GSL 2013 Season 1 Code S
Code S Ro4: Day 2 Recap
Curious vs Symbol.
Code S Ro4: Day 2 Preview
TaeJa vs RorO.
Brackets and results at Liquipedia
Code S Ro4: Day 1 Recap
Results from Live Report Thread by Shellshock1122
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Azubu_Symbol vs ST_Curious
Last night was a battle of two philosophies. On one side was Curious, who alternated between the two strategies of mutas into three base roach-infestor and roach infestor into three base. On the other was Symbol who opted for a different strategy on every map, and tried to throw Curious off in every game with a new and different game plan each time. This contrast in styles made the series incredibly dynamic as Symbol would take the initiative and it was up to Curious to come up with a new response each game as Symbol would never repeat the same strategy twice.
It all started game one with Curious opting for a standard muta ZvZ build into a third base and transitioning into roaches. Symbol went for a fast 1/1 on his roach-hydra and hit a strong timing that killed Curious’ third. From there, Curious tried a counter to get back into the game, but was stopped by a superior concave from Symbol. Both players macroed up to a third and fourth base. Symbol maxed out on roach-hydra while Curious went for roach-infestor, but Symbol’s push was too much as he killed Curious’ fourth and infestors, taking the game.
Curious fired back game two with some ling bane aggression that Symbol overreacted to. From there, Curious took the lead in tech and economy as Symbol went for mutas into mass roach while Curious went for roach hydra infestor. Symbol went for a massive multi-pronged attack that killed two of Curious’ bases, but didn’t have enough when Curious cleaned up his armies and counter attacked to victory.
Symbol’s third strategy was much more standard as both players went for roach-infestor, with Symbol also adding in hydras. It was normal until the late game where Curious opted for a large base trade. As Symbol moved out, a large detachment of roaches counter attacked, killing two of Symbol’s bases. Symbol realized his predicament and broke through Curious’ natural and then killed Curious’ third. In the end, Curious decided to attack Symbol's main army but faltered a flank as Symbol's infestors regenerated just enough energy to repel the attack. Without an army, Curious was forced to tap out.
In the third game on Daybreak, Curious was able to take the early advantage with an attack on Symbol’s third that left Curious with a superior economy, faster upgrades and larger supply. Curious tried to use his advantage to win the game, but Symbol was too strong on defense so Curious opted for the late game, constantly denying Symbol’s fourth and taking his tech up to broodlords. Curious made all the right moves in making sure Symbol could not make a comeback and eventually Symbol was slowly choked out until he was forced to give up the game.
From there, Symbol closed out the night with two unique strategies that blindsided Curious. In the fiftth game, Curious played normally, while Symbol went gasless. From there, Symbol got fast 1/1 upgrades while Curious got his third. Symbol then made a creep highway and busted Curious with a spine crawler queen roach push. The upgrades were too much for Curious to hold on, even with the faster reinforcements, and Symbol took the game. Game six followed suit. Curious tried for a large speedling attack in the early game, but Symbol was able to scout Curious’ natural and prepared accordingly with four spines and four queens. From there, it was a normal game with Curious going into roach infestor on three base. This time, Symbol went 1/1 with roach-hydra and once his third was finished, he attacked with spine crawlers, queens, roaches, and hydras and just barely broke Curious’ main force and take the game.
Going into this series, both Curious and Symbol were in very similar positions. Both players had at one point or another been considered one of if not the strongest Zergs in the world. Both players would never able to fulfill that potential with Symbol being stopped in the ro8 and Curious’ runs always being stopped in ro16. While both were able to break it past their barriers this season, only one could advance to the finals.
For Symbol, this is a special GSL. As the former ace of the disbanded TSL, he watched on the sidelines as his former teammate, Hyun, outpaced him last season with a GSL finals. This time Symbol was able to replicate Hyun's performance and has a chance to surpass it. Not only is it the last possible WoL that he will play, but it is also the chance for Symbol to finally break his runner-up curse and do what the other silver surfers could not do before him: finally win a championship.
Code S Ro4: TaeJa vs RorO
- When times look the bleakest, Taeja usually pulls through
- Might possibly have every Terran on planet Earth helping him prepare for this match
- Has been to the semifinals before, and he has the tournament experience edge over Roro
- His wrists might actually explode in a Bo7 series against a Zerg
- He is playing a race that hasn't had a GSL finalist besides Mvp in over a year
- The vast majority want him to win, so that's never good
Ideal Winning Scenario: Just win. No one will care if it's four straight double proxy rax. It can be the ugliest, cheesiest, and most underhanded strategies ever performed, and it would still be okay if he can pull out a win.
Craziest Winning Scenario: Reveals that his wrists haven't actually been injured for the last few months, and he's actually been wearing twenty pound weights on them to make him stronger. He takes off the wrist bands, unleashes the power of every Terran to ever play in Mokdong, and beats Roro 4-0 to make the finals in stunning fashion.
- Has a 73% win rate against Terran
- His wrists, by my information, are not exploding like his opponent's
- He plays the race that has won three straight GSL championships
- He did lose to MarineKing this season, so he isn't unbeatable in ZvT
- Getting this far in a tournament is an entirely new experience for him
- Might kill e-sports if the final WoL final is a ZvZ
Ideal Winning Scenario: Destroys Taeja. With how well he's been playing lately, Roro makes no doubt that he is KeSPA's strongest disciple, killing the final non-Zerg in Code S history in a blowout. It wouldn't be pretty to watch, and it might kill interest in the finals, but it would make Roro head into the finals looking like a killer.
Craziest Winning Scenario: Goes down 0-3, comes back to win the final four games, and TeamLiquid has to be shut down for a few hours due to to the amount of people that need to be banned from the LR thread.
The Hope of a Nation
Taeja is the final living Terran in Wings of Liberty. The prolific players of his race, Mvp, MarineKing, Polt, and others, have all but uninstalled Wings from their computers, fully moving onto Heart of the Swarm and giving everything they have into the new game. A few of them still might have one more night of Up and Down matches to look forward to in Wings of Liberty, but all eyes are on the March 12th release date of Heart of the Swarm.
The only Terran left who can put his name beside his GSL brethren is Taeja, the player who most believed would have gotten to a GSL final sometime in 2012 after his dazzling summer where he won foreign tournaments left and right. Due to injuries, running into a prodigy named Life, and many close but heartbreaking losses, Taeja has never gotten into a Code S final. The farthest he has gotten was the fourth season of 2012, where he was steamrolled by eventual champion Life, losing 3-0 with no answer to his Zerg opponent. Now, in the final Wings season, Taeja has outlasted every single Terran and Protoss, getting to the semifinals for a second time.
Following in the footsteps of Mvp in season two of last season, Taeja has been able to push through his wrist problems and put on one of the best performances of his career. However, you can't compare him to the Taeja of the past summer, killing everyone he was put up against, and even all-killing one of the strongest teams in the world, LG-IM, in the IPL TAC finals. To be brutally honest, Taeja has somewhat lucked his way into the semifinals, getting through by the skin of his teeth in every round he's been in so far. He won 2-1 against Noblesse in the final match of the night in the Ro32, and he had to do the same thing in the Ro16, sneaking out a victory against DongRaeGu to get into the knockout rounds.
The Taeja of old seemed to appear against Soulkey in the quarterfinals, playing a masterful first two games and taking a commanding lead. But things fell apart after those two wins as Taeja was walloped on the next two maps, with the momentum going entirely to Soulkey's side. With the situation turning grim, it looked like it was finally time for Taeja to bow out, giving us a Zerg-only semifinals. Taeja was not down for the count though; pulling out one of his best performances in months, Taeja took the final game against Soulkey. The climactic moment came when Soulkey rolled an army of banes to take out one of Taeja's remaining mining bases, putting all his effort into knocking the building out. With a sliver of life left, Taeja held onto this base, securing enough mining to build up a final army and roll the weakened Soulkey.
That moment has symbolized the entire tournament for Taeja. He's not been at his best, but he's been good enough and gotten enough breaks along the way to make it into the semifinals. With how strong Zerg is recently and his wrists clearly not in the best shape, no one would have really been too surprised if Taeja had dropped in the first round, getting some downtime to rest his limbs and prepare for the slew of Heart of the Swarm tournaments he'll be sure participate in. Still, somehow, he's outlasted everyone, setting himself up as the last remaining non-Zerg in Wings Code S history. It hasn't been the prettiest run, but Taeja is still only four wins away from making his ultimate goal: the GSL grand finals.
This match is not only to prevent another ZvZ final, it's for every Terran who has ever stepped foot in Mokdong Studios in the past two and a half years. From the big names like Mvp and MarineKing, to the cockroaches who would never die like Virus and Ensnare. Supernova, Polt, Rainbow, Nada, Boxer, TOP, and the list goes on and on of the Terran players who've had monumental triumphs in Mokdong, and Taeja will be carrying their combined wills into his semifinal against Roro.
Win or lose, this is it. Taeja is the last surviving member of his race, and he is fighting to stave off extinction. He's battered, dirty and has had to win some ugly games, but so far, he's been able to make it through the swarm of Zergs. He is not your stereotypical hero, but Liquid's ace is the only man who can stop Zerg from winning it's fourth straight GSL title in a row. Hopefully, for his sake, every Terran lends him their power tonight against a very powerful foe, his opponent, Samsung Khan's Roro.
KeSPA's Greatest Assassin
Let's be real here, friends. If Roro goes on to crush Taeja like a lot of people expect, then the finals will be Roro vs. Symbol. An enticing Ro32 match-up, and it might very well be a great Bo7 if it happens, but it would go down as another ZvZ final, probably with the same amount of hype that Sniper and Hyun did back in Las Vegas. It's not that ZvZ is an awful match-up, seeing as it has become much more exciting since the first two years of the game's existence. But with the amount that we've seen lately in the past five months, it's rivaling on overdosing the audience.
Roro was a solid player in Brood War, but nowhere near star status. He ended his career with a record slightly below .500, being a player that would make a name for himself by upsetting players people perceived better than him. Picked on many an anti-team in fantasy Brood War, Roro would continually screw over people who picked against him, getting wins when not expected and sending fantasy teams into a nose dive.
Since moving to StarCraft 2, he's been an entirely new player. No longer is he the guy who surprises people by getting wins against people better than him, but the guy that people are surprised at when he actually loses to less players. He has solidified himself as one of, if not the best, Zerg on the KeSPA side. He is not only Samsung's ace in Proleague, he's one of the few KeSPA players to have two Code S seasons under his belt. There is an argument that maybe Soulkey is better than Roro, but with how well he's playing this tournament, and with a winning percentage of 65%, you'd have a strong argument that Roro is the strongest KeSPA player there is.
In the three Code S seasons KeSPA has participated in, there has been a single KeSPA player to make it to the semifinals all three times. Rain made it the first time, barely missing the finals after a war against Mvp, losing in a classic 3-2 series. Innovation followed suit in Las Vegas, making the semifinals and then losing to Hyun. And after a Terran and Protoss had their shots, it's now time for the KeSPA Zerg to have his chance, going up against Taeja. If the pattern continues to hold true, Taeja will beat Roro and then lose in the finals to Symbol, like the past two players who beat a KeSPA player in the semifinals.
Roro is not the sentimental favorite here. Unlike Taeja and his comrades at EG-TL, he's been actual monster unleashed lately, helping Khan get closer to that coveted playoff spot and playing out of his mind in all competitions. With a 73% win rate against Terran, he has no problem against the race he'll be playing in the semifinals. He did drop two series to MarineKing and Hack in the GSL before, but Roro has improved drastically since, and both of those matches could have gone Roro's way if he didn't mess up.
Many believed that it would be Taeja's Proleague teammate Jaedong, or possibly one of the Woongjin Zergs to be the first Zerg to win a major Korean SC2 championship, but all the cards are lining up for Roro to do it. He's never been in better condition, and he gets to play his best match-up against a wounded player. Once disregarded as a player who simply busted fantasy teams, Roro is on the verge of being KeSPA's first GSL champion and the last in Wings of Liberty history.
Overall thoughts and prediction
Everything points to Roro winning. The Zerg dominance in the last few seasons of Wings of Liberty coupled with Taeja's games this tournament make it seem like this is Roro's series to lose. Taeja did surprise by taking out Soulkey in the last round, but that still came down to a very close fifth map. Roro's strongest match-up is against Terran, and while Taeja was once known for his unbeatable record against Zerg, this is not the same Taeja that everyone thought would become champion in the summer of 2012.
The truth is that most everyone wants a TvZ final. The spectators want a TvZ final. Symbol, the other finalist, wants a TvZ final. Heck, I'm sure even GOM is crossing their fingers of a ZvT final. Through the lifetime of Wings of Liberty and Mokdong studios, Terran and Zerg have dominated. Zerg have five champions and Terran have four. Terrans, with Mvp at the head, were the kings of 2011. Zerg took over in 2012 by the hands of Life, DongRaeGu and Sniper. No offense to Protoss, but a TvZ final to close out Wings of Liberty would be the perfect ending to this chapter in StarCraft 2. Taeja vs. Symbol might not be the Nestea vs. Mvp that people were hoping for, but it would still be the two races that defined this expansion.
But sadly, Roro is too good right now. Zerg is too good. Taeja, if he wasn't having problems with his wrists, could take this series, but the odds are against him. Making it worse, with the new Bo7 format implemented, that means more stress on his wrists, making him possibly have to go through a three hour marathon of games against one of the strongest players in the world.
A TvZ final is what the consensus wants, but this might just be another fantasy that Roro destroys. Maybe if the spirits of Mvp, Nada, Boxer, iloveoov, and Flash all inhabit Taeja's body in tonight's game he has a chance, but that might be asking for too much. Taeja has done amazingly to get to this point through grit and determination, but this very well may be his, and Terran's, final stand.
Prediction: Roro 4 - 1 Taeja