Code S: Ro32 Group F Recap
Results from Live Report Thread by opterown.
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MarineKing vs. sHy
MarineKing <Entombed Valley> sHy
MarineKing <Antiga Shipyard> sHy
MarineKing wins 2-1!
Sniper vs. Seed
Sniper <Abyssal City> Seed
Sniper <Entombed Valley> Seed
Sniper wins 2-1!
MarineKing <Whirlwind> Sniper
MarineKing <Daybreak> Sniper
MarineKing <Entombed Valley> Sniper
MarineKing wins 2-1!
sHy <Whirlwind> Seed
sHy <Entombed Valley> Seed
sHy <Daybreak> Seed
sHy wins 2-1!
Sniper <Antiga Shipyard> sHy
Sniper <Whirlwind> sHy
Sniper wins 2-0!
MarineKing and Sniper advance to Code S RO16!
The King Doin' Work
- MarineKingPrime advances in first place after two 2 - 1 series.
It wasn't pretty. It wasn't very fun to watch. It honestly didn't inspire you with confidence that he's going to win the season. But the point is, MarineKingPrime showed his Ro16 consistency once again, scrapping it out in Group F to advance in first place. Heading into the night, the group had the potential to maybe even be the best so far in a decent, but not mind blowing, season that has paled in comparison to an exciting season four. Looking back at it now that it's all over, let's just try and make ourselves believe that these four player's styles just didn't mesh well, and they can deliver better games under different circumstances.
MarineKing took the first series of the night against then GSL undefeated Woongjin_sOs (aka Shy), coming back from a 0-1 deficit and taking the next two games. It's hard to recommend any game in the series if you're looking for top TvP play, with MarineKing advancing due to his adequate, though not particularly impressive defensive ability against sOs' all-in builds. A reaper-rush allowed MKP to scout out and thwart a 3-gate rush in game two, while in game three, the king of marines microed decently enough to turn sOs' one base blink-stalker build into a failure.
His series versus Sniper had potential, and indeed, the best game of the night was their first game on Whirlwind. MarineKingPrime went for mass marine-marauder-medivac, with Sniper accepting the challenge to a brawl by going for muta-ling-bane. In a game that was reminiscent of MarineKing's prime earlier this year, his macro and micro were too good for Sniper and he was able to overrun him after a series of battles. However, the next two games were typical MarineKing, but not in the good way. Sniper easily took game two by roach-ling busting an overly greedy MKP, only to have MKP go for a proxy rax and end the series with a cheese rush in the next game.
Heading into the Ro16, MarineKing will be one of the only hopes Terran fans will have to see one of their own get to Las Vegas. Being the only Terran to get first in his group that had a full four players, and actually beating a Zerg to get there, he might be his race's best chance of survival into the later rounds. Polt, Yoda, and maybe even Innovation (formerly Bogus) have the potential to get to Vegas, but MKP's TvZ, when at it's best, is the best we've ever seen along with MMA in his prime. In this new world of Zerg, the Terran race might have to pray that their king of marines finds the magic that he once had in the match-up against the swarm.
GSL: Code Z
- MVP.Sniper advances in second place, confirming at least six Zergs in the round of 16 with Life and Leenock yet to play.
Zerg has a chance to be the dominating race going into the Ro16. You might go, 'Well that isn't such a big deal. Zerg is considered the strongest race at the moment, but it isn't that weird, right?'
This would be the first season ever that Zerg would be the most populace race in the Round of 16. For the past two years, Terran have dominated the racial balance, usually having seven or more (even TEN players at the height of GOMTvT) players getting into the second round. With Sniper's advancement, Zerg now has six in the Ro16, still has maybe the two best Zergs in the world waiting to play their groups: FXO's ace Leenock, and reigning and defending GSL champion Life. If those two favorites advanced on, Zerg would have half of the Ro16 field in their possession.
While Zergs are doing a lot better than they have in the past, Sniper is a player who should have been in the Ro16 a lot sooner. Nicknamed the Mini-DRG, he has been the ace of MVP for the second half of 2012, being their anchor in team leagues online and offline. His record in GSTL and Code A have been some of the best of the year, but he wasn't able to transition his skills to Code S last season and got knocked out in the first round.
Picking up wins against Seed and sOs, Sniper will now head into the Ro16 with the challenge of surpassing the man he got his nickname from. Sniper has already pretty much taken the ace role from DRG on MVP, and he now can take over as their singles ace as well if he performs well in the next round. Not feeling too confident in ZvZ might hinder him if he dreams of the glitz and glamor of Vegas, but any Terran or Zerg that has to face Sniper in the next round should be frightened.
- The Fall of Aiur...and Champions...and Elephants
Protoss: Ouch. Can we get the Sad Zealot fan club back up? In a surprising twist that not a lot of people saw coming, Protoss has somehow become the least represented race in Code S again after dominating Season 2, Season 3 and WCS Korea. Having a PvP final in the S3 finals, the WCS Korean finals, and even at WCS Asia, it felt like a new order of Aiur was going to start in Korea. Then, like it was all a dream, Zerg started beating everyone up, Protoss players dropped like flies, and there are only two in the Ro16, the worst since Killer was the lone survivor of his race in GSL OcTvTober.
Rain's forfeit didn't help matters, with only Parting and Creator having been able to survive the slaughter so far. Looking at the final two groups, Protoss has one strong hopeful in Squirtle, but even he might not be able to last against the 11/11 Master Keen, the in-form Leenock, and the innovator Innovation who will be looking to innovate more ways to beat people with his fearsome early game strategies. Hey, they still have Vampire too, right? Go Vampire!
Champions: Last season was the Season of Champions. Seven of the eight active champions were in Code S, ready to showcase the power of a GSL champion. Looking at the Ro16 this season, the only two champions to make it through so far have been Polt and DongRaeGu.
FruitDealer is off playing League of Legends somewhere. Nestea fell all the way down to Code B and will try to qualify for Code A next week. MC has hit a slump, not qualifying out of the Up/Down matches and finishing out of money at MLG Dallas. Mvp wasn't able to get past the first round, losing to DRG and Creator. MMA is in Code A, finally released from Slayers, and trying to decide between friendship and money. jjakji is in Code B with the rest of his team, wondering if Mr. Chae will ask for his trophy back. Now Seed, our season three champion, who has been trying to keep the comparisons between him and jjakji as far away as possible, is now in the lowest part of Code A and one Bo3 away from being knocked down to Code B.
Elephants: The stampede has come...and it's been more of a circus than destruction. Soulkey, who was given a sponsored seed, is the only KeSPA player who has been able to qualify for the Ro16 so far, and that was in the closest way possible, getting out with a 4-3 record in a close final series victory against Liquid's Hero. Rain forfeited, Roro's hype train died before it even left his nydus canal station, Bbyong's play looked Code A level at best, and sOs, a player who went 6-0 in Code A, looked nowhere close Code S level for better parts of the night. Even going back as far as the Up/Down matches, Flash, Terminator, and Trap weren't able to make it out.
So does this mean KeSPA sucks and that they're all going to either switch to LoL or become the ESF player's dishwashers? No.
Does this mean that the KeSPA players just aren't ready yet, but in six months time that their amazing mechanics will power through and all the ESF guys will be out of a job? No.
What it means is that some KeSPA players like Rain, Flash, and many others will become very good at the game and probably become mainstays of Code S. Others will fail at the game, never become anything more than Code A/Code B players and never make it over the hump. Just like how you couldn't go to one extreme when the elephants were destroying WCS Korea, you can't jump to the other when they've looked terrible in the past two Code S seasons not counting Rain.
If the elephants are looking for a champion to put their hopes in, they have the former Bogus, Innovation playing tomorrow. With only Life, the GSL champion, rivaling his win rate on the Korean GM ladder, he might be able to replace Rain as the elephant of the season. If nothing else, he has shown so far that he has some of the scariest timing pushes and early game harassment that we've ever witnessed in SC2.
Code S Ro32 Group G Preview
FXOLeenock, returns to the GSL after another successful endeavor in the MLG circuit. While this time he'll regret his unfortunate choke in the finals, he has to be happy that he got to show he was the second strongest player by far in the entire tournament, with convincing wins over players like Oz, Rain, and Bomber. Last time Leenock won an MLG in November, he went on to take second in GSL. This time he got second at MLG so he should be aiming for a GSL pin with his new revitalized strength.
Leenock’s game has evolved. He still has his old, aggressive repertoire of strats, and he's added some newer builsd as well. He can do the standard ling/infestor into broodlord push, mass infestors, 2 base roach nydus attacks or do the 2011 double-spire muta ling/bane styles perfectly. On top of that, he's mastered the usage of abusive broodlord/queen/infestor 3-base builds. With plays that runs the entire spectrum of Zerg, the other players will have a hard time preparing for him as he can easily switch from one style to the next with no hiccups. With 2 terrans and 1 protoss in his group, it’s hard to imagine a world where Leenock doesn’t advance out of this group.
Having said that, all of the other players are extremely skilled and any one of them can give Leenock a run for his money. First up is Leenock’s first opponent, STX_Innovation, (former known as Bogus), should not be underestimated. Innovation made his way through Code S the hard way by going through Code B, then Code A, and now here he is in Code S. His run in Code A was very strong as he took out the King Yugioh, followed it up with the inconsistent Bomber, and finished his run with he-who-failed-a-2rax Happy. Bogus looked good in the two match-ups he had to play, showing good decision making in the mid and late game. While Bogus beat a good ZvT player in Yugioh, it’ll take exceptional TvZ play to beat Leenock in his initial match.
The other two players in this group are MVP.KeeN and ST_Squirtle. In the constant rises and falls that are Keen’s career, I feel that Keen on an upswing right now. He smashed through his Up & Down group, only dropping 1 game to Trap while beating extremely solid players in Shine, Parting, and Byun. He was chosen as MVP’s Ace against Startale and nearly made a comeback beating Life, and nearly beating Curious. His TvT is still solid and aggressive. His TvZ is incredible as he is very multi-task intensive and can use both bio and mech with ease. His TvP is strong and he likes to mix up strong aggressive bitbybit attacks (a mark of a true champion). He even has a new player-coach in Killer who seems to have given him some stability in the mental game.
Even so, he has the completely unfortunate first opponent in Squirtle. Last time they faced off, Squirtle squashed him in the first game with the power of a thousand hydro pumps. Keen was only able to get past that series last time by abusing Squirtle’s natural weakness to 11/11 rax. However, Squirtle has recently proven he can take on 11/11 rax in his Code A matches against Hack, and Keen will have to be wary about pulling out that strategy again, lest it not be very effective.
Not all hope is lost for Keen however. Squirtle seems to have caught onto some of that Curious fever as for the last 2 seasons he couldn’t crack his way past the ro16. His international tournaments didn’t instill us with any with any confidence in him either, as he fell to SortOf in the Ro16 in ESWC. While Keen can’t depend on his 11/11 to get past Squirtle this time, there are still a plethora of TvP all-ins he can use to squeak past Squirtle as well.
Winners Match and Beyond
If things go as expected, Leenock should take out Bogus and Squirtle should take out Keen. This leaves a lop-sided match in the winners between Leenock and Squirtle. While Squirtle was off in France losing to Sortof, Leenock was in America beating down Rain, San, and Oz with decisive wins. Squirtle’s only hope is to bet it all on his soul and try to ride the 'wonwonwon' immortal-sentry all-in to victory over Leenock.
The Losers match could be an extremely interesting TvT match between Bogus and Keen. This should be a 50/50 toss up. Both have some strong macro TvT games as well as strong 1 base TvT all-ins. Keen played a great game again Byun in marine-tank wars. Bogus played a great TvT against Bomber in a mech vs mech game. So this could range from anywhere between extremely quick to extraordinarily long. I’m giving the slight edge to Bogus as his play is a little more clean and he hasn’t shown Keen’s inconsistency (he hasn't had the time).
The overall situation is this. Leenock fears no one in this group, but among the three players, Keen has the best chance to beat him. Squirtle is afraid of Leenock, but he should easily beat both Terran players. If Squirtle beats Leenock with a Soul-immortal all-in, Terran chances of making it our are slim to nil. Squirtle would like to beat Leenock in the winners match, but even if he falls, he should still make it out with no problem. Bogus has a decent underdog chance against anyone in this group, but can only reliably play against Keen evenly. Keen’s best shot is to play Squirtle straight up in the first round and then try to get to the final round and cheese him out to get to ro16.
Leenock > Bogus
Squirtle > Keen
Leenock > Squirtle
Bogus > Keen
Squirtle > Bogus
Leenock and Squirtle advance.
Writers:Fionn and stuchiu
Graphics and Art: Meko and shiroiusagi.