Code S Ro16: Group C Recap
Results from Live Report Thread by opterown.
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Haters Gonna Hate
– ByunPrime and Quantic.NaNiwa advance as MvPKeen and Genius are eliminated
Few of the players in this season's Code S have had a tougher path than Byun. After peaking with a top four Code S finish last July, he was sent hurtling back down to Code B within two seasons. Afterward, he became embroiled in the ESV weekly scandal and was put in the proverbial doghouse for months, hitting as close to rock-bottom as you can get as a Korean progamer.
Almost a year after reaching his personal high in Code S, Byun has almost climbed his way back to where he used to be. With consecutive victories over Keen and Genius in the GSL Ro16, he has matched he has reached the Ro8 once more, and now has a chance to match his previous high-score and possibly one-up himself as the tournament goes on.
NaNiwa, too, continued to find redemption in winning. While some fans and players may never get over his seven-probe rush against Nestea in 2011's Blizzard Cup, his skill – at the very least – cannot be doubted. Like in his Ro32 group, NaNiwa dropped his first set against a Protoss opponent in Genius, but came back to finish second place in his group with consecutive wins.
– A bumpy road, but victory in the end for Byun
It was not the smoothest path to a first place finish for Byun, as he won both of his matches 2 – 1 and faced some close calls in the process. Byun's initial series against Keen was particularly difficult, as his three consecutive banshee builds were countered by three consecutive viking builds. Yet, Byun found a way to power on through. In the first game on Whirlwind, he used his one single advantage in a faster stimpak upgrade to overcome an early deficit. Byun then lost the second game, taking a huge amount of damage to Keen's counter-banshee after his own banshee failed to achieve any significant results.
It all came down to a third, hard-fought game on Entombed Valley. With Byun going bio and Keen going mech, the roles seemed reversed for much of the game. Paradoxically, Keen relentlessly attacked to try and prevent Byun from getting his bearings, while Byun scurried to put out fires. In the end, Byun was able to get his affairs in order while disrupting Keen's economy on the other end of the map, eventually forcing the GG out of his opponent.
Byun's winners' match against Genius had the same set score, but victory came slightly easier. The first game was almost a gift, with an accidental early base trade ending up hugely in Byun's favor due to the power of stimpak and medivacs. Byun then tried to combat Genius with an unusual, tank heavy composition on Whirlwind, but saw his 1 – 0 lead get instantly erased alongside his army when he was caught out of siege mode.
The series and the first place spot was decided on Antiga Shipyard, where both players sat back and allowed each other to get their end-game armies. Excellent use of ghosts combined with some poor army positioning from Genius meant his high templar threat was quickly neutralized, and Byun was able to charge his way straight into the Ro8.
– NaNiwa repeats Ro32 success formula with loss – win – win
Swap in "Genius" for "Creator" and "Keen" for "TheStC," and NaNiwa's Ro16 story would be almost identical to his experience in the Ro32. Despite going 3 – 3 overall against Genius, NaNiwa laughed last – and thus laughed loudest – making his way into the Ro16.
The night started with an ill omen for NaNiwa, as Genius exploited the recent PvP propensity to scout late by building proxy-gateways right under NaNiwa's nose. NaNiwa attempted a two stalker, all-probe counter attack once he saw zealots flooding into his base, but a pylon-cannon wall at Genius' main meant that NaNiwa would have to try his luck in the second set. That game went more to NaNiwa's liking, as he successfully defended his faster expansion and rode his advantage to a victory.
The deciding set on Cloud Kingdom saw Genius open blink-obs pressure against NaNiwa'a fast expansion. Genius exploited the terrain of Cloud Kingdom brilliantly, picking NaNiwa apart with blink while taking his own expansion at home. Though NaNiwa survived, Genius had pulled too far ahead and the series ended in victory for the '12 GSL Season One runner-up.
Facing elimination, NaNiwa hung on to defeat Keen 2 - 0 in a DreamHack Summer rematch, completing a combined 4 – 0 home and away sweep. Both games happened to be a bit strange, but game two was notable as one of the ugliest Code S matches in a long time. A failed cheese from Keen led to one thing, NaNiwa's failed counter-attack led to another, and the game collapsed into a sequence of strange decisions with even stranger results. Though it wasn't the prettiest series, it didn't really matter to NaNiwa as he moved onto the final match of the night.
The first set of the revenge-match echoed the first series, as NaNiwa once more went for a fast expansion against Genius' blink-obs build on Cloud Kingdom. However, NaNiwa was able to defend much better the second time around, and the end result was both players sitting fairly evenly on two bases. The game progressed into a late-game colossus duel, and NaNiwa triumped with better positioning. NaNiwa wasn't able to achieve much success with his own blink-obs build in the second set, so the series moved on to a final, do or die set on Ohana.
Both Genius and NaNiwa played very passively as they took three bases on their respective halves of the map, gearing up slowly for an eventual max-out battle. With similar army compositions, Genius seemed to have the advantage from having upgraded from two forges instead of NaNiwa's one. However, when the time came for the final showdown, Genius showed up without colossus range. As a result, NaNiwa's army won an absurdly one-sided victory, making way for a second straight Ro8 appearance for the Swede.
Game of the Night: ByunPrime vs MvPKeen - Game Three
Byun and Keen played an interesting TvT where role reversal was the theme, as Keen's waves of small mech forces did their best to stretch apart Byun's bio-ball. After a series of battles, Byun ended up in a situation his army had lost critical mass, and it was actually viable for Keen to split up his mech army and send it out in small detachments. Keen came very close to winning with his atypical use of mech, but Byun managed to disrupt Keen's resource collection and put together a bio-ball solid enough to sweep everything up.