Code A Ro48: Day 3 Recap
Results from Live Report Thread by Shellshock1122.
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Also sprach Sparta
– ST_Sparta defeats LG-IM_NesTea, knocking him out of the GSL altogether.
A lot can be said about Nestea. A lot has been said about Nestea. While Mvp is the most successful GSL competitor of all time, Nestea is perhaps the most iconic. Perhaps it was the transition from Zergbong to Code S champion, the undisputed lord of Zerg that created the mystery around him? Maybe it was because more than any player, Nestea benefited from Artosis' endearing love of hyperbole. In any case, Nestea is the symbol of the GSL. Not only was an award created in his name to reward ten consecutive Code S appearances, he maintained this pristine record of appearances while also winning three championships.
On the other hand, Sparta is mostly a blank page when it comes to StarCraft II, and a complete one in the GSL. He has never recorded the kind of out-of-spotlight results in non-televised games that can hype up a player for his Code A debut. He came in as an average progamer at best, with scattered appearances in EWM, KSL and the ESV Korean Weekly, never showing more than what one could expect of a former ZeNEX b-teamer.
In Code A, Sparta would face off with a wounded predator. To say that Nestea’s results have been disappointing since being knocked out by Byun in season three would be an understatement and fail to acknowledge his dominance over a long time. But worse than the results was his rapidly deteriorating gameplay since Byun's three bunker block on his ramp worked to the surprise of everyone. Still, given his history in the GSL, predicting him to go out to Sparta seemed comical.
What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives.
It certainly started out looking like Nestea was not ready to go. On Antiga Shipyard, Sparta cleverly engineered a four barracks play, carefully stopping any scouting and even put up a gas in his natural for Nestea’s overlord to see. But the attack was deflected in a way worthy of Nestea’s reputation; having just built eleven drones when the marines and scv pull came, he used a beautiful drone drill to isolate the marines and win with his nearly blind three base opening and false information.
However, games two and three were perfect examples of the Nestea that sadly, could not cut it in the GSL. He would have a perfectly good early and midgame, only to be torn apart by Sparta’s multitasking and active army movements. Even being given huge leads going into the lategame, Nestea would fail yet again to capitalize, taking bad positional fights, not defending drops or multi-pronged aggression. You could see his fall from grace compressed into just two games.
Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us?
Sparta looked fairly solid, but unless he has hidden depths, knocking Nestea out of the GSL is probably going to be the defining moment of his career. For Nestea, it is time to decide what to do. Not only does his play seem underwhelming against borderline Code A players, the onslaught of KeSPA players says something must change for him. It can be speculated that Nestea needs the game to be relatively unexplored to shine; if that is the case, a re-emergence may be on the cards for Heart of the Swarm. However, his late game looks too susceptible to exploitation by more mechanically gifted players to make this a reality.
God is dead.
The question is whether God will remain dead.
Something is rotten in the state of SlayerS
– STX_Bogus defeats the King of Code A, knocking SlayerS_YugiOh out of the tournament.[/b]
This above all: to thine self be true.
On the day God died, the King did not fare much better. It was a matchup of clashing constants; the King of Code A never dies (well he did once, but he bounced back in time for no-one to really notice) in the first round of Code A, maintaining constant participation in the second level of competition and creating a need for a Yugioh award. On the other hand, Yugioh has looked like the player most shaken by the introduction of KeSPA players to the professional StarCraft II player pool. In WCS Korea, he looked to be completely off his game when faced with this new breed of competitor, to the point where it looked almost sad.
In Bogus vs. Yugioh, something had to give. The first game looked like it would go a long way to cement the SlayerS Zerg’s reputation and prowess in Code A, taking a quick victory when Bogus did not react well to an all-in. However, when the games went into the mid and lategame in the following two, we were again faced with Yugioh, the shakiest player in GSL. Bogus played a solid game, the type of game we have come to expect from the second string KeSPA players, and Yugioh was completely unable to keep up.
When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions
Whereas Nestea has his streak irrevocably broken, at least Yugioh stands the chance of keeping his alive with a re-qualification through the preliminaries. However, he absolutely must break the spell KeSPA players seem to have over him. While the situation between eSF and KeSPA looks to be anything but resolved, if we see another Code A preliminaries full of elephants, we may very well not get to see the King of Code A return to his rightful spot in Code A round of 48 in season five.
The Endless Stampede
– With Trap defeating FnaticRC Oz and Terminator defeating ST_Suhosin, more shots are fired.
It is difficult not to feel for Oz. In what seems a long time ago, he was the premier candidate to be the top Protoss in the GSL. Of course, we all know about his dismal fall from PvP grace following his statement about the skill based nature of the matchup. But with players such as HerO showing that you can have success in Code S in spite of having bad results in the matchup, it is still strange to witness just how far Oz has fallen.
Against Trap, he once again came out very much behind in the war of build orders. Trap never looked to be in danger. When he was contained by Oz in game one, he made all the right decisions, broke out and never looked back. In game two, Oz opted for a dark templar play that got shut down with brute efficiency. Oz’ play has looked inconsistent for a long time now, but with recent GSL and GSTL results, it has taken a turn for the worse. Trap on the other hand looked extremely comfortable in everything he did; proving that the seed he was granted by KeSPA was deserved.
The other KeSPA victory came in the form of Terminator beating Suhosin. Terminator, née Sang, is not the kind of player one would think inherently susceptible to the cheese and shenanigans of the part time Startale pro, and made it look relatively easy in advancing. While Suhosin had a very cute plan on Entombed Valley, building and cancelling a hatch at Terminator’s natural to spread creep, he was not able to successfully build a spine crawler and reinforce the contain. Trying to combat falling behind, he built a hidden expansion, but when it was scouted he was outclassed. Game two gave us a small blast from the past where Zergs were unable to stand up to normal Colossus timings and the KeSPA Protoss had claimed his first victory in Code A.
A Tale of two (plus one) Cities
– In the non-KeSPA matches, FXOSirius, BBoongBBoongPrime and MVP.KeeN advance over SalmosaPrime, Quantic.TheStC and TSL_inori.
The six eSF players involved on the day can easily be put into two distinct categories: The ones with experience in the GSL and those without. But with how the bracket worked out, Salmosa vs. Sirius contained two of the latter, BBoongBBoong vs. TheStC two of the former and Inori vs. Keen split it up between the two.
Opening up the day of Code A action was Salmosa and Sirius. Both Zerg players lack a long resume when it comes to the GSL, but Sirius is relatively well known, being one of those players one would always see doing well enough in Code A preliminaries but never truly making a splash into the actual tournament. Salmosa meanwhile might be best known for his interview upon securing his Code A spot, becoming known for his love of alcohol. The games were fairly standard, with Sirius not surprisingly being better at everything he did, securing an easy 2-0 win to advance to the next round and secure his participation for the next season of GSL.
Inori vs. Keen was similarly one-sided. As much as Keen might struggle with premier Protosses, he has shown a knack for beating players not quite on his level. Inori was never really able to compete with the MVP player, his macro not on the same level and with Keen able to always take the more favorable engagement. Keen is nothing if not an interesting player to follow, and the games certainly contained some plays that could feature well in a highlight reel. Perhaps the best contender would be his ghost flank of the Protoss forces in game two on Antiga Shipyard, where he broke Inori’s hold on the middle of the map, sending in a small attack into a templar based army then emp’ing the enemy forces liberally as the TSL player had to reposition.
The final eSF vs. eSF battle came between two players who have been on the brink of becoming Code S mainstays for a long time; BBoongBboong and TheStC. As one might suspect from looking at the accomplishments of the players, this was also the most even and action-filled of the three matches. Whereas TheStC was able to absolutely crush B4 on Cloud Kingdom in game two, the Prime player came out triumphant. TheStC has always had an interesting way of playing out his TvZ games, with aggression and more aggression in the midgame. B4 combated him in kind, with very thin defenses but ultimately building up through small victories and economical harassment.
It may feel sad to see TheStC depart from the GSL proper. Through his play we have seen the makings of a great Terran player, but we have never seen him blossom as many expected during the beta of SC2. On the other hand, B4 is a fine player to follow as he continues his bid to re-qualify for Code S; while his nerves seem to get the best of him almost as often as Protoss do, he has shown that within him is a player who has a lot to offer.
The Last Stand of eSF (for right now)
– ST_Bomber defends the eSF honor, taking out 8_BaBy 2-1 to ensure his continued GSL existence.
In terms of quality and expectation, the highlight of the day came in the form of Bomber and Baby. Bomber has made a fine bid at becoming the most underperforming and inconsistent player in the league – once thought to be a lock for a future championship, he has mixed his brilliance with an unerring ability to lose when he should not. Baby made a real name for himself in the world of SC2 beating Mvp comprehensively in WCG Korea when the whole eSF vs. KeSPA situation was still new and it was still not clear just how it would play out.
In its own fascinating way, the series played out how we have seen many other eSF vs. KeSPA matchups have before. There are three major ways to play out mirrors; one is for both players to choose different styles, one is for both players to play in the same way and the last is for cheese to decide it all. It has been seen more than a few times before that KeSPA players often excel at the second category while struggling with the other two.
Bomber certainly looked to be the superior player in the first game. Baby was never really able to make his marauder heavy strategy pay dividends –it was a bit like seeing Mvp dismantle Polt back in the day. Ohana is known for lending itself nicely to mech, and Bomber abused Baby’s lack of space to dominate map control and setting up favorable engagements whenever the two went head to head.
Game two saw both play bio however, and the sheer mechanics of Baby got to shine. With no difference in composition, his upgrades and tank positioning let him come back from what could have been a disastrous attack on his third to soundly take us to game three.
As it turns out, Bomber had no intention of playing out a third macro game. With Whirlwind being what it is; a map that inherently rewards the greedier player, he punished Baby’s command center first build with proxy double raxx, and met next to no resistance as he laid claim to the valued ticket to the round of 32.