.
Game 2 showed a much more generic - if well executed - style of Zerg from DRG as he played off against MVP in a long macro game where brood lords and infestors carried the day. MVP opened up with a 2 rax on Entombed, doing some damage before transitioning into triple orbitals and mech play. DRG held off his marine/blue flame hellion attack with queens, banes and lings, and powered up to infestors on four bases. Mvp went to hit a pre-brood lord timing with his mech, doing a good amount of damage and even taking out the first few broodlords, but DRG was able to hold it off with a 100 supply lead. However, MVP stuck in the game with smart harassment with hellions and sneaky flanks attacks using his siege tanks to kill some infestors and buy time for his viking/raven army. After DRG held off the aggression, he pushed out with his BL/infestor/corruptor death ball, where he was taken by surprise by the large number of seeker missiles and vikings. Unfortunately for Mvp, taking out a ton of corruptors with seeker missiles was not enough as DRG had brought along a large number of queens and infestors on the ground as well, and the spellcasters were enough to support the brood lords to victory.
Aiur’s youngest son
After losing to DRG quite unceremoniously, Creator made a comeback with his best matchup to make it out of the group. He played CJ's Bbyong in the losers match and taught Bbyong the first lesson of TvP: you never go mech. As Bbyong geared up for a mech play, he was instantly killed by Creator’s 6 gate all-in attack. The second game didn’t go any better for Bbyong as he wasn’t able to punish Creator’s fast triple nexus. Creator stopped all of Bbyong’s drops and aggression dead dead cold, and then used his overpowering economy and upgrades to just move out and kill Bbyong.
The last series of the day was between Mvp and Creator with the last remaining Code S Ro16 spot on the line. Creator continued to show the type of standard play that had made him famous. Creator got to three base, maxed out with upgrades and good tech and then attacked MVP and won the game - it was as simple as that. In his last game, Creator finished up the series with a quick 5-gate attack from one base before MVP could get his cloaked banshees off the ground.
With this, Creator has finally started to make a good run in Code S. Creator has always done well outside of Code S, becoming the champion in TSL 4 and WCS Korea, while defeating all sorts of tough opponents in team leagues and Code A. He had another rocky start in Code S, using a soulless wonwonwon and getting roach busted, but he made it to the Ro16 in the end with a great mix of safe and aggressive play. From here, his real challenges start as, the lackluster PvZ he has showed at WCS Asia could be the death of him in the 5-Zerg
Ro16, where Leenock and Life are waiting to teach him a lesson (Tip: Stop trying to fight people at hive, and use your famous 3 base timings that let you beat Life in TSL4).
King without a kingdom
This GSL, MVP got knocked out before his hype train could even get out of the station. It was a strange day for MVP as his greatest strength, choosing counter-builds was used against him. He was busted early on by each of the players in this group. Bbyong beat him with a timing after MVP’s failed hellion marine banshee pressure. DRG busted him with muta ling/bane. Creator busted him with a 5 gate. MVP played some solid macro games and beat Bbyong twice to move on to winners, but when faced with tougher opposition in the form of DRG and Creator, he wasn’t able to show the kind of game that got him to the GSL finals the last time around. Still, this is par for the course for long-time MVP fans as MVP has sometimes shown weakness in getting past the group stages in GSL, compared to his near-invincibility once reaching the elimination bracket stage. While not impressive in his defeat like Finale, MVP still played competently and didn’t bomb out like Happy, so we should expect MVP to make a return appearance the next coming GSL Code S.
Code S Ro32 Group F Preview
MarineKingPrime: Living on borrowed time, waiting for the Heart of the Swarm that will inevitably come.
One way or another, Wings of Liberty is nearing its final hour as the game played in the GSL. One of its defining figures has been MarineKingPrime, from his debut as a BoxeR fan and/or impersonator, his namesake marine play but ultimately his tragic losses in finals. While he has made a name for himself in this game, he has never captured the ultimate title. With time running out, MarineKing has to feel both extra pressure and motivation to finally rid himself of the curse of the Kong.
Last season was a tale of mixed blessings. He never looked at his best during group play and ran into an unstoppable freight train in the quarterfinals in the form of Life. It is not easy to know exactly what to make of the performance; it is often true that great players will scrape by and actually progress when not being at their best. But MarineKing also saw it fit to confirm that stylistic players such as himself can be hard countered by similarly natured opponents, his defeat to Life looking like a matchup where the Prime Terran’s every instinct was the wrong option. With limited access to foreign tournaments and no involvement in the WCS circuit, GSL has been the sole focus for some time; this is where he needs to make another deep run.
Looking at the group fundamentally, MarineKing should be pleased to find two Protoss opponents and a still unproven Zerg, opponents he typically flourishes against. His TvZ has become more suspect as time has passed; the flow of the game seems less conducive to play to his strengths than ever before. While he is not anti-mech like Polt has proven to be, he is still an aggressor by nature and is at his best when he can force fights with Zerg where he can triumph with his impeccable micro (now negated by Zerg's tendency to make your entire army immobile). Meanwhile, his TvP is still his best matchup statistically but not looking quite like it did during his reign as MLG king.
It is becoming seemingly more doubtful whether MarineKing will ever taste victory in the GSL during the era where he rose to prominence. That does not mean he has regressed as a player, but the nature of his competition has changed and it has been a while since he looked like the kind of player that could take any matchup and find a way to win in ways others could not.
Woongjin_sHy: Nothing stays secret forever
When the transition of KeSPA players to SC2 was finalized and the first few ventured into Mokdong, a few lessons were given immediately. It was clear that the competition was going to become a lot more fierce, that the expectations for flawless macro and micro would be raised and that it would not take them long to catch up to Code A and Code S players in terms of skill. During and after WCS Korea, it did however look like there could be a complete scene change with a new dominant force taking over; we have since learned that it takes the exceptional from either pool to rise to the top.
But while some players seem to have stagnated in their growth or failed to live up the initial hopes and hype, sOs is a player that has received little attention yet looks like the one most capable of following in the footsteps of Rain. It makes for an amusing anecdote that he should be too shy to steal much of the spotlight, but the truth is that he has amassed rather amazing statistics. In terms of televised matches, he has only lost two ProLeague games on his way to 15-2. He almost made it into the WCS Korea tournament, losing in the finals of his qualifier bracket to Coca. And he went 6-0 through Code A to make it into this season’s Code S.
While it is easy to compare sOs to Rain, their paths being similar only with Rain having a lead start, their play style and approach to the game seem different. While Rain almost exclusively tries to win macro games, sOs seems more inclined to take the battle to the enemy, punishing greed with overt aggression and adapting to the stylistic tendencies of opponents. His PvT served him well during his Code A run, looking leagues ahead of both Jjakji and Sparta and his PvP looked tremendous in defeating Seed in the final match. The question mark must hang over his PvZ, which is curiously the only matchup where he has any recorded losses.
MarineKing vs. sOs
Both players will go into the matchup with good records, MarineKing’s long and celebrated, sOs’ short but dominating. MarineKing plays across a wide range of strategies, but usually ends up either pressuring early or playing a greedy opener transitioning into a multi-base timing. sOs matches up well in this instance, while some Protoss rely on build logic alone to define their openings he has shown willingness to both cheese and let established map logic guide his choices.
It is easy to see how this could be a blow out match in either direction. MarineKing’s biggest worry should be that sOs can predict and counter his rather transparent nature, his biggest strength a tendency to rarely lose against players failing to do so. sOs on the other hand faces another step up in terms of setting himself apart from the competition; defeating Jjakji was a good start to becoming a notable PvT player. His guile and adaptability should serve him well here.
MVP.Sniper: There is only one real sin, and that is to persuade oneself that the second-best is anything but the second-best
Being the second best player of your race on a team behind an iconic figure is starting to become a bit of a thing in Korea. Incredible Miracle has had Losira try to live up to the expectations of being Nestea’s understudy while YoDa and Happy are locked into a persisting struggle to emulate Mvp. SlayerS used to have a gaggle of Terran, not under the tutelage, but rather aspiring to eclipse MMA. Maru still seems to be in the process of finding his identity apart from MarineKing in Prime. Sniper seems set on a different route, where separating yourself is not the objective, but emulating perfectly instead is chosen. With MVP being 0-3 in a team league game, securing the win through an all-kill sure seems like something DongRaeGu would do.
Meanwhile, Sniper finds himself in a group without any chance to play the matchup he is most famous for, the mirror. He faces double Protoss, which in the past has been a double edged sword. His early game is clever and resilient and his late game has the kind of power one expects from premier Zerg. His midgame still looks exploitable and the way DRG lost to Rain in the OSL finals might be a bit ominous in terms of the Protoss players he faces.
Ultimately, Sniper has made it to the threshold where he no longer looks out of place making it into Code S. He is solid, he can change up his play enough not to be predictable and he has an excellent environment for improving. He might still exude an aura of not being quite ready for GSL glory, but in terms of skill he would not be an upset to make it to the round of sixteen.
LG-IM_Seed: To be or Jjakji, that is the question
It seems no race in StarCraft II has had quite as a tumultuous story of finding a worthy successor to their first shining star. No claimant to the vacant throne has been able to remain for very long, but while Seed might have found himself supplanted after his surprise season three triumph, he is still a commanding presence. It was a meteoric ascendancy, but while others following the same trajectory have fallen out not long after their rise, Seed very much looks like the real deal.
There is still however some mystery to Seed. Unlike some of the stars in the new Protoss star constellation, it is hard to pinpoint where his real strength comes from. Rain has his immaculate defense and tenacity, Creator with his mechanical, liner approach, Parting his charming, quirky play style, HerO his multitasking and so forth. Seed is mostly solid, but with enough flair to not be gray. However, sometimes being stylistic is as much a curse as a blessing; the ability to remain fluid in approaching the game is not to be underestimated.
It seems like Seed is in a position where he should be expected to make a round of sixteen. His actual experience in terms of Code S is not that long, but he is a champion and has found himself a group with other relative newcomers. Facing an opponent of each race is not ideal, but the real fear is definitely being matched with sOs who beat him comprehensively in last season’s Code A.
It has only been two seasons since he won, but at this point Seed almost seem like a veteran. However, he still needs to prove himself in results, not only in terms of perceived stature. His exit last season was a hard pill to swallow, and more work remains to be done to make sure he does not fade away like so many others.
Sniper vs. Seed
Looking at the two players, it seems fairly obvious that the midgame belongs to Seed while the super lategame will be the domain of Sniper. Seed is largely favors three base timings, trying to exploit either a greedy tech up to brood lords or to simply exploit Zerg not being able to defend across four bases. He also favors sprinkling in warp prism play while maintaining immortal production and teching up to colossi if going robo, but deviates with Stargate play enough for this to not be a certainty. He once showed an inclination to fight Zerg head-on in a late game battle, but it's likely that he's changed his opinion on that given recent trends.
With Sniper, the likelihood of seeing DRG’esque play remains almost ever-present. He does however not shy away from the occasional all-in, and it seems likely that the tactic of DRG seen in Group E is a solid option should he come across he either dislikes or thinks it suitable for. It will be an interesting clash of styles and while the pressure might be on Seed to finish the game earlier, it is debatable whether Sniper still has the calm and rigidity to get through a difficult middle phase of the game. As such, expecting to see at least one cheese game seems reasonable and it might also be the game that tips the balance.
The players are quite evenly matched, with history and fame being countered with promise and recent form. sOs is a threat that is hard to ignore on both counts, while Seed and MarineKing should be going into it heavy favorites. Sniper looks a little like the odd one out, but with recent changes to have both TvZ and PvZ plays out, he is by no means outmatched.
sOs > MKP
Seed > Sniper
sOs > Seed
MarineKing > Sniper
Seed > MKP
sOs and Seed advance.
Writers: Porcelina and stuchiu
Graphics and Art: Meko and shiroiusagi.