The second day of the round of 8 kicked off with a titillating matchup between rivals herO and sOs, the first of two mirror matchups on the day.
Game 1 started with a 2 gate from sOs and an off the wall cannon rush from herO. herO killed a gateway, but failed to do much else while sOs expanded to his third. With herO’s tech delayed, sOs powered into a lead, converting it into a 1-0 advantage.
Both players opened with phoenix expands in game 2. While herO transitioned into blink, sOs kept at making phoenixes, eventually completely wiping out herO’s sky force. Constant harass gave sOs the room to sculpt a charge/archon/immortal army that put herO in a 2-0 hole.
Needing to make magic happen, herO opted for a risky nexus first in game 3. sOs went for an entirely different approach with 2 gates and a stargate before expanding. His double oracle harass put herO at a work deficit, but herO’s follow up all in gave him his first win.
Game 4 saw herO get the better end of early harassment for the first time in the series. Oracle/phoenix play did significant damage, pinning sOs at home. After building a lead, constant scouting by the ROOT Protoss meant that sOs’ proxied dark shrine was killed before being put to use. After a number of closely contested engagements, herO’s superior economy finally put him ahead for good, evening the series at 2 apiece.
Looking for the third reverse all kill of the quarterfinals, herO delayed his unit production in game 5 to take a faster expansion. sOs applied adept pressure while researching glaives and building a nexus of his own, but did not do any real damage. After a brief cease fire, the two armies passed each other in the middle of the map, leading to a critical basetrade. Despite a few suspect moves, sOs proved to be the more decisive player. With herO’s army and worker count devastated, sOs marched to victory and an appearance in the semifinals where soO awaits.
With one Jin Air Green Wing through to the next round, Maru sought to duplicate the feat against his supposedly outmatched opponent, Ryung.
Echo proved to be a cautious start, with both players mirrored in supply and composition. Ryung broke the deadlock with a doom drop that gave him the lead, and leveraged his advantage into a 1-0 to draw first blood.
Although Ryung killed 2 of Maru’s early reapers on Whirlwind, it was Maru who dictated the pace in game 2, twice supply blocking Ryung with cyclone drops. Maru deflected a Ryung push, prompting the players to macro. After Ryung canceled Maru’s upgrades, the players traded blows at their fourths. Chaos ensued from there, but it was Ryung who prevailed.
Game 3 marked the start of a potential comeback. After doing early damage with auto-turrets, Maru leveraged a slight lead into a doom drop that gutted Ryung’s army. Maru’s follow up attack on Ryung’s third was all it took to put a quick end to things.
Game 4 opened up standard once more, but Maru picked off a drop, prompting an attack on his part. He kept up the pressure with auto-turret harassment, furthering his army advantage and seemingly poised to take us to yet another potential reverse kill match. An inexplicable blunder on his part though saw Ryung crush his army, and the follow up doom drop all but sealed the deal. Maru hung in the game, but even he knew it was over, and after one final attack, Ryung took the game and the match.
Join us on Wednesday 15 March after a lengthy break for the first of our GSL Semifinals between soO and sOs.
Written by: mizenhauer.