Code S Ro16: Group D Recap
Results from Live Report Thread by opterown
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Life's Looking Up
– ST_Life beats LG-IM_Happy and LG-IM_Seed to advance to the quarter-finals/
When a player is picked last in GSL Code S group nominations, one must consider the possibility that he or she might be very at StarCraft II.
Life wasted little time confirming this theory, being the second royal roader in potentia to advance into the round of eight. Going up against Happy, Life once again demonstrated both his prowess and quirkiness. Both games featured fast gas and speedling play from the Startale prodigy. I do not think that I ever will be tired of saying this, but Life loves to control the tempo of the game by using speedlings; he stays incredibly active and is always threatening counter attacks. Starting out on Abyssal City, he was able to constantly pressure Happy’s worker lines whenever the IM Terran moved out. While Happy was able to get up to three Orbitals relatively quickly, he was never able to maintain a strong economy. His limited map vision made it tricky to take his third and his worker count was set back by ling attacks. In the end, Life was able to tech up in complete safety, his map presence supreme, and he crushed Happy’s forces when the Terran had to move out to try to put pressure on.
Game two was more of the same. On Entombed, Life’s early harass was not as successful as far as hurting Happy’s economy went, but the game played out in a similar fashion. Happy again went bio with tanks and Medivacs. Increasing the frequency of drops did little to improve Happy’s chances in this game as they were continuously denied. Life wasted little time staying on lair tech, instead deciding to tech up quickly while controlling the map. As Happy finally went out on the map with his +2/+2, Life had set up a fantastic position with lings, Banelings and infestors collapsing onto a retreating Terran army.
In the winner’s match, Life was up against the reigning champion. ZvP was the match-up where Life had shown the problems so far, but in a trial by fire the young TSL4 runner-up was tested and came out a winner.
While his games versus Happy followed a familiar script, his series versus Seed were more off the beaten track. In the first game, Seed played a very safe and defensive style, delaying his third for a long time while building up his army. Life was able to gain economical edges, but while staying on lair tech he failed to deliver any crucial blows. Though the pressure was on, Seed was able to overcome the infestor based attacks and take the game with colossi.
Life picked Abyssal City for the second game. He narrowly defended a Void Ray attack coupled with Observers warped into his main base when Seed missed a crucial force field on Life’s ramp. He was able to repel repeated warp-ins with roaches and lings while using some nice queen burrow and transfuse micro to take care of the aerial threat. As the attack was held, Life went on to win by breaking down Seed’s limited defenses with hydras.
The final showdown on Entombed Valley was a return to stylistic tendencies for both players. Seed opted for a gateway expand, applying early pressure with a zealot/stalker combination. As soon as Life stabilized, he started working on countering the typical way Seed plays out his PvZs. As Life is wont to do, he opted for harassment and sent out small drops whenever Seed tried to move out on the map. While his drops were met with mixed success, Life was able to combine the economical damage inflicted and delays incurred to mass up an unbeatable brood lord-infestor army. Left with no other option, Seed had to try for a base race but was out gunned. Life cleaned up Seed's side of the map while the IM Protoss was only half done clearing away spine crawlers, and returned to finish the game.
Revenge, Like Honey, is Sweet.
– TSL_Symbol avenges last season's loss and defeats LG-IM_Seed to progress to the quarter-finals
A lot has been said about Symbol since he went out in the round of eight to Seed last season. With a seeming dip in form, he went from being the breakout star of Code S to being a bit of a question mark whereas Seed went on to win the tournament and look like the strongest Protoss in the world.
In the first match, history seemed to repeat itself. Symbol took the lead, but had to give it up as Seed engineered a comeback to advance to the winner’s match. While Symbol was able to deflect Seed’s gateway/void ray attack all-in to take an early lead, he went down to Seed's trademark Entombed Valley blink-stalker play to get sent down to the losers match.
Facing Happy, we saw a more tentative Symbol, unlike the self-assured Symbol that crushed through two groups last season. In any case, he was able to overcome the Terran in three games. He won on Antiga in a drawn out game with ultralisks and brood lords but lost to a pre-hive marine-tank push on Ohana, forcing the deciding third game. On Daybreak, Symbol narrowly defended a double proxy barracks opening but was forced to play with an economic disadvantage. Eventually, superior tech and incessant backdoor would was enough to turn the tide, and the TSL Zerg received his second chance to get revenge on Seed.
– Marathon Men
In the revenge-revenge match, Symbol went down early to Seed's Entombed Valley triple nexus build for the second time in the night. Going into the second game on Daybreak, Symbol took it upon himself to vanquish his inner demons, and incidentally, also vanquish Seed. With Seed declining to force the action, Symbol was content to safely tech up to infestor/corruptor/brood lord put down sprawling forests of spine crawlers for defense.
The game on Daybreak was a clear visual representation of theorycrafting end game strength; Seed with mass carriers, archons and high templar backed by a mothership – Symbol with the usual Zerg fare in ridiculous numbers. In the end, Symbol was able to out-muscle his Protoss foe, with enough corruptors surviving archon toilets and storms to finish off his foe. Cloud Kingdom played out in a similar manner, same way but without being as long; the Zerg was never really threatened in the midgame and used his late game composition to crush all resistance. Seed seemed philosophical on twitter after the games, but not dissatisfied with the strength of the late-game army in PvZ. Fellow Protoss pros Choya and Oz chimed in as well, wondering how the engagements for Seed would have gone had there been subtle differences in composition and execution.
This is the second season straight that Group D produces a double Zerg win. Whereas last season saw DRG and Nestea advance, this time the pair consisted of two less decorated contenders, but perhaps no less intimidating. Korean Zerg has a distinct feeling of a changing of the guard, and both Life and Symbol are players that should be in the driver’s seat to challenge for the first Zerg GSL win since DRG’s triumph in season one.