Up/Down Matches, Day 4 Recap
Results from Live Report Thread by Seeker.+ Show Spoiler [Results] +
A complete overhaul of the GSL system was enough to send the Code S Virus into remission, but it only came back stronger than ever, with new mutations and adaptations. ST_Virus is back in his usual place in Code S, after 2012 Season One marked his first absence in nearly eight months.
His performance was trademark Virus – a mixed bag. There were devastating all-ins, one-sided shellackings, and of course, remarkable displays of survivability.
Heading into the final match of the night, Virus' set score mirrored his career win rate with two wins and two losses. Just like things tend to fall into place in Virus' favor inside the game, he was put into an unusually ideal situation ouside the game as well. His final opponent was the 3 – 1 ForGG, while only the 3 – 2 HuK was close in score. Interestingly, the head-to-head records had fallen in place so that if Virus won and forced a three way 3 – 2 tiebreak, he would make it through in first place on virtue of having beaten both ForGG and HuK. At the same time, the head-to-head records meant ForGG was guaranteed a place in Code S whether he won or lost, giving him nothing to play for except pride.
Despite his favorable situation, ForGG didn't show any signs of slacking. He gained the upper hand early in a mech vs mech duel, managing to kill off Virus' third orbital command center while also establishing air superiority by crippling Virus' viking count. However, with a Code S spot on the line, Virus reached deep within himself, and clawed back into the game with possibly his best performance ever. Constant blue flame hellion harassment were crucial in Virus' comeback, allowing him to be the actual victor in otherwise equal army trades. Virus' cloak banshee switch after retaking air superiority also proved to be a critical move, as he was able to force thors out of ForGG while also cutting deeply into his tank count. Eventually, Virus built up a large enough lead to force ForGG into an engagement at his natural, crush ForGG's army, and make his way back into Code S.
ForGG rode into Code S with a little too much hype behind him, and his RO32 elimination in the last GSL was cause for massive disappointment. However, behind the 1 – 4 score, people tend to forget that ForGG actually played fairly well. Yes, there was a completely failed marine-tank push on Dual Sight, and yes, there was an auto-loss to MC's void-ray all-in. However, there was also an epic TvZ showdown against Leenock on Daybreak, and a triple CC, macro-pummeling of MC on Bel'Shir Beach. Perhaps his comments about wanting to win a championship on his first go were ill advised, but in no way did he show that his skills were sub Code S (for that, watch his GSTL games).
And so, it was no surprise that ForGG went into this up-down group, rolled up his sleeves, and took care of business. He had the same don't-give-a-f*** attitude from his stream, where he all-ins every game and shamelessly plays three ads. There's an eerie joylessness to ForGG's play, but one cannot deny that his all business attitude gets the job done.
Alas, poor HuK
Whether or not you support the GSL seed system, you must admit that HuK is the only foreigner who makes a good case for its existence. One year after receiving the only GSL seed he had ever needed, HuK came into the up-down matches with just the second GSL invitation of his career. For the second year in a row, he almost made good on it. Almost.
PvP had been HuK's Achilles heel after MLG Orlando, but it turned around with a good performance at MLG Winter Arena. HuK's good PvP form continued in the up-down group, as he took down both Brown and Killer. Though he lost both of his PvT matches, a clutch roach-bust hold against ZvP specialist Lucky put HuK in what seemed like at decent position at 3 – 2. However, fortune had handed Virus the best possible situation in the world, which conversely meant it was the worst possible one for HuK. Though he went 3 – 2 in his group, circumstances out of his control spelled the end for HuK's Code S chances. Though he goes down to Code A for Season Two, his good performance leaves room for fans to be optimistic about his chances of making it into Season Three.
Game of the Night: ST_Virus vs oGs.fOrGG
Why, it's only the best game in Virus' career! Isn't that enough?
Honorable Mention: EG.HuK vs SlayerSBrown.