Code S Ro32: Group G Recap
Results from Live Report Thread by opterown.
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Life Goes On
– ST_Life advances as the only undefeated player in seven Code S groups.
ST_Life kept his royal road dreams alive in Code S, joining the less-expected royal road candidate coL.Heart in the Ro16. On his way, he dispatched of LG-IM_NesTea and EG.JYPRC in a full showcase of his skills – showing his ZvZ prowess against Nestea while being both creative and resilient against JYP.
Coming into the group with absurd ZvZ stats that are bound to regress to the mean, Life showed that he was simply, fundamentally good at the match-up in his initial series against Nestea. Using a style that bore resemblance to DongRaeGu vs. Effort in WCS Korea, he took two games where he won on the strength of superior mechanics. In the first game he showed superior macro, micro and decision making in a ling-bane dogfight, while in the second game, he showed that he had wonderful game sense by playing mutas into roach-infestor perfectly.
In the winners match against JYP, Life faced a tough challenge in a strong PvZ player. In the first game on Ohana, he refused to fall to the customary two base all-in, opting for a rare two-base roach-ling-infestor opener instead. JYP seemed thrown off by these tactics, and ended up falling to relentless attacks from Life. In the next game, Life had an opportunity to become the only 4 - 0 group winner in the Ro32, and he grasped that honor with panache. In almost miraculous fashion, he was able to hold off a six gate attack after his first hatchery had died to a cannon rush. Somehow, Life had just enough production to deflect JYP’s near all-in, pulling drones setting up flanks in a prolonged defense until he finally stabilized. Through the midgame, Life continuously pressured with nydus networks, overlord drops and infestor harass, while JYP repaid the favor in turn with constant warp-prism harass. In the end, Life was able to seal his 4-0 record in the group with the typical Zerg late game composition of brood lords and infestors, completely overrunning an opponent he had run ragged.
In a season where the heroes of 2011 seem to be falling left and right, Life is one of the most exciting players rising up to take their places. He is notoriously difficult to prepare for, his style unorthodox and his build order selection diverse. In a time where the ever solid-looking Curious tells the world he has to expand his repertoire in order to stay competitive, Life is an interesting counterpart. In a tournament where preparation is an integral part of a player’s success or demise, I doubt many Code S regulars will relish trying to map out how Life plays. It will be fascinating to see whether Life will decide to tailor his play to his opponents, continue on as Life: unpredictable, brilliant and iconoclastic in pursuit of his royal road.
JYP versus Terran x2 = Advancement
– EG.JYPRC takes second place winning twice in his weakest matchup.
The only other time JYP was in Code S, he lost to a Terran with cheesy tendencies before being knocked out by a Zerg icon. Back in Season 1, those two players were sC and DRG. This season, it looked like his itinerary could look similar indeed, with mTw.SuperNova in the first match and NesTea in the second. However, history would not repeat itself as the EG Protoss was able to take his former weakness – JYPvT – and turn it on its head.
Going up against Supernova, one had to worry for JYP. While seldom looking outclassed in his PvT, his win rate in the 20's meant that he almost always found a way to second guess himself and lose. Supernova had a reputation for making short work of such foes, capable of bringing a variety of two-base all-ins that required a Protoss player's full concentration to stop. Not surprisingly, the mTw player’s first strategy of the day was a tank backed two base all-in. But whereas JYP had fallen to such strategies before, this time would prove different – he bided his time, waited until he had just the right composition, and killed the Terran army to win the game. In the second game, he found himself way behind in a macro game, but through good high templar use, patience, and good battle selection, he was able to turn the game in his favor and win in the end.
After missing out on a chance to reach the Ro16 against Life in his best match-up, JYP's continued existence in Code S would be decided in a rematch with Supernova (who had crushed Nestea in the losers match). He started out shakily, going down in a rather predictable fashion on Antiga. He failed to put pressure on early as Supernova played greedily, then failed to hold his third when the Terran player’s economy kicked in. JYP's primary trick in the game was dark templar harassment, which while effective, ultimately could not stand in the way of SuperNoVa's four-base macro machine.
Despite having won a macro game against SuperNoVa in the previous series, JYP decided that there must be a more convenient way out. Surmising that his opponent would go for a CC first build on Daybreak, JYP really took advantage of the opponent’s greed with a proxy-gate build to quickly even up the score at 1 - 1. That set up an interesting mind-game in the deciding match on Entombed Valley, where SuperNoVa decided that it would be alright to play greedy one more time. Unfortunate for him, JYP had no qualms about punishing greed a second time, using a 6-gate all-in to send SuperNoVa down to Code A.
The outcome of the group was unexpected, not because JYP advanced, but rather because he did it through two PvTs. If he keeps showing this kind of form in the future, his stock is sure to rise. Upon further reflection, one of the deciding factors of JYP moving on to the round of sixteen is that he seemed to have discovered a previously absent sense of self-assurance. His read on Supernova in the last two games of the day showed a player who was confident in his assessments, and had the mental fortitude to go all-in without hesitation. Instead letting himself be played by his opponent, he was the aggressor and the one exploiting identifiable flaws.
The round of sixteen will test JYP further. It is difficult to imagine a Terran player turning down an opportunity to pick him; we could even see the strange match-up of Heart vs. JYP. His PvT is not magically fixed because he came out of this group, but he looks much stronger than before and shouldn't be an automatic pick for any Terran player. Ultimately, JYP will undoubtedly relish the opportunity to shine in Code S. If anything, he has shown dedication to both figuring out his opponents and himself, which will go a long way to propelling him from a player of unquestionable potential into a mainstay in Code S.
– NesTea and SuperNova, the two most experienced players in Code S, both fall to Code A.
To be blunt, Nestea continued his decline. He again lost to a mechanically more gifted player in ZvZ and failed to make any sort of good impression in ZvT. After losing to Life in his initial match, Nestea looked very poor as he lost 0 - 2 to SuperNoVa as well. One game saw him go for laughably ineffectual drop play against SuperNoVa's mech, while the second game saw his muta-ling-bane play get crushed in all too familiar fashion by an efficient bio army.
It remains to be seen whether Nestea can rise from the ashes. In his current form, it's doubtful that he can make it out of Code A or the Up/Downs. However, his history and character should allow him time to refocus and figure out how to solve his current issues.
Whereas Nestea did not look like Nestea at all, Supernova looked decidedly like Supernova. Unfortunately for him, it was the Supernova who looked slightly disinterested, quite sloppy at times and not all there. He was able to easily win in TvZ, but didn't look like he was 100% in all five games against JYP. He has always been a player that can look amazing against the best but horrible against the worst. While he did not look truly horrible and JYP is definitely not a bad player to lose to, it was one of those days where Supernova failed to play to his ability. With the Nestea Award now hinging on him either making a run in Code A or making it out of what will probably be an insane Up and Down group (including KeSPA players this time around), he will regret a lost opportunity in Group G.
- This is the first time Nestea has finished last (4th) in a Code S group, his previous finishes are 1-3-2-1-2-1-2-1-3-1.
- Supernova has finished third once before, his results are 1-3-4-2-4-1-1-1.
- Nestea is 0-1 in matches in Code A, 0-2 in games.
- Supernova is 8-1 in Code A, 19-5 in games.
- In his five games against Supernova, JYP proxied his fifth pylon in the first three. The fourth game he won before making it and in the fifth game he proxied his fourth.
- Group G was the first group where both players advancing had never made it past the first stage of Code S.
- Life was the first player advancing with a perfect score.
- Life is the only potential royal roader currently in Code S with a perfect match record.
- Nestea may or may not have thought that the GSL was a golf tournament, wanting as low a score as possible. Truly, only an individual such as Nestea would be able to finish his play with zero strokes.