After a short break for WESG, Code S resumed with the first semifinal of 2018. Featuring Stats and soO, the GSL match was the first live tournament series to reflect the March 19th Balance Update and its change to overlord drops. On one hand, soO looked to reach the GSL finals for a record seventh time. Meanwhile, Stats aimed to prove that, despite his poor form in international tournaments, he was still the epitome of consistency in Korean competition.
Semifinal 1: Stats 4 - 3 soO
- Game 1: Stats opened stargate on Abyssal Reef. His oracles picked off workers here and there, but he never made a move to attack, instead taking four bases with colossi and storm. soO baneling dropped three bases, but only killed four workers, prompting Stats to move out. His forcefields held soO's initial force at bay, but a baneling flank wiped out his army. soO added on brood lords and brought the game to an end soon thereafter.
- Game 2: Stats showed an oracle to soO's scouting overlord, but canceled it and went for a charge all in. soO was caught off guard—in the midst of droning and preparing for a hydralisk transition—and was forced to GG.
- Game 3: Stats killed 17 workers with adepts and oracles on Neon Violet Square, but his push into soO's third base was easily swatted back. soO furthered his supply lead as he brought himself up to six bases. Stats tried to attack again, this time with more archons and templars in his force. However, soO was able to kill the invaluable high templars with a flanking maneuver, and seized a 2-1 lead after winning the following engagement.
- Game 4: Game four came to a quick end as soO’s baneling bust found Stats with only a single adept on defense. Banelings barrelled it over, with the flood of zerglings closing the game out.
- Game 5: soO shut down Stats' archon drops, but the follow up warp in of dark templars sniped soO's third. Stats took a third of his own before attacking the beleagured soO who was pried apart by an attack at his third and a warp prism in his main.
- Game 6: Stats' glaives timing got quashed by roaches, but Stats had two robos and was pumping out immortals for a follow-up attack. soO went into lurkers as he took his fifth base, but Stats' army ran him over. Stats continued into soO's third, killing the base and drones, sending the match to a seventh game.
- Game 7: Stats opened up with a proxy stargate to harangue soO with oracles before gearing up for an archon-speedlot timing. soO, just beginning his transition to hydras, found himself supply-blocked at the worst possible moment as Stats split his forces up for two-prong attack. soO was just barely unable to hold out against the incoming Protoss forces, and conceded defeat to Stats.
Stats advances to the grand final.
The second semifinal between Maru and Dark will be played on Saturday, Mar 24 4:00am GMT (GMT+00:00)
Recaps by: Mizenhauer