Code A RO24: Day Two Recap
Results from Live Report Thread by KristofferAG
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A Keen Statement
– Keen defeats Nestea and MMA in back-to-back weeks to advance back to Code S
Going into his games versus MMA, Keen was in a familiar position. In the past, he would play flawlessly for a week or two, rolling over his opponent and making you believe he could one day be in a GSL champion. Then, suddenly, right as he starting to earn praise for his exquisite play and being considered a serious Code S contender, he would immediately fall apart in humiliating fashion.
In August, he upset Bomber, the favorite to win the entire tournament, and was able to get to the quarterfinals in his first time competing in Code S. But once he was there, he got run over by Polt by a 3-1 score, and he hasn't been able to get back to that point in his career since. Since August, he's bounced around the bottom of Code S and the top of Code A, but hasn't strung together a run to earn a secure Code S spot.
After easily beating Nestea 2-0 last week, the match against MMA was a pivotal point in Keen's career. He had countless opportunities to make a statement, but he had failed each time. Every time he had gone up against Nada in Code S, Keen was a continually bigger favorite over the declining Brood War legend. Even then, Keen was never able to defeat his arch rival and continued to fall short. Last season in the Up and Down matches, Keen was sailing along and the Code S seed was in his grasp, but he fell apart in the final three games to disastrously miss the cut.
Against MMA, Keen for maybe the first time since GSL August, was able to string together back-to-back weeks with a strong performance against elite opponents. We've seen him go on Code A runs before, but this is the first time he went up against a top class Code S player, and the first time in a very long time that Keen showed everyone that he must be taken very seriously. He lost the first set to MMA, but instead of tilting like in last season's Up and Down matches, he fought back and took the next two sets to advance into Code S.
It's too early to say if this is just another one of Keen's short lived, 'Hey, look at me, I'm actually a bad ass!' moments, or if it's truly something that can carry over to Code S like Squirtle's run last season, but you have to give credit where it's due. When matched up against Nestea and MMA in Code A, the hardest road by far of anyone in this season's tournament, Keen advanced with a combined score of 4-1 and played up to his massive potential.
– On the day oGs' closure was officially announced, Fin falls apart against Happy
For the first ten minutes of the first set against Happy, Fin appeared to revert back into his elephant status. He had Happy contained, was wrecking his economy with banshees, and had a second base saturated while his opponent was holding onto dear life. The game appeared to be so over, that Khaldor promised to walk to the Incredible Miracle house and Wolf saying he'd give Happy $50 if somehow Fin wasn't able to seal the deal.
Well, I hope the Incredible Miracle house isn't far from the GOM house.
Gathering up enough vikings to get air superiority, Happy was finally able to push Fin back and even kill off a good amount of marines when Fin overextend his army. Even so, Fin had his natural up way longer than Happy and a larger army. All he really had to do was not throw the game away, continue building his economy, and get a third to get the victory. Sadly, for some reason, Fin decided that making SCV's wasn't a priority and stopped producing them.
With good defending by Happy, he was able to get his natural defended and build up his SCV count. Fin did get his third up first, but with good positioning by Happy, he was able to delay it and continue to increase his SCV count until it somehow surpassed Fin. With Fin throwing away his huge lead, Happy didn't let the game get away from him, defending his third unlike his opponent and massed a large army. ForGG was finally forced to tap out, somehow losing a game where he had the quickest scout of a proxy marauder rush of all-time.
Surely shaken from the first game, Fin wasn't able to put up much of a fight in the second game, letting an uncloaked banshee of Happy's kill 14 SCV's in a row in his main, putting him at a massive disadvantage. Unlike Happy, Fin wasn't able to make a comeback, and fell 0-2 in the series.
You have to feel bad for Fin with all that has been going on lately. oGs, one of the first SC2 teams ever created and a pioneer in Korea, is now gone, meaning Fin is without a team for the time being. When up with a major advantage in the first game, he wasn't able to close it out and got blown out in the second set. Fortunately for him, he's still in the Up and Down matches with a chance to get back into Code S, and with his skill level and experience, you shouldn't be surprised if another team picks him up in the next week.
Youth in Revolt
– After a year of trying, the fifteen-year-old Creator makes it into Code S by beating his fourteen-year-old teammate Maru
Maru was one of the big stories in this season's Code S. Being the youngest player to ever make Code S, he reached the round of sixteen as the first place player in his group and almost qualified for the quarterfinals, losing to Oz in the third set of the final series of the night. He was able to experience the joys of the GSL with his run in his inaugural season, but Maru also now knows how harsh the system can be as well.
By suffering a 1-2 loss to Creator, Maru was thrown back into the dangerous waters of the Up and Down matches and will now have to get top two in his group if he wants to make another run next season. Creator, the best Protoss on Prime, has been a prospect that everyone has been watching to make Code S for a while now since his impressive performance against MVP in the Super Tournament a year ago. Now, with his 2-0 victory over Maru, he's finally advanced to his first Code S season.
Along with Symbol, Creator, with his strong results in GSTL and online events, will be seen as one of the strongest candidates for the Royal Road next season. It's a lot to ask of a fifteen-year-old to make a deep run in next season's Code S, but he has the potential. The pressure hasn't gotten to him before and don't expect it to get to him now. The Prime Revolution is still in strong force and with GhostKing having a chance to return to Code S tonight, you might be seeing a lot of red and black in next season's Code S.
End of Term?
– Ganzi breezes past MC to make it into Code S
Even if Squirtle can't beat MVP this weekend at the GSL Finals, can we still consider MC the Protoss President? Yes, MC fan, I know that he still does well at foreign tournaments and still has more money than any player to ever play the game. But I also know that he hasn't made it to a GSL semifinal since his championship last March and showed nothing tonight against Ganzi to support the idea he'll be back there any time soon.
There was not much to talk about in the games. Ganzi played well and walked over MC for his seed into Code S. His once feared PvT, with his timings that could break any Terran, are now gone, and all left is a player who seems frustrated at the match-up. There's no argument that his PvZ is still Code S class and is capable of defeating the very best Zergs in the world, but his PvP hasn't been as dominating as it once was and his PvT has become a major weakness.
You could write off MC and say that he might not even make it out of the Up and Down matches, but we also can't forget that this is the same MC who fell out of the GSL entirely, got his Code S seed back at MLG Orlando, and then proceeded to kick ass in his first season back. He might be down at this second and Squirtle very well could be taking his spot as the head of Aiur this weekend, but you can never count out MC. Right when you think he's dead, he fights his way back up to prove why he has so much money and trophies.
Game of the night: LG-IMHappy vs. Fin, Set 1 on Daybreak
The must watch game of the night. One of the biggest comebacks in GSL history with Khaldor and Wolf slowly realizing that somehow Fin was throwing away the game. It might not be the best technical game you'll ever see, but if you like comebacks and enjoyable commentary, this game is something you should go out of your way to watch.