Code S Ro32: Group E Recap
Results from Live report thread by Dodgin.
+ Show Spoiler [Results] +
Taeja takes another step toward the Terran throne
- Liquid`TaeJa defeats mouz.MaNa and LG-IM_Mvp in dominating fashion and moves onto the Ro16
Taeja started off the night playing against Mana and showing excellent form. On Ohana, the game started passively on both sides, with Taeja going for his signature three orbitals into victory while Mana went for a double forge and robo bay. Taeja took the econ lead with a well placed scan which allowed him to land his third cc faster than usual. Eventually, Tajea was able to make that small advantage a decisive one by sniping an obs. This led to a 5 medivac drop in Mana’s main, drawing MaNa's forces away while a separate infantry force destroyed MaNa's third. Mana tried to come back by double expanding and using his better upgrades to defend, but Taeja’s army was too much and he killed both expos to end the game.
MaNa got quick revenge in game two, scouting out and forcing TaeJa to give up on his double-rax strategy. TaeJa tried to transition into triple orbitals after that, but Mana just went for four-gates and killed TaeJa off quickly.
In the final game, Taeja opened with rax gas into a hellion drop, followed by an expansion. After dealing some minor probe damage with his drop, TaeJa pulled back and consolidated his forces for an early bio, medivac and hellion push to trade for some of MaNa's sentries. TaeJa continued to stay aggressive, looking to force an end to the game while MaNa rushed up to templar tech. Mana tried to be aggressive with his storm and blink stalkers to stop TaeJa's attacks, but good dodging from TaeJa allowed him to kill MaNa's army and take the series.
TaeJa proceeded to face Mvp in the winners match, who had advanced after overcoming his arch-rival MMA in the initial matches. The first map was Abyssal City, where Mvp had just recently lost a long GSTL game to Jjakji. Mvp opened with a proxy marauder build, but Taeja scouted MVP’s main with an scv and was able to get a bunker up in time to deflect the pressure. Mvp followed by trying to go up to his usual 3 cc into mech build, but Taeja put on relentless pressure with small armies. A small 1/1/1 style attack did decent damage to begin, and then four hellions followed up to kill all the SCVs in Mvp’s natural and third. Taeja then attacked again and caught a crucial tank out of position. Things continued to spiral out of control for Mvp from there, and TaeJa eventually rolled up his advantage in to a 1 - 0 lead.
The second game on Daybreak saw a TaeJa go for a rare mech build to match Mvp's mech, turning the game into a TvT straight out of 2011. As both players skirmished in the mid game and slowly went to a split-map scenario, TaeJa pulled ahead slightly with faster tech and better upgrades. Taeja was able to transition to sky Terran, while also getting raven upgrades faster. The balance shifted heavily in TaeJa's favor when Mvp was out goaded out of position, allowing TaeJa's hellions to kill all but 18 of Mvp's SCVs. Eventually Taeja was able to put together an overwhelming sky Terran force, forcing the GG from Mvp and securing passage to the Ro16.
- LG-IM_Mvp defeats SlayerS_MMA twice, breaking the GSL TvT triangle
Though the MMA > Mvp > Polt > MMA relationship held for much of 2011, Mvp showed things had changed drastically in 2012 by defeating MMA twice to make his way to the Ro16.
The first match between came on Whirlwind, and easily stood out as the best game of the night. As the players spawned at diagonal spots, they both open into reactor hellions with Mvp winning an early skirmish. Given the distances on the map, both players transitioned into the mid-game with three orbitals, the difference being that MMA had a better economy and faster upgrades, while Mvp had a better army.
After the two Terrans were done setting up, the game turned into a match of speed chess all across the map. It was a clash of two different military doctrines: MMA wanted a mobile infantry force that could attack expansions, cut off reinforcements and threaten a flank on any of Mvp’s forces out on the map. On the other hand, Mvp wanted a stronger tank based army that would be unassailable once set, and could clear up and control large sections sections of the map at a time, and keep centralized control for Mvp.
The game was extraordinarily complicated. There were no less than 23 major attacks and counter attacks initiated by both sides, with MMA constantly counter attacking and taking out expansions, while Mvp was making heavy pushes, defending and taking out armies. Eventually, a hidden base for MMA along with his constant denial and harassment of Mvp’s economy allowed MMA to secure an advantage over MVP. The final nail in the coffin came when MMA finally hit the jackpot, catching eleven of Mvp's tanks unsieged in the middle of the map. With no SCVs, orbitals or army, MVP was forced to gg.
Here is a battle report of the entire game for those interested:
+ Show Spoiler [Battle Report] +
The second game was on Daybreak was less a battle of ideologies and more of a battle of composition. Mvp went 3 base mech, while MMA put on early pressure using bio medivac. MMA started off with an early lead by attacking Mvp’s natural before all of Mvp’s tech was ready, and was thus able to destroy a lot of Mvp’s SCVs, main army, and force a lift of MVP’s third. He then dropped Mvp’s main and killed more SCV bringing the SCV death count up to 30. However, Mvp had triple orbitals up much faster and was able to stabilize while MMA took a belated third. Mvp eventually moved back out to his third and got the death push going. MMA tried to hold him off with both aggressive and defensive nuking, but eventually lost both his 3rd and 4th bases. At the same time MMA started drop harassment after clearing Mvp's turret ring with a nuke, but Mvp cleaned it up and got a 4th. MMA stuck in the game using clever bio positioning and nuke harassment to keep the economy equal, but he could never amass an army capable of challenging Mvp in direct combat, and eventually had to GG.
The deciding game took place on Antiga, and it was a different kind of game yet again: a savage battle of who could kill more SCVs. Both started with fast gas builds, with Mvp using a 1 gas variant into an expansion, while MMA went cloak banshees. Mvp attacked with a hellion marine and banshee combination, while MMA did damage with his cloaked banshee in Mvp's under-defended base. All said and done, both sides lost equal amounts of SCVs, but Mvp had his natural up while MMA did not. MMA stayed in the game using banshee harassment to even out the economy, but one hellion run by from Mvp made sure MMA's economy was wrecked once more. With Mvp on three bases, with better tech and more SCVs, MMA was forced into a final desperation SCV pull attack to break Mvp. It didn’t work and Mvp moved on to winners match described above.
After losing 0 - 2 to TaeJa, Mvp ended up having to face MMA once more. MMA had come up from defeating MaNa in the losers match, eliminating the Polish Protoss and completing his brutal welcoming party to Code S.
The Mvp-MMA rematch started on Entombed Valley, with MMA going gas first against Mvp’s cc first. MMA started with some marine hellion and medivac pressure while Mvp went for hellions and vikings. Eventually Mvp broke through and secured his natural while getting a third. MMA tried to follow up with a siege tanks, vikings and marines timing attack, but with cute positioning, Mvp was able to hold off with his vikings and hellions for long enough until his own tanks had the siege mode upgrade. Mvp then got his third cc up and went for mech, while MMA went for a hidden third in the bottom right and used bio tank to contain Mvp. Mvp pushed forward inch by inch until he broke out of MMA's soft contain dragging forth SCVs and going for a death push. MMA tried to drop and break the contain, but none of his attempts were successful and he had to GG.
The last game of the night was a rematch on Whirlwind. The two players spawned cross positions again, and MMA opened up with cc first into a rax and gas while Mvp on the other hand went for some marine-hellion aggression before expanding. In the rematch, MVP got a much better handle on how MMA was playing and used aggressive tank-marine-viking attacks to keep MMA’s economy in check. It started with a very early attack when MMA just establishing his third, taking a sizable chunk out of MMA's army and SCV count. MMA hit back with a triple medivac drop that killed Mvp’s engineering bays and some tanks, but it wasn't enough to wrest back control from Mvp. Mvp constantly forced MMA into bad positions, was prepared for all of his flanking attacks, and was generally in position to do damage wherever MMA's army was absent. Eventually, he carved out a niche in MMA's base where he could keep dropping, forcing costly defensive engagements from MMA until the SlayerS ace was forced to GG out.
- mouz.MaNa’s first expedition into Code S
In the losers game of the night, Mana played MMA on Abyssal City. The game started normally with MMA going 1 rax cc. Mana on the other hand went for a stalker opening to deny MMA scouting while teching up to a blink all-in. Unfortunately, MMA was able to scout the lack of a nexus and he played defensively. Mana decided to go for 4 gate blink obs, but MMA got another SCV in and scouted everything. MaNa expanded and tried to transition into a normal game, but having failed to do much with his initial blink opening, he was crushed by MMA's superior bio force.
Game 2 was played on Entombed Valley, with MMA playing economically with 1 rax into double cc while Mana went for the standard 1 gate zealot stalker expand into a 3 gate and robo. The macro advantage from MMA allowed him to get up to 50 supply ahead of Mana without any major engagements from either side. The game came to a head as MMA moved out to attack, and with a good arc, snipes, and some misplaced force fields, MMA was able to crush Mana’s first army. Afterwards, MMA kept Mana on three base while getting up 3 more bases of his own. With some good nuke harass and aggressive sniping, MMA was able to make Mana fall apart and destroy his army for a second time. MMA then ended the game with a barrage of drops and nukes.
Overall, Mana played up to expectations, showing some solid PvT which just wasn't good enough to defeat the all-star line-up of Terrans assembled against him. Going into this group, Mana said he was worried about Korean Terran aggression and his worries proved to be well founded as Taeja dropped to defeat him in the first match of the day. To make things worse, when MaNa tried to play very defensively, staying on two bases for extended periods of time, both MMA and Taeja took strong macro leads by getting their thirds up much faster without being punished.
While Mana did go 1-4, foreign fans don't have to be discouraged. MaNa was placed in what most would consider to be the hardest Ro32 group this season. MaNa hadn't spent much time in Korea before his matches, so he wasn’t been able to fully reap the benefits of Korean training. With time, he seems fully capable of playing at a higher level. Also, none of MaNa’s games seemed to have any major issues caused by nerves, and he was able to take a game off of Taeja with a cute 4 gate timing after seeing Taeja’s 2 rax opener. So with a clear head, and a few more weeks of Korean training, MaNa should be able to go into his Code A and perform well.