Up Down Matches: Group E Recap
Results from Live report thread by Probe1.
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Spontaneous Acts of viOLet
– With viOLet missing, SlayerS_Ryung and ST_Life advance from the four man Group E
The Up/Downs are known as a place where anything can happen. That was most certainly the case with Group E, but little did anyone suspect that the surprises would begin before a single game was played. With ThorZaIN already forfeiting Group B games earlier in the week due to illness, Group E favorite AZUBU.viOLet also went missing. Unlike ThorZaIN's announced withdrawal, viOLet was almost a game day no-show, with many fans learning of his absence from GSL casters Khaldor and Wolf as the broadcast began.
The first player to come out of this 50/50 group turned out to be SlayerS_Ryung, a fixture in Code S. Perhaps not the more glamorous fixture in the apartment, or one most fans really think that much about, but definitely a fixture that would be strange not to have there.
While Ryung has always been commended for his macro, his positioning and his methodical type of play, none of those qualities really mattered much in his first game of the group against Life. In what can only be described as a peculiar game, Ryung went 11/11. While we are accustomed to seeing a fair amount of 11/11 openings in TvZ, Life’s reaction was not the most common. Pulling all but a handful of Drones, Life went to take out the unprotected SCVs of Ryung. It almost worked out for the Startale Zerg, but Ryung was able to squeeze out just enough Marines to make it a failed gambit for his Zerg opponent, giving him a valuable first win.
The tables were turned against Ryung in the following game, Oz opened with a two gate - one of them proxied. I would have put solid money on the following happening six months ago: Ryung would have expanded in his natural, he would have been flustered by the double Zealot plus Stalker pressure coming in at a peculiar timing and made his bunker on the high ground a little too late to stave off the pressure, perhaps even trying to initially fend off the initial Zealots on the low ground with Marines.
In September 2012, Ryung simply built his Command Center on the high ground, responded to the attack with a bunker, continuously produced Marines and teched to Stim while repairing his depots. He ended up holding with relative ease, took map control and simply crushed Oz while he was trying to take his third to make up for his poor start.
Finally, already being qualified for Code S Season 4 (the other players' games worked out so that 2 - 0 was sufficient for Ryung), our intrepid hero went against his reputation as a stellar macro TvT player, one basing an unsuspecting TheStC to ensure a sweep of the group. Teching up to Siege Tanks, he pretty much rolled over the Quantic player who had greedily gone for triple Orbitals and double Engineering Bay before really bolstering his production.
– Fifteen year old ST_Life qualifies for his first Code S ever
We have long heard of the young, talented Korean trio of Taeja, Creator and Life. One Terran, one Protoss, one Zerg. All seemingly unbeatable online, all with immense potential, all heralded as bringers of the new generation of StarCraft II. Well, the first two in the group have quite recently come to blossom. Taeja is on one of the most dominant streaks we have seen. Creator just won WCS Korea.
Now it is Life’s turn.
While he lost his first game to Ryung, he would not let that stand in his way of the holy grail of StarCraft II known as Code S status. Life started his game against TheStC as he did against Ryung. However, instead of facing 11/11 he faced Command Center first into gas into Barracks. The early midgame looked strangely bleak for Life when he faced Hellion pressure and a Banshee at his third.
Instead of doing what we see a lot of Zergs do, he sent out speedlings to attack TheStC’s third while defending with Queens. In a complete reversal of how this is supposed to go, it was the Terran who lost a lot of economy while Life stabilized and went for his Infestors. Having seized the initiative, Life never let go. He simply out-harassed the former oGs player, constantly going for his exposed third on Daybreak with Ling run-bys. His Infestor attack on the natural was a lot less successful, but the fact of the matter was that TheStC was never able to stabilize, forced to constantly put out fires while Life macroed behind his aggression for a landslide win.
Life's final game versus Oz looked similar to his second. An early ling runby saw the game start to spiral out of control for Oz from the get go. He left his wall undefended with no Probe or Zealot plugging the gap (a recurring trend in recent ZvP) while Zerglings happily entering his natural. While he actually cleaned that raid up without losing too much, the wizard’s follow up of Sentry donations to speedlings let Life have an enormous advantage. When Oz tried to secure a late third with no real army to defend himself from Lings, Life took the game and ensured no tiebreakers would be played in an incredibly short Up and Down group.
So Life has clinched his Code S spot as the last of the young online trio. He did it in his own fashion, looking bizarre and unreadable vs. Ryung, fluid and dominant vs. TheStC and Oz. Time will tell whether anything will come of this fanciful tale, but it seems almost more sad that Creator was eliminated in tiebreakers from Group D now; it would have been very interesting to see how the three would develop side by side when GSL Season 4 started in earnest.