Code S Ro32: Group F Recap
Results from Live Report Thread by Dodgin
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Squirtle Surfs Along on Victory Road
- ST_Squirtle defeats both MVP.Sniper and coL.Heart easily to move on to the Ro16.
With three individual league silvers medals in his pocket, Squirtle got off to a great start on his mission to escape from the Kong Line. Drawn into one of the softer groups of the tournament, Squirtle had no trouble dispatching his opponents and advancing in first place.
Squirtle started off the night against Sniper, the dark horse Zerg from team MVP. As Sniper went up to 3 hatch, Squirtle opened up with an unorthodox gate-first expansion build. Upon scouting Sniper’s 3rd hatch, Squirtle transitioned into a strong 5-gate timing attack. Despite scouting and delaying the proxy pylon, Sniper could never gather the critical mass of roaches and lings needed to hold off the attack, and was forced to GG out to the rush.
As the series moved on to Daybreak, Squirtle had another early attack prepared. After standard forge FE vs three hatch openings, Squirtle went for a strong 6 gate warp prism attack in Sniper's main, using force-fields to block off Sniper's ramp. Due to a number of factors - a macro hatch in Sniper's main, good counter-attacking by Sniper, and a few missed force-fields from Squirtle - Sniper managed to hold out against the attack and came out in much better condition. With his counter-attacking force of roaches and lings able to kill Squirtle's natural in the meantime, it didn't take long for Sniper to ride his advantage to a victory.
The deciding set took place on Entombed Valley, where Sniper decided he would control the pace of the game by going for a fake 3 hatch, cancelling it and going for a roach + slow ling bust that went totally unscouted until it was knocking at Squirtle’s front door. Though he was forced to sacrifice a number of probes, Squirtle held off the attack with good sim city, probe blocking, force fields and hastily built cannons. The situation normalized with Sniper taking the lead in drones while building a solid three base foundation as he went up to lair. However, Squirtle had tricks of his own, and hit back with DTs that killed a decent amount of Sniper's drones, demolished the hatchery at his third, and delayed his fourth base for a while. Behind all this, Squirtle was going up to three bases for a mass +2 blink stalker attack. Though Sniper had infestors out in time for the attack, Squirtle didn't hesitate to charge right in when he judged that Sniper just didn't have the numbers to hold. It was the correct decision for Squirtle as Sniper was overwhelmed and forced to concede.
- Squirtle gives Heart a taste of his own medicine in the winners match
Coming up to the winners match after cheesing NaNiwa three times in a row (more on that below), Heart had the tables immediately turned on him by NaNiwa's ex-StartaleQ teammate Squirtle.
They started off on Antiga where Heart did a marauder + reactor hellions timing attack, but a misplaced bunker meant that Squirtle was able to easily hold off the attack with his FE into 3 gates before robo strategy. Heart tried to expand behind his failed attack, but fell helplessly when Squirtle counter attacked with immortals and a slew of gateway units.
In the next game, Heart decided to go in the complete opposite direction of his previous games on the night, and went for three fast CC's against Squirtle’s standard gate-nexus build. Perhaps Squirtle felt something was amiss as no SCVs had come to attack him in the first 5 minutes, and he responded by pumping units from his three warp-gates and going for a bust on Heart. Heart was totally unprepared losing a massive amount of SCVs and being forced to lift his natural CC for a considerable length of time. Heart tried to play the game out from there, but it was effectively over. Squirtle simply contained Heart while teching up and taking a third, increasing his lead even further. Heart managed to gather one attack which was utterly crushed, and he made way for Squirtle on his path to redemption.
Heart By Heart
- coL.Heart pulls off an upset by defeating Mionix_NaNiwa and MVP.Sniper, backed by skillful cheesing.
Though we all expected it, but we couldn’t help but watch in fascination as Heart rolled into the booth and did what he does best: all-in. In fact, he did it so well, that by the end of the day, he had booked himself a ticket to the Ro16.
The first victim was NaNiwa. On the first map, Entombed Valley, NaNiwa went with a 2 zealot stalker expansion, while Heart did a 1/1/1 build that was centered around massing a very large amount of marines and hellions early. Then Heart gathered a force of SCVs, marines, and hellions and pushed towards NaNiwa, with just one medivac in tow. Instead of using his medivac to drop, he used it as a sacrificial decoy to draw NaNiwa’s stalkers out of position and distract his attention for just two crucial seconds while he walked up the ramp into the natural and killed off the vital sentries.
NaNiwa decided to sacrifice his natural nexus and hold inside his main while Heart chose to stay on one base and finish the game. He continued to build up his infrastructure to get tanks, more rax and upgrades for his infantry. As tanks popped out, Heart tried to rally them to NaNiwa's base to keep him contained, but NaNiwa busted out in timely fashion, just before Heart could dig himself in. After mopping up the containing force, NaNiwa looked like he could just take his natural and play a normal game against the one-base Terran, but he ended up pushing his advantage too far in a failed attack on Heart's main. Smelling blood, Heart pulled his SCVs for a final all-in fifteen minutes into the game, and this time NaNiwa had no answer.
One good turn deserved another, and NaNiwa repaid the favor by picking Antiga as the next map and immediately going for a 4-gate all-in. Heart was gearing up to go for another 1/1/1, but unfortunately his bunker was nowhere near in time to stop NaNiwa's super-fast attack. Heart GG'd out, and the series went to a third set.
Heart showed even more variety in game three, going for an old school reactor-techlab two barracks pressure build. NaNiwa did a 1 gate expand and went up to 3 gates, fending off the rush without much trouble. However, that was just the first move for both players, as Heart was gearing up for a full-blown one base MMM all-in, while NaNiwa was rushing up to DTs. In a weird sequence of events, Heart pushed out just as NaNiwa had enough DT's to hold off the attack, while also sending a handful to cripple Heart's economy back at home. Still, Heart managed to somehow transition into a belated "1/1/1," with a force of marines, marauders, banshees, and a raven (one with heroic auto-turrets), which somehow was enough overwhelm NaNiwa in a last ditch attack.
After falling to Squirtle in the winners' match, Heart got a chance to redeem himself in the final match of the night against MVP's Sniper. In a shocking turn of events, Heart decided to go for a very standard, macro style of play in his first two games against Sniper. On Cloud Kingdom, Heart went for three bases and pummeled Sniper with constant MM-Tank aggression, making Sniper’s decision to go for a muta-heavy mid game largely ineffectual as he was forced to spend most of his time defending. A few favorable engagements for the Terran saw Heart go up 30~40 supply, from which point he could simply rally troops in Sniper's direction until he received the surrender.
The second game on Daybreak followed a similar pattern where Sniper once more went for mutas against Heart's macro play without doing any damage, but things went much better for Sniper this time. When Heart moved out across the map with a large force, Sniper was able to clean up the attack very efficiently with muta-bane-ling, and was able to keep Heart stuck in his base while teching up to brood lords and infestors. Heart was still only prepared to fight a lair army when the brood lords hit, and he was easily overrun.
In the elimination game, Heart stayed true to himself and played the style that had gotten him so far. He did a proxy 11/12 rax and pulled some SCVs to do massive damage to Sniper’s economy by dropping him down to 8 drones. Sniper tried to do a slow ling counter into Heart’s natural, but was forced to withdraw as marines closed in. However, he mistakenly withdrew into a squad of marines, instantly losing half of his lings. Heart smelled blood once more, and pulled a large amount of SCVs and executed a game winning attack.
Naniwa Finishes Last
NaNiwa brought more of his gate-nexus play in the losers' match against Sniper, but what wasn't good enough against DongRaeGu turned out to be insufficient against MVP's other Zerg ace as well. NaNiwa tried to go for a fast 4 gate follow-up in the first game, but it was spotted and easily thwarted by speedlings and roaches. He tried to follow up with a +2 blink stalker all-in, but Sniper sniffed out the attack before it came, and was able to use a great burrowed ling trap combined with roaches to totally crush NaNiwa's force.
Things went a lot better for NaNiwa in game two, where a similar early pressure opening for NaNiwa allowed him to kill off Sniper's third base. NaNiwa seemed like he was in good position to secure his third and play a standard game, but instead decided he would go for a nexus cancel and all-in with +2 blink stalkers yet again. It was more of the same as burrow proved to be NaNiwa's bane yet again, leaving him unable to push into Sniper's burrowed roaches. Instead of backing off, NaNiwa attempted to force a terrible fight, which ended up in a costly defeat. NaNiwa belatedly tried to take a third, but by then Sniper had teched up to mass infestors. Channeling the spirit of NSH_Freaky, Sniper dumped infested Terrans on NaNiwa until he was forced to GG out.
Overall, NaNiwa placed below expectations tonight as his play seemed unfocused, and his execution was not as clean as we were used to seeing from him in recent GSLs. He will now have to climb back up from Code A, which is likely to be populated by dangerous KeSPA players this time around.